The last words in the introduction where 'the gift that keeps on giving ?' Yeah, it seems that way. The new 1.5 Firmware update again brings a performance increase towards this SSD. I like to use the words 'grosso modo' though as not everywhere we see the same behavior. So overall the peak performance did increase, but a bit unexpectedly we have noticed some dips as well, especially read performance in HDTune and HDtach. Overall the read performance of this SSD definitely improved though.
Most other tests show decent and measurable performance increases throughout the board. And that is interesting to observe -- it also proves how ridiculously important firmware tweaking apparently is.
The firmware update uses a non destructive flash method, meaning you can upgrade the firmware without loosing your data. Please do make sure you read up on things as when you migrate from an older version the flash sequence must be done two times (repeat the process until you reach FW 1.5). A non destructive flash, regardless of that we like to advise that you always make yourself a backup drive clone with software like Acronis True Image to be sure. We did flash this drive without loss of data though.
If you come from the 1.4 firmware you need to consider whether it is worth taking a risk as overall the performance increases are there, but in real world usage you'd probably never even notice them as these are small tiny steps.
Good to know is that right now SSD prices a dropping hard. A Vertex 4 128GB can be picked up for 115 EUR already, the 256GB model as tested in this review costs 230 EUR -- that's right ... that's 90 cents per gigabyte. That was 1.30~1.40 EUR per GB when it launched folks.
Hopefully you can find that a price that is acceptable for you. We end this article with the words we always say, an SSD is the best upgrade a modern PC can use, your operating system flies, there are no waits which you normally have with an HDD, there's no noise and hardly any power consumption.
So concluding then, a lot of the performance issues we noticed with the original release of Vertex 4 have been squashed for the biggest part with the 1.4, the new 1.5 firmware update again adds performance, the numbers definitely back that up. It however is not a huge step forward in the sense that v1.4 was really. Let me also state that stability is aa huge plus, as to date I have not seen any complaints from end users like say the SandForce issues from earlier this year. Reliability is everything and the Vertex 4 definitely seems to be incredibly stable.
With current price levels versus the performance numbers compared to what they where with the initial launch, you might consider purchasing an SSD and make that move forwards. We can certainly recommend it as I start to like the Vertex 4 products more and more.
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