OCZ continues the Vertex legacy with their latest offering, taking the drive in a different direction with the Indilinx team at their side. Drives originally shipped with firmware 1.3 which left a lot to be desired on the performance side, especially on the 128GB model. Those issues have since been eliminated as firmware 1.4 delivers an extreme performance boost.
We tested our sample drive using 126.96.36.199 which resulted in a trouble-free experience with great performance to boot. On average, the drive posted scores that were higher than anything else we've reviewed to date. There were a few tests where the older Vertex 3 outperformed the new offering but the Vertex 4 is a more complete drive all around, especially when you factor in the boost in IOPS. Things are only likely to improve over time as the Indilinx team tweaks the firmware for optimal performance.
Performance aside, we have to give praise to the new five year warranty as well. Many had doubts about flash storage technology years ago but OCZ seems confident that their product will stand the test of time. On an aside, I've worked with several drives from OCZ and haven't had any issues with them. In fact, I still have two original Vertex 30GB drives in RAID0 that are running flawlessly in a HTPC.
On a whole, solid state drive storage is still expensive compared to spinning hard drives. The good news is that prices continue to fall and with the flooding that affected multiple hard drive factories in Thailand late last year driving HDD prices through the roof, now is as good of time as any to jump on the SSD bandwagon if you haven't already. I've said it several times before but it's worth repeating: switching to a SSD for your boot drive is the single best upgrade you can do for your system, hands-down. I refuse to build a system without one now - yes, they are that good.
OCZ is nearly at the $1 per GB mark (before formatting) with the 128GB Vertex 4 as it sells for $129.99 at our favorite online retailer. This is $20 cheaper than the original 30GB Vertex we tested three years ago and you get four times the capacity.
One last thing to note - be sure to use Intel's Rapid Storage Technology with this drive (or any SSD for that matter). It made a huge difference in our test results (around 33% higher in some instances) so there's no reason not to use it.
OCIA.net awards the OCZ Vertex 4 128GB SSD our Gold Seal of Approval!