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OCZ has impressed us with the Vector, unlike almost all SSDs that we have reviewed in the past the performance was consistently strong.
Take the file copy tests for example, the Vector was always very close to the top of our graphs and despite never actually hitting first place it was overall one of the fastest drives we have tested. With an average transfer speed of 242MB/s the Vector outpaced the Intel SSD 335 (218MB/s), OCZ Vertex 4 (190MB/s) and Crucial m4 (185MB/s). In fact, the only thorn in the Vector's side was the Samsung SSD 840 Pro which averaged 260MB/s, making it 7% faster in the file copy tests.
However, when it came to application performance the Vector was able to match or even beat the Samsung SSD 840 Pro. Similarly, the synthetic benchmarks showed that the Vector and Samsung SSD 840 Pro were very close, trading blows in several tests.
Picking between the Samsung SSD 840 Pro and the new OCZ Vector isn't going to be easy, at least when considering performance alone. Looking at pricing we find the SSD 840 Pro 256GB retailing for around $270 (with a free game to boot), which is the exact asking price OCZ has set forth for the Vector. We imagine this is no coincidence, but it doesn't really help us to pick between the two either.
Evidently, it's difficult to speak about the reliability of the Vector and its Barefoot 3 controller as we have only had the drive for a week. If history is anything to go by then, reliability should be good, at least that was our experience with the original Barefoot SSDs.
It's also true OCZ has hurt their reputation a few times in the past with products that were rushed out the door too quickly. On the upside, OCZ has been known to offer strong firmware support until its drives hit a pretty excellent rate. Will this be the case with the Vector? We certainly hope not as OCZ has made a lot of noise about quality control, so we guess only time will tell.
The Samsung SSD 840 Pro series is also still quite young, though to date their reputation for delivering reliable SSDs is excellent. I have been using a 512GB version of the SSD 840 Pro in my main rig for the past 2 months without a problem, and thus far the drives have received glowing reviews from customers at all major online retailers.
What we can say with absolute certainty is that in terms of performance the Vector is a worthy successor to the Vertex 4 series. The Vector was on average 27% faster in our file copy tests and is set to cost a little over 10% more, making it not only faster but also a better value. Overall the OCZ Vector 256GB appears to be a solid contender in the performance SSD market.
Pros: Top notch performance that is consistent across the board. Pricing is competitive with other top SSD offerings and slightly better value than previous flagship, the Vertex 4. If OCZ's work with the Vertex 4 is any indication, this will be a top contender in the SSD market for the next year or so.
Cons: We can't question the drive's reliability at this point, but OCZ's track record is mixed, at least compared to the likes of Samsung.