OCZ's Vertex 2 Pro Preview: The Fastest MLC SSD We've Ever Testedby Anand Lal Shimpi on December 31, 2009 12:00 AM EST
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SandForce started work on its controllers back in 2007. The late start meant a late arrival to the party. Even today we’re looking at another 1 - 3 months before we see widespread availability of SSDs based on the SF-1200 or SF-1500. I guess it’s more fashionably late than anything else, because this thing is good.
The OCZ Vertex 2 Pro is the fastest single-controller MLC SSD I’ve ever tested, and it’s not even running final firmware. It’s quite telling that SandForce decided to make its first public showing with OCZ. Perhaps all of the initial hard work with Indilinx in the Vertex days paid off.
The controller and product both look very good. The only concern for the majority of users seems to be price. For the enterprise market I doubt it’ll be much of an issue. The Vertex 2 Pro should come in cheaper than Intel’s X25-E in a cost per GB sense, but for high end desktop and notebook users it may be a tough pill to swallow. Especially for a controller whose reliability will only be proven over time. I’m curious to see what the cheaper SF-1200 based SSDs will perform like. I’m hearing that they offer the same sequential read/write speed, but have lower random write performance.
OCZ says they will continue to work with Indilinx to bring out new products based on its controllers. SandForce simply adds to the stack.
Then there's Intel. Current roadmaps put the next generation of Intel SSDs out in Q4 2010, although Intel tells me it will be a "mid-year" refresh. For the mainstream market the capacities are 160GB, 300GB and 600GB. I'm guessing we'll see 160GB down at $225, 600GB at $500+ and the 300GB drive somewhere in between. The X25-E also gets a much needed upgrade with 100GB, 200GB and 400GB capacities.
Competition is a good thing. We need companies to not only keep Intel aggressive on price, but competitive on features as well. Indilinx did the former and it looks like SandForce is going to do the latter.