Review OCZ Vector 256 GB (VTR1-25SAT3-256G)

Klaus Hinum (translated by Ariana Brodsky), 01/12/2013

Barefoot 3. The OCZ Vector is the latest product to challenge the Samsung 840 Pro for the title of the best performing SSD on the market. This review will throw some light on the giant strides OCZ has made in the development of the Indilinx Barefoot 3 controller, the firmware that it pins its hopes on.

In Review: The 256 GB OCZ Vector
In Review: OCZ Vector with 256 GB

For the original German review, see here.

Indilinx was bought by OCZ in March 2011 to better control the quality of the SSDs that it was manufacturing. OCZ used to source the controller of its older Vertex SSDs (excluding the Vertex 4) from Sandforce. OCZ had very limited control over the quality of the firmware. Barefoot 2 was the first controller iteration that was introduced in the Vertex 4s. But the firmware was used on a Marvell chip and the SSDs did not find much traction with the consumer. ‘Barefoot 3’ has a lot of improvements that were needed to make the OCZ SSDs competitive.

Historically, OCZ has been selling a large number of SSDs by undercutting the prices of the competition. Now, they aim at the premium SSD market which requires the SSDs to offer excellent performance, quality and reliability. The Samsung SSD 840 Pro is currently one of the best performing SSDs and contains the tried and tested 25 nm MLC NAND flash chips. OCZ tries to follow suit by including similar innards but with its own controller, the ‘Barefoot 3’.

The Vector's design is simple. It comes in a heavy but stable metal case, with a label that has been well designed but haphazardly stuck on. On the scales, there is a pretty big weight disparity (116 g vs. 53 g, 4 oz vs. 1.9 oz), which is important above all for possible use in lightweight notebooks. The Samsung SSD is definitely the better looking and the much lighter device.

The OCZ Vector came with a 3.5-inch adapter with the necessary screws, a small information booklet and a sticker. The product also included the license for a copy of Acronis True Image Cloning software that is useful when trying to transfer data from the old HDD/SSD to the SSD.

The new SATA 3.0 6 Gbit/s Indilinx 'Barefoot 3' Controller IDX50M00-BC is able to interact with the flash memory through 8 parallel data channels. Two 256 MB DDR3 DRAM chips by Micron act as cache for the controller. There is an open slot available on the PCB for a third chip. The Vector does not support automatic hardware encryption (AES). The 25 nm synchronous MLC NAND flash memory chips used in the SSD come from Intel Micron IMFT, but are cut and packed by OCZ themselves (hence the OCZ label).

The top of the PCB
front side of the PCB
The bottom of the PCB
back side of the PCB
The exposed controller behind the heat sink
exposed controller behind the thermal relief pad
Free space for another cache chip
free space for another cache chip

Test System

Our test bed for the SSD was a desktop PC with an Intel Core i7-2600K (without overclocking), an Intel DP67BG mainboard, 8 GB DDR3 memory and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 470 graphics card. The SSD was placed in the SATA 3.0 6G Port 0 and was used with the Intel Rapid Storage driver 11.2.0.1006 under Windows 7 (64 bit).

Synthetic Benchmarks

Sequential transfer rates

When it comes to sequential data transfer rates, the new Vector is one of the fastest SSDs out there. In the AS SSD benchmark (uses compressed data only) it is just faster than the Samsung 840 Pro. In the Crystal Disk Mark test, the ‘reads’ of the Vector fall behind that of the Samsung but the ‘writes’ are similar. Only in the HD Tune test does the Vector fall conspicuously behind the competition. It has to be noted that the Vertex 4 with the ‘Barefoot 2’ controller had similar problems in the same test.

Overall, the Vector is one of the fastest performing SSDs in the benchmarks and barely trails the Samsung 840 Pro.

AS SSD
Seq Read
OCZ Vector 256 GB Desktop
516 MB/s ∼38%
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
513 MB/s ∼38% -1%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
513 MB/s ∼38% -1%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
499 MB/s ∼37% -3%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
496.14 MB/s ∼37% -4%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
503 MB/s ∼37% -3%
Seq Write
OCZ Vector 256 GB Desktop
500 MB/s ∼56%
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
498 MB/s ∼56% 0%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
254 MB/s ∼29% -49%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
395 MB/s ∼45% -21%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
288.38 MB/s ∼33% -42%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
459 MB/s ∼52% -8%
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
Read Seq
OCZ Vector 256 GB Desktop
513 MB/s ∼35%
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
531 MB/s ∼36% +4%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
531 MB/s ∼36% +4%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
514 MB/s ∼35% 0%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
497.7 MB/s ∼34% -3%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
486 MB/s ∼33% -5%
Write Seq
OCZ Vector 256 GB Desktop
514 MB/s ∼55%
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
513 MB/s ∼55% 0%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
259 MB/s ∼28% -50%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
413 MB/s ∼44% -20%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
307.8 MB/s ∼33% -40%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
470 MB/s ∼51% -9%
Read 512
OCZ Vector 256 GB Desktop
438 MB/s ∼48%
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
471 MB/s ∼51% +8%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
458 MB/s ∼50% +5%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
350 MB/s ∼38% -20%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
441.2 MB/s ∼48% +1%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
308 MB/s ∼33% -30%
Write 512
OCZ Vector 256 GB Desktop
506 MB/s ∼61%
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
501 MB/s ∼60% -1%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
258 MB/s ∼31% -49%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
409 MB/s ∼49% -19%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
299.5 MB/s ∼36% -41%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
470 MB/s ∼56% -7%
HD Tune Transfer Rate Average
OCZ Vector 256 GB Desktop
295 MB/s ∼29%
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
414 MB/s ∼41% +40%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
392 MB/s ∼39% +33%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
376.2 MB/s ∼37% +28%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
271 MB/s ∼27% -8%
Legend
      OCZ Vector 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, OCZ Vector 256 GB
      Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV-0Z000
      Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 840 250GB MZ7TD256HAFV
      Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 830 Series MZ-7PC256D/EU
      Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Intel SSD 520 Series SSDSC2CW240A
      OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB VTX4-25SAT3-256G

When you compare SSDs running the Sandforce SF-2xxx controllers with the Vector and the 840 Pro, the results are dependent on the type of data (compressed or uncompressed) that has been used in the tests. The results of the Intel SSD 520 clearly show how dependent the Sandforce controller is on compressible data in order to obtain maximum write speeds (dependency on type of data for read speeds is lower).

 

OCZ Vector (Barefoot 3)
OCZ Vector (Barefoot 3)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro (MDX)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro (MDX)
Samsung SSD 830 (MCX)
Samsung SSD 830 (MCX)
Intel SSD 520 (Sandforce SF-2281)
Intel SSD 520 (Sandforce SF-2281)

ATTO data rates

In the ATTO test, you can easily see the maximum transfer speeds for different block sizes. In the ’Read’ test, the Vector achieves the same outstanding results as the Samsung 840 Pro. There is a minor variance in the test results for the 32 KB block size.

In the ‘Write’ test, the Vector matches the performance of the Samsung 840 Pro and does overtake at certain points after the 4 KB run. Other than the hiccup in the test for read speeds, the Vector results are spectacular.

4K data rates

As far as the 4K data rates go, the Samsung SSD 840 Pro has about a 6% lead over the OCZ Vector. The Vertex 4 comes in behind the Vector with a similar gap in performance between them. The Samsung 840 Basic, Intel 520 and Samsung 830 make up the list in that order.

AS SSD
4K Read
OCZ Vector 256 GB Desktop
24.38 MB/s ∼19%
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
32.3 MB/s ∼25% +32%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
26 MB/s ∼20% +7%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
21 MB/s ∼16% -14%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
24.41 MB/s ∼19% 0%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
26.3 MB/s ∼20% +8%
4K Write
OCZ Vector 256 GB Desktop
79.31 MB/s ∼60%
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
73.5 MB/s ∼56% -7%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
70 MB/s ∼53% -12%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
69 MB/s ∼52% -13%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
72.01 MB/s ∼55% -9%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
76.7 MB/s ∼58% -3%
4K-64 Read
OCZ Vector 256 GB Desktop
362 MB/s ∼55%
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
381 MB/s ∼57% +5%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
354 MB/s ∼53% -2%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
285 MB/s ∼43% -21%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
236.17 MB/s ∼36% -35%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
332 MB/s ∼50% -8%
4K-64 Write
OCZ Vector 256 GB Desktop
302 MB/s ∼56%
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
329 MB/s ∼61% +9%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
207 MB/s ∼39% -31%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
104 MB/s ∼19% -66%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
231.79 MB/s ∼43% -23%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
306 MB/s ∼57% +1%
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
Read 4k
OCZ Vector 256 GB Desktop
27.8 MB/s ∼64%
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
35.7 MB/s ∼82% +28%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
29.7 MB/s ∼68% +7%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
24.1 MB/s ∼56% -13%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
29.74 MB/s ∼69% +7%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
29.6 MB/s ∼68% +6%
Write 4k
OCZ Vector 256 GB Desktop
103 MB/s ∼63%
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
88.9 MB/s ∼55% -14%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
86.1 MB/s ∼53% -16%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
85.4 MB/s ∼52% -17%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
91.24 MB/s ∼56% -11%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
85 MB/s ∼52% -17%
Read 4k QD32
OCZ Vector 256 GB Desktop
383 MB/s ∼69%
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
402 MB/s ∼72% +5%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
372 MB/s ∼67% -3%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
307 MB/s ∼55% -20%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
239.9 MB/s ∼43% -37%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
349 MB/s ∼63% -9%
Write 4k QD32
OCZ Vector 256 GB Desktop
372 MB/s ∼68%
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
370 MB/s ∼68% -1%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
259 MB/s ∼48% -30%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
152 MB/s ∼28% -59%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
266.3 MB/s ∼49% -28%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
342 MB/s ∼63% -8%
Legend
      OCZ Vector 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, OCZ Vector 256 GB
      Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV-0Z000
      Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 840 250GB MZ7TD256HAFV
      Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 830 Series MZ-7PC256D/EU
      Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Intel SSD 520 Series SSDSC2CW240A
      OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB VTX4-25SAT3-256G

Access times

The new OCZ Vector achieves extraordinary results for access time in the AS SSD benchmark. The Vector shows slower access times for writes than the Vertex 4 only. The Vertex 4, however, had clear weaknesses when it came to read access times. Once again, the Vector is one of the top performers in this test overall.

AS SSD
Access Time Read
OCZ Vector 256 GB Desktop
0.049 ms * ∼0%
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
0.056 ms * ∼0% -14%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
0.063 ms * ∼0% -29%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
0.069 ms * ∼0% -41%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
0.126 ms * ∼0% -157%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
0.13 ms * ∼0% -165%
Access Time Write
OCZ Vector 256 GB Desktop
0.04 ms * ∼0%
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
0.046 ms * ∼0% -15%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
0.054 ms * ∼0% -35%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
0.052 ms * ∼0% -30%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
0.212 ms * ∼0% -430%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
0.03 ms * ∼0% +25%
Legend
      OCZ Vector 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, OCZ Vector 256 GB
      Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV-0Z000
      Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 840 250GB MZ7TD256HAFV
      Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 830 Series MZ-7PC256D/EU
      Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Intel SSD 520 Series SSDSC2CW240A
      OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB VTX4-25SAT3-256G

* ... smaller is better

PCMark System Performance

We measure the SSD application performance with help of PCMark Vantage and the newer PCMark 7 benchmarks.

In the newer PCMark 7, the Vector has the highest result of all the SSDs tested in the system. The Samsung 840 Pro is behind by only 2%. The 840 Pro clambers over the Vector in the System Storage subtest by 3%. The fastest tested storage unit is incidentally found in the Asus UX51VZ with two ADATA XM11 SSDs (in RAID). But the three percent lead isn't terribly large.

In the older PCMark Vantage benchmark, the Vector falls behind the older Samsung SSD 830 and the Intel 520 SSD in terms of overall scores. The difference in scores between the Vector and the Samsung 840 Pro are miniscule at best. The ’premium’ SSDs all huddle together in a 7 percent variance window with hardly any noticeable differences. In the HDD sub-score, the Vector is positioned right behind the 840 Pro once again, which is faster by 9%.

PCMark Vantage
1024x768 Result
OCZ Vector 256 GB Desktop
19638 Points ∼83%
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
19147 Points ∼81% -3%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
17648 Points ∼75% -10%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
19999 Points ∼85% +2%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
20391 Points ∼87% +4%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
18602 Points ∼79% -5%
1024x768 Memories Score
OCZ Vector 256 GB Desktop
13754 Points ∼87%
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
13721 Points ∼87% 0%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
13270 Points ∼84% -4%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
13279 Points ∼84% -3%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
13283 Points ∼84% -3%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
11982 Points ∼76% -13%
1024x768 TV and Movies Score
OCZ Vector 256 GB Desktop
7377 Points ∼85%
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
7544 Points ∼87% +2%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
7427 Points ∼85% +1%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
7371 Points ∼85% 0%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
7038 Points ∼81% -5%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
7294 Points ∼84% -1%
1024x768 Gaming Score
OCZ Vector 256 GB Desktop
22689 Points ∼87%
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
23183 Points ∼89% +2%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
18342 Points ∼70% -19%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
20852 Points ∼80% -8%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
22422 Points ∼86% -1%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
20746 Points ∼79% -9%
1024x768 Music Score
OCZ Vector 256 GB Desktop
20564 Points ∼82%
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
21711 Points ∼86% +6%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
18073 Points ∼72% -12%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
20102 Points ∼80% -2%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
21465 Points ∼85% +4%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
18004 Points ∼72% -12%
1024x768 Communications Score
OCZ Vector 256 GB Desktop
18284 Points ∼72%
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
16400 Points ∼65% -10%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
14764 Points ∼58% -19%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
17669 Points ∼70% -3%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
19022 Points ∼75% +4%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
16316 Points ∼64% -11%
1024x768 Productivity Score
OCZ Vector 256 GB Desktop
28295 Points ∼93%
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
27046 Points ∼88% -4%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
23240 Points ∼76% -18%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
25451 Points ∼83% -10%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
25406 Points ∼83% -10%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
23055 Points ∼75% -19%
1024x768 HDD Score
OCZ Vector 256 GB Desktop
50320 Points ∼75%
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
54763 Points ∼82% +9%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
41912 Points ∼63% -17%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
45077 Points ∼67% -10%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
45907 Points ∼69% -9%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
36056 Points ∼54% -28%
PCMark 7
Score
OCZ Vector 256 GB Desktop
5028 Points ∼76%
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
4945 Points ∼75% -2%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
4862 Points ∼73% -3%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
4866 Points ∼73% -3%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
4941 Points ∼75% -2%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
4835 Points ∼73% -4%
Lightweight
OCZ Vector 256 GB Desktop
5172 Points ∼80%
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
5236 Points ∼81% +1%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
5018 Points ∼78% -3%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
5039 Points ∼78% -3%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
5068 Points ∼78% -2%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
4900 Points ∼76% -5%
Productivity
OCZ Vector 256 GB Desktop
4782 Points ∼44%
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
4905 Points ∼45% +3%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
4780 Points ∼44% 0%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
4728 Points ∼43% -1%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
4808 Points ∼44% +1%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
4611 Points ∼42% -4%
Entertainment
OCZ Vector 256 GB Desktop
4823 Points ∼45%
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
4700 Points ∼44% -3%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
4689 Points ∼44% -3%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
4662 Points ∼43% -3%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
4739 Points ∼44% -2%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
4662 Points ∼43% -3%
Creativity
OCZ Vector 256 GB Desktop
5401 Points ∼47%
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
5405 Points ∼47% 0%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
5214 Points ∼45% -3%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
5280 Points ∼46% -2%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
5310 Points ∼46% -2%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
5176 Points ∼45% -4%
Computation
OCZ Vector 256 GB Desktop
4658 Points ∼16%
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
4589 Points ∼16% -1%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
4572 Points ∼16% -2%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
4573 Points ∼16% -2%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
4962 Points ∼18% +7%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
4573 Points ∼16% -2%
System Storage
OCZ Vector 256 GB Desktop
5371 Points ∼75%
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
5519 Points ∼77% +3%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
5269 Points ∼74% -2%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
5248 Points ∼74% -2%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
5216 Points ∼73% -3%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
5085 Points ∼71% -5%
Legend
      OCZ Vector 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, OCZ Vector 256 GB
      Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV-0Z000
      Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 840 250GB MZ7TD256HAFV
      Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 830 Series MZ-7PC256D/EU
      Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Intel SSD 520 Series SSDSC2CW240A
      OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB VTX4-25SAT3-256G

Application Profiles with IOMeter

You can also test the practical performance of an SSD with the "IOMix" - c`t Application profile and "Workstation" for the IOMeter software. Both are access profiles that try and simulate realistic usage of the SSD by regular users (IOMix) and/or a workstation. In both tests, the Vector comes away with another win in this test. Even the fast Intel SSD 520 and the Vertex 4 are clearly trumped by the Vector.

IOMeter
IOMix, 5min, 10GB Partition
OCZ Vector 256 GB Desktop
275 MB/s ∼4%
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
177.5 MB/s ∼2% -35%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
89.6 MB/s ∼1% -67%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
217 MB/s ∼3% -21%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
230.17 MB/s ∼3% -16%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
211.9 MB/s ∼3% -23%
Workstation, 3min, 10GB Partition
OCZ Vector 256 GB Desktop
269 MB/s ∼100%
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
135.8 MB/s ∼50% -50%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
61.8 MB/s ∼23% -77%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
115.8 MB/s ∼43% -57%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
165.68 MB/s ∼62% -38%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
225.2 MB/s ∼84% -16%
Legend
      OCZ Vector 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, OCZ Vector 256 GB
      Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV-0Z000
      Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 840 250GB MZ7TD256HAFV
      Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 830 Series MZ-7PC256D/EU
      Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Intel SSD 520 Series SSDSC2CW240A
      OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB VTX4-25SAT3-256G

Resistance to Performance Drops

OCZ advertises the Vector as being especially resistant to drops in performance (lags/latency) when heavily loaded. In order to test this, we put SSDs through a stress test with the IOMix profile. In this test, data is written to the SSD and read repeatedly for 60 minutes. At 68 MB/s, the Vector's results are distinctly ahead of those of the Samsung SSDs (830, 840 Pro and 840). But thanks to over-provisioning, the Intel 520 Series with a Sandforce controller and larger memory reserves is clearly ahead with a result 200 MB/s taking the top spot.

Over-provisioning is a method employed by SSD manufacturers to extend the life of the SSD flash modules. It is not represented in the total available space for use. It helps in the distribution of writes and erases throughout the NAND chips and also provides a buffer for the controller to manage the writes and erase cycles. During garbage collection, over-provisioning reduces write amplification when the controller writes to the memory. The Samsung 840 Basic also has more free memory space available, which explains its minor lead over the 840 Pro.

OCZ Vector 256 GB
OCZ VOCZ Vector 256 GB
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB
Intel SSD 520 240 GB
Intel SSD 520 240 GB

Practical Tests

For our practical tests, we use the good ol' stopwatch to examine the performance of the SSD as a system disk. Looking at the booting of Windows 7, you can hardly tell the difference between all the SSDs. The boot times for the Samsung 830, Intel 520 and the Vector are all between 33 and 34 seconds. According to our tests, the older Samsung 470 needed one second longer to boot to the desktop.

In the copying of gaming files from the folder containing Supreme Commander - Forged Alliance, the Vector doesn't really do well when you compare it to other SSDs. The folder is 7.29 GB in size and contains 2101 files. In duplicating data on the SSD, the Vector "only" achieves the results of the Intel 520 and OCZ Vertex 4 (though the Vertex gave us varying results). Still the undisputed winner is the older Samsung 830 with an average of 42 seconds (followed by the 840 Pro in about 43-45 seconds). Older SATA 2 SSDs like the Samsung 470 need one to two minutes to complete this test.

In the AS SSD copying benchmark, the Vector, like the Samsung 840 Pro, doesn't give a consistent result. At its best, the Vector does slightly better than the Samsung 840 Pro in all the subtests, but its weakest results lie distinctly lower than the weakest results of the 840 Pro.

In starting the single-player mode of Battlefield 3, all the modern SSDs need about 19-20 seconds. Even the old Samsung 470 needs a maximum of one second longer. In comparison, a traditional Toshiba MK6461GSYN 640 GB 7200rpm notebook hard drive needs 72 seconds for the same task.

AS SSD copying benchmark OCZ Vector
AS SSD copying benchmark OCZ Vector
AS SSD copying benchmark OCZ Vector
AS SSD copying benchmark OCZ Vector
AS SSD
Copy ISO MB/s
OCZ Vector 256 GB Desktop
448 MB/s ∼59%
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
429 MB/s ∼56% -4%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
211 MB/s ∼28% -53%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
415 MB/s ∼54% -7%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
367.95 MB/s ∼48% -18%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
347 MB/s ∼46% -23%
Copy Program MB/s
OCZ Vector 256 GB Desktop
247 MB/s ∼59%
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
222 MB/s ∼53% -10%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
124 MB/s ∼30% -50%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
192 MB/s ∼46% -22%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
143.86 MB/s ∼34% -42%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
196 MB/s ∼47% -21%
Copy Game MB/s
OCZ Vector 256 GB Desktop
274 MB/s ∼34%
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
269 MB/s ∼33% -2%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
158 MB/s ∼20% -42%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
258 MB/s ∼32% -6%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
214.01 MB/s ∼27% -22%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
229 MB/s ∼28% -16%
Legend
      OCZ Vector 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, OCZ Vector 256 GB
      Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV-0Z000
      Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 840 250GB MZ7TD256HAFV
      Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 830 Series MZ-7PC256D/EU
      Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Intel SSD 520 Series SSDSC2CW240A
      OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB VTX4-25SAT3-256G

Power Consumption

We test the SSD power consumption with two multi-meters on the same desktop used to conduct our benchmark tests. Unfortunately the system doesn't offer any DMPI support, though all notebooks do, which means the power consumption in idle mode doesn't fall like it can in mobile systems (so far we only know of the Samsung SSD 840 Series that takes full advantage of this and drops to 0.04 Watts).

On average, taking all measured values into account, the OCZ Vector does extraordinarily well - coming in in second place, right behind the Samsung SSD 840 Pro. Unfortunately for notebook users, there's a slight drawback. Without load, the power consumption level is considerably higher than that of the competition. Since this load state is the most common in mobile use, this is clearly reflected in the results.

Power consumption idle and with CrystalDiskMark load
Power consumption idle and with CrystalDiskMark load

Verdict

The OCZ Vector is OCZ's first ’premium’ SSD with its own controller (software and hardware). The performance measurements in our test system speak for themselves and are, on average, at the same level as the Samsung SSD 840 Pro. The Vector makes an excellent impression, especially when using the application profiles IOMix and Workstation in the IOMeter and the PCMark 7 test. The relatively small performance drop in the stress test is also a clear plus factor.

The relatively high weight and the high idle power consumption unfortunately disqualify the Vector for use in lightweight subnotebooks.

Price-wise, the Vector currently sells at around the same price as the Samsung 840 Pro, making it cheaper than the Intel 520.

As is always the case, when new controllers are introduced, reliability is unknown. The Vector has to prove its reliability. But with a 5-year warranty, OCZ strongly expresses their confidence in the Vector.

In conclusion, the Vector is a very good product from OCZ that sets bar high in many areas and is especially suited for use in desktop machines.

OCZ Vector 256 GB
static version load dynamic

Comment this article:

Appendix

In the following table, we present all the test values in comparison to the Samsung SSD 840 Pro, the Intel SSD 520 and the Vertex 4. On average, the 840 Pro just barely supersedes the Vector 256 GB. You can clearly see the improvement in performance in comparison to the old OCZ Vertex 4.

 

OCZ Vector 256 GB Desktop
Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, OCZ Vector 256 GB
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV-0Z000
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Intel SSD 520 Series SSDSC2CW240A
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB VTX4-25SAT3-256G
IOMeter
-43%
-27%
-20%
IOMix, 5min, 10GB Partition275177.5
-35%
230.17
-16%
211.9
-23%
Workstation, 3min, 10GB Partition269135.8
-50%
165.68
-38%
225.2
-16%
ATTO Disk Benchmark
17%
-1%
-26%
0.5KB read2713656448
108%
30976
14%
5476
-80%
1KB read43264105508
144%
62208
44%
11883
-73%
2KB read52213178761
242%
120356
131%
28682
-45%
4KB read274916326803
19%
223854
-19%
64191
-77%
8KB read420035446592
6%
337950
-20%
133549
-68%
16KB read454764467021
3%
373701
-18%
181554
-60%
32KB read356554527106
48%
434335
22%
271203
-24%
64KB read547777545078
0%
486146
-11%
397109
-28%
128KB read557104553047
-1%
492676
-12%
500029
-10%
256KB read557784557784
0%
529998
-5%
514709
-8%
512KB read559240556663
0%
545354
-2%
481498
-14%
1024KB read559240560538
0%
554109
-1%
512525
-8%
2048KB read559240560538
0%
556663
0%
546588
-2%
4096KB read559240560538
0%
556663
0%
546588
-2%
8192KB read559240560538
0%
556663
0%
546588
-2%
0.5KB write4083245454
11%
23757
-42%
25216
-38%
1KB write7888490690
15%
46986
-40%
50944
-35%
2KB write150601170655
13%
92477
-39%
100388
-33%
4KB write306323275937
-10%
276959
-10%
199753
-35%
8KB write433373389865
-10%
389865
-10%
319635
-26%
16KB write455901419037
-8%
421028
-8%
431325
-5%
32KB write510722493887
-3%
489443
-4%
419037
-18%
64KB write524802518914
-1%
512507
-2%
471986
-10%
128KB write532634528689
-1%
524802
-1%
471859
-11%
256KB write532634468532
-12%
528689
-1%
471628
-11%
512KB write534199467424
-13%
527637
-1%
470939
-12%
1024KB write535532470939
-12%
527637
-1%
470939
-12%
2048KB write535532468882
-12%
527637
-1%
470939
-12%
4096KB write535532474058
-11%
523776
-2%
473014
-12%
8192KB write535680468882
-12%
527637
-2%
470939
-12%
AS SSD
1%
-61%
-16%
Seq Read516513
-1%
496.14
-4%
503
-3%
Seq Write500498
0%
288.38
-42%
459
-8%
4K Read24.3832.3
32%
24.41
0%
26.3
8%
4K Write79.3173.5
-7%
72.01
-9%
76.7
-3%
4K-64 Read362381
5%
236.17
-35%
332
-8%
4K-64 Write302329
9%
231.79
-23%
306
1%
Access Time Read *0.0490.056
-14%
0.126
-157%
0.13
-165%
Access Time Write *0.040.046
-15%
0.212
-430%
0.03
25%
Score Read438465
6%
309
-29%
408
-7%
Score Write432453
5%
339
-22%
429
-1%
Score Total11001165
6%
802
-27%
1052
-4%
Copy ISO MB/s448429
-4%
367.95
-18%
347
-23%
Copy Program MB/s247222
-10%
143.86
-42%
196
-21%
Copy Game MB/s274269
-2%
214.01
-22%
229
-16%
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
4%
-19%
-10%
Read Seq513531
4%
497.7
-3%
486
-5%
Write Seq514513
0%
307.8
-40%
470
-9%
Read 512438471
8%
441.2
1%
308
-30%
Write 512506501
-1%
299.5
-41%
470
-7%
Read 4k27.835.7
28%
29.74
7%
29.6
6%
Write 4k10388.9
-14%
91.24
-11%
85
-17%
Read 4k QD32383402
5%
239.9
-37%
349
-9%
Write 4k QD32372370
-1%
266.3
-28%
342
-8%
HD Tune Transfer Rate Minimum
288400
39%
356.8
24%
238
-17%
HD Tune Transfer Rate Maximum
305417
37%
405.8
33%
283
-7%
HD Tune Transfer Rate Average
295414
40%
376.2
28%
271
-8%
HD Tune Access Time
*0.10.14
HD Tune Burst Rate
345199
-42%
300.6
-13%
123.6
-64%
PCMark 7
0%
-0%
-4%
Score50284945
-2%
4941
-2%
4835
-4%
Lightweight51725236
1%
5068
-2%
4900
-5%
Productivity47824905
3%
4808
1%
4611
-4%
Entertainment48234700
-3%
4739
-2%
4662
-3%
Creativity54015405
0%
5310
-2%
5176
-4%
Computation46584589
-1%
4962
7%
4573
-2%
System Storage53715519
3%
5216
-3%
5085
-5%
PCMark Vantage
0%
-2%
-12%
1024x768 Result1963819147
-3%
20391
4%
18602
-5%
1024x768 Memories Score1375413721
0%
13283
-3%
11982
-13%
1024x768 TV and Movies Score73777544
2%
7038
-5%
7294
-1%
1024x768 Gaming Score2268923183
2%
22422
-1%
20746
-9%
1024x768 Music Score2056421711
6%
21465
4%
18004
-12%
1024x768 Communications Score1828416400
-10%
19022
4%
16316
-11%
1024x768 Productivity Score2829527046
-4%
25406
-10%
23055
-19%
1024x768 HDD Score5032054763
9%
45907
-9%
36056
-28%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
5% / 7%
-4% / -14%
-18% / -18%

* ... smaller is better

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review OCZ Vector 256 GB (VTR1-25SAT3-256G)
Author: Klaus Hinum, 2013-01-12 (Update: 2013-08- 6)