We summarize storage performance with a single score derived by comparing each drive's performance to that of a common baseline: a painfully slow notebook hard drive. This index uses a subset of the performance data from our full test suite. We then mash up that information with each drive's cost per gigabyte, which is calculated from prevailing Newegg prices and the Vector 150's official MSRP, to produce our famous value scatter plots. As always, the most desirable products are closer to the upper left corner, which denotes the highest performance and the lowest price.
Our lone mechanical drive makes somewhat of a mess of the scatter plot, so we have a second one with just the SSDs. Click the button below the plot to switch between them. And note that both axes have been trimmed for the SSD-only plot.
The hard drive squishes all the SSDs into the top right quadrant, and the labels are a little hard to read as a result. However, the plot nicely illustrates the wide discrepancies between solid-state and mechanical storage. Even the cheapest and slowest SSDs are a lot faster—and cost a lot more per gigabyte—than our 7,200-RPM desktop drive.
Concentrating on the SSDs brings the Vector 150 into focus. OCZ's latest is the second-fastest SSD we've ever tested. It's sandwiched between Vertex 450 and the original Vector overall, giving OCZ the top three spots on the podium. That's an impressive feat considering the competition.
The performance differences between that trio and the next contenders down the line aren't substantial, though. There are plenty of rivals within striking distance, and many of them are cheaper per gigabyte. The Samsung 840 Pro even matches the Vector's five-year warranty coverage—but user reviews suggest Samsung has a much better reliability track record.
Therein lies the problem with the Vector 150. After watching negative user reviews stack up for two generations of Barefoot drives, I can't bring myself to recommend one. The Vector 150's performance advantage isn't enough to make up for the apparently higher risk of premature failure. Reliability is of the utmost importance for a device tasked with storing one's OS, applications, and precious data. Given the alternatives, I see no reason to roll the dice.
To be fair, the Vector 150 could end up with a spotless reliability track record and overwhelmingly positive user reviews. We simply don't know, and we'll be keeping tabs on user impressions to see how things shake out.