OCZ Vertex 4 SSD (256GB) - Indilinx to the Fore

Launch SRP: S$449

New Drive, New Controller

Powered by Indilinx Everest 2

OCZ’s Vertex lineup of SSDs are some of the fastest around and with the Vertex 3 already being one of the older high-end consumer-grade SSDs around at the moment, the company is upping and refreshing their offerings with their newest Vertex 4 SSDs.

The new Vertex 4 SSDs are significantly different from the Vertex 3 drives it replaces, mostly because OCZ has made the switch from the very popular SandForce SF-2281 controller to a brand-new Indilinx Everest 2 controller. Indilinx is a South Korean company specializing in SSD controllers and firmware and if the name Indilinx sounds familiar to you, this because OCZ acquired Indilinx back in early 2011. Also, prior to SandForce controllers, Indilinx made pretty decent performance controllers in the earlier enthusiast SSD drives that we became fond of.

The OCZ Vertex 4 is the latest high-end consumer SSD from OCZ Technology and it uses an all-new Indilinx Everest 2 controller.

The dual-core ARM-powered Indilinx Everest 2 controller is actually highly similar to its predecessor and as Anandtech discovered, it is in fact based on a Marvell controller, quite possibly the newer Marvell 88SS9187. What we do know, however, is that the controller on the Vertex 4 runs at significantly higher clock speeds compared to its predecessor - 400MHz as opposed to 333MHz. It also has 1GB of onboard DDR3-800 DRAM for prefetching read requests. As for the memory chips, the Vertex uses 25nm synchronous MLC NAND memory chips from Intel.

Vertex is OCZ’s flagship lineup of drives and as the latest iteration of the Vertex line, the Vertex 4 features all the things you’d expect from a high-end consumer-grade SSD. Apart from the new Indilinx Everest 2 controller, it also uses the latest SATA 6Gbps interface for the quickest possible transfers. The Vertex 4 will be available in 64GB, 128GB, 256GB and 512GB capacities. For the purpose of this review, we'll be evaluating the 256GB edition.

The drive comes with a handy bracket for installation. But that's all, no SATA data nor power cables.

 Peeling the drive open reveals the Indilinx Everest 2 controller and NAND chips. The thermal pads on the housing reveals that the housing also doubles as a heatsink for the controller.

A closer look at Indilinx Everest 2 controller. It is surrounded by Intel 25nm NAND chips of 16GB density. The smaller chip to the top right of it is a single 512MB cache chip. There's another cache chip on the opposite side along with another eight NAND chips.

Flipping the PCB over, we see another eight NAND chips and an additional 512MB DDR3-800 cache chip from Micron Technology. 

The Good
Generally very fast write performance
Good performance when dealing with non-compressible data
The Bad
Below average read performance
Erratic performance on PCMark 7, PCMark Vantage and HD Tune

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