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Review OCZ Vector 150 SSD

Tobias Winkler (translated by Martina Osztovits), 02/21/2014

Constant performance. OCZ promises the Vector 150 is a Solid State Drive whose performance remains high even after intensive use. We tested a 120 GB and a 240 GB model to see how well this works.

For the original German review, see here.

The SATA-III interface rather than storage technology limits the performance of Solid State Drives more and more often. In theory, the maximum transfer rate is 600 MB/s, while 550 MB/s can be achieved in practice. Currently, only PCIe-SSDs, e.g., Plextor's M6 series in M.2 format is faster with read rates of above 700 MB/s.

As the performance limit of current SSDs is nearly completely exhausted with the SATA-III interface, OCZ turns to durability now. The Vector 150 features 19 nm MLC flash memory from Toshiba and an Indilinx Barefoot 3 controller. The durability is designed for data transfer of 50 GB per day. OCZ specifies a mean time between failure (MTBF) of 1.5 million hours. In addition, the warranty period of 5 years is inspiring confidence. This is longer than average, yet the current trend in this performance range.

Case

The build quality of the solid metal case is very good. It is easy to open the case by loosening four Phillips screws. However, you have to consider the loss of warranty if the seal is broken. The 7 mm high 2.5-inch drive can be incorporated in most notebooks and desktop computers. OCZ includes a 3.5-inch mounting frame and eight screws for the latter. The weight of 115 g (~4 oz.) is about on par with conventional hard drives'. So, it does not decrease the weight when used in notebooks.

We tested OCZ Vector models with 120 GB and 240 GB capacity. Currently, the price starts from about 105 Euros (0.88 Euros/GB) for the 120 GB model (~$144 and $1.2/GB) and just under 190 Euros (0.79 Euros/GB) for the 240 GB model (~$261 and $1.09/GB). Therefore, they are slightly more expensive than Samsung's 840 Pro or Plextor's M5.

OCZ Vector 150 with 120 and 240 GB capacity
OCZ Vector 150 with 120 and 240 GB capacity

Performance

We tested the models in the second drive slot of an Asus N76VZ with a SATA-6G-port (max. 6 Gbit/s). In addition, we ran several benchmarks and power consumption measurements on a desktop system (also with SATA-6G) to compare the values. The results of both systems are within measurement accuracy and the performance does not differ beyond that. We primarily compared the results of the test drives to the very popular Samsung SSD 840 Pro.

Sequential data rates

The sequential data rates are very close to the selected comparison devices. With 500 MB/s, both Vector 150 models read very fast. However, the 120 GB model is about 40-60 MB/s slower in writing.

AS SSD
Seq Read (sort by value)
Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GCST 256 GB SSD
499 MB/s ∼37%
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
513 MB/s ∼38%
OCZ Vector 150 120 GB
494.49 MB/s ∼37%
OCZ Vector 150 240 GB
502.1 MB/s ∼37%
Seq Write (sort by value)
Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GCST 256 GB SSD
474 MB/s ∼52%
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
498 MB/s ∼54%
OCZ Vector 150 120 GB
416.44 MB/s ∼45%
OCZ Vector 150 240 GB
474.48 MB/s ∼52%
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
Read Seq (sort by value)
Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GCST 256 GB SSD
506 MB/s ∼34%
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
531 MB/s ∼36%
OCZ Vector 150 120 GB
500.5 MB/s ∼34%
OCZ Vector 150 240 GB
496.6 MB/s ∼34%
Write Seq (sort by value)
Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GCST 256 GB SSD
478 MB/s ∼49%
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
513 MB/s ∼52%
OCZ Vector 150 120 GB
436.3 MB/s ∼45%
OCZ Vector 150 240 GB
481.4 MB/s ∼49%

Legend

 
Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GCST 256 GB SSD Intel Core i7-3610QM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M,
 
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV-0Z000
 
OCZ Vector 150 120 GB Intel Core i7-3610QM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M, OCZ Vector 150 120 GB
 
OCZ Vector 150 240 GB Intel Core i7-3610QM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M, OCZ Vector 150 240 GB

Data transfer

In average transfer rates, the difference to the Samsung SSD 840 Pro is rather high. For example, when moving data between two drives, the difference of about 130 MB/s (in HD Tune) is apparent. The OCZ Vertex 4 also with an Indilinx Everest 2 Controller from the same manufacturer is about on par.

The result is significantly better in the ATTO Disk benchmark. The OCZ Vector 150 with 240 GB capacity achieved the maximum data rate here. With 555 MB/s, it is only slightly faster than the alternative from Samsung. In writing, it is even significantly faster with 533 MB/s to 468 MB/s.

HD Tune Transfer Rate Average - --- (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
414 MB/s ∼41%
Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GCST 256 GB SSD
267.4 MB/s ∼27%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
271 MB/s ∼27%
OCZ Vector 150 240 GB
286.9 MB/s ∼29%
OCZ Vector 150 120 GB
295 MB/s ∼29%

Legend

 
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV-0Z000
 
Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GCST 256 GB SSD Intel Core i7-3610QM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M,
 
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB VTX4-25SAT3-256G
 
OCZ Vector 150 240 GB Intel Core i7-3610QM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M, OCZ Vector 150 240 GB
 
OCZ Vector 150 120 GB Intel Core i7-3610QM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M, OCZ Vector 150 120 GB
ATTO Disk Benchmark
8192KB read (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
560538 KB/s ∼100%
Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GCST 256 GB SSD
552841 KB/s ∼99%
OCZ Vector 150 240 GB
555383 KB/s ∼99%
OCZ Vector 150 240 GB
555383 KB/s ∼99%
8192KB write (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
468882 KB/s ∼88%
Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GCST 256 GB SSD
521233 KB/s ∼97%
OCZ Vector 150 240 GB
533315 KB/s ∼100%
OCZ Vector 150 240 GB
533315 KB/s ∼100%

Legend

 
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV-0Z000
 
Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GCST 256 GB SSD Intel Core i7-3610QM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M,
 
OCZ Vector 150 240 GB Intel Core i7-3610QM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M, OCZ Vector 150 240 GB

4K performance

In random access to 4 GB files, both OCZ Vector 150 models perform more or less worse than the Samsung SSD 840 Pro. The 240 GB model is only slightly better than the Samsung model in writing 4K blocks.

AS SSD
4K Read (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
32.3 MB/s ∼41%
Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GCST 256 GB SSD
16.32 MB/s ∼21%
OCZ Vector 150 240 GB
21.39 MB/s ∼27%
OCZ Vector 150 120 GB
21.79 MB/s ∼28%
4K Write (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
73.5 MB/s ∼56%
Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GCST 256 GB SSD
46.15 MB/s ∼35%
OCZ Vector 150 240 GB
75.11 MB/s ∼57%
OCZ Vector 150 120 GB
71.74 MB/s ∼54%
4K-64 Read (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
381 MB/s ∼57%
Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GCST 256 GB SSD
365 MB/s ∼55%
OCZ Vector 150 240 GB
332.78 MB/s ∼50%
OCZ Vector 150 120 GB
298.95 MB/s ∼45%
4K-64 Write (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
329 MB/s ∼61%
Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GCST 256 GB SSD
197 MB/s ∼37%
OCZ Vector 150 240 GB
311.22 MB/s ∼58%
OCZ Vector 150 120 GB
292.06 MB/s ∼55%
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
Read 4k QD32 (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
402 MB/s ∼72%
Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GCST 256 GB SSD
385 MB/s ∼69%
OCZ Vector 150 240 GB
341.6 MB/s ∼61%
OCZ Vector 150 120 GB
310.3 MB/s ∼56%
Write 4k QD32 (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
370 MB/s ∼68%
Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GCST 256 GB SSD
224 MB/s ∼41%
OCZ Vector 150 240 GB
275.9 MB/s ∼50%
OCZ Vector 150 120 GB
280.2 MB/s ∼51%

Legend

 
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV-0Z000
 
Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GCST 256 GB SSD Intel Core i7-3610QM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M,
 
OCZ Vector 150 240 GB Intel Core i7-3610QM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M, OCZ Vector 150 240 GB
 
OCZ Vector 150 120 GB Intel Core i7-3610QM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M, OCZ Vector 150 120 GB

Copy performance

The results of the copy performance test of the AS SSD benchmarks differ significantly. In our five runs, we saw differences up to 100 MB/s. We compare the best results with each other. While Samsung's SSD 840 Pro performs significantly better in copying ISO files, the copy performance of programs and games is nearly on par.

AS SSD
Copy ISO MB/s (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
429 MB/s ∼56%
Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GCST 256 GB SSD
368 MB/s ∼48%
OCZ Vector 150 240 GB
342.52 MB/s ∼45%
OCZ Vector 150 120 GB
268.96 MB/s ∼35%
Copy Program MB/s (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
222 MB/s ∼53%
Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GCST 256 GB SSD
233 MB/s ∼56%
OCZ Vector 150 240 GB
223.61 MB/s ∼54%
OCZ Vector 150 120 GB
236.92 MB/s ∼57%
Copy Game MB/s (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
269 MB/s ∼33%
Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GCST 256 GB SSD
297 MB/s ∼37%
OCZ Vector 150 240 GB
273.07 MB/s ∼34%
OCZ Vector 150 120 GB
267.06 MB/s ∼33%

Legend

 
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV-0Z000
 
Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GCST 256 GB SSD Intel Core i7-3610QM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M,
 
OCZ Vector 150 240 GB Intel Core i7-3610QM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M, OCZ Vector 150 240 GB
 
OCZ Vector 150 120 GB Intel Core i7-3610QM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M, OCZ Vector 150 120 GB

Access times

The Toshiba HG5d is slightly slower in our measurements, but this will have little relevance in practice. Compared to conventional hard drives, which usually have values of 15 to 19 ms, about 0.1 ms is very low. This advantage gets apparent in everyday tasks, especially opening files and programs, which are significantly more responsive.

AS SSD
Access Time Read (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
0.056 ms * ∼0%
Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GCST 256 GB SSD
0.12 ms * ∼0%
OCZ Vector 150 240 GB
0.074 ms * ∼0%
OCZ Vector 150 120 GB
0.052 ms * ∼0%
Access Time Write (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
0.046 ms * ∼0%
Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GCST 256 GB SSD
0.079 ms * ∼0%
OCZ Vector 150 240 GB
0.074 ms * ∼0%
OCZ Vector 150 120 GB
0.051 ms * ∼0%

Legend

 
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV-0Z000
 
Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GCST 256 GB SSD Intel Core i7-3610QM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M,
 
OCZ Vector 150 240 GB Intel Core i7-3610QM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M, OCZ Vector 150 240 GB
 
OCZ Vector 150 120 GB Intel Core i7-3610QM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M, OCZ Vector 150 120 GB

* ... smaller is better

The software IOMeter delivers more realistic results under standard use and heavy workstation load. The profiles "IOMix" and "Workstation" simulate different drive usage scenarios of typical users and workstation users. During the IOMix test, a 10 GB partition is intensively used and during the Workstation test, it is used intensively for 3 minutes. Both Vector 150 models can achieve very good results here and outperform the reviewed competition in nearly every test. The smaller Vector 150 is only beaten by the OCZ Vertex 4 from the same manufacturer in IOMix.

IOMeter
IOMix, 5min, 10GB Partition (sort by value)
OCZ Vector 150 240 GB
273.94 MB/s ∼4%
OCZ Vector 150 120 GB
247.06 MB/s ∼3%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
89.6 MB/s ∼1%
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
177.5 MB/s ∼2%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
211.9 MB/s ∼3%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
230.17 MB/s ∼3%
Workstation, 3min, 10GB Partition (sort by value)
OCZ Vector 150 240 GB
239.56 MB/s ∼89%
OCZ Vector 150 120 GB
215.31 MB/s ∼80%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
61.8 MB/s ∼23%
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
135.8 MB/s ∼50%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
225.2 MB/s ∼84%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
165.68 MB/s ∼62%

Legend

 
OCZ Vector 150 240 GB Intel Core i7-3610QM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M, OCZ Vector 150 240 GB
 
OCZ Vector 150 120 GB Intel Core i7-3610QM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M, OCZ Vector 150 120 GB
 
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 840 250GB MZ7TD256HAFV
 
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV-0Z000
 
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB VTX4-25SAT3-256G
 
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Intel SSD 520 Series SSDSC2CW240A

Performance Loss

As a stress test, we ran the IOMix profile over the whole SSD to simulate the performance loss of a non-empty SSD under load. SSDs with over provisioning (special replacement area) should perform better here. The test models have an 8 GB and a 16 GB bigger over-provisioning area than its predecessors. Contrary to the Samsung Magician software, the OCZ toolbox does not allow to increase this memory area even more.

Both Vector 150 models performed very well here. With above 90 MB/s the 120 GB model is not as stable as the 240 GB model with 127 MB/s, but both results are significantly better than the Samsung 830's (37 MB/s), 840's (51 MB/s), and 840 Pro's (49 MB/s). Intel's SSD-520 series is still unbeaten in our stress test with 206 MB/s.

Samsung SSD 830 256 GB
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB
Samsung SSD 840
Samsung SSD 840
Samsung SSD 840 Pro
Samsung SSD 840 Pro
Intel SSD 520 256 GB
Intel SSD 520 256 GB
OCZ Vector 150 120 GB
OCZ Vector 150 120 GB
OCZ Vector 150 240 GB
OCZ Vector 150 240 GB

Power Consumption

The power consumption is crucial for use in notebooks. Compared to conventional hard drives, many SSDs profit especially from low power consumption under load. With the HG5d, Toshiba offers a very frugal drive with a maximum of only 1.48 Watts and 1.7 Watts. Both Vector 150 models cannot keep up with it with 2.4 to 2.99 Watts. Apparently, the Indilinx Barefoot 3 controller needs significantly more energy under load than the Marvell controller of the Toshiba. The 19 nm MLC flash memory used by Toshiba in both models is unlikely the reason. The results are slightly different while idle. Although they do not belong to the top models with 0.53 to 0.58 Watts (Samsung SSD 470: 0.27 Watts), they perform significantly better than many competitors. We also measured the power consumption of the 120 GB when connected to a SATA II interface. Apart from the expected performance loss (max. 255 MB/s), the power consumption falls dramatically.

Power Consumption in comparison
Power Consumption in comparison

Verdict

OCZ Vector 150
OCZ Vector 150

The OCZ Vector 150 is an attractive alternative to many competitors. In particular, the two test models perform significantly better than most of the reviewed competitors under constant load. Although the drive cannot achieve absolute top values in performance, it belongs to the upper range. The good, yet not outstanding power consumption does not contradict use in notebooks. But, if battery life is most important, there are better alternatives out there. If you go for an OCZ Vector 150 model, the 240 GB is the more balanced bundle. Besides better write performance and bigger capacity, you will profit from the better Euros per GB ratio.

The OCZ Vector 150 with 120 GB is currently available for 115 Euros (~$158) at Amazon.de.

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In Review: OCZ Vector 150, test device by courtesy of OCZ Germany
In Review: OCZ Vector 150, test device by courtesy of OCZ Germany

Data Sheet

OCZ Vector 150

  • Indilinx  Barefoot 3 controller
  • 19-nm-MLC-NAND flash memory
  • SATA III
  • 120 and 240 GB (gross)
  • 7 mm height, 2.5-inch format
  • 115 g
  • 7 x 70 x 100 mm
  • Trim, 256-bit AES encryption
  • Acronis True Image HD (activation key)
  • from 105 Euros (120 GB) and 190 Euros (240 GB)

Manufacturer's information

The OCZ Vector 150 comes in an elegant package.
The OCZ Vector 150 comes in an elegant package.
A 3.5 inch mounting frame is included for use in a desktop PC.
A 3.5 inch mounting frame is included for use in a desktop PC.
In modern SSDs, the SATA III interface usually limits the performance.
In modern SSDs, the SATA III interface usually limits the performance.
The OCZ Vector 150 places particular value on durability.
The OCZ Vector 150 places particular value on durability.
The solid metal case is very stable, but it is also relatively heavy.
The solid metal case is very stable, but it is also relatively heavy.
OCZ toolbox
OCZ toolbox
OCZ toolbox
OCZ toolbox

Shortcut

What we like

Solid performance, which decreases significantly less than many competitors' even after intensive use.

What we would like to see

a lower power consumption and a lighter case for unlimited use in notebooks. Compared to the main competitors, the pricing should be better.

What surprises us

Apart from performance, durability became an important, aggressively marketed aspect.

The competition

Many price search engines list Crucial's M500, Samsung's SSD 840 and 840 Pro near the top of their list. In terms of price, Sandisk's Ultra Plus Notebook (SDSSDHP-256G-G25) could also be an interesting alternative.

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Review OCZ Vector 150 SSD
Author: Tobias Winkler, 2014-02-21 (Update: 2014-02-22)