When we reviewed the OCZ Vertex 2 Pro about a month ago its performance simply blew us away. It was unlike any SSD we had previously tested, but there were a few question marks left over such as how reliable these new SandForce based solid-state drives were and how much would they cost.
The Vertex Limited Edition answers one of those questions flat-out, but for now we're still in the dark when it comes to reliability. OCZ is backing the drives up with a 3 year warranty, so consumers can be reasonably confident when shelling out their hard-earned cash. That said, at this stage we strongly recommend backing up any important data on a regular basis -- although really this should be done regardless of the storage media.
As for its price, at $430 for 100GB, the Vertex LE seems like a pretty good option. We were speculating in our earlier take on the Vertex 2 Pro that OCZ would price this drive against the Intel X25-E, which currently costs around $800 for 64GB. It's unclear how accurate this estimate was now that OCZ has scraped the Vertex 2 Pro plans and used a batch of 'hybrid' non-SandForce SF-1500 controllers for this limited edition SSD.
Without being able to anticipate how much the SF-1200 Vertex 2 is going to cost, and what to expect performance-wise, we can't really say if running out and buying a Vertex LE today is the best idea. What we do know is that until products built using the more affordable SandForce controller arrive there will be no alternatives to the Indilinx Barefoot or Intel V Series SSDs currently available.
As things stand, even the newly released Crucial RealSSD C300 that starts at $499 for the 128GB version seems a bit too rich to compare with Indilinx based SSDs. Furthermore, Intel will not be refreshing their line of drives until the end of the year, so high speed SSDs may not necessarily get cheaper soon.
All things considered we were going to say that even for the small premium these drives are currently going for ($430 vs. $399) the Vertex 2 LE 100GB is about as good as performance-oriented SSDs get right now. However, during the time it took us to complete this review, we've seen Intel X-25 drives pricing dropping considerably. The 80GB unit is now selling for around $250, and perhaps most interesting, the 160GB drive is now matching the Vertex LE at $429.99. That gets you slightly less raw performance, but more proven reliability and capacity. Maybe SSD prices are going to get more attractive sooner than we thought.