OCZ Vertex 2

This predecessor of the highly successful Vertex series has also moved from the Indilinx Barefoot controller to the new SandForce SF-1200 controller. There is a huge range of capacities to choose from covering 40GB ($124), 50GB ($170), 100GB ($320), 200GB ($659) and 400GB models, while the extended range also provides 60GB ($160), 90GB ($250), 120GB ($300), 180GB ($500), 240GB ($640) and 480GB sizes as well.

Controller = SandForce SF-1222 (a.k.a. SF-1200)
Cache = NA
Memory = Intel 29F32G08AAMDB (32GB 34nm MLC)
Read/Write = 280MB/s - 270MB/s (40GB model)

Costing roughly $124 the 40GB version of the Vertex 2 is actually cheaper than the 40GB Agility 2. At this price the drive works out to around $3.10 per gigabyte, making it the second most expensive SSD featured in this round-up.

The odd thing about this is that the Agility 2 series is meant to be slightly more affordable as the input/output operations per second (IOPS) rating is over four times lower. Whereas the random write 4k (Aligned) performance of the Agility 2 series is 10,000 IOPS the Vertex 2 drives are rated at 45,000 IOPS.

Surprisingly, it is not just the 40GB drives that feature this odd pricing strategy either, as we have found the 100GB versions of the Vertex 2 and Agility 2 retailing for exactly the same price. This really begs the question why OCZ has the Agility 2 series at all?

Taking the 40GB Agility 2 and Vertex 2 drives apart revealed that they share the same controller, the exact same Intel 29F32G08AAMDB memory, and also share the same PCB (Printed Circuit Board) design. Originally OCZ claimed that the Vertex 2 series would use a special firmware that would provide the small file random write performance of the SandForce SF-1500 controller and that this would be exclusive to this series. The Agility 2 series on the other hand would use the standard SF-1200 firmware and as a result it would perform much like any other SSD using the SF-1200 controller.

However, this appears to no longer be the case as both the Agility 2 and Vertex 2 series are being serviced with exactly the same firmware updates. The drives we tested were both loaded with the latest firmware version 1.11 which was released on July 29th 2010. Therefore, as far as we can tell the Agility 2 and Vertex 2 40GB models that we have are exactly the same product and thus far OCZ has not been able to convince us otherwise.

As was the case with the Agility 2 series, OCZ has slapped a 3 year warranty on the OCZ Vertex 2 drives, while all models also come with a 2.5 to 3.5-inch mounting bracket for use in desktop computers.