OCZ Vertex 120GB

The recently released OCZ Vertex series has been highly anticipated as it has been said to deliver high-end performance, much like the Intel X25-M, but at a more affordable price tag.

Pricing starts at just $130, though this will only get you 30GB of storage, while the 60GB version costs $210. We feel most users will be after at least 120GB of storage space, of which they can expect to pay $340, while the big 250GB version costs a cool $740.

The OCZ Vertex is not only different to the Intel and G.Skill drives in terms of price, it is also very different in design. OCZ was faced with a bit of a problem as to what to do about the JMicron JMF602B controller, which was not fit to take on the Intel X25-M, even when using two of them in a single SSD. OCZ did release the "Apex" line of drives, which was their version of the G.Skill Titan, but to take on the Intel X25-M they were going to need an alternative controller.

There was thankfully such an alternative, as the "Barefoot" chip from Indilinx was production-ready to be paired with a large cache and it seemed to be exactly what OCZ needed. Indilinx claims that the IDX110M00-FC 'Barefoot' chip can achieve a maximum read speed of 230MB/s with capacities as large as 512GB using multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash. The Indilinx (IDX110) Barefoot SSD controller chip is supported by a 64MB cache designed to improve small write performance and eliminate any 'stuttering' issues.

The OCZ specification for the Vertex 120GB drive states that the read performance will be "up to" 250MB/s and the write 180MB/s. The claimed read and write performance is slightly higher than that of the Titan, and again this is something we will be looking into once we begin benchmarking.

OCZ also claims that the Vertex has a MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) of 1.5 million hours. This is the same estimation that G.Skill gives their Titan, and it seems to be somewhat of a standard for these MLC drives. Additionally, OCZ claims that the drive will withstand 1500G shock resistance.

The Vertex SSDs measure 99.8 x 69.63 x 9.3mm and weigh just 77 grams, thanks to their slim 2.5" design, making them ideal for both desktop and laptop computers. They are said to use just 2 watts of power when in use and just 0.5 watts when in standby. The Vertex SSDs are designed to work in RAID if you choose to purchase more than one, and they are backed by a 2-year warranty.