Closer Look: OCZ VX500 SATS SSD
Now a sub-brand of Toshiba, OCZ’s products use Toshiba controllers and NAND in their solid state storage products. We don’t know much about Toshiba’s proprietary controller, such as its architecture, number of cores, clock speed, etc.
The OCZ VX500 512GB drive comes in a standard 2.5″, 7mm thick form factor. It’s unusual for a mid-range drive to use a screwed-together metal case these days.
At the back of the drive is an indented area with a specifications label. Here we can also see a set of four jumper pins, function unknown, next to the standard SATA power and interface connectors.
Opening the drive reveals the back of the screwed-in PCB– another rarity these days in this segment– which is devoid of any circuitry.
Removing the PCB from the metal case requires a little effort, even after the screws have been removed. Once off, the reason is evident: every chip has a pink thermal pad that’s pressed against the metal drive case for heat dissipation.
Frustratingly for hardware geeks like me, the thermal pads obscure the chip markings. It’s reasonable to assume that 8 of the 9 chips are Toshiba’s 15nm MLC flash memory, and that the remaining, larger chip is the controller. Normally I’d expect a separate DDR3 memory chip as a cache or buffer, but that’s probably built into the Toshiba Mystery Controller™.
In the next section I’ll look at Toshiba’s SSD Utility software.