OCZ Vertex 4 256GB SSD drive review
Inconsistent benchmark results are matched with a high price; we can't recommend this one
OCZ might be pushing its Vector and its home-made controller, as its current enthusiast drive of choice, but that doesn't mean its older products are worth overlooking. The Vertex 4, with its powerful specification, is at the front of the queue.
It's based around the Indilinx Everest 2 which, under the hood, is actually made from Marvell silicon - it's the 9187, which is a beefier version of the 9175 chip used by SanDisk in its Ultra Plus. The controller is partnered by 25nm MLC NAND which, while not groundbreaking, is certainly reliable - it's also used in OCZ's excellent Vector drive.
It sounds like a recipe for success, but the controller and NAND chips showed their age in our benchmarks. Only the Corsair delivered slower AS SSD sequential read and write results than the 457MB/s and 464MB/s pace of the Vertex, and it returned mixed scores in the 4KB read and write tests: its read pace of 30MB/s is poor, but its write score of 130MB/s is the fastest here - a surprising turn of speed from this older SSD.
The Vertex's success was short lived, however; it returned to the bottom half of our results table in the CrystalDiskMark tests. Its sequential read pace of 486MB/s is at the bottom of the heap, its 468MB/s sequential write pace is similarly disappointing, and it fell behind in most of the app's other tests too. Only in the 4KB write benchmark, again, did the OCZ excel: its 161MB/s score is the best on test.
The Vertex continued this pattern in ATTO Disk Benchmark. Its minimum write pace of 61MB/s is second only to the Samsung drive, but its minimum read score of 4MB/s is the worst here. It's unable to pick up the pace elsewhere: its peak read and write scores of 546MB/s and 471MB/s are mid-table, and its average read and write results of 320MB/s and 388MB/s are among the worst here.
Like the Vector, OCZ furnishes the Vertex with a generous five-year warranty, and this drive also comes with a 2.5"-to-3.5" bracket, so it can be installed into a PC straight away. It also shares its chunky 9.5mm form factor with the newer OCZ drive, and that means this drive can't be installed into slimline laptops.
The OCZ drive has a surprising turn of speed when it's writing small files, then, but it's unable to keep up this level of pace elsewhere: its small file read results are among the worst here, and it can't match the table-topping Samsung for sequential read or writes.
It's expensive too, at £176, or 74p-per-gigabyte. We'd happily recommend the OCZ if it was competing with the SanDisk at the checkout, but it's lining up against the world's best - and it's just not fast enough.