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OCZ Vertex 4 is undoubtedly a momentous, even epoch-making product for the SSD market at large. And it is not only about its special properties or fantastic performance. The most important thing is that OCZ has joined the club of full-cycle SSD makers that not only solder chips to PCBs and pack them into cases but develop their own controllers and firmware. It took a very short time for OCZ to progress from its tentative Octane to really competitive products falling among the best consumer grade SSDs available out there today. Even though the second generation Everest controllers used in the Vertex 4 were developed in collaboration with Marvell, OCZ’s achievements are impressive indeed.

We can’t deny that the new Vertex 4 does have an Achilles heel of its own – sequential data read speed. This Everest 2 based SSD is inferior to almost all its SATA 6 Gbit/s competitors in this aspect. While this issue doesn’t look serious in synthetic benchmarks, it can make the Vertex 4 considerably slower compared to its SandForce and Marvell-based opponents in typical desktop applications. That’s why it is not quite right to consider OCZ vertex 4 a performance leader just yet. It does perform brilliantly in synthetic benchmarks, but in real usage scenarios other than software installation and copying large files Vertex 4 is just a good mainstream product.

At the same time, however, OCZ Vertex 4 is an undefeated leader among SandForce- and Marvell-based SSDs in many respects. The new OCZ drive boasts not only record-breaking write speeds and high performance in case of long request queue depth, but also high-quality TRIM processing and absence of “performance hits” when processing incompressible data. At the same time, different Vertex 4 modifications are priced at a very democratic level and are not much more expensive than the conventional mainstream SSDs, while offering the maximum possible warranty of five years.

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