OCZ Technology Vector 256GB SSD Review

OCZ Vector 256GB - Final Thoughts

Overall, we love where OCZ is going with their Indilinx acquisition.  They are taking control of the hardware and software and melding them together into great looking and even better-performing packages.  The aesthetics of the Vector drive, is, in my opinion, the most "premium" of any SSD I've used.  It's rock solid, is slim at 7mm, is notably hefty (anyone looking to utilize a 7mm drive might want to take special note of the weight), and the Vectro graphics are also not as boring as other drives.  We still think it would be neat for the aesthetically-conscious builders out ther to offer "add-on" stickers if they'd prefer not have blue showing in their drive bays (yeah, this might be a reach, but I have not doubt it's a consideration for some).


The performance of OCZ's Indilinx Barefoot 3 controller is much more balanced than the slew of Sandforce SF-2800 drives while still maintaining great peak throughput.  The Barefoot 3 controller really excels when handling incompressible data which the SandForce drives struggle with, and essentially swept the field and had nearly double the write throughput as many other drives we've tested.  Impressive.  The Vector SSDs also make improvements in write amplification as well as sustained performance for continuous/heavy workloads.  Also of note is that in ATTO, we saw the Vector 256GB drive hitting its peak throughput as low as 128K whereas most other drives don't begin to peak out until 512K or even 1024K.  Rounding it out, we see strong and balanced high queue depth/thread operation, which shows us that the Vector drive will be a good candidate for those who anticipate putting their SSDs into an intense work environment.

OCZ Vector 256GB Review - Iso View

And to make a job well done for the engineering team at OCZ, the marketing team has also put a sticker price on it that makes it a very competitive offering.  Drives that are in what we call the "budget-enthusiast" line, like the HyperX 3K drives, are currently running in at just shy of $1/GB, if not right on the dot at the magic buck-per-gigabyte number.  The Vector 256GB is currently about $16 more (at $235.99), but gives 16GB more storage space and far superior performance and overall componentry.  This means you're getting nearly the same overall value per GB, but with a performance upgrade too.  A year, year and a half ago, that would have run you a $50 premium.  Such is the nature of a competitive and fast-paced market environment.  The Vertex 4 drive is definitely just hanging around to milk the renowned "Vertex" brand name, as it rings in at another $15 more for less performance than the Vector drive, at a square $249.99.  Also, for a limited time, the cherry on top is the inclusion of a free copy of Far Cry 3.


The Kings' Ruling:

OCZ's Vector SSD gives us the best all-around performance, and shines in its read-write throughput balance and especially when it encounters incompressible data.  It also boasts low write amplification and improved sustained performance for intense workloads.  As an overall value proposition, the Vector series is extremely competitive, nearly matching some of the best value drives like the HyperX 3K on a $/GB basis, but also offers the previously-mentioned performance advantages.  Keep up the good work with your Indilinx acquisition, OCZ.


The Good




The Bad

  • Balanced read/write throughput
  • Maximum throughput matching the best SandForce drives
  • Fantastic incompressible read/write transfer rates
  • Fantastic build quality
  • 5 Year warranty
  • Included 5.25-inch drive adapter
  • Competitive overall value
  • Relatively weighty, especially important for thin notebooks needing a 7mm drive.

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