OCZ Vertex 4 128GB Solid State Drive
Author: Shawn Knight
Editor: Zahn Funk
Date: 06-18-2012
Provided by: OCZ Technology
First Look

Externally, the Vertex 4 looks just like previous SSDs from OCZ. There's a descriptive sticker on the top of the black enclosure with a brushed metal backplate on the opposite side that includes capacity information, product number and serial number. As you can see from the photos above, there are screw holes on the sides and bottom of the drive to facilitate installation across multiple platforms.

Removing the rear panel will void your product warranty so we obviously don't recommend doing that. Inside I found a thermal pad attached to the underside of the backplate that lined up with the drive's controller. This pad acts like the thermal paste found between a processor and a heatsink, effectively transferring heat away from the controller and dissipating it into the outer shell of the SSD.

Here we have the front and back (or top and bottom) of the Vertex 4. If you recall in the introduction, I said this drive "sort of" uses Indilinx technology. While the controller on this board clearly says Indilinx, that isn't exactly the case. Back in April, Anandtech discovered via tip that this controller and the one used in the Octane SSD is actually a Marvell controller, possibly the 88SS9187. OCZ verified the information with the publication but noted that the firmware was done entirely by Indilinx and that the hardware implementation is a bit different as well. OCZ says their solution is clocked higher than a standard Marvell component, which could explain the thermal pad.

Controller aside, we find eight 8GB chips labeled 29F64G08ACME3 which indicated Intel 25nm MLC synchronous NAND flash. There's also a 512MB DRAM cache chip on this side of the PCB.

Flipping the SSD board over reveals another eight 8GB NAND chips and an additional 512MB DRAM cache chip but before you go jumping to conclusions, OCZ tells me that one of these DRAM chips is disabled on the 128GB model. Perhaps this could be yet another reason why larger capacity drives have higher performance?

This covers our external and internal tour of the Vertex 4. Let's move ahead and discuss some pre-benchmark notes before getting our hands dirty.

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