The last few months have not been easy at OCZ. After long-lasting financial issues, the company filed for bankruptcy on November 27th and a week later Toshiba announced that it will be acquiring the assets for $35 million.

Yesterday OCZ announced that the acquistion has been completed and were finally able to shed some lights to the details of the deal. To my surprise, OCZ will continue to operate as an independent subsidiary and won't be integrated into Toshiba's own SSD team. I'm guessing Toshiba sees financial potential in OCZ and is hence keeping things as they are. The only change aside from the change of ownership is a new brand logo and name: OCZ is now called OCZ Storage Solutions to further emphasize the focus of the company. Last time I heard OCZ was looking for a buyer for its PSU business but it seems they've not found one yet.

Update 1/31: We finally have an official statement regarding warranties.

Update 2/1: OCZ has a buyer for its PSU division and we'll have more details in a couple of weeks. The RAM and cooling divisions have been discontinued a long while ago, though.

Comparison of OCZ's Barefoot 3 Based SSDs
  Vector 150 Vertex 460 Vector Vertex 450
Controller Indilinx Barefoot 3
NAND 19nm Toshiba 19nm Toshiba 25nm IMFT 20nm IMFT
Over-Provisioning 12% 12% 7% 7%
Encryption AES-256 AES-256 N/A AES-256
Endurance 50GB/day for 5 years 20GB/day for 3 years 20GB/day for 5 years 20GB/day for 3 years
Warranty 5 years 3 years 5 years 3 years

The Vertex 460 resembles OCZ's flagship Vector 150 a lot. In terms of hardware the only difference between the two is that the Barefoot 3 controller in the Vertex 460 is slightly lower clocked than the one in Vector 150. The Barefoot 3 in the Vector 150 runs at 397MHz while in the Vertex 460 it's clocked at 352MHz. The speed of the controller isn't proportional to the overall performance but there are scenarios (like intensive read/write workloads) where a faster controller will help.

Both drives actually use exactly the same NAND (identical part numbers) but each Vector 150 goes through more testing and validation cycles to make sure the higher endurance criteria is met. Even though the NAND should be the same in both drives, bear in mind that endurance specifications are always minimums -- one part can be more durable than the other as long as both meet spec. By doing additional validation, OCZ is able to pick the highest endurance parts and use them in the Vector 150, whereas lower quality chips (but good enough to meet the mainstream endurance requirements) end up in the Vertex 460. 

The choice of identical NAND in both models is indeed odd but I'm guessing that Toshiba had a hand in this. The Vertex 450 used Micron's NAND but obviously Toshiba doesn't want to use a competitor's NAND in their products, hence the Vertex 450 is replaced with the 460 and Toshiba NAND.

OCZ Vertex 460 Specifications
Capacity 120GB 240GB 480GB
Sequential Read 530MB/s 540MB/s 545MB/s
Sequential Write 420MB/s 525MB/s 525MB/s
4KB Random Read 80K IOPS 85K IOPS 95K IOPS
4KB Random Write 90K IOPS 90K IOPS 90K IOPS
Steady-State 4KB Random Write 12K IOPS 21K IOPS 23K IOPS

Similar to the Vector 150, the Vertex 460 switches to 12% over-provisioning. This seems to be an industry wide trend and to be honest I'm happy with that. The few percents extra makes a huge difference in terms of IO consistency, which in the end accounts for a better user experience. 

Test System

CPU Intel Core i5-2500K running at 3.3GHz (Turbo and EIST enabled)
Motherboard AsRock Z68 Pro3
Chipset Intel Z68
Chipset Drivers Intel + Intel RST 10.2
Memory G.Skill RipjawsX DDR3-1600 4 x 8GB (9-9-9-24)
Video Card Palit GeForce GTX 770 JetStream 2GB GDDR5 (1150MHz core clock; 3505MHz GDDR5 effective)
Video Drivers NVIDIA GeForce 332.21 WHQL
Desktop Resolution 1920 x 1080
OS Windows 7 x64

Thanks to G.Skill for the RipjawsX 32GB DDR3 DRAM kit

Performance Consistency & TRIM Validation
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  • melgross - Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - link

    This site is obsessed with this company. There are so many manufacturers, and so many drives, but they keep coming back to OCZ.
  • Kristian Vättö - Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - link

    Is there a manufacturer or drive we've missed? We don't favour any OEM over another and if there's a new product we'll review it.

    However, a lot depends on the company's PR. OCZ has always been good at this as they approach us and provide samples under NDA prior to the launch, so the review process is smooth for us. Some companies are fairly poor at this as we always have to approach the OEM after the launch to get a sample at all.
  • GrizzledYoungMan - Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - link

    Since you asked, there are some SSD-related reviews I'd love to see from Anandtech:

    1. The Sandisk X210. It promises Extreme II performance with many of the reliability features of an enterprise drive and excellent pricing.
    2. 'Hybrid' RAID 5 or RAID 6 configurations, with caching software such as LSI's Cachecade 2.0 or Adaptec's I-can't-remember-right-now. I've been specc'ing out such a system and found it startling how little in-depth, useful information there is out there about what sort of SSDs are appropriate (and why) and what configurations yield good price/performance outcomes.
    3. Along those lines, I'd really like to see how enterprise SSDs you've tested like the Intel DC S3500 perform in your client testing environment. It feels like your enterprise SSD testing is woefully truncated on the false assumption that no one would use enterprise SSDs in a client/workstation setting. Testing those drives more thoroughly would seem to be a much better use of your time than testing the Nth variation of whatever OCZ drive came out this week.

    I hope you find this comment helpful, it's intended as constructive criticism. Still love the site!
  • Kristian Vättö - Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - link

    This is definitely helpful. In the end we do this for you, our readers, not four ourselves or manufacturers :)

    1 and 3 should definitely be possible and 2 very likely too (as long as LSI/Adaptec can deliver us the samples). I'll do my best!
  • GrizzledYoungMan - Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - link

    Awesome! Looking forward to reading those reviews.

    A recommendation regarding which LSI controller to choose: go for the 9271-8i. At this point, it's the natural choice for most new system builders because it offers better performance (and Fastpath enabled by default) as the 9266 or 9261 for roughly the same price.

    Also, if LSI gives you any trouble about providing samples, just tell 'em that some random guy from the internet who calls himself grizzledyoungman wants to see that review. Should do the trick.
  • romrunning - Thursday, January 23, 2014 - link

    1) I also would like to see more tests of SSDs in RAID arrays (RAID-5/6/10 - not just 0/1).
    2) I would love to see some enterprise controllers tested like the Adaptec ASR-72405 and ASR-8885.
    3) In addition to that, let's test more enterprise SSDs (like HGST's SSD800MM and the DC3700).
    4) For SMBs who want to build a fast server with awesome I/O, it would be good to see how these SSDs perform in a database server or as a virtual host server.
  • lever_age - Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - link

    Yeah, when products don't get reviewed, it's usually time to start bugging the company PR teams. The bigger and reputable sites have enough work already reviewing the stuff that gets sent to them by the brands that do have their acts together (and want things reviewed).
  • JDG1980 - Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - link

    I don't think it's good practice to rely upon free review samples. How do you know the company isn't cherry-picking? I believe it would be best to do what Consumer Reports does with all the items it tests: buy anonymously off-the-shelf.
  • blanarahul - Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - link

    Cherry picking MLC SSDs affects performance? That's new. Or maybe, you are wrong.
  • chrnochime - Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - link

    How is cherry picking NOT useful for better test results? That's what the definition of cherry picking is. Sounds like you either are ignorant of that fact or are defending OCZ for whatever reason.

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