OCZ Vertex 2 120GB £264
17th Aug 2010 | 10:31
Another Sandforce controlled drive is born
OCZ Vertex 2 120GB - Overview
OCZ's latest iteration of the Vertex 2 comes with another 20GB of space from a new Sandforce update.
You know how it is. You wait for one genre defining new bit of kit to come along, and suddenly three appear at once. OCZ's Vertex 2 arrived in the TechRadar labs armed with a new controller chip that promises to revolutionise SSD behaviour, only to be followed rapidly by Corsair's Force F100 and OCZ's own Agility 2.
Both of which also boast the same advanced controller that promises to revolutionise... well, you get the idea.
The controller in question is Sandforce's SF-1200.
It's different because of the way it handles write instructions to the drive pages. In most SSDs, writing data is slowed down because the controller needs to erase information already in the target page, a technical hangover from traditional drive management.
The SF-1200, however, makes heavy use of the TRIM technology built into Windows 7 to make clear out old data well ahead of any write operation.
Drives like the Vertex 2 should therefore be unleashed when it comes to recording information.
As far as OCZ's duo of drives based on the SF-1200 go, the Vertex 2 claims an advantage over the Agility 2 in the number of input/output operations per second (IOPS) it can handle: some 50,000 compared to 10,000 for the Agility 2.
That's a lot of IOPS in its favour, does it make a difference in real world performance?
OCZ Vertex 2 120GB - Benchmarks
The tests here give a good indicator of overall drive performance.
The key one is the AS SSD 4K random write test which measures the performance of writing many small files simultaneously. Real world performance isn't as profoundly different as this, but it's an insight into exactly where the SF-1200's strength is.
Maximum sequential read/write speeds
Average read/write speeds
4K random writes
OCZ Vertex 2 120GB - Overview
The benchmarks bear out the Vertex 2's performance claims well.
It's exceptionally more powerful than existing SSDs when it comes to write operations, coming close to maxing out the 3Gb/s bandwidth of the SATA II interface in both directions in the ATTO tests.
It's also got the edge over the Agility 2. That's important, because there's no major price difference between the two different OCZ drives at the moment.
There's only one caveat, and that's with the size of drive that we tested.
An equally sized Kingston V+ at almost £100 less is cheap enough that the real world performance difference won't even factor into a buying decision.
The V+ is plenty fast enough for normal desktop use and gaming, and unless you're setting up a high performance webserver or doing a lot of HD video editing there's no need to splash out.
The sweet spot for SSDs right now, though, is between 60GB and 80GB.
That's enough to turbo charge your operating system and one or two games, while the rest of your data can be dumped on a separate HDD without any real performance penalty.
At that size, the OCZ Vertex 2 is the winner on all counts, performance and value, and the only choice you should make.
OCZ's Vertex 2 is an outstanding drive on almost all counts whether its performance or value for money that you're after.
But unless you're setting up a dedicated multimedia workstation for cutting your first HD feature, you should probably save your money and opt for the 60GB version instead. And trust us, you'll be very, very happy with your choice.
Excellent performance and value, even if the smart money is on the 60GB version.