OCZs own performance claims put the Vertex 450 256GB within 5 - 10MB/s of the Vector and this is what we observed when testing, the drives are very closely matched. That said there was more than one instance where the Vertex 450 256GB provided more performance than the Vector 256GB and we are putting that down to it using a more recent firmware.
The Vector 256GB is currently in one of our office PCs which is used heavily on a daily basis and it has been there for around 9 months now without a problem. Had we had more time (we had less than 48 hours to get this review on time for you) we would have pulled the Vector from the office PC, updated the firmware and re-ran all the tests, though this is still something we plan to do.
Looking at our file copy tests, the Vertex 450 256GB matched the Vector 256GB in the single large file test, it was slightly faster in the game copy test and much faster in the program copy test. There was no difference between the two SSDs in our application testing, though we seem to have hit some kind of bottleneck here preventing modern SSDs from going any faster.
The CrystalDiskMark synthetic data placed the OCZ Vertex 450 256GB within striking distance of the Vector 256GB, with the only exception being the random write 4K-QD32 test where the Vertex 450 was considerably faster.
Overall we'd say that the performance of the Vertex 450 256GB is virtually the same as the Vector 256GB, users would have an impossible task trying to distinguish between the two.
With performance being up to scratch the next question is reliability. Although we have only had the Vertex 450 256GB on the test bed for a little over a day now, we have had a lot of experience with the Vector. Given that the Vertex 450 is based on the same controller we assume reliability is going to be similar, perhaps even better as the controller and firmware have had time to mature.
Pricing wise the Vertex 450 256GB is meant to be a better value than the Vector, and thus be able to compete more freely against serious competition brought by the likes of Samsung, Crucial and Intel. Thanks to better yields on the controller and 20nm MLC NAND flash memory that's what we are hoping, but because Vertex 450 drives are just hitting the shelves we won't know for sure until retail prices settle down. As mentioned before OCZ has set Vertex 450 prices at a ~8-12% discount over Vector drives asking $130, $235 and $500 for 128GB, 256GB and 512GB models, respectively.
The Vertex 450 looks to be a worthy successor to the Vertex 4, offering better performance, reliability and pricing. OCZ has been busy with their SSD product lines and later this year we can expect updated Vector 150 models along with the Vector PCIe series.
Pros: Great all-round performance. Proven Indilinx controller. Worthy upgrade over previous Vertex SSD generation.
Cons: Price is competitive but hardly enough to differentiate it over creme of the crop models.