OCZ Vertex 450 SSD has 20-nm NAND, tweaked Indilinx controller

OCZ’s Vertex SSD has a storied history. The original model launched in 2009 and was one of the first consumer-grade SSDs worth buying. Since then, we’ve seen yearly refreshes with different controller and NAND technologies. The latest edition is the Vertex 450.

In a sense, the new model represents a return to the Vertex’s roots. While recent versions have employed Marvell and SandForce controller silicon, the original was based on an Indilinx chip. Indilinx is now owned by OCZ, which used its in-house controller team to develop the Barefoot 3 chip that debuted in the Vector SSD late last year. A tweaked version of that controller appears in the Vertex 450.

According to OCZ, the updated BF3-M10 chip runs at a “slightly lower clock speed” than its Barefoot 3 predecessor. The new revision also has a more power-efficient clock generator. Otherwise, it appears to be identical to the Barefoot 3. The BF3-M10 has dual processors, eight NAND channels, and support for 256-bit AES encryption.

In the Vertex 450, those eight channels are linked to 20-nm MLC NAND produced by IM Flash Technologies. OCZ buys flash by the wafer and does the packaging itself. The resulting cost savings are passed along to the consumer, the company says.

Capacity Max sequential (MB/s) 4KB random (IOps) Price
Read Write Read Write
128GB 525 290 75,000 70,000 $130
256GB 540 525 85,000 90,000 $235
512GB 540 530 85,000 90,000 $500

The table above details the performance specifications and suggested prices for the three members of the Vertex 450 family. The performance ratings are slightly lower than those attached to the Vector, but so are the prices. 128, 256, and 512GB variants of the Vector are selling for $145, $250, and $540, respectively.

Since the Vector is based on older 25-nm NAND that should be costlier to produce than the Vertex’s 20-nm chips, it’s no surprise that the newer drive is cheaper. I’d expect the Vertex’s street prices to be even lower than the MSRPs quoted above. The Vector 128GB has fallen $5 from its initial suggested retail price, and the 256 and 512GB flavors are down $20 each.

Of course, the Vector also comes with a free copy of Far Cry 3. OCZ didn’t start bundling Far Cry 3 until a couple months after the Vector’s release, so I wouldn’t be surprised if there were another game lying in wait—Blood Dragon, perhaps.

The Vertex 450’s three-year warranty is pretty standard for a mid-range drive, but it’s two years shorter than the Vector’s coverage. Both drives are rated for 20GB of writes per day for the length of their respective warranties. All told, the Vertex 450 is guaranteed to take about 22TB of writes under typical client workloads.

With the Vector holding the highest overall score in our performance tests, we’re eager to see whether the Vertex 450 can keep up. Unfortunately, our sample arrived late Wednesday afternoon, leaving precious little time for testing before OCZ announced the drive this morning. The Vertex is making its way through our storage test suite as I type this, but the process normally takes a few days, and it’s not finished yet. Stay tuned for a full review. In the meantime, you can check out some high-res shots in the image gallery below.

Comments closed
    • hansmuff
    • 6 years ago

    $500 for the 512GB puts it in the Samsung 840 PRO range. Unless they have good discounts on the Vector (got my 840 PRO 512GB for a mere $375 on a newegg deal a few months back) this will be a tough sell.

      • Airmantharp
      • 6 years ago

      By all accounts, the Vector is the better drive- sometimes much better, if you tend to beat on your SSDs. Samsung’s reputation is what gives the 840 Pro the edge.

        • Willzzz
        • 6 years ago

        The Vector is way more expensive than the Samsung 840 Pro though.

        • indeego
        • 6 years ago

        And Magician software is great for benchmarking/testing/optimization. That WAY puts it over the edge in my opinion versus Vertex.

    • albundy
    • 6 years ago

    so the question remains: how to you get the customers that you burned, back to your side?

    • Omniman
    • 6 years ago

    I’m curious…what’s with the pins on the opposite side of the board on the top of the picture? Perhaps they’re just used in the manufacturing process or some form of PCI Express?

      • Dissonance
      • 6 years ago

      Those are usually for debugging purposes.

      • poohbah10
      • 6 years ago

      Those look an awful lot like mSATA/mini PCIe connectors…

        • Waco
        • 6 years ago

        I’d bet they use the same boards in a multi-board package or something similar (or will soon, if they don’t).

      • Grigory
      • 6 years ago

      Programming and testing during production.

    • anotherengineer
    • 6 years ago

    Hmmm Interesting.

    Micron D9PFJ – ddr3-1600…….good

    Now put Toshiba Toggle-Mode NAND on there and give me a 5 yr warranty like my Plextor and I may buy one or two.

      • DPete27
      • 6 years ago

      That would be a Vertex 450 Max IOPS ([url=http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227714&Tpk=vertext%203%20max%20iops&IsVirtualParent=1<]Vertex 3 Max IOPS has Toggle Nand[/url<]) if it ever materializes.

    • Chrispy_
    • 6 years ago

    How are OCZ Vectors holding up in terms of reliability?

    I have to admit that since the cheaper MLC and TLC drives started shipping with “good enough” controllers – like the Samsung 840 and Marvell-based solutions – I’ve found little reason to buy into premium, high-end SSD’s.

      • smilingcrow
      • 6 years ago

      “All told, the Vertex 450 is guaranteed to take about 22GB of writes under typical client workloads.”

      Good to see OCZ being honest about the average fail rate for their drives. 🙂
      Needs amending from GB to TB.

        • HisDivineOrder
        • 6 years ago

        All joking aside, I think that was a Freudian slip there.

        • Willzzz
        • 6 years ago

        Yeah but only for 3 years, that’s not exactly impressive.

      • quasi_accurate
      • 6 years ago

      I’ve had my Agility 1 for about 3.5 yrs now, and an Agility 3 for about a year. No problems with either.

      EDIT: Never mind, you said Vectors.

      • indeego
      • 6 years ago

      Lately it’s not reliability I care much about (most SSD drives are outstanding now in this area, and I think we’re behind the days of lots of failures,) I just want active, responsive support [b<]when they do fail[/b<].

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