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Old 12-21-2011, 05:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS 120GB


OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS 120GB SSD
By: Dan Durland

Introduction

On the test bench before me is the OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS 120GB SSD. According to OCZ the Vertex 3 series is designed to unleash the performance potential of the SATA 6Gbps interface, leading the speed revolution in this next-generation solution. It was only a few weeks ago that I tested the Vertex 3 120GB drive, so what are the differences between the Vertex 3 and the Vertex 3 Max IOPS?

Features and Specifications
  • Available in 120GB and 240GB Capacities
  • MLC NAND Flash
  • Interface: SATA 6Gbps / Backward Compatible 3Gbps
  • Native TRIM support
  • Seek Time: .1ms
  • Slim 2.5" Design
  • Controller: Sandforce SF-2281
  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 99.8 x 69.63 x 9.3mm
  • Weight: 77g
  • Shock Resistance: 1500G
  • Certifications: RoHS, CE, FCC
  • MTBF: 2 million hours
  • Power Consumption: 3W Active, 1.65W Idle
  • Operating Temp: 0C ~ 70C
  • Ambient Temp: 0C ~ 55C
  • Storage Temp: -45C ~ 85C
  • ECC Recovery: Up to 55 bits correctable per 512-byte sector (BCH)
  • Product Health Monitoring: Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology (S.M.A.R.T)
  • Operating System: Windows 7, Vista, XP 32-bit/64-bit, Mac OSX, Linux
  • Power Requirements: Standard SATA Power Connector
  • RAID Support
  • Included 3.5" Desktop adapter bracket
  • 3-Year Warranty, Toll-Free Support, 24-Hour Forum Support, Firmware Updates
120GB Peak/Maximum Performance
  • Max. Read: up to 550MB/s (SATA 6Gbps) - ATTO Disk Benchmark
  • Max. Read: up to 280MB/s (SATA 3Gbps) - ATTO Disk Benchmark
  • Max Write: up to 500MB/s (SATA 6Gbps) - ATTO Disk Benchmark
  • Max Write: up to 260MB/s (SATA 3Gbps) - ATTO Disk Benchmark
  • Random Read 4KB: 35,000 IOPS (135 MB/s) - IOmeter
  • Random Write 4KB: 75,000 IOPS (290 MB/s) - IOmeter
  • Maximum Random Write 4KB: 85,000 IOPS (330 MB/s) - IOmeter
  • Sequential Read: 500 MB/s - AS-SSD Benchmark
  • Sequential Write: 230 MB/s - AS-SSD Benchmark
  • 4K Random Read: 47,000 IOPS (185 MB/s) - AS-SSD Benchmark
  • 4K Random Write: 47,000 IOPS (185 MB/s) - AS-SSD Benchmark
240GB Peak/Maximum Performance
  • Max. Read: up to 550MB/s (SATA 6Gbps) - ATTO Disk Benchmark
  • Max. Read: up to 280MB/s (SATA 3Gbps) - ATTO Disk Benchmark
  • Max Write: up to 500MB/s (SATA 6Gbps) - ATTO Disk Benchmark
  • Max Write: up to 260MB/s (SATA 3Gbps) - ATTO Disk Benchmark
  • Random Read 4KB: 55,000 IOPS (215 MB/s) - IOmeter
  • Random Write 4KB: 65,000 IOPS (250 MB/s) - IOmeter
  • Maximum Random Write 4KB: 85,000 IOPS (330 MB/s) - IOmeter
  • Sequential Read: 510 MB/s - AS-SSD Benchmark
  • Sequential Write: 240 MB/s - AS-SSD Benchmark
  • 4K Random Read: 58,500 IOPS (230 MB/s) - AS-SSD Benchmark
  • 4K Random Write: 48,500 IOPS (190 MB/s) - AS-SSD Benchmark
Looking over the basic specifications, the main difference between the Vertex 3 and the Vertex 3 Max IOPS is the available capacities. The Vertex 3 Max IOPS is limited to either 120GB or 240GB while the Vertex 3 is available in 60GB, 90GB, 120GB, 240GB and 480GB capacities.

When we look at the performance specifications, focusing on the 120GB model, the Max IOPS has improved its Random Read/Write as well as the Sequential Write speeds. The Max IOPS specifications are showing a 60% increase in Random Reads, 23% in the Random Writes and a 48% increase in the Sequential Write speed when compared to the Vertex 3.

As of today's date I found the Vertex 3 available in the following price ranges:
  • 120GB - ($185-$270)
  • 240GB - ($400-$674)
Image Gallery

In our first two pictures we have the front and back of the box while the contents of the box is displayed in third picture. We have the drive enclosed in its electrostatic bag, the 3.5" Desktop adapter bracket, mounting screws, user manual and a sticker.



Our next set of pictures show us the front and back of the Max IOPS.



Inside the Max IOPS 120GB we can see the Sandforce SF-2281 Controller as well as the (8)-32nm Toshiba Toggle NAND modules. We were looking for the main difference between the Vertex 3 and the Vertex 3 Max IOPS and this is it. The Vertex 3 uses 25nm Intel IMFT NAND while the Max IOPS uses 32nm Toshiba Toggle NAND. The toggle mode NAND is up to three times faster and it uses less power. While the NAND itself is slightly more expensive, fewer modules are being used to help offset the cost.



In our last two pictures we can see the Desktop Adapter Bracket secured to the Max IOPS using four screws and the Max IOPS ready to be installed in a drive bay.



Installation and Setup

Installing the drive is a fairly simple procedure of mounting it in your case and attaching a power and data cable to the drive. OCZ recommends using a SATA III data cable, as do I, but I did try a standard SATA cable and it seemed to work satisfactorily. To ensure maximum performance I highly recommend attaching the sata cable to the first SATA 6Gb/s port on your motherboard, this is often labeled as SATA6G_0 or SATA6G_1. The Max IOPS is backwards compatible with a SATA 3Gb/s data port but you will experience a loss in performance.

So now that the drive is installed in the computer we need to install the Operating System to the drive. I highly recommend doing a fresh install of your operating system to ensure maximum performance and stability. But with that said, I have successfully cloned the operating system to the drive using Clonezilla. However you cannot clone a drive with a larger partition than what will be available on the new drive. If your present operating system is on a 500GB single partitioned drive you cannot clone the drive to a 120GB drive. The existing drive to be cloned has to be of equal size or smaller than the new drive.

If you're doing a fresh install of your operating system then the procedure is the same as installing the operating system to a regular Hard Disk Drive. One recommendation that I'll make is to detach all your other drives from the system, except the SSD and the DVD/ROM, to ensure that your new drive is assigned as the C: drive. Once the operating system is installed you can reattach your other drives and assign the disk label of your choosing. The second recommendation that I'll make is to install the drive with AHCI mode enabled in your system bios.

With AHCI mode enabled and your operating system freshly installed the first step I take is to update all of my system drivers. Once you have your OS updated and the drivers installed, I recommend going through the SSD Tweak Guide we have posted. If you have any questions free free to ask them in the forum.

Test Setup

The OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS, Vertex 3 and the Agility 3 120GB drives have been tested with my newly updated i7 2600K system where as the results for the Agility and Agility 2 drives are from my old i7 920 system.

Vertex 3 Max IOPS, Vertex 3 & Agility 3 Test Setup
  • Intel i7 2600K
  • Asus P8P67 Deluxe
  • Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600
  • EVGA GTX 480 SLI
  • OCZ ZX Series 1250 Watt
  • OCZ Vertex 3 120GB - Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
  • OCZ Agility 3 120GB - Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
  • Seagate SATA 250 GB Data Drive
Agility & Agility 2 Test Setup
  • Intel i7 920
  • EVGA E760 X58 Classified
  • Corsair Dominator 6GB (3x2GB) DDR3 2000
  • EVGA GTX 480 SLI
  • Cooler Master 1250 Watt
  • OCZ Agility 2 60GB - Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
  • OCZ Agility 120GB - Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
  • Seagate SATA 250 GB Data Drive
Software

None of the drives will be tested bare or with a minimal amount of software. All of the drives have Windows 7 64-bit fully updated along with all of my usual applications installed. No one buys a drive just to leave it empty so why test it that way. All of the drives have been fully tweaked using the SSD Tweak Guide.
  • AS SSD Benchmark
  • ATTO Disk Benchmark
  • CrystalDiscMark
  • Everest Ultimate
  • HD Tune Pro
  • Passmark Performance Test
  • PCMark Vantage
  • PCMark 7
Test Results

AS SSD Benchmark



The results of the AS SSD benchmark are falling right in line with the projected performance improvements. The 4K-64Thrd Read speed (4K Random Read) of the Max IOPS is showing a 66% improvement over the Vertex 3. The 4K-64Thrd Write speed (4K Random Write) of the Max IOPS is showing a 21% improvement over the Vertex 3. The Sequential Write speed of the Max IOPS is showing a 44% improvement over the Vertex 3.

ATTO Disk Benchmark



In Atto Disk Benchmark the Max IOPS and the Vertex 3 are running head to head in the Read testing but the Vertex 3 takes a slight lead in the Write testing.

CrystalDiscMark



The CrystalDiskMark benchmark is quite similar to the AS SSD Benchmark, the 4K QD32 values represent the 4K Random Read and Write values. Here we see the Max IOPS post an increase of 89% in the 4K Random Read, 25% in the 4K Random Write and a 44% increase in the Sequential Write speed when compared to the Vertex 3.

Everest Ultimate



In the Everest Ultimate testing the Max IOPS is performing slightly better than the Vertex3.

HD Tune Pro



HD Tune Pro is showing results similar to the ATTO testing. The Max IOPS and the Vertex 3 are neck and neck in the Read testing and the Vertex 3 is leading in the Write testing by a slim margin.

Passmark Performance Test



Passmark is showing the Max IOPS with a 42% increase in Sequential Write over the Vertex 3. Passmark is also showing a 8% increase in the Random Seek + RW (test the speed at which the disk can seek to a random position in a file and then read or write).

PCMark Vantage



With the exception of the Windows Media Center test, the Max IOPS dominates the Vertex 3 in PCMark Vantage.

PCMark 7



PCMark 7, like PCMark Vantage, is a series of tests meant to simulate real life usage. The first few times I ran these disk tests I really didn't find a lot of value in them, however my opinion is changing. In the real world you're going to see exceptional performance with a SSD regardless of its generation. The Max IOPS and the Vertex 3 have the top numbers but all the drives perform admirably.

Conclusion
Pros
  • Superior Performance
  • No Moving Parts
  • Quiet
  • Produces Little to No Heat
  • TRIM Support
  • 3-Year Warranty
Cons
  • Expensive
With significant improvements in the Random Read, Random Write and Sequential Write speeds the Vertex 3 Max IOPS has climbed over the Vertex 3 to the top of the SSD mountain. With capacities limited to 120GB and 240GB the Max IOPS does requires a larger investment than a smaller drive. Also, the 120GB Max IOPS is going to cost approximately $35 US more than a 120GB Vertex 3 drive. The top of the mountain is not for the faint of wallet user, but if you have a Need For Speed then the Vertex 3 Max IOPS is just the drive you're looking for.

I would like to thank OCZ Technology for allowing me to evaluate the Vertex 3 Max IOPS 120GB SSD. While expensive, I'm awarding the Vertex 3 Max IOPS 5 Stars for sheer speed alone.



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Old 12-21-2011, 06:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS 120GB

Nice one, Slay! Now gimmee!!!

Looks like a nice thing to upgrade to in the future.
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Old 12-21-2011, 07:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS 120GB

God, I really want an SSD, but they cost a fair sum of money
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Old 12-21-2011, 09:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS 120GB

Bout the same price of the 1.5/2TB drives, on the lower price range.
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