Nearly two years have passed since OCZ's Vertex 3 SSD made its debut. The SandForce-powered drive is still selling today, but it may not be available for long. OCZ has announced an updated version with next-generation NAND. Dubbed the Vertex 3.20, this new model trades the 25-nm flash of its forebear for smaller 20-nm chips.
The Vertex 3.20 retains the SandForce controller of the original, and the flash memory is still of the synchronous MLC variety. There are some differences on the performance front, though. While the 240GB model's 550/520 MB/s sequential read/write rating remains unchanged, its random 4KB I/O throughput has dropped from 60k/85k to 35k/60k IOps. That sort of reduction probably isn't something the average desktop user is going to notice.
According to the official product page, the Vertex 3.20 also consumes slightly less power than its 25-nm counterpart. The new drive's active and idle power ratings are about 1W lower than those of its predecessor, no doubt thanks to the more power-efficient NAND.
OCZ says the Vertex 3.20 will be available "shortly" in 120 and 240GB capacities. A 480GB version will follow, as well, and all the drives will be covered by a three-year warranty. Unfortunately, there's no word yet on pricing. Intel's 335 Series SSD made a similiar shift to 20-nm NAND late last year and brought lower prices in tow, so we'd expect the Vertex 3.20 to follow suit. Right now, the Vertex 3 240GB sells for $220 at Newegg, while the Intel 335 Series will set you back only $180.