OCZ is tapping Toshiba's Q300 Pro as a replacement for their aging VT180 mainstream line of SATA III SSD's. OCZ is taking an already proven beast of an SSD, Toshiba's Q300 Pro, and outfitted the drive with newer firmware, 15nm planar MLC Toshiba NAND flash, and a new OCZ label. OCZ has dubbed this refresh of the Q300 Pro the OCZ VX500 Series.
The new VX500 SSD series will replace OCZ's Vector 180 SSD series as the mainstream offering in Toshiba/OCZ's new SSD lineup. In OCZ's new lineup, the VX500 falls between the value-driven Trion 150 and the extreme-performance RD400 NVMe SSD. The VX500 offers many of the same features that made the VT180 (Vector 180) a favorite among enthusiasts; including Acronis cloning software, OCZ's SSD Utility, and OCZ's Advanced Warranty Program.
OCZ envisions their VX500 series SSDs as a perfect drop-in replacement for enthusiasts that are not quite ready for NVMe. The VX500 series is targeted at those that are looking for a little more than TLC-based SSDs have to offer, such as better sustained performance as well as significantly better endurance that is inherent to MLC flash-based SSDs.
The VX500 series is, for the most part, a line of DRAM-less SSDs with the exception of the 1TB model. The 1TB model has 256MB of onboard DRAM cache. The 128GB-512GB models are DRAM-less designs. Typically, DRAM-less SSDs do not perform as well as SSDs that have onboard DRAM caching. We have to look no further than SanDisk's SSD Plus to see the adverse impact on performance that typically goes hand-in-hand with DRAM-less SSDs, especially when the user is running sustained workloads.
However, OCZ's VX500 is not your typical DRAM-less SSD. In fact, despite its low 4K QD1 read performance, the 256GB VX500 actually outperforms Samsung's 850 Pro 512GB SSD in our PCMark8 extended testing. The 1TB model is the real gem, though. Because the 1TB model does have a small DRAM cache, it delivers heavy workload performance that is a cut above the current competition. If we had our way, all VX500 capacity points would have a DRAM-cache in a 1MB to 1GB DRAM to NAND flash ratio. We believe if Toshiba/OCZ had done this, or will do this in the future, Samsung's 850 Pro/EVO could potentially be unseated as the SATA performance champions.
Performance aside, DRAM-less designs do present a few inherent advantages to the end-user. First, production costs are lower, power consumption is greatly reduced, the physical footprint is smaller, and there is one less potential point of failure. SSDs are trending toward DRAM-less designs primarily to reduce production costs which will trickle down to the end-user as lower retail pricing. Lower pricing serves to increase mainstream SSD adoption, the result of which is greater revenue for SSD vendors.
Let's dive in and see what OCZ's mainstream VX500 series SSDs have to offer.
For specifications of the 128GB-512GB models, please refer to the above factory spec sheet. We will highlight the main features and performance specifications for the 1TB OCZ VX500 below:
- Sequential Read: up to 550 MB/s
- Sequential Write: up to 515 MB/s
- Max 4K Random Read Speed: up to 92,000 IOPS
- Max 4K Random Write Speed: up to 65,000 IOPS
- Endurance: 592TB or up to 324GB/day for 5-years
- MTTF: 1.5 Million Hours
- Warranty: 5-Years Advanced Warranty Program
- Active Power Consumption: 3.4W Max.
- Idle Power Consumption: 260mW
- Idle Time Garbage Collection
- Software: SSD Utility, CLOUT, Acronis 2016
OCZ VX500 MSRP: 128GB = $63.99, 256GB = $92.79, 512GB = $152.52, 1TB = $337.06
Note: This is target launch pricing that's subject to change depending on the market. Pricing is expected to drop shortly after launch.
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- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, Pricing & Availability]
- Page 2 [Drive Details]
- Page 3 [Test System Setup and Properties]
- Page 4 [Synthetic Benchmarks – ATTO & Anvil's]
- Page 5 [Synthetic Benchmarks – CDM & AS SSD]
- Page 6 [Benchmarks (Trace, OS Volume) - Vantage, PCMark 7 & PCMark 8]
- Page 7 [Benchmarks (Secondary) – IOPS, Response & Transfers]
- Page 8 [Benchmarks (Secondary) – PCMark 8 Extended]
- Page 9 [Benchmarks (Secondary) – 70/30 Mixed Workload]
- Page 10 [Maxed-Out Performance (MOP)]
- Page 11 [Final Thoughts]
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