Given what we saw from the first Everest controller in the Octane last year, we weren't sure what to expect and if the Everest 2 would be able to best the SandForce SF-2281. Those concerns were quickly squelched as the Vertex 4 256GB defeated Kingston's HyperX 3K and Intel's SSD 520 Series in all three of our file copy tests, with the program and game results being particularly impressive.
The Vertex 4 proceeded to match the real-world performance of SF-2281 drives, delivering fast Windows 7 boots and game loading performance. Once we fired up synthetic tests such as CrystalDiskMark and AS SSD Benchmark, it became clear why the Everest 2 drive is so fast: along with relatively strong read performance, it has impeccable write performance, especially when you look at AS SSD Benchmark's results.
Early reviews indicated some performance inconsistencies, a couple of months later, our tests show nothing to be concerned about. Compared to SandForce SF-2281 SSDs, the Vertex 4 provided more consistent performance as it didn't stumble when working with compressed data. This was seen when running our 6GB ISO file test for example, where OCZ's latest drive was over 20% faster than competing SandForce units. You can scroll through the tests and see the Vertex 4 is solid, keeping pace with and exceeding today's finest SSDs. But what about value?
The 64GB model is currently retailing for $100, followed by $120 for the 128GB version and $240 for the 256GB drive, while the flagship 512GB Vertex 4 will set you back a handsome $600. By comparison, the Vertex 3 60GB is $75, 120GB costs $115, 240GB runs $210 and 480GB is $570. The Vertex 4 carries a minor premium, running about $0.93 per gigabyte for the 256GB model, while a similar Vertex 3 is only 6 cents cheaper per gigabyte.
The Vertex 4 also holds its own when comparing non-SandForce drives such as the Crucial m4 256GB ($0.89 per gigabyte) and the Samsung 830 Series 256GB ($0.97 per gigabyte). Overall, it seems like the Vertex 4's superior performance easily negates its relatively small price premium, which makes it easy to recommend for anyone seeking a high-performance SSD. In fact, we think it deserves our "Outstanding!" award.
Pros: Performance, performance, performance. OCZ's support on the firmware side has proven reliable, plus you get a 5 year warranty.
Cons: Premium priced product, probably worth it though.