TRIM Performance

I started out this review with a mention of estimated write amplification and how OCZ was able to significantly reduce it with the Vertex 4/Everest 2 compared to Octane/Everest 1. By reducing write amplification, OCZ should have also significantly improved worst case write performance when TRIM isn't available or before it's able to act.

To find out, I wrote sequential data across all user addressable LBAs and then wrote random data (4KB, QD=32) for 20 minutes across all LBAs. Finally I used HDTach to give me a simple visualization of write performance across all available LBAs (aka the Malventano Method):

This is a huge improvement over what we saw with the Octane. Behavior here isn't quite what we see with Intel's controllers, but again it's a huge step above what we saw in the previous generation.

The Vertex 4 does support idle time garbage collection, but at very low priority. The drive must be idle for at least an hour for the background GC to kick in. I'm glad to see that OCZ has taken a more conservative route here as I've never been a huge fan of idle time garbage collection to begin with.

If you don't leave the drive alone long enough to trigger the idle GC, as soon as 85% of the blocks on the drive are used up the Vertex 4 will automatically trigger its garbage collection algorithms. This is more of what I'd like to see, however I'd prefer it even more if OCZ lowered the limits of when it would start recycling blocks in order to try and maintain good performance under heavily fragmented conditions.

TRIM is alive and well on the drive – a single TRIM pass is able to restore performance to new:

PCMark 7 Power Consumption
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  • ViviTheMage - Wednesday, April 4, 2012 - link

    mmmmmm, iops. Reply
  • LB-ID - Wednesday, April 4, 2012 - link

    It's still a drive from OCZ, a company that has repeatedly and blatantly used its customer base as unpaid beta testers, and lambasted them when they dared to complain about it. No thank you. The fastest drive in the world is of no use to me if it's causing my computer to BSOD constantly. I'll be spending my money and that of my many clients on drives with proven track records for reliability and excellent customer service, both sadly lacking in OCZ products. Reply
  • hackztor - Wednesday, April 4, 2012 - link

    Ocz is the only one that actually got to the bottom of the bsod screen on sandforce. In the end it was sandforce fault because they made the controller. All the other companies waited and then used the fix. Intel is the exception who waited a whole year before releasing them to validate but they still use sandforce controllers. Vertex4 is the 1st time that ocz now owns the controller and firmware that goes into the product. I hope this will prove to be better and have quicker fixes. Ocz is always the first to release the technology so expect some issues, but thats what people take for early adopting. I had 5 vertex 1 die on me and then they upgraded me to a vertex2. Just purchased the 4 so hope all goes well. Reply
  • taltamir - Wednesday, April 4, 2012 - link

    "Ocz is the only one that actually got to the bottom of the bsod screen on sandforce."

    Actually that was intel.
    Reply
  • hackztor - Wednesday, April 4, 2012 - link

    Not true. Ocz pushed sandforce to finally find the issue based on what the users were telling ocz while sandforce kept trying to deny the issue and could not find it in a lab environment. If you see further down I said intel waited a year with validation going on. Reply
  • breakSSD - Thursday, April 5, 2012 - link

    You have no idea about ssd validation if you think Ocz pushed sandforce for BSOD.The fact is that Intel found this and kept sandforce busy with fixing the issue while ocz even though knowing the issue release agility 3. Anyways doesn't matter who takes the credit, people know where to go when it comes to reliability. Reply
  • iceman98343 - Friday, April 6, 2012 - link

    you do realize intel 520s are now getting bsods?! Reply
  • Obsoleet - Saturday, April 7, 2012 - link

    You go to Samsung for reliability. Iceman is correct, word is spreading of more 520 stability issues. If you want the fastest, most reliable SSD get the 830 as Anand recommends. Reply
  • Einy0 - Saturday, April 7, 2012 - link

    At work we have deployed about 50 - 80GB Intel 320 Series Drives and so far nearly 60 - 64GB Samsung 830 Drives. The Samsung drives are screamers but we've seen a lot of strange issues with the Samsung drives that we never had with the Intel drives. We have not had a single drive from either company fail or come DOA. That amazes me personally, not a single dud. We've literally had dozens of faculty members come ask us what we did to their computer that made it so fast all of a sudden. The issues we've had with the Samsung drives about 1 in 10 causes Windows mini-setup to freeze. We re-image the drive again it works just fine. We are thinking maybe the compatibility with some SATA controllers isn't as robust on the Samsung drives as it is on the Intel drives. Reply
  • gandx - Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - link

    Or choose a SSD with a marvell controller like the Corsair Performance Pro or Plextor M3P. Both are fast and stable. I would never choose a SSD with sandforce again after using a vertex 3 for a while with lot or problems and i'm obviously not the only one. Reply

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