Article - Guide
The all new OCZ Vector 150 - not just fast - extremely longlasting as well
OCZ is updating their Vector series SSD with the all new Vector 150. It’s based on the Indilinx Barefoot 3 controller and we’ll test the 240GB NAND flash memory model. The end result is an SSD that is downright fast. This round though speed is not trivial or topic of debate as the purpose of the Vector 150 is not to be extremely fast only, but also extremely reliable.
See performance these days with most of the SATA3 SSDs you really don't have anything to complain anymore. I've stated this a couple of times already, whether your SSD is reading 450 MB/sec or 550 MB/sec, honestly you are not going to notice that. As such the focus should really shift towards a more long-lasting life-span of these products. With Flash NAND memory modules getting smaller and smaller, we also see the program erase cycle (P/E) lifespan being shortened. In the past MLC memory cells could be written like 5000 times before they die and have to move the data towards another proper functioning MLC cell. These days we see 19nm memory being able to write 2500 maybe 3000 P/E cycles before they die. Now, numerous tests already have been showing that it can take 5 years writing 20 GB per day / 365 days a year before such an SSD would slowly die, but still that fact will always be nagging inside your head. This concept has been bothering OCZ as well and they made some design changes for the new Vector 150. Basically a technology called over provisioning is now used to ensure a long lasting lifespan (you guys know this from SandForce products who is over-provisioning it as cache).
So very simply put, out of a 256GB SSD, OCZ now nabs away 16 GB (240GB) and uses it for over-provisioning. The trick here is that whenever a NAND cell reaches its end of life status now the data on that cell will be written towards a cell that you have over provisioned. This way OCZ now claims that their SSD will last 5 times longer / or has 5 times more writes, before it becomes an issue. It is a rather bold statement, but with the Vector 150 OCZ states that you may write 50 GB of data per day / 365 days a year and the drive would still be fine. In our previous models we have always stated that a power user will write perhaps 10 GB a day (which already is a LOT) and then your average 19nm NAND Flash based SSD would last 5 years. Reverse and apply that statement and with 10GB writes day/365 a year the OCZ Vector 150 would last you 25 years at the very least. So yes, while stability and safety of your data have become a number one priority for the manufacturers, the technology keeps advancing in a fast pace as it does, the performance numbers a good SSD offers these days are simply breathtaking. 450 to 500 MB/sec on SATA3 is the norm for a single controller based SSD. Next to that the past year NAND flash memory (the storage memory used inside an SSD) has become much cheaper as well. Prices now roughly settle just under 1 USD per GB. That was two to threefold two years ago. As such SSD technology and NAND storage has gone mainstream. The market is huge, fierce and competitive, but it brought us where we are today ... nice volume SSDs at acceptable prices with very fast performance.
With that said, OCZ today releases their all new Vector 150 series of SSDs based upon the Barefoot 3 controller tied to high performance 19nm Toshiba MLC flash memory. OCZ submitted the Vector 150 240 GB model with impressive specs. The models have sustained read/write levels of 550 MB/sec and 530 MB/sec respectively. And with 4K random write performance estimated at 90~95 IOPS (input/output operations per second) it's launching with the intent to impress alright. Have a peek first, after which we'll dive into the technology behind it and obviously we'll present you a nice phat performance overview.