OCZ Vector 256GB Solid State Drive
Author: Zahn Funk
Editor: Shawn Knight
Date: 02-11-2013
Provided by: OCZ

We tested the OCZ Vector SSD in three different systems: an AMD desktop, AMD laptop and Intel desktop.

AMD Phenom II 1090T X6 BE
ASUS Sabertooth 990FX
Swiftech H20-320 Edge
2x2Gb Crucial Ballistix Tracer DDR3-1600
2x2Gb OCZ Platinum XTE DDR3-2000
OCZ Agility 2 60Gb
1Tb WD Caviar Black
ASUS EAH5870 V2 1G
Zalman VF3000A Cooler
Optiarc 24x DVD+/-RW
Cooler Master HAF932 AMD Edition

Lenovo IdeaPad S405
AMD A6-4455M Dual Core
4GB DDR3-1333
Radeon HD 7500 Integrated

Intel Core i5 2500K
Noctua NH-D14 Cooler
2x 2GB Corsair RAM
OCZ Vertex 3 240GB
SilverStone Strider 750W PSU
SilverStone Slim Optical Drive
SilverStone Short Cable Kit
SilverStone FT03 Micro ATX Chassis
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Before diving into the benchmarks I'd like to note that the Vector SSD would not operate reliably in the AMD desktop system with the BIOS configured for AHCI SATA operation. The latest motherboard BIOS was flashed and multiple chipset driver versions were tried. Still for some unexplained reason, attempting to access the Vector using AHCI, even when performing a fresh OS installation, invariably resulted in a Windows BSOD. Therefore these AMD desktop benchmarks were conducted using legacy ATA/IDE mode on the SATA III port that the Vector was connected to which is typically a no-no if you want to get the most performance out of a board. In this situation, however, it was the only option.

As you will see in the following results, using legacy mode on the drive results in a significant performance hit.

OCZ quotes ATTO Disk Benchmark in stating its read/write performance numbers, and as we see the Vector yields around 400MB/s read, 440MB/s write. This is 20%-35% shy of OCZ's claimed sequential speeds. Strangely we see stronger write speeds compared to read, even when comparing between different benchmarks. AS SSD confirms the drive is running pciide mode, and labels this as BAD.

Next the Vector was installed in an AMD Trinity (Piledriver-based) APU processor laptop running Windows 8. As you'll see in the following results, the Vector immediately performed much better and with no blue screens or other Windows issues.

Looking again at the ATTO Disk Benchmark results, the highest scoring of the bunch, we see just slightly over 500MB/s read and just under 500MB/s write speeds. This is still 5%-10% short of OCZ's claimed results, however as we've seen in past reviews it is not uncommon to miss the mark slightly when compared to manufacturer's advertised, best-case-scenario numbers. Strangely the write speeds attained in AS-SSD and CrystalDiskMark generally scored lower than those reported in the other system on IDE mode. AS SSD shows the drive is using the Microsoft msahci driver.

Finally the Vector was placed in the Intel desktop system for comparison. Note that the Intel RST iastor is installed, rather than msahci.

Here we see the Vector score the fastest speeds in nearly all benchmark tests, the lone exception being AS SSD 4K-64Thrd Read. However secure erase was not done between tests, so later runs may in fact be less than ideal. Still ATTO reaches almost 560MB/s read, 537MB/s write, which is actually faster than OCZ advertises for the Vector.

OCZ issued the following statement regarding what we experienced with the AMD platforms:

"Though there are no compatibility issues with AMD Chipsets, as OCZ has done extensive testing on several AMD chipsets with both Intel RST drivers as well as AMD drivers, it has been shown that AMDís SATA AHCI drivers have typically underperformed Intelís due to different Southbridge and SATA implementation. OCZís SSD specifications are achieved using an Intel platform with RST drivers in ACHI mode."

Let's wrap things up with some final thoughts and conclusion.

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