Closer Look: OCZ Vector 150 SSD
Solid state drive devices have gained quick popularity with performance-minded consumers because they work equally well in PC, Linux, or Apple computer systems. Likewise, these drives install quite easily into both desktop and notebook platforms without modification. The OCZ Vector 150 SSD series is best suited for performance-orientated users, giving personal computers a much faster response time and boosting productivity.
In this article Benchmark Reviews will test the 240GB OCZ Vector 150 solid state drive, which comes packaged in a cardboard retail kit that includes the SSD, a drive bay adapter, and Acronis True Image cloning software. OCZ Technology offers the Vector 150 SSD series in three popular capacities: 120, 240, and 480GB. These models share the same part numbers with a capacity designation: VTR150-25SAT3-240G that represents the 240GB model. All OCZ Vector 150 solid state drive products measure 99.7mm L x 69.75mm W x 7mm H. As of launch day (7 November 2013), the OCZ Vector 150 SSD is available online: 120GB- $134.99, 240GB- $239.99, 480GB- $489.99 at Newegg.
The 240GB model we received is specified to reach 550 MB/s for sequential reads and 530 MB/s sequential writes. OCZ specifies 4K random reads up to 90,000 IOPS and random writes up to 95,000 IOPS. Although Vector 150 SSD product specifications advertise extremely fast performance ratings, these solid state drive products are really designed with a focus on product reliability. The Indilinx controller and OCZ firmware inside Vector 150 SSDs receive a long validation cycle to ensure optimal stability is delivered to the consumer, enabling OCZ Technology to offer a three-year product warranty. These features could help factor into the consumer’s decision, as it improves long-term value.
Unlike fragile Hard Disk Drive (HDD) storage products, SSDs are not nearly as sensitive to impact damage and do not require (or benefit from) any kind of special vibration dampening or shock-proof enclosures. Once installed the SSD is usually hidden away from view, which explains why OCZ has maintained a conservative appearance on the Vector 150 SSD series.
The OCZ Vector 150 SSD features a 7.0mm thick chassis that comes with a textured silver metal finish. OCZ utilizes a standard two-piece metal enclosure for Vector 150-series SSDs, with a series branding label covering the top panel and a product information label attached on the bottom. Internal components are revealed by removing four small counter-sunk screws located at the bottom of this solid state drive.
Standard 2.5″ drive bay mounting points are pre-drilled into the SSD chassis with fine screw threading, allowing this drive to fit directly into notebook computers that use SATA connections. The SSD mounting positions matched up to the drive bracket on my notebook computer, or the included 3.5″ to 2.5″ drive bay adapter will enable this SSD fit directly into desktop computer cases. After only a few minutes of upgrading I booted-up from a restored Windows System Backup Image with ease. Optionally, OCZ Technology includes a license for Acronis True Image cloning software with purchase Vector 150.
Backwards compatible with SATA 1.5 GB/s and 3.0 GB/s interfaces, the SATA 6.0 GB/s Indilinx Barefoot 3 M00 SSD controller offers: native TRIM garbage collection for supported Operating System (such as Microsoft Windows 7/8), Native Command Queuing (NCQ) with 32 command slots, and basic Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology (SMART) command set. Indilinx Barefoot 3 SSDs offer BCH error correcting capable of 44 random bits correction per 1KB of data.
At the heart of OCZ’s Vector 150 SSD series is the 65nm Indilinx Barefoot 3 controller branded with part number IDX500M00-BC, and comprised of an ARM Cortex processor and OCZ Aragon co-processor. The 240GB Vector 150 SSD tested for this article utilizes up to 16GB of the embedded MLC NAND flash for an over-provisioning buffer. OCZ Vector 150 utilizes 19nm Toshiba MLC NAND flash components.
In the next few sections we’ll test the OCZ Vertex 3.20 solid state drive, comparing this solid state drive to other retail products intended for notebook and desktop installations.