Articles: Storage

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Toshiba has finished its acquisition of OCZ Technology, saving the latter from bankruptcy and being sold out in parts. It means that OCZ's solid state drive business, which was the company's source of growth at first but eventually led it to the bitter end, will keep on running. Moreover, the new owner doesn't seem to be willing to introduce any changes into OCZ's operation, so OCZ will keep its trademark, personnel, distribution and service networks, etc. Its R&D activities related to new products are not discontinued, either. Toshiba acts as a powerful ally and partner who is interested in making OCZ's business flourish. That's why we are really looking forward to good news. Working under Toshiba's aegis, OCZ has a chance to become a very strong player on the SSD market. Its portfolio of Indilinx controllers and technologies is now complemented with the nearly infinite source of state-of-the-art flash memory it can acquire from its parent company.

Still, the new status has provoked some changes. Besides the updated logo and name (it's OCZ Storage Solutions now), they are related to the model range. For the last few years OCZ has been using a lot of Micron flash memory in its SSDs which, by the way, was one of the reasons for OCZ’s financial troubles. Micron didn’t offer its memory at attractive prices and occasionally even failed to deliver it in time, provoking a shortage of OCZ-branded SSDs on the market. Unfortunately for OCZ, it couldn’t find another partner without losing its independent status, which is not a surprise considering the overall deficit of flash memory. But now these troubles are a thing of the past as all of OCZ products are being quickly modified to use Toshiba’s flash memory.

Well, the transition doesn’t seem to be a trivial task. OCZ SSDs used to be equipped with flash memory with ONFI interface whereas Toshiba, together with Samsung and SanDisk, has been promoting the alternative Toggle Mode interface. So every SSD platform from OCZ needs some adaptation, at least on the firmware level. The good news is that as part of its business optimization OCZ had removed all entry-level products from its model range, so there remained but two up-to-date consumer-class models: Vector and Vertex 450. Thus, the new Vector 150 and Vertex 460 drives are in fact the same two models adapted for Toshiba’s flash memory.

OCZ’s modern SSDs are all based on the Indilinx Barefoot 3 controller, so both SSD models were adapted in the same way, but the flagship Vector 150 came to the market first, even before OCZ's deal with Toshiba. The Vertex 460 was announced when OCZ Technology had already changed its name into OCZ Storage Solutions. Anyway, the two products are very similar, so we are going to discuss them both together in this review. We've got 240GB versions of both SSDs.

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