OCZ Vertex, 60 GB
The Vertex series is known for being the first SSDs from OCZ to feature the Indilinx controller. They are not going to leave the scene yet, so we will compare them with the newcomers. The 60GB model is declared to have a read speed up to 230 MBps and a write speed up to 80 MBps. The larger-capacity products are promised to deliver 250 MBps at reading and 180 MBps at writing. Interestingly, the 60 and 120GB models have somewhat lower write speeds than the 30 and 90GB ones, respectively.
OCZ Vertex 2, 120 GB
Every new SSD controller is met with lots of rumors and discussions, especially if it is declared to have high speed specs. The SandForce controllers are just like that. Our Vertex 2 is based on the SF-1200. The other SandForce chip, SF-1500, is similar in design but is meant for corporate applications. Thus, it supports not only MLC but also SLC chips and, supposedly, has twice the number of memory access channels (16 rather than 8). Both controllers represent a fundamentally new design which lacks any cache memory (we mean external cache because the controller chip has an integrated cache but its capacity is not declared). The developer claims that the controller is far more tolerant to data loss than the opponents. Unfortunately, the details are not revealed although the controller seems to write data with redundancy encoding. Anyway, extra protection is always welcome. OCZ declares an MTBF of 2 million hours for the Vertex 2 series which is twice the MTBF of the other drives.
The downside of this controller is that it needs more flash memory for its housekeeping purposes. While most controllers need a reserve of 6.5% of the total capacity (this is why we have storage capacities of 30, 60, 120 gigabytes although the total capacity of the flash memory chips in them is 32, 64, 128 gigabytes), the basic line of storage capacities in this case goes like 50-100-200-400 gigabytes. It is easy to calculate the capacity loss, which equals 25%. After releasing such early models based on this controller, the manufacturers quickly offered 60-120-240-480GB products in which some of the capacity was returned to users at the (hopefully, reasonable) expense of reliability.
So, the 120GB OCZ Vertex 2 is specified to have a peak read speed of 285 MBps and a peak write speed of 275 MBps. Its sustained write speed is 250 MBps. Interestingly, the larger-capacity models are declared to have lower rather than higher speeds: 250, 240 and 200 MBps, respectively. Like every other modern SSD, this one supports TRIM (it has become a standard feature of all new controllers). OCZ puts a special emphasis on the fact that the firmware of this SSD is optimized for maximum performance in terms of operations per second.
This SSD seems to have firmware version 1.00.
OCZ Vertex Turbo, 30 GB
The 30GB Vertex Turbo is the last product on our list. It differs from the Vertex series in the clock rate of its cache memory, which is 180 MHz. We could not see an effect of this overclocking before, but perhaps things are different now with new and optimized firmware? This model is specified to have a read speed of 240 MBps and a write speed of 145 MBps. The sustained write speed is 100 MBps. These are the specs of our model whereas its 120GB cousin is declared to deliver 270, 200 and 120 MBps, respectively.