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  • Paazel - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    Do you allow your computer to sleep? I had a Vertex 2 die on me, and forum speculation led me to believe that allowing my computer to sleep may have been the culprit. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    My personal machine that it's deployed in is a notebook that is allowed to sleep (and does so) regularly.

    I also don't do any of the odd stability optimizations on my testbeds either. Sleep is always enabled and definitely allowed to happen (I don't always catch my testbeds after they've finished a long test so they'll go off to sleep).

    While I do believe that earlier issues may have been sleep related, I'm not sure about this one in particular.

    Take care,
  • Ryan Smith - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    Just to throw in my own $0.02, although I put my Vertex 2 in a desktop, my results are the same as what Anand has seen. My desktop hybrid sleeps regularly, and I have not encountered any issues. Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Friday, June 24, 2011 - link

    +1 On an Agility 2 90GB, MicroCenter Sandforce 64GB drive and Agility 2 40GB in a desktop, netbook and HTPC setting, all allowed to sleep. Indeed I blame many of my PC related issues to my inability to sleep. Reply
  • sam. - Saturday, June 25, 2011 - link

    I have a 120GB Vertex with the Indilinx controller and had mine die on me after about a year and a half of average use in my laptop. (Mind you the RMA process was good, and they replaced it with a new identical SSD). I had nearly 2700 power on times (putting my laptop to sleep multiple times a day) and 3.7 terrabytes written onto the SSD before it started corrupting registry files and BSODing.

    To be honest, a year and a half as a lifespan seems really bad for what was a high end product, though from what I hear the Sandforce controller is better in terms of reliability. I am still willing to let my laptop sleep though, though just doing my best to write less to the SSD.
  • kahwaji_n - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    i don't think so, maybe if your computer hibernate a Lot then it may be the reason for that, cause when computer sleep the ram will still hold the data and little data has to be written to disk drive contrary to hibernation where the Ram will put to sleep and all data will be written back to disk drive, if you have windows 7 and SSD in raid setup (where no trim command could be pass to controller) and your computer hibernate periodically! run the index Performance in windows 7 and see how the Performance is degraded severely. Reply
  • iwod - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    I think the first few Graph / Charts pretty much sums up what i have been saying. With Double the Seq Read, Random Read numbers, you only get less then 10% performance difference. The bottleneck for majority of our workload has shifted back from SSD storage to CPU processing speed.

    Which means, the best time to get an SSD is now!, If you can afford it and the Storage space is enough for a main OS drive.
  • L. - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    Err .. it's going to be dirt cheap pretty soon .. I wouldn't spend "GFX bucks" on a storage device tbh. (Seriously, for that price I prefer my 2TBWDgreen raid10 ... makes so much more sense even though it does not serve the same purpose...) Reply
  • khan321 - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    Why no mention of the increased lifespan of 32nm NAND? This is a massive benefit to me over 25nm. Reply
  • B3an - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    Because Anand has pointed this out before. Theres absolutely nothing to worry about regarding the lifespan on 25nm with a good controller, as it would last many many decades. The nand flash will lose it's charge before this happens anyway. Reply
  • lyeoh - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    Because the main reasons why so very many SSD drives fail does not appear to be due to the "nm" of the NANDs.

    As far as I know, the larger "nm" SSDs also have been failing a lot.
  • Movieman420 - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    Can't wait until you guys get your hands on the hard to find/unavailable 240gb MaxIOP drive. It will obviously be the king once it hits the channel. Farther down the road, I dare say that the MaxIOP will be bested. How? you ask? The answer...the soon to be available Samsung 27nm DDR toggle nand said to out run the 32nm SDR toggle by 40-60 percent as well as match the durability (p/e cycles) of 34nm nand! Now the big question is...Does the SF2281 have enuff uuumph left to utilize the much faster DDR nand? I'm hoping that the lower cost of the 27nm process nand will offset the 'fastest nand' price premium that will surely be levied. Also, the new 27nm DDR will be available in both 32Gb and 64Gb dies which will allow there to be a higher performance 60GB SF2281 drive...atm the only Ocz 60gb SF2281s are the Agility 3 and Solid 3 which are almost beaten by the Vertex 2 34nm equivalent...that's why they didn't earn the Vertex 3 name tag. A higher performing small drive is just the thing that raid fanatics like me like to use. You can have a fast array without spending $300-$500 per drive for real sata III performance. This is why a 60gb Vertex 3 drive would sell like wild fire. Don't get me wrong, my current 4 x 34nm Vertex 2 60gb array is plenty fast but don't have near the compressed write resilience (aka less nand throttling) of the SF2281 drives. I look forward to spending ~$300 for 2 V3 60's that will totally blow away a single $300 120gb/$500 240gb V3. Reply
  • L. - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    I don't quite get what you are trying to say.

    But basically, DDR = RAID0 2 elements .
    So between 8 dies on an 8 channel controller and 8 ddr dies on a 4 channel controller you should see absolutely no difference.

    Now considering current controllers have 8+ channels and the smallest ddr at the expected time of implementation is a dual die 32gb nand chip .. that's 240GB and abbove.

    This is not the world of RAM where you can just stick more chips in parallel (ddr5...), then dual channel controller over that etc.

    Of course the same ideas are always applicable, but for those samsung ddr chips to be worth anything you'd need to go to 480GB+ and no they're not faster than anything they're just ddr, and that difference matters a lot.

    You will not find two 60GB drives that are better in raid0 than a single 120GB drive, because said 120GB drive is basically those two drives in raid0, with one less controller and the raid on the sandforce controller, better algorithm usage etc.

    Again, number of channels, nand packages, etc.

    Unless somebody starts making 32 GB DDR5 NAND dies I don't expect much change in there ;)
  • Gittun - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    You do realize the 240GB max iops edition is already in the graphs? Reply
  • The_True - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link


    i wont say anything bad about anand, but i think anad is putting his hand on fire for OCZ SSD.

    i used to like OCZ, but i get tired of RMA and windows Reinstall every other week.

    i dont care about 20 or 30 MB/S faster, i care about relaibility, not benchmark the driver every hour to make me feel good.

    OCZ driver are not reliable, if you use your computer for work, go Intel is the only SSD out there that is reliable for business.

    MAX IOPS?? i called it MAX windows re install!!

    after getting two intel 510 250Gb, i been running windows without problems for two months, now i can work without worry.
  • velis - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    I'd hardly call "I have 8 of these and haven't seen the problem so I tend to believe OCZ" putting one's hand into fire. He's just stating his observations.

    And just so you know:
    I started out with OCZ Core 120GB SSD (1st gen crap). Had to replace two of them before support finally figured out that my usage patterns burn out *every* Core SSD in about two months. And I most certainly don't blame OCZ - it was me who was uneducated and bought the wrong disk back then.
    So they gave me a Vertex 1 120GB (Indilinx) as a replacement. Been happy with it ever since (sept. 1009).
    Additionally I bought 3 Intel X25 80GB G2s. Each and every one of them has given me pain. Not lots of it, but it has. Every once in a while I get a corrupt sector or two, checkdisk runs on it and then I'm fine for the next few weeks. My main computer now needs reinstall because these once-in-a-while events brought the disk (in one year time) into such a state that I had to disable monitor sleep because otherwise the computer won't wake up after it any more. Not to mention other various BSODs and stuff. Luckily I keep my important data on spinning disks and back up to 3 different destinations. Any yes, I know I'm lazy :P

    On the other hand, the Vertex never gave me any reason not to like it. In fact - I use it in my work computer and brag about it to all the rest of the company I work for. Luckily for me my bosses don't want to invest into SSDs yet so currently I have the fastest "server" around :D

    So, as far as I'm concerned, it's intel who is unreliable, not OCZ...
  • Jaybus - Friday, June 24, 2011 - link

    Why would you say that about the hand in the fire? On almost every one of these reviews, he says something like the following quote from this article.</p><p>
    "I still believe the Intel SSD 510 is a great balance of performance and reliability. If you want something with an even lower failure rate, there's always the Intel SSD 320 "
  • Minion4Hire - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    I've had a very similar experience to Anand's. Between my own and my immediate family's computer's I am running 2 Intel drives (G2 and 320), 3 OCZ (Agility, Vertex, Agility 2) and Corsair (Force) and have not had the slightest issues with any of them. Of the various computers I have built for other people I have only recently seen a single SSD die, which was an Indilinx Agility from 1.5 years ago. Replaced it with a Vertex 2.

    People are going to have issues but I, like Anand, don't bother trying to optimize or tweak anything. AHCI enabled, all other drive, BIOS, and OS settings are on their defaults. Everything I've used has worked flawlessly. I'm not saying some people haven't had problems, but is this anger really any different than any other brand rage?

    Sandforce is arguably the most popular controller manufacturer atm. Frankly, one of very few options. Obviously some people are going to have problems. And those people are going to be able to find other people who ALSO have those problems. It doesn't mean everyone is having them.....
  • michal1980 - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    Anand is carring water for OCZ.

    A mystery fat envelop of cash showed up in someones mail box?

    So OCZ claims they have a ~1% failure rate, and you just belive them? what manufacture wont lie about that?

    P.S. your sample size of 1 or 2, is not good enough to make any claims as to the quality of the product.
  • The_True - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    have you notice that in Anandtech are more Review about OCZ than any other site on the net?

    lol.... "A mystery fat envelop of cash showed up in someones mail box?

    i mean what is going on Anand??
  • L. - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    Would you handle a website like this for free forever ?
    Besides, that's not the only huge bias there is on Anandtech, but then it's like that mostly everywhere on the interwebz -- just get used to reading through ;)

    The 1% may have easily been a true figure, it's statistics, matter of presentation :

    "In the first month, about 1% of the drives shipped (to resellers) have been returned for RMA (by buyers)"

    See.. that's one huge % that, taking into account customer laziness, various firmware tests and the stock @ resellers could mean about 30% of the drives fail (which of course cannot be the case or it would be a real riot and not just a few whiners on forums).

    It could also be (not here) :

    "In the past 10 years, about 1% of the drives shipped (to resellers) have been returned for RMA (by buyers)"
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    I outlined where the 0.66% figure came from in the article. Take all complaints received on the forums + tech support channels and divide that number by the total number of drives sold through (not just sold to retailers).

    I've gotten six more OCZ SF-2281 drives in the past week alone - partially to see if this is something that's caused at the drive level. Given that I still haven't seen it yet, I'm beginning to think that this is an issue that really requires a combination of the right platform and one of these drives.

    Take care,
  • jwilliams4200 - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    "I outlined where the 0.66% figure came from in the article. Take all complaints received on the forums + tech support channels and divide that number by the total number of drives sold through (not just sold to retailers)."

    But that is absurd. That is nothing but a lower limit on the percentage of people who have trouble.

    Doesn't OCZ have any clue about how many people use their computers? The people posting on the forums or contacting tech support are only a fraction of the people who use the products -- and usually the more savvy ones. A lot of people use their computer, and if it crashes, they have no idea what caused the crash. They just reboot it and keep going. Or if they contact tech support, it may be for a completely different product, since they do not know which one caused the crash.

    It would not be crazy to guess that only 10% of people who experienced the problem with OCZ SSDs actually identified the cause of the crash as the SSD, and followed through to contact OCZ about it by phone or forum.

    So the true scope of the problem could easily be 6%, or even higher. The 0.66% figure is just a useless lower limit spit out by OCZ's juggernaut propaganda machine.
  • Proph3T08 - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    I think you might be exaggerating the number of computers being used with OCZ SSDs.

    The last time I went to Best Buy I didn't see any of their display model computers shipping with a ssd.

    I think in general SSDs are still used mostly by tech savvy users. Arguging that Anand's 0.66% is useless where he actually gave a source of information is ridiculous when your argument is a random guess.

    Maybe find out how many OEMs actually ship with OCZ drives then maybe you could come up with a compelling argument.
  • jwilliams4200 - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    You missed the point, Proph3T08. I did not claim to know the percentage, I just gave an example. The point is that OCZ's number is indisputably nothing but an extreme lower limit. To claim otherwise is absurd. Reply
  • name99 - Friday, June 24, 2011 - link

    Of course MacBook Airs all ship with SSDs...
    I don't know the numbers for how many SSDs ship on non-Air macs, but I expect the number is pretty high.

    Note also that people are quick to complain that Apple never ships leading edge SSDs --- but it is worth noting that there have been no large scale outcries (even at the level of 1% complains) against the SSDs that Apple does ship.
    I think Apple believes (and most customers agree) that reliability is vastly more important than the ability to win a benchmark that, after all is said and done, does not really reflect the real-world experience.

    As for OCZ's claims, I'd agree that they are certainly at the lower limit. I've bought three SSDs in my time, one from OCZ, and I've been bitterly disappointed by all three of them, ALL of which hang the machine when fed a long sequence of writes. I've not complained in public forums or tried to get a replacement (which is apparently where OCZ get their data) because, what's the point? They won't give me my money back --- all they'll give me (after I spend $10 on mailing the disk to them) is a replacement crappy drive that behaves in exactly the same way.

    Much easier just to conclude that
    (a) this is a business populated by charlatans and scam artists
    (b) Anand, unfortunately, has been way too tolerant of this sort of crap (all devices bought on his recommendation)
    (c) the ONLY vendor of SSDs today that doesn't seem a complete a**hole is buying an SSD built into an Apple product. Sad but true.
  • sam. - Saturday, June 25, 2011 - link


    I have to agree with you there. I never complained about my SSD when it failed, I just went straight to RMA and paid the $11 postage. Almost think they make you pay so much for an SSD because they know they will have to send you another one down the track.
  • jwilliams4200 - Friday, June 24, 2011 - link

    Also consider that there are probably a great many people who have the crashes, who then go to the forums, read the posts others made about the crashes, and think, okay, that is the problem I am having. No need to post, I'll just wait for a fix. Reply
  • velis - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    It's OCZ who's pumping the SSD novelities the fastest out there. As fast as they go for OCZ reviews, they also go for C300, m4 and intel ones.
    Anand is just crazy for anything SSD.
    If you don't like it, don't read it...

    Dam, now I'm putting my hand into fire for Anand :P }:-)))
  • TrackSmart - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    Ha Ha. I agree on three points raised in this thread: 1) OCZ quickly gets their SSDs out to Anandtech for review, 2) OCZ gets products to market quickly, and 3) Anand is crazy for anything SSD.

    All of that said, this is one of the better tech sites on the web and I have a lot of respect for Anand and others. To Anand: Keep up the good work and don't take the crazies too much to heart. You have my props for explicitly addressing all of the major "concerns" that have popped up of late. That said, you'll never satisfy all of the people who have raised them. Rational people will continue coming back to the site to read about the latest tech.
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    OCZ has been at the forefront of SF-2000 generation SSD releases. OWC and Patriot are the only two other companies that have sent us drives and we've reviewed both of them on the site as well. We try to review every SSD of interest that comes our way, that includes four different Intel SSD controller/NAND configurations in the past couple of months:

    Intel SSD 510 120GB
    Intel SSD 510 250GB
    Intel SSD 320 300GB
    Intel SSD 320 160GB

    I believe we've only done two more OCZ drives by comparison and that's because they have two more products that offer measurably different performance (the MAX IOPS drives).

    Corsair would've been added to the list by now however the recall issue pushed back sampling of their SF-2281 drives a little bit. As soon as we get their drives in they'll be tested as well.

    OCZ is simply first with a lot of these drives, thus there's a rush to test them.

    Take care,
  • techinsidr - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    I got a TON of respect for Anand, but I agree.. this review seems somewhat questionable.

    Anand: its unacceptable to ship products to customers that are defective. It's a bit bothersome to see that you still recommend faulty hardware from OCZ. Believing failure rates based on a company forum seems like a very flawed metric.
  • velis - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    There is no way to test a product for EVERY usage scenario. This goes for HW compatibility as well. It's not for nothing companies issue HW compatibility lists...

    And we're talking about sub 1% of system configurations. Not drives, mind you - the same drive will work like a charm in another computer.

    And if you'll see my other reply, I have 3 Intel X25 G2s that give me BSODs. Does that mean Intel should stop selling them? Just because I whine about it? Get serious, please.
  • techinsidr - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    If a $400 hard-drive doesn't work on the most popular laptops such as a Dell E6400... that is a big problem.

    I get that there are tons of configurations, but it definitely appears that OCZ is cutting major corners in the quality control department.

    If I owned a SSD shop, I would never ship product that wasn't compatible with mainstream/popular notebooks.

    OCZ products may work for enthusiasts, but my data is far too valuable to roll the dice on a cheap drive.
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    This is very true, unfortunately it's a tradeoff that you make with any non-Intel or Samsung drive. From what I've seen no one else does the sort of validation testing that those two do. Everything else is a tradeoff. Intel in particular has it down pat, which I fundamentally believe leads to its very low return rates.

    OCZ and SandForce definitely test more now than they did a year ago, but it still pales in comparison to Intel. In the days of Indilinx drives this was a tradeoff you made to get a more affordable drive, however these days we at least have the Intel SSD 510 as an alternative if you want good 6Gbps performance and Intel reliability.

    Your last sentence really encompasses the issue entirely. Some users are clearly ok with being on the bleeding edge if it means they get some sort of an advantage (with SF it's better performance and lower write amp over time). Taking that approach usually requires sacrificing something and in this case there's the chance that you might have an unlucky combination of drive and platform. For everyone else, there's Intel :)

    Take care,
  • LTG - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    This comment is what makes AT great - boiling down complexity to the most important points. Many sites can collect data, it's the quality of the interpretation that makes it work.

    Separately, I find it interesting that readers are debating the 0.66% failure rate. That number alone is pretty scary for a system level component being that it's caused by 1 bug - their total RMA/failure rate goes up from there.

    I'm a huge performance geek and don't mind living on the edge a bit - but this seems to be less attractive compared to something like an aggressive overclock which (usually) can be easily rolled back.

    It will be interesting to see how OCZ balances further raising validation costs to get customers like me, versus the realities of having to be profitable in a difficult industry. No easy answers I think.
  • lyeoh - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    Do OCZ/sandforce list a bunch of hardware configurations/chipsets that are known to be compatible with their stuff? A brief check doesn't turn up anything.

    Given the price of these drives you might as well buy a motherboard that suits the drive.

    Of course there would still be problems, but at least a replacement drive would have a far better chance of working.
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    The implication seems to be that it's not so much the specific motherboard, but rather the behavior of the particular chipset used on the motherboard. E.g. you may have two identical P67 motherboards, one exhibits the issue and one doesn't.

    Take care,
  • lyeoh - Friday, June 24, 2011 - link

    If that's the case then that sounds pretty broken to me.

    I can understand drives having incompatibilities with particular models/brands/types of chipsets, but to me having problems with some chips of the same model chipsets means that either the chipset is broken or the drives are.

    A "compatibility issue" with power supplies would be more forgiveable :).
  • JasonInofuentes - Friday, June 24, 2011 - link

    A compatibility issue with power supplies might be more forgiveable but it would be much less forgiving.

    As to whether this issue is "broken" remember that the more complex a system is the more likely that these problems will crop up, this is why integrating components (ala SoC) generally improves reliability.

    Let's look at another area where there can be a similar reliability issue due to an I/O interface. HDCP compliant HDMI has been around for sometime. Anyone that has put together a home theater system has encountered a handshake issue at one time or another. The source of the problems can be excruciatingly hard to identify because each component might work perfectly fine when paired in any other way, but when linked in a certain way there's a failure. And the failure could be in one of the source's, in a receiver, in a switch, in a display, or even in a cable. It could be resolved by replacing any of those components with an identical model. So, even though a system is put together of components that are individually fully HDCP compliant, there can still be a failure. And your likelihood of failure goes up the more components included, the longer your cables are, the more disparate in generation your components are. Is this system broken? Maybe, but for a different reason.

    OCZ, and Sandforce, have in their possession the goose that laid the golden egg. Class leading performance and longevity and right at the starting line of a market that will be absolutely enormous in the coming years. But as in the fairy tale, there's a problem. Should OCZ, as the farmer did, kill their goose because it can't lay two eggs a day (or run without any failures on every platform to ever be graced with a SATA port)?
  • TrackSmart - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    My problem is not the failure rate of OCZ (or Corsair or Patriot) SSDs. Ordinary hard disks that we've been using forever have a 1-3% failure rate (or worse for some models). The problem is customer support for drives that aren't merely failing, but are *failing to be compatible* with particular hardware configurations.

    How a company deals with such problems is what determines if they deserve customer loyalty. And let me tell you that sending customers another of the same drive, that they know won't work with their system, is not a way to win customer loyalty. Just issue a refund and let the customer buy a different model. With that kind of treatment, the customer might buy another OCZ drive, but from one of the other product lines - instead of leaving angry.

    The customer support issue is the one I want OCZ to address. And if Anandtech has personal communications with them, that is something worth passing on.
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    The issue is that, apparently, the majority of customers don't have a problem. There isn't a day that goes by where I'm not testing an SF-2281 drive in some fashion. Now it's possible that my usage model and test scenarios aren't enough to cause the problem, but I suspect that it's more complicated than that.

    My recommendation continues to be the Intel SSD 510 if you want the best balance of performance/predictable reliability. However if I simply recommend Intel's drive without mentioning a cheaper/faster drive I think I'll get accused of a different sort of bias :-P

    Take care,
  • techinsidr - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    Good point Anand... I'm personally not a fan of OCZ products, but I give you props all the hard work you do on this site. Even if I don't agree with your recommendations 100% of the time, you still have the best hardware review site out there.

    I hope OCZ and Sandforce gets this problem figured out sooner than later. Performance is definitely important, but at the end of the day I think reliability is even more critical.
  • TrackSmart - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    I agree that it's a small percent, but is it okay to tell 10,000 customers "sorry, use it in a different computer" when they've spent $240 on a storage device? Just because it represents *only* 0.5% of their customers?

    Thanks for taking the time for a personal reply. And thanks for the superb articles and reporting. We'll just have to agree to disagree on what it means for a company to stand by a product.
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    No I agree that's not ok, but to the best of my knowledge OCZ has always facilitated a refund if you ask for one with situations like this. OCZ has apparently even offered to send engineers to your house and loan you a notebook to help diagnose the issue back when they had trouble tracking it down.

    My preference would be a stop shipment order until the problem is corrected. But in terms of customer service, I believe OCZ typically does take care of its customers.

    Take care,
  • TrackSmart - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    Thanks Anand. I've had good experience with other OCZ products and associated support in the past. And it's possible that the 25nm debacle has caused them to shift their policies. At the time, when I purchased a Vertex 2, I was told replacement with a like item was the only option. Newegg came to my rescue and took the drive back, despite their clearly stated policy that SSD returns have to go to the manufacturer. Good on Newegg for understanding my situation. And hopefully good on OCZ if their policies have improved.

    A google search turns up people from the past who were turned down for Vertex 2/Agility 2 refunds (responses: firmware is on the way or use it in a compatible system - only exchanges for like models). But shows that Vertex 3 owners have been getting refunds.

    So maybe I'm behind the times. And if so, my apologies to OCZ. These changes of policy must be within very recent past. A bit of bad press seems to go a long way to changing corporate policy.
  • jonup - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    Why is this review questionable? His recommendation is based on his personal experience with the drives. He has not experienced any BSODs but he disclosed that there are certain drives sold in retail that have the issue. He recommended OCZs drive as much as he recommended the Patriot's.
    I wouldn't be supprise if majority of the BSOD result from user tweaks and maybe if it is even a Windows problem.
  • semo - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    I wouldn't be as harsh and say that Anand has had underhand dealings with OCZ but there are bridges there. He gets new OCZ SSDs well before release dates so that he can prepare for in-depth articles. These articles bring a boat load of traffic to his domain.

    So indirectly, Anand does benefit from being on good terms with OCZ because if he didn't, he wouldn't have those golden samples and those spikes in traffic at launch.

    Then again, timing is not the only thing that keeps us techies coming back. The quality of the articles plays a big part as well. I am however starting to question the Integrity of his work given the outcry in the community which is not proportionally reflected in Anand's official articles (this article touches on a few of the issues but the huge outcry from the last article must have played a big part). Also, I'm not just a techie, I'm also a consumer and I totally disagree with OCZ's handling of the 25nm fiasco and their customer relations in general.

    Needless to say, I still enjoy Anand's articles but I will never touch an OCZ product again. Other companies provide just as much value and performance as them.
  • techinsidr - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    I couldn't agree more semo... I did a blog article covering this whole fiasco at my website . The way OCZ has handled this fiasco leaves a lot to be desired.. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    Access to hardware is never a reason to treat a manufacturer favorably. That may win you some short term gains but long term you lose credibility, which will ultimately and drives away the sort of quality readers you need to have a site truly survive.

    Also note that while exclusives do bring in more traffic, you actually build more traffic by being consistent and delivering quality over time. The former doesn't guarantee lasting traffic.

    I don't believe OCZ is getting favorable treatment here, just the treatment that is representative of my experience with the drives. Now the response from the readership is clear that despite my experience, there's definite unease with actually jumping on the OCZ bandwagon until these sorts of complaints go away entirely. I can completely understand that sentiment and I will make sure it's reflected as we continue to cover this space.

    Take care,
  • semo - Friday, June 24, 2011 - link

    Thanks Anand. I appreciate your honesty and transparency. If it wasn't for you, Jmicron would have killed the momentum of SSD adoption. I'd hate to see the same thing happen again right under our noses. Reply
  • irev210 - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    I have to agree.

    Anand came out blasting the Intel G2 SSD when it first came out for a very MINOR firmware snafu... yet people angry about Intel SSD's or Samsung 470's are very few and far between.

    Anand came out blasting Crucial for having firmware issues as well - with absolutely no follow up. The C300 ended up being an absolutely fantastic drive (though we do see more complaints vs. intel 320/510 and Samsung 470).

    It's getting old that you admit that all SSD's share extremely similar performance but continue to recommend SSD's that are FAR more unreliable vs. other brands.

    If "real-world" performance among SSD's, you should really look at things that distinguish one from another (reliability, warranty, long-term performance, trim/garbage collection features, raid performance, cost/gig evaluation, etc).

    Frankly, I think consumers are at the point where a 1% chance of SSD failure isn't worth .05% increase in performance. While those exact numbers aren't easy to come by - that's why we want you, Anand, to get the dirt for us.
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    Intel was held to a higher standard simply because with the X25-M you had to give up performance and the promise was you would have something that was more reliable than the competition.

    The C300 had several firmware issues to begin with and didn't do well over time as we showed in our TRIM torture tests, it's the former that kept me from recommending it early on and the latter that kept me from being all that interested in it in the long run.

    In the past two articles I've recommended the Intel SSD 510 and it was my personal choice of SSD for the past three months. I do have to allow for the fact that I have yet to have a single issue with any SF-2281 drive and some users may feel like they want to take a chance on something that's potentially faster (and has better write amplification characteristics).

    If it was my money I'd stick with the 510 but until I see a readily repeatable situation where the SF-2281 drives have issues I have to at least mention them as an option.

    Take care,
  • jwilliams4200 - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    "The C300 had several firmware issues to begin with and didn't do well over time as we showed in our TRIM torture tests, it's the former that kept me from recommending it early on and the latter that kept me from being all that interested in it in the long run."

    So, now that the Vertex 3 has had firmware issues, and now that your test in this article shows that its speed degrades terribly after torture tests, and somewhat even with TRIM....

    Basically, now that the V3 is shown to have the same or worse problems as you complained about with the C300...

    The question is, why are you not giving the Vertex 3 the same derogatory treatement that you gave the C300?
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    I've had multiple C300s die in my lab, not even trying to torture them (it looks like I may have just had another one die as of last night). Thus far I haven't had any SF-2281 drives die on me and I haven't experienced the BSOD issue first hand.

    The C300's performance degraded pretty poorly under harsh but still reasonable conditions. If you run the same torture test on a Vertex 3, its performance doesn't degrade.

    It's only when you completely fill a SF-2281 drive with incompressible data, then randomly write small block incompressible data all over the drive for an hour that you end up in a situation with reduced performance. While random writes do happen on all drives, it's highly unlikely that you'll take your system drive, fill it with H.264 videos, delete those videos, install Windows on the drive and then run some sort of application that writes purely random data all over the drive. The torture test I created for the SF drives in particular is specifically designed to look at worst case performance if you're running a very unusual workload.

    I did an 8-month investigation on SandForce's architecture that proved even in my own personal system I never saw the sort of worst case performance I was concerned about. The four drives we deployed across AT editors came back with an average write amplification of 0.6, as in most of the data that was written to the drive was actually deduped/compressed and never hit NAND. Based on that I don't believe most users will see the worst case performance I put forth on the TRIM page, the exception being if you're using this drive purely for highly compressed media or fully random data.

    Take care,
  • jwilliams4200 - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    "The C300's performance degraded pretty poorly under harsh but still reasonable conditions."

    You call running HD Tach on an SSD "reasonable conditions"? Seriously?
  • seapeople - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    Yes, I'm sure OCZ loves the fact that Anand mentions the Intel SSD 510 as being the better drive overall considering reliability like five times in this review.

    Not only that, but he explains in depth on page 3 that the extra performance from the Vertex 3 and other latest generation SSD's doesn't even matter in normal computing situations.

    So, Anand's options are this: 1) Say that SSD performance differences don't really matter and you should stop reading review sites like this and just go buy an Intel for reliability, or 2) Mention the irrelevancies of SSD performance differences in passing and continue on to do a full performance review which concludes that the Sandforce drives are, in fact, the fastest drives available today as long as you can get past the BSOD issues which may or may not affect you.

    Just because Anand chose option 2 does not mean he is in OCZ's pocket, it just means he likes reviewing SSD performance. This is very fortunate for us readers who enjoy reading such articles.
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    You are very correct - I've tested eight (more coming) SF-2281 drives and haven't had any issues. However by the same logic the sample size of complaints on the forums isn't statistically significant either.

    Despite my sample size being what it is, I continue to have the discussion about quality control and testing in every SF-2281 drive. If there was a repeatable way to bring about the BSOD issue on any (or some?) readily available platforms I'd have no problems completely removing the drive from the discussion altogether. Unfortunately that doesn't seem to be the case.

    Instead what I do is lay out the options for the end user. If you want the best overall reliability, Intel's SSD 320 is likely the drive for you. If you want the best balance of performance and reliability then there's the Intel SSD 510. And finally if you want to take a chance but want the drive with the lowest write amp for most users, there's anything SF-2281 based.

    For me personally the choice was Intel's SSD 510. I've moved it to a secondary role in my system to try and bug hunt the Vertex 3 on a regular basis.

    Take care,
  • Tomy B. - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    Why Samsung 470 isn't included in any results? Reply
  • Spoogie - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    1) The first Vertex II I received was DOA.
    2) The second died completely after just eight months of light use.
    3) The BSODs occurred about once every six sleep modes. The Kingston replacement never gives a BSOD.

    Buyer beware.
  • poohbear - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    Thank you for being upfront at the very beginning about "the elephant in the room"! some sites were blamed for ignoring the issue, but u guys were spot on about it and to be honest its one of the main reason i've been steering clear of any Sandforce 2000 based SSDs. two thirds of a percent? why give it in such a complicated way???? two thirds of a percent is .6% of all drives? why not just say 1% of all drives, but yea i understand disgruntled consumers are often the most vocal about a problem.

    Nice review though, might look into this when they have some new and more mature firmwares. Right now im fine with my Crucial C300 64gb.^^
  • bivoy - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    strange, my A DATA SSD 599 (sandforce 1XXX based) has died two weeks ago when I left notebook in sleep mode overnight ....... Reply
  • iron11 - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    After reading many reviews of OCZ, I went ahead and bought 2 of them. Let me tell you.. 2 months of owning these SSD's... BSOD's over and over and over and over again. Look at OCZ forums and tell me that its a 1% failure rate. I really hope anyone who's thinking of buying these SSD's look into Intel 510/320's. They're reliability/speed is there. I will never buy OCZ again.. i'll pay the extra surcharge fee Intel charges. I'll pay it not for the name.. but the track record behind Intel's SSD.

    OCZ = Bad
  • seapeople - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    As explained in this article, the OCZ BSOD issue is not a reliability issue whereby drives degrade in quality and "break", but rather a compatibility issue with certain system configurations. If your system is incompatible with the Sandforce-based drive for an as-yet undetermined reason, then EVERY similar Sandforce-based drive will give you BSOD's. This explains why there are such conflicting reviews of these drives: reviewers like Anand can put dozens of these drives into a few different systems, and because none of these systems have a compatibility issue the drives work perfectly. Meanwhile the people who do have a system-compatibility issue can RMA a dozen of these drives and every single one of them will fail.

    It sounds like if you take on of these BSOD drives out of a user's system and put it in a different system it will work perfectly, which is part of why OCZ is having such trouble diagnosing the issue.

    All that said, I'm glad I bought an Intel.
  • spidey81 - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    I was curious to see current pricing and availability after reading this article and found a little surprise. When Anand spoke about the price premium not being worth the jump up to the MAX IOPS from the base V3 I wanted to look myself and see what they were going for or if there were any deals. What I came across was a Corsair Force 3 for $180 after rebate ( $210 without ). This is the drive mentioned in the first page of that article that Corsair recently recalled. But the problem has been addressed and this seems like a hell of a deal! Reply
  • Beenthere - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    As we see with many PC products these days, many are shipped well before they are ready for primetime. Sure those who only use their PC for games might be willing to buy unreliable, half-baked products but no one with a clue would touch these unreliable products. As long as the sheep line up to pay a premium for the half-baked product of the week, manufacturers will continue to ship half-baked crap and there are numerous popular brands who routinely do this as noted by the product defect reports. Reply
  • Axonn - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    I think Anand forgot to mention another reason why the V3 MI is worth it: 32nm NAND means it has more life cycles in it. Reply
  • Impulses - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    Honestly, how many times have we as enthusiasts encountered a particular motherboard (even on a business class laptop) that didn't play will with a certain brand of RAM or vice versa, or a GPU that was unstable on certain platforms, etc etc. When you're a DIY enthusiast this comes with the territory... There's always gonna be some products/brands that are more reliable, if you value your time a lot then opt for those.

    I don't see anything wrong with AT's coverage as is, he has ALWAYS mentioned that Sandforce drives pose a reliability risk (vs Intel) in the same breath that he talks about their performance... If you visit message boards this has always been quite obvious. If anything I'd just hope for a quicker mention of some of the emerging issues.

    I understand Anand can't document something he hasn't experienced and I imagine getting info from OCZ is hard when they haven't been able to pin down the problem, but still, an earlier warning that there might be a very real issue would be good (regardless of how uncommon).
  • npp - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    The current prices of the third generation Vertex drives here in Germany:

    OCZ Vertex 3 240GB: 198,51€ (MAXIOPS Version: 247,50€)
    OCZ Vertex 3 240GB: 422,68€ (MAXIOPS Version: 485,98€)

    If you want the prices in USD, do the math for yourself, but one thing is clear, those don't come cheap.
    Personally, I wouldn't bother spending so much money on a drive with *known* issues. It's plain unreasonable. A 300GB Intel 320 drive costs 429€ around here, so you get the point. Sure, it's a "last gen" drive and slower on paper per se, but I'm sure even Anand will be hard pressed to tell the difference from a Vertex 3 in real life.

    OCZ played it really when with the second-gen Vertex, but I think they got a bit of an overshoot this time. Given how fast SSD are to begin with, I would be perfectly fine with more incremental changes between generations, if that means better reliability. Going for the big figures and then getting BSODs isn't the right way to do things, I think. Issues such as those still hold me back from getting a SSD in my notebook. I typically use a system for about 3 years before upgrading, and I want a drive that will cut it through all that time without a glitch. Given that even Intel messes things up occasionally, I wonder when such a drive will make it to market.
  • Makaveli - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    "There's a percentage of OCZ Vertex 3/Agility 3 customers that have a recurring stuttering/instability issue."

    This is unacceptable on a storage device that will host an operating system, I don't care if this thing pushes 1 million ops and takes out the garbage.

    And still the reason I only look at intel drives for ssd.

    Stability > speed when it comes to storage devices.
  • Chloiber - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    Hi Anand,

    is it possible to do the same (1 hour) torture tests for other SSDs such as Intel 320, Intel 510 and C300/m4? It would be interesting to see how the, in my opinion, huge performance hit with the Sandforce drives compares to other SSDs/controllers.
  • Impulses - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    I think he's done similar tests in past reviews, though probably not the very same 60 min test. Crucial drives had issues recovering from similar situations, and Intel drives were the most resilient (shocking right?). The SF drives are particularly susceptible to that sort of degradation when hammering them with incompressible data due to the very nature of how their compression algorithm works.

    That's one reason I've never been very high on SF drives... Currently I have two Intel drives being used as OS drives (where that sorta scenario is improbable), but if I decided to upgrade the desktop OS drive I could very well end up using one of those smaller drives as a scratch disk for working with video, or as a spare disk for game installs. SF wouldn't necessarily be ideally suited for that.
  • Chloiber - Friday, June 24, 2011 - link

    Yes, but without the same 60mins the comparison is pretty much useless, sadly. You can see this very well in the Agility 3 review - nearly no performance drop with 20min torture test.
    I know that the SF drives drop performance to about 65% (write), both SF1 and SF2. And that it's not a state that you reach when you torture your drive is known because nearly everyone who does a ASS benchmark some month after the initial use show the lower performance (in case of SF2 that's 70-90MB/s seq. write).
    But I'd like to see a direct comparison from Anand, would just be great.

    And yes - that's also a reason why I won't buy SF drives. I just don't like it how they try to confuse customers. They say 450MB/s+ write...yeah right. In a very special case. And even worse, it drops down even more. Intel is honest about the performance of their SSD, that's what I like about it. But I'm pretty sure SF gained countless customers just because of those "incredible" performance stats.
  • Phil NBR - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    "So why not exclusively use real world performance tests? It turns out that although the move from a hard drive to a decent SSD is tremendous, finding differences between individual SSDs is harder to quantify in a single real world metric. "

    I don't think it's that hard. Sites like Hardwareheaven and Techspot show meaningful differences between SSDs in real world settings. I would like to see Anandtech include real real world benchmarks again. I/O bound benchmarks don't tell the whole story.
  • ckryan - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    It's my belief that these real world tests are contrived in and of themselves to some degree. Reply
  • Impulses - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    I don't frequent Hardware Heaven often but I do like the way they compare and present results for their GPU reviews, so I went looking for their "real world" SSD tests when I saw that comment. Out of the 5 or 6 tests like 3 or 4 are just large sequential read/write tests... Sure seeing 200 minutes vs 210 minutes might be somewhat more intuitive than a generic benchmark score, but it doesn't tell you a whole lot more tbh. It's all basically just OS/game install tests and file transfer/scan tests, with two exceptions...

    One is their OS boot up test, where the difference between all current drives is usually 2-3 sec at most (time to hibernate and resume might be more valuable imo), and the other is an HD video capture test that might actually be the only real world test they're doing of any actual value. It showcases the biggest disparity between the drives (due to sequential write speeds using raw uncompressed footage), and it really is something you could be doing day in and day out and not easily represented by synthetic benchmarks or some of the other test scenarios Anand uses. Worth looking into...
  • cjs150 - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    Seems to be a lot of conspiracy theorists about today.

    I read Anandtech because I do not detect bias. When it is wrong he will tell us. Sometimes I do not understand what he is saying - but that is because I am an amateur geek not a full time pro!

    Now my noob question.

    What is best way of setting up a system with an SSD and a traditional HD. Should I use the SSD for OS and programs and the HD for widows swap file. Or would it be fine to use the SSD for all OS functions? Happy to partition the HD so that there is a small partition for the OS swap
  • Impulses - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    Leave the swap file alone, Windows manages it just fine and a Windows engineer was quoted during the launch of Win7 as saying that SSD are particularly well suited for the swap file's purpose... If you have enough RAM it's gonna see little use besides background maintenance Windows does of active processes. Just install your OS and apps as you normally do on the SSD, let Win7 partition it (or Vista, if you're using XP you'll wanna look into proper partition alignment), and then use your HDD for large game installs that don't fit on the SSD and data.

    If you have lots of games at any one time it's worth looking into system links or junction links, they provide any easy way to move game directories to the SSD and back w/o altering or affecting the existing install (or w/o messing w/registry keys, it's like an OS level shortcut that's transparent to the programs).

    If you have a small SSD (and particularly if you have lots of RAM), it's worth turning off hibernate as the hibernate file will take up a few GB of space on the drive (depending on the amount of RAM). Swap file should be dynamic and shouldn't grow too large if it's rarely used.
  • jwilliams4200 - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    Did I miss where you commented on the Desktop Iometer - 4KB Random Read chart?

    The 120GB Vertex 3 Max IOPS and the Patriot Wildfire were in the basement, with 35 MB/s or lower performance.

    What is going on?
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    The 240GB Vertex 3 results were a typo, I've updated/corrected that entry. The Toshiba 32nm drives are even slower, likely due to the specific characteristics of that NAND vs. the IMFT devices.

    Random read performance is a weak area of many drives this generation for some reason. Even Crucial's m4 is slower than last year's C300 in this department.

    Take care,
  • GullLars - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    I noticed the clear winner at your 4KB random read (QD3) test has been cleared from the chart. The C300 pushes over 90MB/s while the second highest, and the highest in this cart, is Vertex 3 240GB with 68MB/s. I feel this is worth noting, as the SF-2281 drives generally win with a good margin in many tests, but loose to a more than year old drive in small random reads at low queue depths. Reply
  • Bannon - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    Thanks for another good review Anand. I've been following the discussions in the Corsair and OCZ forums and while I'm interested in the super-fast speeds of the new SandForce drives I'm leery because of the problems a percentage of their customers are having. So, I was considering a 256GB Crucial M4 drive which seemed to do well in your review but was surprised when you recommended the Intel 510 drive as an alternative. Do you have concerns with the M4? Reply
  • ocz2004 - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    Hello everyone, as my first post in this thread let me identify myself as an OCZ employee. I’d like to thank everyone for their comments. Positive or negative, we appreciate all the feedback and take it very seriously throughout the organization. We continue to see a very small percentage of users with the BSOD issue but have made addressing this a high priority, and encourage any customers that have this or any issues to contact our customer service team. We have and will continue to work closely with SandForce and our platform partners for a final fix, and have spearheaded this effort among all manufacturers that utilize a SF solution. As mentioned in our previous public statement, we are also working on optimizations to the base code to minimize any performance delta associated with the temporary workaround. Thank everyone again for your support and feedback, and we will continue to work diligently on providing both premium performing and reliable SSDs to all our valued customers. We are willing to go above and beyond to make our customers happy; for anyone that is having this issue please contact support at drego @ ocz dot com Reply
  • tecsi - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    From Anand's comments:
    "It turns out that although the move from a hard drive to a decent SSD is tremendous, finding differences between individual SSDs is harder to quantify in a single real world metric...The best values in SSDs are going to be last year's models without a doubt."

    It appears that the best desktop SSD value--by far--is grabbing a 64GB SATA II boot/app drive (paired with a big HD), which are often rebated to ~$70. Although SATA III and 120GB/240GB look great on a specialized SSD racetrack, in the real world the performance difference appears to be a 5-10%, while paying just 30% of the $250 cost for a SATA III 120GB drive.

    Does this make sense or am I missing something? I was getting quite excited about SATA III and all the fawning over the Vertex 3, but this enthusiasm seems misplaced.
  • Impulses - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    Only issue with that is that after formatting and installing the OS, a 64GB SSD doesn't leave you a lot of extra space... Depending on your needs that may or may not be an issue. I got an 80GB Intel X25-M for my desktop last year and it's a little tight, I have the luxury of having enough space for a couple of games but I do rotate which ones I have on it... I'm looking at 120GB drives but I'm waiting for prices to come down a little.

    I got a 40GB X25-V for my netbook tho and it's just for that kinda system... Win7 and the basic kind of programs that I use on my netbook all fit fine within <25GB, and with only 1.5GB of RAM the size of the hibernate file isn't a big concern. Still got enough space for a couple of movies when I travel.
  • FunBunny2 - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    Over on Postgresql-performance, for one, there is not much love for anything less than full blown cap-backed SSDs, and even then, when used for database logs (not necessarily a good use of an SSD) 18 months is about the lifetime.

    So, using highly normalized (BCNF, which you shouldn't have to look up) X00 gig databases only on SSD (no HDD for logs and such) is a real torture test. Random access in a real world application. Oracle and MS have them. TPC, of course, has a bunch.
  • jdmstl - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    I had a problem with the Vertex 3 240GB in a new Thinkpad W520. The bluescreen occurred at relatively light or idle usage, but seemed to have nothing to do with power save features. I tried disabling all such features in the bios, as well as a number of logical software fixes to no avail.
    Finally, I simply returned the drive to Microcenter for a refund rather than deal with the issues. I never posted my problems to OCZ, although I read the related forum posts for clues.
    I suspect that many people did the same, so I would not trust any defect rate figures based on number of forum posts. It would be more accurate to check the return rate, but I suspect that many people just ignore the BSODs and live with it without reporting any issue, assuming it will all work out eventually.
    OCZ tries to deny or downplay issues without taking full responsibility. They did the same thing with JMicron controller problems a few years ago. (Not that any other brands were more honest or forthcoming.)
    I think I will stick with Intel from now on, although I had good luck with 4 of the original Vertex Indilinx drives that are still running fine in my home desktop PCs.
  • jwilliams4200 - Friday, June 24, 2011 - link

    OCZ is definitely the leader when it comes to their propaganda machine. It seems even Anand has gotten brainwashed by it. Reply
  • Concillian - Friday, June 24, 2011 - link

    It really helps to read that page to put the performance picture in perspective. This kind of thing is difficult to get a feel for when looking at reviews.

    It's easy to tell which is faster from benchmarks, but it's not always easy to tell how much that speed will translate into actual perceivable improvement for daily workloads.

    I think you should throw in a few "vs. rotating storage" charts in every SSD review just to help demonstrate the performance differences to those contemplating the jump to SSD. Many of your readers have made the jump and are looking at SSDs vs. SSDs, but I'll bet a fair amount are still looking at the value vs. a hard drive and haven't necessarily seen the history of all the articles that show these differences.
  • cactusdog - Friday, June 24, 2011 - link

    I respect Anands opinions but the timing of his reviews and comments(regarding OCZ) makes it seem he is working with OCZ. Like he wont say anything negative unless OCZ have already addressed it.

    Its strange this review hit just after the new firmware 2.09 was released. The 2.09 firmware that is supposed to fix any BSOD issues.

    Going back over previous reviews, Anand never mentioned any of the user complaints about slower 25nm nand (and the use of slower hynix or second rate Spectek nand) until AFTER OCZ had put out an official statement about it. Until OCZ had promised to swap drives and promised not to use dodgy nand again.

    The point is Anand seems to have a direct line to OCZ and he will not address users concerns until AFTER OCZ has officially recognised it in some way.
  • alpha754293 - Friday, June 24, 2011 - link

    Can you run h2benchw on the drives and post the results? Thanks. Reply
  • doylecc - Friday, June 24, 2011 - link


    What write amplification did you get during your use of the SSD 510?

    Thanks, and good review.
  • bse8128 - Friday, June 24, 2011 - link

    I was wondering for a moment how (128GB-120GB)/128GB can be 13%, but then I noticed that it's really 120GB but 128 GiB. It's a bit confusing to call both 10^9 and 2^30 just "GB". Reply
  • jwilliams4200 - Friday, June 24, 2011 - link

    Yes, I really wish Anand would keep his GB and GiB units straight. It makes his articles very difficult to follow sometimes. Reply
  • Marian666 - Saturday, June 25, 2011 - link

    Who the hell asks for qd32?? Like there werent enough of such tests on internet, and anand was like the only one giving us qd3 4k read test....

    And whats with "depth of 32 instead of 3" ?? How hard it is to test drives in both queue depths


  • MamiyaOtaru - Saturday, June 25, 2011 - link

    this site used to be like my bible for SSDs. This continued pushing of OCZ in spite of manifest and multiple failures in their drives has soured me on the whole thing a bit.

    That aside, I went with Intel for a Macbook (with Snow Leopard) that had seen a couple hard drives die. It doesn't seem faster at all. I'm not willing to trade reliability for a few more percentage points, so some other drive is not an option. And if an SSD can't improve on the performance offered by a laptop drive I can't imagine what motivation I'd have to put one in my desktop.
  • somedude1234 - Saturday, June 25, 2011 - link

    I had the exact opposite experience. I replaced a 7.2K laptop HDD with an Intel 80GB G2 SSD in my Dell D810 (running XP at the time) and have since migrated that same SSD to a Dell E6400 running Win7. The difference in overall system performance after moving to the SSD was absolutely clear in both XP and Win7, across both laptops.

    Granted, you're working in a Mac environment, but I will never again willingly deal with a workstation that isn't running an SSD for the OS drive.

    I'm currently running my G2 with less than 5GB free, so it feels a bit slower than it did when there was > 20 GB free, but it's still night and day vs any HDD.

    The system is used every day for productivity apps (primarily outlook/word/excel) as well as SAP client, putty, remote desktop, etc.
  • Movieman420 - Saturday, June 25, 2011 - link

    Over the last few days, there has been a spark that has brought on a 'meeting of the minds' in this thread:

    Be warned, this is a deeply technical discussion...I only thought I was up to speed on
  • cactusdog - Sunday, June 26, 2011 - link

    That is just another theory in a long line of theories. It doesnt explain why people have issues on other boards without IME.

    OCZ have tried to blame everything from sata cables to install methods.

    If its only 1% with issues i dont know why OCZ are putting so much effort into it. It would be better for them to just give those 1% a refund to move to another drive.

    As it stands, the OCZ forum and staff is preoccupied with this issue that "only affects 1%". It looks much worse than that and no doubt some people will be put off by all the discussion about BSOD's

    If it is only 1% with issues, OCZ are handling the situation badly.

  • mcg75 - Sunday, June 26, 2011 - link

    I was getting the bsod so I was watching their forums waiting for the result. OCZ said system was setup wrong. Then there are issues with secure erase in parted magic not working properly. So I went through the hassle of doing it all over again according to Tony's guide with no rst loaded. Still got bsod. Now IME is corrupting cmos. Told Tony that IME wasn't loaded when I got bsod. He only replied that I didn't follow his guide by not installing IME. Later in the thread in response to a post, Tony said we could run without IME using MS ahci which is exactly what I was doing.

    I've been setting up win7 the exact same way for years. First on a X-25m and no issues. Next a C300 with no issues. Now I setup the same way on a V3 and get bsod and it's all my fault. All OCZ has to do is look around at other forums and see there are far more than 1% being effected by this and it's cross platform with the Sandforce controller being the only constant.

    They said they were able to recreate the same problem on other competitors ssd beside V3. When asked, Tony pointed to stuttering experienced by c300 users that was taken care of by firmware. That was his only example, no others and no c300 bsod either.

    Now with firmware that reduces performance to get rid of bsod, we're back to the same old story that none of OCZ computers are showing the slowdown just like none of their computers would do the bsod. I dropped 50 points in as-ssd after new firmware was put in then secure erase and fresh install Win7. Obviously, I must be doing something wrong again.

    Never again OCZ, never again.
  • PartEleven - Sunday, June 26, 2011 - link

    Anand, I'm hoping this question reaches you but I was wondering if you can comment on the Vertex 3 oem version, the V3LT-25SAT3-240G.oem. Official specs rate it as slightly slower than the retail Vertex 3, but when people asked about it on the ocz forums the mods there say it's because of different NAND. Supposedly this drive uses the same Toshiba 32nm toggle nand used as these MAX IOPS drives. Why is it then that the oem drives are slower than the MAX IOPS drives? I thought at first they might be using higher density chips so you have less NAND dies running in parallel, but you mention here that Toshiba's NAND only gets 4GB per die. What do you think is the cause for the performance difference? OCZ seems pretty reluctant to give a detailed answer. Reply
  • cakeab - Sunday, June 26, 2011 - link

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  • aritai - Sunday, June 26, 2011 - link

    Has been working well (no bluescreens, no crashes, no hangs, no issues w/ sleep-resume or use of bitlocker on the drive) with a Thinkpad W520/4270CT since first week of April (W7ultimate+SP1, current w/ MS, NVIDIA and Lenovo patches and drivers).

    However on a restart (but not on a shutdown to power off followed by power back on) there's some SATA3/Intel/IBM BIOS issue that seems to hang on the SSD read - it eventually times out (after perhaps as long as a minute) and continues booting. Rather than wait, an option is to simply force a power off (hold power button for 5 seconds) followed by re-powering on. A minor nit given Lenovo has yet to announce support for 6gbyte/s SSDs, and other than this the 4core/8thread 16gbyte dram sandybridge machine is a developer's dream (I run a handful of VMs on a 2nd SSD in the media bay, can't even tell they're VMs).

    And with the 2nd-battery (that attaches on the bottom like a mini-dock), I can work all the way to Hong Kong (14+ hours) on batteries (a good thing, since there's no travel adapter yet - and may never be given they want to support 2 hour recharge and require 170W supply that no seat power can deliver. Which is a pity because the W520 automagically switches to integrated graphics and Intel turns off cores (so power meter shows < 8 watt average use in extended battery life mode). So even a 60 watt travel adapter world work save for Lenovo's BIOS doesn't / has yet to permit it.
  • danrichards - Tuesday, June 28, 2011 - link

    MTBF, Mean Time Between Failure. Frequently advertised at 2+million hours. What kind of claim is this?

    Does this mean I place the drive on the shelf for 200 years, put it in to an antique computer in 200 years and it should still work? Until otherwise proven, I think so...

    I bought 60GB Agility 2 for my laptop and a 120GB Vertex 3 for my desktop and both failed within two months. I'm in the process of returning one to Newegg and replacing another with OCZ (the Agility 2 for the 2nd time). The Vertex 3, I got a F4 BSOD at least twice daily (I didn't think it was possible to have 2 bad drives so I spent too many hours parting out my system and formatting it 3 times and trying different drivers to no success). Newegg was sympathetic and gave me a refund after the 30 refund period.

    By the way, when one of these drive fails, there is no getting out Stellar Phoenix and recovering your data, they just pop and your data is vaporized. Do not use a SSD unless you have a solid backup plan...and don't even think using an SSD will increase your productivity. If I added up the downtime from work, frustration time, and troubleshooting time I spend with my machines, I'll give that up for a fast HDD that lasts 3-5 years (and is recoverable) and takes 4-5 seconds longer to load my Outlook.

    I was extremely enthusiastic about SSDs and I'm disappointed to detail such a poor report.
  • PR3ACH3R - Wednesday, June 29, 2011 - link

    I must agree with everything you said, its sad it is up to small builders & forum members to set the record straight about the SSD situation.

    If theres anything you got wrong is the MTBF abbrev ..
    regarding SSDs it actually means: Mad Total Bork Freakshow.
  • jcompagner - Tuesday, June 28, 2011 - link

    I was one of the first here that had a 240GB V3. That had the initial firmware of 2.02, with that firmware installing on my Dell XPS17 (SandyBridge) notebook that was quite difficult to do.

    But after i find out about 2 things: 1 use the latest intel rapid store driver (else BSOD directly after install with the first boot) and after install make sure you disable the LPM settings (else you will get stutter) everything was pretty smooth i had no BSOD after that and it was quite solid.
    So the only problem with V3 was the install part on a laptop of Dell which is quite a high volume laptop out there. (and yes there are plenty other dell laptops that have the same problem because underneath they use pretty much the same stuff)

    What i don't get is why OCZ seems to test many things on desktop boards, i hear always Asus board X or Gigabyte board Y. But who is using that? SSD are the perfect things in laptops because there is where the most gain is, and i wonder who is using desktops anyway currently (i don't know them anymore)

    After that firmware 2.06 came out and then i made a mistake by upgrading to it (and let me say that the upgrade for a system drive what in a laptop almost always is the case....) is quite hard. But after that BSOD started happening.. 2.08 same stuff still BSOD, now with 2.09 BSOD stopped it is solid again, and i must say that my performance is still quite good. i don't notice in real life or with testing any real performance penalty.

    So now for me everything is quite good again. I never reinstalled or did a secure erase (that really cost a lot of time!) .

    But i wouldn't really recommend to none real technical users a OCZ drive at the moment. Installation, firmware updates are all quite hard and you really know what to do.
  • kaikaihhh - Tuesday, June 28, 2011 - link

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  • doodles - Sunday, July 10, 2011 - link

    You asked what I'd do if I won a Eee Pad Transformer or a Samsung Galaxy Tab many ideas came to mind that I felt my skull crack. I'd keep up with my husband's medicines, (lung cancer), set reminders, keep his appointment schedules, And it might even entertain me while I do that interminable waiting in the dr.'s office. Reply
  • AeroJoe - Wednesday, July 13, 2011 - link

    Exactly which version of Iometer are you using these days to run your benchmarks? The latest version at is many years old - or am I looking in the wrong spot? Reply
  • Jphelps2630 - Monday, July 18, 2011 - link

    I'm one of the lucky owners of a Vertex 3 that has the BSOD problems. Just can't get it stable. Besides BSODs, it disappears from the BIOS and corrupts the file system so Windows and Office are trashed a couple of hours after loading. It's been upgraded to the latest 2.09 firmware which didn't help.

    Very disappointing product. Spent a lot of money and it just doesn't work. Waiting for help from OCZ. Will let you know what they say.

    I7 2600k on Asus p8z68 pro, 8gb Corsair RAM, Win7 64
  • DrBungle - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    My config;

    Asus G73
    Core i7 2630
    8GB RAM
    Shipped with 2 X 500GB 7200PRM HDDs

    I pulled the OS drive and replaced it with a Vertex 3. I had stutter issues for the first couple days, that was corrected with 2.09 firmware.

    Since then, I've had over 2 months of problem free computing. Large file transfers, extractions, transcodings and countless hours of Bad Company 2 (in preparation for BF3) with not ONE BSoD or even mild hiccup.

    Am I the only person in the universe who really likes this drive?

    It simply can't be that my notebook computer is somehow magically circumventing some critical flaw with this drive. The term "PEBCAK" comes to mind with a lot of the complaints I hear.

    RTFM. (Read The Forums Man). If you want plug and play simplicity, stick with HDDs. Personally, I like a new challenge every now and then but my Vertex 3 certainly wasn't one of them.
  • umesh - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    In the PC Mark Vantage tests, why is there no trace of the OCZ Vertex 3 240 GB Max IOPS drive at all? Was it not tested or what? Please enlighten me. Reply

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