Next week I'll have more to report on than just SSDs, I promise. Until then, the SandForce festivities continue with today's arrival: The OCZ Vertex 2.

As you may have heard, the Vertex 2 uses a special brew of SandForce's SF-1200 firmware that gives it the small file random write performance of a SF-1500 based solution, without most of the added cost. Unless Corsair and SandForce work something out, the Vertex 2 is going to be the only SF-1200 based SSD that can use SandForce's MP firmware and attain 30,000 sustained 4K random write IOPS.

I'm running the drive through the ringer now and hope to have results as well as an update to our SSD Bench later this week. If you want to see pics of its internals, check out the gallery.

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  • BlackDragon24 - Friday, April 23, 2010 - link

    Well, Sandforce is the hot topic in SSD's, and since OCZ has 3 separate lines of Sandforce SSD's out, it follow that it would be a busy month for OCZ SSD's. He's just reporting them as they come in. I don't think anyone would accuse Anand of being biased towards a particular company for any reason other than its performance and reliability.
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Friday, April 23, 2010 - link

    OCZ was the first to support SandForce and thus it's one of the first to bring product to market. We just recently reviewed Corsair's Force drive and I'm awaiting new drives from OWC and other companies as well.

    I have two more OCZ drives as well as a new Patriot drive that I'm working on right now, I'm just publishing whatever I've got in the order that I get it :)

    Take care,
  • Shadowmaster625 - Friday, April 23, 2010 - link

    You should perform that 100% random data test on an intel drive. I had always assumed that intel was doing some rudimentary data compression to make their random write performance so good. For example, if you create a new text file and then type "hello world" and save the file, you've just consumed 4 kilobytes but in reality most of that 4KB is just a bunch of zeros. When windows is doing a flurry of small random writes in normal daily usage, I bet most of that data is either *unchanged* or is mostly 0's.

    It seems like a no brainer to me that a controller would count the number of consecutive 0's or 1's in the data as it comes in. And if there are a lot of 1's or 0's in a row then it would replace all those bits with a flag in the header that says there are X amount of 0's or 1's at location Y.

    Of course there is nothing they can do to speed up the amount of time it takes to write a page, even if they can fill a page faster.

    Certainly, a smart controller would calculate a checksum of each flash page, and not rewrite that page unless the data has actually changed? I know the vast majority of the time when windows changes a file, it is only a small fraction of the file that actually is changing. Again, I had assumed that Intel was capitalizing on that to get better performance than simply "dumb writing" every single bit of every single file whether it changes or not. It would be nice to have an actual test to see who is doing these kinds of things.
  • Movieman420 - Friday, April 23, 2010 - link

    I know for sure that Ocz will be releasing a Vertex 2 Pro (SF1500) as well with both sata and SAS interfaces to choose from.

    It's not gonna be cheap...but it will be blazing fast. After that, I guess the only way to top it would be a Vertex 2 EX (SF1500 w/SLC nand) with an SAS/Sata6 interface (insert drool here). I'm just crossing my fingers that they'll release a sata6 version of the Vertex 2 and/or Agility 2.
    And hats off to OCZ for investing the time, money and resources that it took to bring the SandForce controllers to market...they MORE than deserve to have a leg up on the competition when it comes to exclusive stuff such as the special SF1200 firmware.
  • DrJohan - Friday, April 23, 2010 - link


    I am a Swedish anesthesiologist with 2 kids, a research program and far too many hobbies. I am interested in computers but I just don´t have the time to be any good at it. I have just ordered a new laptop (see below) and want to equip this with a SSD. The upcoming Vertex 2 is the one I am thinking about. I have been surfing around during the limited free time I have and Anand and this forum seems to be about as good as things get. I therefore would like to ask a few questions and would be very happy if I could also get some decent answers:

    I have ordered a 15" Macbook pro, core i7, 8Gb RAM, crappy 500Gb harddisk. I chose this because i needed a computer which would last a few years and with very good battery life. It also looks pretty cool.

    I almost ordered the Apple 256Gb SSD upgrade until I read on the net that they are rubbish. Intel seem to make good stuff but OCZ Vertex are "compatible with Mac". The upcoming Vertex 2 seems to be a nice piece of hardware: My questions:

    1. Mac does not have TRIM support. What is TRIM?
    2. Since there is no TRIM, Garbage Collection seems to do the job. Is this correct?
    3. Does the Vertex 2 have Garbage collection? If so, does it work?
    4. The whole "limited lifetime due to limited read/write episodes" is confusing to me. Is this really an issue with new SSD´s? The Vertex 2? Doesn´t garbage collection sort this out?
    5. Is the Vertex 2 "compatible with Mac"? Is this even necessary?

    Will be REALLY happy if Anand or anyone else could help me out here. I know I sound like a loser, but I just don´t have the time to check these things out myself (and I lack alot of the basic computer know-how that I think is needed).

    Cheers from Sweden!

  • DrJohan - Saturday, April 24, 2010 - link

    Please some answers.......!
  • Moonstarr - Saturday, May 8, 2010 - link

    Read up on SSD terms and tech here...

    Also don't hate on your 500g HDD. As long as you keep it under 50% capacity it will work well.

    And like Anand said in his article... It's too early for him to endorse these drives.
  • quanta - Friday, April 23, 2010 - link

    Here are the quotes from OCZ's page over IOPS:

    Agility 2 random 4K (aligned): 10000
    Vertex LE random write 4K: 15000
    Vertex LE max 4k IOPS: 50,000
    Vertex 2 random write 4KB (aligned): 50,000

    Since Vertex LE uses Sandforce SF-1500 instead of Sandforce SF-1200, it raises the question on why Vertex LE has lower IOPS at random write 4KB. Is OCZ try to hold cripple Vertex LE (which are bound to sold out at any moment) to boost Vertex 2 sales? Thanks to the unholy exclusivity deal between Sandforce and OCZ, whatever 'solution' Sandforce is working on is going to be bad for consumers. For a bigger picture, what's gonna stop Intel or any other Flash controller manufacturers from making anticompetitve deals similar to the one between Sandforce and OCZ? After all, OCZ also has already used custom firmware on Vertex[1] and Vertex Turbo[2].

  • Dr.Neale - Friday, April 23, 2010 - link

    The expression "through the wringer" harks back to the days of wringer-washer machines, where the wringer would squeeze out almost all of the water from the laundry before it was hung out to dry on the clothesline. So, to put something "through the wringer" would be to squeeze out all the information you can about it. The expression used in the article "through the ringer" is a ringer, in that it uses the homophone "ringer" for the proper term "wringer". Sorry to put your article "through the wringer"!
  • Movieman420 - Friday, April 23, 2010 - link

    Be it 'ringer' or 'wringer', one thing is for have waaay too much time on your hands. oO

    Also will peeps stop whining about Ocz's exclusive deal with SandForce! There's a reason why Ocz are getting such favors....they invested the time, money and resources (not to mention the risk) to help SF to finish developing, testing and prototyping the controllers and firmware and get them to market. SF will be making most of their money from the high end enterprise products (SF1500 + SLC + SAS) and Ocz (and others) will take care of the mainstream and enthusiast market (SF1200+MLC & SF1500 + MLC). Props to Ocz for getting their hands dirty and helping SF to bring this great new controller to market in a timely fashion.

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