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

The initial plan was to benchmark the Vertex 4 using my new X79 test rig, but things don't always go as planned. The first hiccup I ran into was that I apparently had to format the drive with an external hard drive dock in Windows. Connecting the raw drive to the Gigabyte X79-UD3 board unformatted somehow prevented the system from booting Windows off of my Kingston SSD, regardless of boot order in the BIOS. I'm still working with Gigabyte to get this issue resolved.

A second issue arose in that I was unable to install Intel Rapid Storage Technology software on the X79 system. Again, for some unknown reason, it just wouldn't work. During installation, the program reported an error that said my system didn't meet the minimum requirements despite the fact that I had AHCI mode enabled on all ports in the BIOS. Gigabyte is working on this issue as well.

I was still able to benchmark the drive without Intel RT but performance was sub par and it wouldn't have been fair to report those scores based on an obvious software issue. So instead, I moved the drive to my main work system which consists of the following hardware.

Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge
Noctua ND-D14 Cooler
OCZ Flex EX PC3-17000 2 x 4GB
SilverStone Strider 750W Gold PSU
OCZ Vertex 3 240GB SSD
Western Digital 2TB Caviar Black HDD
SilverStone FT03 Micro ATX Chassis
SilverStone Slim Optical drive
SilverStone Short Cable Kit
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Intel RST works properly on this system so we were in business. With all of that said, you will want to install Intel RST alongside your new Vertex 4 to get the most performance out of it. Trust me, it makes a big difference (up to 33% better in some benchmarks). Also, make sure you have the latest firmware on your Vertex before using it. Our evaluation unit shipped with firmware version 1.4 but I was able to update to the most recent available, ahead of benchmarking.

I will be running the following tests on the Vertex 4.

ATTO Disk Benchmark
HD Tune 2.55
SiSoft Sandra Physical Disks
IOMeter 2010

Below are the benchmark results.

The Vertex 4 produced some excellent numbers in CrystalDiskMark, especially in the 4K test at a queue depth of 32. These scores outperform even the RevoDrive 3 PCIe SSD that we looked at late last year - very impressive. Results from ATTO are close to the rated specs for the 128GB drive although the write speeds are about 20MB slower than what OCZ rates it at. AS SSD also produced the fastest overall score we have seen to date if I recall correctly. Sandra's drive score of 511.51MB is solid and IOMeter returned an IOPS score of 99,514.

All around, it's a great showing for the Vertex 4. Let's move ahead and wrap things up with some final thoughts and a conclusion.

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