OCZ Vector SSD review
A high-performance solid state drive that's aimed at gamers and professionals
- Fast overall performance
- Comes with 3.5in mounting kit
- Gaming bundle
- 5-year warranty
- Slightly heavy drive for a notebook
OCZ's Vector drive is a worthy upgrade for anyone who wants to give their laptop or PC a major speed boost. It was very quick in our tests, both when it came to booting the system and reading and writing sequential data, and we think it's great value overall, especially considering that it comes with a game bundle. The only downside for us is that it's a little too heavy.
Price$ 275.00 (AUD)
OCZ's Vector solid state drive (SSD) is a high-performance model that's aimed at high-end consumer and workstation users. It comes in a 2.5in form factor that's suitable for installation either in a desktop or a notebook — it comes with a 3.5in drive bay mounting kit for the former scenario, while the drive's 7mm thick allows it to fit in most notebooks — and it's a solid unit that's housed in an alloy enclosure.
The interface on this drive is SATA III (6 gigabits per second) and it has memory chips that are based on multi-level cell (MLC) technology. MLC is the favoured technology for consumer solid state drives that are to be used in high-density applications and the Vector is available in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB capacities. We looked at the 256GB drive, which has a formatted capacity of 238GB. At a cost of around $275 from many online tech stores (not including delivery or other charges), that gives the 256GB Vector a cost per formatted gigabyte of $1.15, which is a little better than a speed-comparable Intel 520 Series SSD of the same capacity, for example.
The Vector relies on an Indilinx Barefoot 3 controller, rather than the SandForce 3 that we've seen on other recent drives, such as the OCZ Vertex 3 LP and the Intel 335 Series. The TRIM command is supported, which tells the SSD which data is no longer needed, and background garbage collection is supported, too, which is a feature that allows the SSD to consolidate blocks of data sequentially in a bid to keep the overall performance of the drive optimal.
In our tests, the Vector showed that it is indeed a very quick drive. It put up solid sequential read and write rates in CrystalDiskMark of 484 megabytes per second (MBps) and 494MBps, respectively. Its random read and write performance was very quick at 391MBps and 466MBps, respectively, for 512KB data, and 23MBps and 49MBps for 4K data. These are the fastest numbers we've seen from a single drive in this benchmark, and they lend credence to the application usage models that OCZ has designed it for, which are mainly gaming and high-end productivity applications. The fast results were backed up in our file duplication test, in which is averaged a blistering pace of 212MBps. That's much faster than the Intel and Vertex drives that we've tested in the same system.
Importantly, the drive felt very fast during everyday usage in our test laptop, a Dell Latitude E6420. A cold system boot-up time took only 20sec with a clean installation of Windows 7 (64-bit), which is 20 seconds faster than the boot-up time this laptop usually puts up with its stock WD Scorpio hard drive, and up to 8 seconds faster than the Intel 335 Series and OCZ Vertex 3 LP drives that we've also tested in this laptop. As far as power usage is concerned, the Vector isn't as good as those drives. In our battery test, in which we disable power management, enable Wi-Fi, maximise screen brightness and loop an Xvid-encoded video, the Vector lasted 3hr 14min, which is 3min less than the Vertex 3 LP and 7min less than the Intel 335 Series. However, it's still 10min better than what the laptop got with its mechanical drive.
The other benefits of this drive should be clear, especially if its usage is to be inside a laptop: it will run silently, it won't cause vibration and it will not put out as much heat as a mechanical drive. It's a great drive to go for if you're after a high-performance upgrade for your notebook, but it should also be considered if you want a fast system drive for your desktop PC. It comes with a metal plate that allows it to be installed easily and securely in a 3.5in drive bay. The only downside for laptop users is that it is slightly heavier than other drives we have seen because it has such a solid enclosure — at 115g, it's 5g heavier than the 500GB WD Scorpio mechanical drive that we replaced in our test laptop.
For gamers, there is an extra incentive to purchase this drive. Until 14 July 2013, users who purchase a 128GB, 256GB or 512GB Vector drive will be able to take advantage of a Far Cry 3 bundle. More information on this can be found on OCZ's Web site. It makes this drive better value for money, especially if you had an intention of buying that game at a latter date.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Lexar® Portable SSD
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Huawei Mate 9
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Acer Swift 7
Google Daydream VR headset
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Surface Pro 4
HP Pavilion x360 13”
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 HTC U Ultra phone full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Venom Blackbook Zero 14 laptop review
Latest News Articles
- New, colourful LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt USB-C was designed by Neil Poulton
- Western Digital begins production of the world's tallest 3D NAND 'skyscraper'
- WD will make a record-breaking 14TB hard drive available next year
- Start hoarding SSDs: Prices are expected to spike as supply gets tight
- Intel's silence on Optane SSDs raises questions about launch and focus
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- LG G6: unboxing, hands on review and detail shots
- Samsung Galaxy A5 2017: unboxing, hands on review and detail shots
- And the 2017 winner of the Formula 1 Best Pit Lane Boom Gantry is...
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- FTProcess Documentation AnalystNSW
- FT.Net DeveloperNSW
- FTApplication Support LeadQLD
- CCFrom Security Operations to Technical Business Analyst, make the move now!NSW
- FTApplication Team Lead - ERP & Microsoft TechnologiesNSW
- FTCCTV Sales & SupportNSW
- FTDeployment Manager | ContractVIC
- CCITCM EngineerNSW
- FTNBN Sales Consultant / Account ManagersSA
- FTCyber Security - Technical SpecialistACT
- CCProcess Assurance LeadNSW
- CCPMO Analyst - Financial ServicesNSW
- FTL&D Manager, Transformation Program in Finance ServicesNSW
- TPDigital Business AnalystNSW
- CCInfosphere ConsultantACT
- FTReporting Analyst - HR / PayrollNSW
- FTDevops EngineerVIC
- CCAutomation TesterQLD
- FTSenior Infrastructure Business AnalystVIC
- FTSOE EngineerQLD
- CCData AnalystNSW
- FTJunior Applications SupportVIC
- TPSAP Data Migration LeadQLD
- CCSenior Full Stack Web Developer - Port MacquarieNSW