TRIM Performance

In our Vertex 3 preview I mentioned a bug/performance condition/funnythingthathappens with SF-1200 based drives. If you write incompressible data to all LBAs on the drive (e.g. fill the drive up with H.264 videos) and fill the spare area with incompressible data (do it again without TRIMing the drive) you'll actually put your SF-1200 based SSD into a performance condition that it can't TRIM its way out of. Completely TRIM the drive and you'll notice that while compressible writes are nice and speedy, incompressible writes happen at a max of 70 - 80MB/s. In our Vertex 3 Pro preview I mentioned that it seemed as if SandForce had nearly fixed the issue. The worst I ever recorded performance on the 240GB drive after my aforementioned fill procedure was 198MB/s - a pretty healthy level.

The 120GB drive doesn't mask the drop nearly as well. The same process I described above drops performance to the 100 - 130MB/s range. This is better than what we saw with the Vertex 2, but still a valid concern if you plan on storing/manipulating a lot of highly compressed data (e.g. H.264 video) on your SSD.

The other major change since the preview? The 120GB drive can definitely get into a pretty fragmented state (again only if you pepper it with incompressible data). I filled the drive with incompressible data, ran a 4KB (100% LBA space, QD32) random write test with incompressible data for 20 minutes, and then ran AS-SSD (another incompressible data test) to see how low performance could get:

OCZ Vertex 3 120GB - Resiliency - AS SSD Sequential Write Speed - 6Gbps
  Clean After Torture After TRIM
OCZ Vertex 3 120GB 162.1 MB/s 38.3 MB/s 101.5 MB/s

Note that the Vertex 3 does recover pretty well after you write to it sequentially. A second AS-SSD pass shot performance up to 132MB/s. As I mentioned above, after TRIMing the whole drive I saw performance in the 100 - 130MB/s range.

This is truly the worst case scenario for any SF based drive. Unless you deal in a lot of truly random data or plan on storing/manipulating a lot of highly compressed files (e.g. compressed JPEGs, H.264 videos, etc...), I wouldn't be too concerned about this worst-case scenario performance. What does bother me however is how much lower the 120GB drive's worst case is vs. the 240GB.

Power Consumption

Unusually high idle power consumption was a bug in the early Vertex 3 firmware - that seems to have been fixed with the latest firmware revision. Overall power consumption seems pretty good for the 120GB drive, it's in line with other current generation SSDs we've seen although we admittedly haven't tested many similar capacity drives this year yet.

Idle Power - Idle at Desktop

Load Power - 128KB Sequential Write

Load Power - 4KB Random Write, QD=32

AnandTech Storage Bench 2010 Final Words
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  • semo - Thursday, April 07, 2011 - link

    The real issue was that it wasn't just a few % difference. Some V2 drives were nowhere near the rated capacity with the 25nm NAND. So if you bought 2 V2 drives and they happen to be different versions, RAID wouldn't work. There is still no way to confirm if the V2 you are trying to buy is one of the affected drives as OCZ haven't issued a recall or taken out affected drives from retail shelves. Best way to avoid unnecesary hassle is not to buy OCZ at all. Corsair did a much better job at informing the customer about the transition:
    http://www.corsair.com/blog/force25nm/

    The performance difference was higher than a few % as well.
    Reply
  • casteve - Thursday, April 07, 2011 - link

    Great review! Thanks for carrying the 120GB torch :)

    I'd love to see a couple of HDDs added to the 2011 bench (like they are in the 2010 bench) to keep the perspective in play.* Most people are still moving from an HDD to an SSD and not just upgrading their SSD's.

    * stuff a 120GB SSD in yer laptop for $200 to replace a 5400rpm HDD and improve gaming IOPS by 5x is more impressive than replacing an existing 120GB SSD with a newer one for $250 and improve gaming IOPS by 10%. Extreme example...but you get the idea.
    Reply
  • Gasaraki88 - Thursday, April 07, 2011 - link

    I want to thank you for writing this article and keeping the companies honest. Without smart people like you, companies will overstate performance and to the common person it will look fine because we don't have the proper tools to test.

    I'll been reading Anandtech for 11 years now. The quality is still top notch unlike some other sites I used to go to.
    Reply
  • cknobman - Thursday, April 07, 2011 - link

    Dont buy OCZ products.

    Anand and countless consumer reviews from Newegg have proved that OCZ does not put out a consistent and reliable level of product.

    Im not one for rolling the crap dice with my hundreds of hard earned dollars.
    Reply
  • hackztor - Thursday, April 07, 2011 - link

    LOL, okay go spend your hard earned money on last year performance intel new drives. Reply
  • seapeople - Thursday, April 07, 2011 - link

    Wow you got him there! Yeah, why doesn't he just buy an Intel drive. That would be funny because then he would have to wait 5.6 seconds to open Photoshop instead of 5.2 seconds. Or it would take a full 33 seconds to reboot instead of 35 seconds. I bet he's so unintelligent that he would actually accept crappy last-generation solid state drive performance like that at a lower price. Reply
  • semo - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    Corsair, patriot and many other SSD makers use SF controllers. You just have to be sure you know what firmware you're getting. You have to be much more careful with OCZ as you can't trust them to sell you what they claim on the box. Reply
  • Stargrazer - Thursday, April 07, 2011 - link

    It's awesome that you're reviewing the 120GB version first. It's the version that I believe most people would be most interested in getting, so it's great that we'll be able to see how it performs, rather than only seeing the higher numbers of a ~256GB version that's so expensive that most people would never get it. It's fantastic even. Did I mention that it's awesome?

    Unfortunately, since the ~128GB versions haven't always been reviewed in the past, this also means that we don't really have much to compare the numbers to. How do we know if the 120GB Vertex 3 is competitive if we don't know the performance of its competitors?

    I can understand if it might take a while to get the numbers for comparable versions of the 510, 310 and m4 (though I really hope that in the future you continue to press on for getting ~128GB versions in time for the initial reviews), but would it at least be possible to get the complete numbers for the 128GB version of the RealSSD C300? For some reason it doesn't seem to be in the IOmeter tests.

    Oh. Isn't it time that you stopped using "I didn't expect to have to debut this so soon" in the introduction to the 2011 Storage Bench? :)
    Reply
  • KenPC - Thursday, April 07, 2011 - link

    A humorous thought of little relevance. but.. if OCZ rebrands the Vertex 2 as the 2b to solidify performance specs. then as I shop I will be thinking....

    Is this OCZ drive a 2b or not 2b, that is the question.....
    Reply
  • Omid.M - Thursday, April 07, 2011 - link

    They saw Anand's Vibrams and knew he meant business (casual).

    :)
    Reply

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