OCZ has had an interesting past couple of months. The company was long said to be mired in troubles and this was finally confirmed in late November when the company filed for bankruptcy.
This was a bit of pity as they were one of the few SSD manufacturers to boast of an in-house developed controller. In fact, we were pretty impressed with the OCZ Vector - OCZ’s first SSD to use its in-house developed Indilinx Barefoot 3 controller. Its successor, the OCZ Vector 150 which featured the latest 19nm Toggle-Mode NAND, also did very well in our recent Great High-end SSD Shootout.
Fortunately, recognizing the potential for OCZ’s hardware, Toshiba came to fore and agreed to acquire OCZ. On paper, this sounds like a very promising union; after all, Toshiba is one of the world’s largest producer of NAND memory chips and as evidenced in our recent shootout, majority of today’s high-end flagship SSDs all use Toshiba’s 19nm Toggle-Mode NAND.
The greater implications of this move is that in one fell swoop, Toshiba has enabled OCZ to transform overnight into a vertically integrated SSD manufacturer that not only makes and designs its own controller and firmware, but also one that has access to its own NAND chips. Today, only Samsung, Toshiba and SK Hynix (through acquiring Link_A_Media) can boast of such a claim, although the latter two are not as active in the consumer SSD space.
The Vertex 460 is the first new SSD to be launched after Toshiba’s acquisition of OCZ and it is a minor update to the older Vertex 450. The drive continues to be powered by the Indilinx Barefoot 3 controller but the memory has been swapped for newer 19nm Toggle-Mode NAND from who else but Toshiba - the older Vertex 450 used 20nm MLC NAND from Micron.
As a result, the Vertex 460 and Vector 150 are highly similar, boasting the same controller and same memory chips. The only exception is that the controller in the Vertex 460 has a slightly lower clock speed - 352MHz vs. 397MHz - and the Vector 150’s memory chips has been specially tested and validated for high endurance, otherwise the two drives are practically identical. They even come with the same accessories - 3.5-inch HDD adapter and Acronis cloning utility - and come in the same thick and heavy chassis that has now become an OCZ trademark.