OCZ Vertex 4 solid-state drive

This SSD is fast, but it’s also good value -- apart from the lowest capacity model

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OCZ Vertex 4
  • OCZ Vertex 4
  • OCZ Vertex 4
  • OCZ Vertex 4

Pros

  • Excellent read and write speeds
  • Good value for mid-capacity drives

Cons

  • Only higher capacity models are fastest
  • Lowest capacity 64GB model is comparatively slow

Bottom Line

OCZ’s premium solid-state drive would make an excellent upgrade for any notebook or PC running a spinning-disk hard drive. Super-fast flash storage and a carefully designed controller makes for a drive that’s a great performer for both reads and writes.

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OCZ is a flash memory company, with a solid history in enthusiast-level RAM since 2002. It’s since moved out of the RAM market, but has a great reputation for producing some of the best solid-state storage drives and USB flash drives available.

The Vertex 4 is the company’s mainstream, high-performance solid-state drive. It’s available in 64GB, 128GB, 256GB and 512GB un-formatted capacities, although formatted capacities will obviously be slightly lower. We tested a 128GB Vertex 4.

OCZ Vertex 4: Design, setup, and specifications

The Vertex 4 is a standard-size 2.5-inch drive, measuring 9.3mm thick, so it should fit in most non-Ultrabook notebooks as well as any desktop PC (it comes with a 3.5-inch desktop drive adapter).

Its performance figures do seem to aim it at the enthusiast-level, custom-built desktop PC, though, and as a result its price is slightly higher than you’d expect from a drop-in mainstream hard drive replacement.

The drive is a no-nonsense black, dark brushed metal on some surfaces. There’s a sticker that tells you the brand, model and capacity, and the requisite SATA and power connectors, and that’s it. No fancy aesthetic dalliances, just a black box that’s packed to the brim with high-end flash memory chips.

The OCZ Vertex 4 is a SATA III drive, although it’s fully backward compliant with SATA II as well. Being an SSD it’s got extremely low power requirements — 2.5W during operation and 1.3W while idling — so it’s much more efficient than a traditional hard drive.

OCZ Vertex 4: Performance

As the middling drive in storage capacity, the 128GB model is also middle of the pack in its quoted performance figures. OCZ claims sequential read and write speeds of up to 560MB/s and 430MB/s respectively, while the lesser 64GB makes more conservative claims at 460/220 and the higher-end 256GB and 512GB models are rated to 560/510. IOPS performance is identical between 128GB, 256GB and 512GB models but the 64GB lags behind again.

This is an interesting situation, since it clearly positions the more expensive and higher capacity drives as the ones to choose for maximum performance in a high-end system. If you don’t have the money, though, you’re forced to put up with (slightly) lesser performance. We wouldn’t choose the 64GB model, while the 256GB model offers the best price/performance figures with the 128GB trailing closely behind.

In our CrystalDiskMark benchmarks, we recorded performance figures of 508MBps and 317MBps for sequential read and write using 1GB data blocks, and HD Tune gave us an average transfer rate of 220MBps and 175MBps read/write. The SSD-optimised ATTO disk benchmark returned best-case figures of 542MBps and 208MBps read/write — excellent performance from a drive that generally bests the Crucial M4 256GB SSD.

OCZ Vertex 4: Conclusion

THe OCZ Vertex 4 can be found in online stores both locally and internationally for a reasonably small price premium over competitor drives like the aforementioned Crucial M4, and we think this price premium is worth paying to get noticeably increased performance.

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Richard Hurst

1

And note the 5 year guarantee. I've just put the 128Gb in my 2010 white macbook and its performance now matches (for all practical purposes) my 2011 macbook air that I bought to replace it. The SSD was a lot cheaper than the macbook air - not sure whether to be delighted or not!

Poita

2

I have a M4 in my 2007 white macbook and it feels the same as my 2011 Macbook Air performance wise. I got the M4 after my OCZ Vertex3 died. They replaced it under warranty but I needed a drive that day so bought a Crucial M4.
The new OCZ will be going into my kids old acer.
Best value upgrade for old laptops I reckon, makes a 5 yr old laptop feel faster than a 2012 model.

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