Our usual SSD reviews are filled with page after page of graphs that take forever to create. The thing is, with minor updates like the Vector 150, only a handful of the results ever end up being interesting. And most of you skip over the numbers and head straight to the conclusion, anyway. With those factors in mind, it seems like a waste to roll out a full set of results for the Vector 150. We've run OCZ's latest through our full test suite using the same setup as our last SSD review, but instead of giving you the full run-down, we'll stick to the highlights.
SSDs are great for speeding up load times, so that's a good place to start. We measure how long it takes each drive to load Windows 7 and levels from Duke Nukem Forever and Portal 2. We have a lot of historical data for these tests, but perhaps it's time to update the suite with Win8 and more recent games.
Although the SSDs are much faster than the lone mechanical hard drive in these tests, the differences between them are relatively small. Less than a second separates the Vector 150 from its solid-state peers. In these scenarios, it's difficult to notice a difference between any of the SSDs.
This benchmark plays back the I/O associated with nearly two weeks of everyday desktop activity peppered with bouts of disk-intensive multitasking. DriveBench 2.0 is the best tool we have for assessing real-world responsiveness. Here's how the Vector 150's mean service times stack up.
Impressive. The latest Barefoot drive tops the standings with writes and is barely out of the lead with reads. Most of the SSDs score pretty well here, but the gaps are definitely wider with writes.
The Vector 150 is a little bit faster than its Barefoot-based predecessors in DriveBench overall. There are no red flags in the results from our other DriveBench metrics or from the test suite as a whole.
FileBench looks at copy speeds using real-world files. Most of the file sets are self-explanatory: movies, RAW images, and MP3s. The TR set includes the image, HTML, and spreadsheet files that make up typical TR content, while the Mozilla set comprises all the files needed to compile the open-source browser. Click on the buttons below the graph to see the results for each set.
The Vector 150 isn't the fastest SSD in FileBench, but it's right up there when copying the larger files in the movie, RAW, and MP3 sets. The drive is somewhat less competitive with the smaller files in the TR and Mozilla sets. Those files are more amenable to compression, which is why the SandForce-based drives perform so well in those tests.
Interestingly, the Vector 150 is marginally slower than its predecessor across the board. All the Barefoot-based drives deliver comparable performance, though.
IOMeter highlights performance under a scaling load that increases the number of concurrent I/O requests. Desktop systems rarely deal with more than a few simultaneous requests, but the command queue associated with the Serial ATA spec supports up to 32. Ramping up the number of requests gives us a sense of how the Vector 150 might perform in more demanding enterprise environments.
This time around, the buttons below each graph compare the Vector 150 to other groups of SSDs. The web server access pattern is made up exclusively of read requests, while the file server test mixes reads and writes.
The Vector 150's performance in the web server benchmark is good but unremarkable. Plenty of other SSDs match or exceed its I/O throughput. In the file server test, however, the Vector 150 outclasses most of its peers. Its transaction rate climbs steeply; by the end of the test, the drive is crunching substantially more I/O than its closest rival.
Now that we've seen the performance highlights, let's take a quick look at power consumption. We measured each drive's current draw under load with IOMeter's workstation access pattern chewing through 32 concurrent I/O requests. Idle power consumption was probed one minute after processing Windows 7's idle tasks on an empty desktop.
Not bad. Although the Vector 150's idle power draw is nothing to write home about, the drive draws a couple watts less than its Barefoot brothers under load. And it does so while pushing more I/O than any of the other SSDs. The Vector 150's throughput in the workstation test is just as impressive as it is in the file server benchmark.