The Vertex 2

With the Agility 2 and Vertex 2 drives, OCZ has completely abandoned Indilinx in the high end MLC space. While Indilnx’s JetStream controller is still expected sometime this year, OCZ has clearly aligned with SandForce for the immediate future of its high end SSDs.

The Agility 2 we recently reviewed uses a standard SF-1200 controller and firmware. The Vertex 2 uses the same controller, but ships with a different (allegedly OCZ exclusive) firmware that enables higher small file random write speeds. This is a mass production firmware revision (based on 3.0.5) and is officially sanctioned by SandForce.

The drives carry a small price premium over OCZ’s Agility 2 line:

OCZ SandForce Drive Pricing (MSRP)
  50GB 100GB 200GB
OCZ Agility 2 $204.99 $379.99 $719.99
OCZ Vertex 2 $219.99 $399.99 $769.99

In theory, the Vertex 2 should be the fastest SF-1200 on the market. However, Corsair’s Force F100 offers similar performance. The trick is in the firmware. Corsair ships its drives with SandForce’s release candidate firmware (3.0.1), which has the higher small file random write performance. In order to work around a known issue with that firmware, Corsair disables a power saving state that results in slightly higher power consumption from the Force F100.

I’ve been using both drives and so far, they both work fine. But if you want the performance and to stick with SandForce’s MP firmware, the Vertex 2 is apparently the only solution for now.

Introduction Starting with the Differences: Power Consumption
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  • marraco - Thursday, April 29, 2010 - link

    The data compression accelerates the writing speed, but, the question is:

    The OS still considers that the non written space is occupied?

    Or the compression releases the non used space?

    I suspect that the unused space is marked anyways as used space, but I would like a confirmation.
  • TheHolmes - Thursday, April 29, 2010 - link

    If Sandforce is largely about writing fewer bits to the NAND flash, wouldn't it also follow that turning on OS level compression would also work as well?

    Also, I'd be interested to know if using OS striping is ok with TRIM, as there aren't any controllers out there that work with TRIM when SSDs are striped.
  • cyrexo - Friday, April 30, 2010 - link

    Hey Anand,

    have you put a Sandforce based disk into a mabook and let it running only on OSX?

    Can you say something about speeddrops without Trim or does the build in "gc" wich isn't "gc" can handle it accurate?

    i get my hands on a new I7 macbook and want to put a sdd into but i don't know if i should go for the old intels, use the new sandforce or wait some moths to see what intel does and how stable sandforce is without trim.
  • 529th - Tuesday, September 28, 2010 - link

    What is the verdict with these Vertex 2 100g SSD drives???

    Because I just got one in the mail from OCZ as a replacement for my dead Vertex LE 100G SF1500

    Anand, care to comment as they have been in your desktop for ~ 5 months now.. or anyone who owns one???



    p.s. i am considering a main rig install with this, booting out my ever reliable 150g 1st gen Raptor...

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