Final words and conclusion
Final words and conclusion
The Vertex 4 series have a strong basis and leaves me with thirst for some more. Realistically for those on Vertex 3 or for that matter any modern slash proper SATA3 based SSD -- you'll hardly miss out on anything. If anything the Vertex 4 uses the same performance bracket as Vertex 3 with the new firmware.
Once the new 1.4 Firmware will be released to the public, the SSD however will be at the performance level you may expect it to be. We certainly had some reservations when we peeked at the SSD series initially, but yes the v1.4 firmware is going to make a tremendous difference. So once you have v1.4 flashed in there performance to previously tested SSD units for the Vertex 4 SATA3 SSDs simply is really good, admittedly here and there we still noticed offsets in performance compared to the competition, but that was in two tests only.
Some overall recommendations then. Should you be in the market for a SATA3 SSD then we have a couple of hints though, we absolutely prefer the performance of the Intel Series 6 (H67/P67/Z68/X79/Z77) integrated SATA 6G controller over anything else available in the market. If you run an AMD chipset with the added Marvell 6G controller for example, you will see lower performance, make no mistake about that. The Asmedia controllers we spotted lately on motherboards is offering good performance, albeit still 25% slower then Intel. Also make sure you run your drive in AHCI mode, it does make a significant difference.
Prices HDD versus SSD -- well my advice is simple and I'll keep repeating this in each and every SSD conclusion; you probably should stop looking at the Solid State Disk technology as if it were a traditional HDD. We all will be old and grey before the two reach the same prices or top the multiple TB volume storage the HDD offers for less money. Comparing an SSD with an HDD is making a comparison in-between an integrated IGP or a dedicated graphics card, that last one will cost you a heck of a lot more yet you gain incredible overall performance. It is the very same with an SSD, use it as boot drive on Windows and applications and you instantly have removed a huge bottleneck, load and access times. It is a difference in-between night and day (in a proper system). For massive storage like movies, MP3 files and bulky data you do not access on a regular basis, sure that's where the HDD remains the winner.
The science behind this is is simply finding a good combination in-between the two and balance things out. That's where the magic happens. I kid you not, all my test systems and work systems run on SSDs, not once have I considered going back to HDDs. The benefits of a good SSD are simply grand. But that doesn't mean I do not understand the budget and cost dilemma that many of you are facing though. There are still many variables and unknowns regarding life-span.
We stated it with the Octane series reviews already, but the acquisition of Indilinx OCZ was an investment risk for OCZ, honestly we had our concerns. The Octane series already had proven our skepticism wrong, and with the new Vertex 4 series OCZ again confirms it was the right thing to do.
The good thing about the Vertex 4 series is that it remains fairly steady pricing wise, in fact at 1.35 USD per GB it's even slightly cheaper then some other high-end model SSDs. Hopefully you can find it for 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 seem to have been squashed for the biggest part, the numbers now definitely back that up. it seems that the enthusiastic team behind this release maybe rushed the Vertex 4 to the market a little too soon. The new v1.4 update shows how incredibly important it is to have the firmware balanced and tweaked out.
With the new 1.4 update the Everest 2 based SSDs will perform in the upper segment of the SATA3 SSDs of 2012, and that's where it belongs to be.
Alright, it's my free Sunday .. I wanted to show you some numbers on Monday hence this little extra article. Our award stands as it is, a recommended product. We had hoped with the initial release that Firmware updates would solve some of the perf offsets, the new 1.4 Firmware definitely proofs my thesis right, it shows everything the drive was missing out on. In all characteristics it's a completely new and blazing fast SSD.