OCZ Vertex 450 (256GB) - Vector Jr. Arrives


Indilinx Barefoot 3 to the Fore

Earlier last month, we reported from Computex that OCZ will streamline its SSD offerings. Already, if you were to browse its website, you will notice that its consumer SSD offerings have been trimmed down to four models. Gone are the entry-level Agility 4 models, and from what we know, the Vertex 3.20 is on its way out too. This is to ensure that all OCZ SSDs are powered by their own in-house developed Indilinx Barefoot 3 controller.

Mid last year, we reviewed the OCZ Vertex 4, which was, at that time, OCZ’s flagship SSD. It uses a Indilinx Everest 2 controller, which was in fact based on a Marvell 88SS9187 and hence not at true in-house controller.

OCZ's new in-house developed controller now also sees action in the Vertex 450 SSD.

The new Vertex 450, however, is using a derivation of the Indilinx Barefoot 3 that was first seen on OCZ’s flagship Vector SSD. The Indilinx Barefoot 3 is OCZ's first truly in-house developed controller.

Specifically, the new Vertex 450 is powered by OCZ’s Indilinx Barefoot 3 M10 controller. This is basically the same controller as the one found on the Vector, but with lower clock speeds. The other notable difference is that with the Vertex 450, OCZ is moving to newer NAND chips made using a 20nm manufacturing process. This should offer slightly better performance and power efficiency.

In terms of design and packaging, the new Vertex 450 is nearly identical to its Vector sibling. It uses a similar 7mm thick chassis, and has the same construction, which means it feels appreciably heavier and sturdier than most other SSDs. Also, OCZ has thoughtfully provided an installation bracket to fit 3.5-inch drive bays.

The new Vertex 450 and the Vector are nearly identical. Peel off the stickers and you can't tell which is which.

Both drives use a similar chassis, which means the Vertex 450 feels solid, much more so than other SSDs we have handled.

Peel the drives open and again, the two drives are very similar. The Vertex 450 is on the left. It can be differentiated by its Micron-branded NAND chips.

A closer look at the Indilinx Barefoot M10 controller surrounded by Micon's 20nm NAND chips. These NAND chips are of 16GB density, which means there's eight on each side of the PCB for our test drive's 256GB capacity.

The Good
Good overall performance
Installation bracket provided
In-house developed controller and firmware
The Bad
Slightly disappointing performance on Iometer
Priced a tad too closely to the Vector

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