|Name||Solid-state drive: OCZ Vertex 3|
|At a glance:||240GB 2.5-inch SATA 3.0 SSD,Backwards compatible with SATA 2.0,TRIM support, 0.1ms seek time, 77g weight,Fast, but over 50% more expensive than the SATA 2.0 variant|
|Summary:||One of the first SATA 3.0 Solid State Drives available with mega-fast read speeds, but at a cost.|
If you’ve bought a new motherboard or computer in the last twelve months, chances are you’ve got at least a couple of SATA 3.0 ports, which is the newest standard for connecting SATA hard drives up to your PC. If you’ve been lamenting the “lacklustre” performance of old SATA 2.0 hard drives, OCZ have a solution for you with their new Vertex 3 series of SSD.
I say “lacklustre” because I would truly be surprised if more than 1% of PC users have ever been inconvenienced by the maximum throughput of 300MBytes/s given by the now-outdated SATA 2.0 specification.
To be fair this is mainly due to the fact that hard drives haven’t been able to reach this sort of transfer speed up until recently – even the best mechanical hard drives could only top out around 150MBytes/s – but now that SSDs are getting better and cheaper, this limit is actually holding some of them back.
Hence, it was with much anticipation that I unboxed and installed this 240GB OCZ Vertex 3 SSD. Anticipation turned to forehead-slapping once I realised that I hadn’t plugged it into a SATA 3.0 port, had not used a proper SATA 3.0 cable, and needed to download updated SATA 3.0 drivers for my motherboard.
After resolving these minor niggles, I finally bore witness to some SATA 6Gbp/s goodness: 400MBytes/s sequential read, 230MBytes/s sequential write, 30MBytes/s random 4KB read, and 55MBytes/s random 4KB writes. True, only the sequential read speed broke the SATA 2.0 speed limit, and they are far from the advertised 500MBytes/s read/write speeds (apparently the Marvell SATA controller on my motherboard is rubbish), but it’s a step forward.
At a 50% price premium over the 240GB Vertex 2 SSD, I would struggle to recommend the Vertex 3 to anyone unless they absolutely positively need blazing sequential read speeds for large file transfers, however it is a good sign of things to come when this technology hits the mainstream.