The latest controller to take the solid state drive market by storm is called SandForce. SandForce offers two different controllers: the SF-1200 which is used for mainstream applications and the SF-1500 that covers the enterprise market. Anandtech has a great write-up on the differences between the two controllers for those that are interested.
The drive we have for evaluation today is the OCZ Vertex 2 50GB, the successor to the popular Indilinx-based Vertex we looked at a year ago. As you may have guessed, the Vertex 2 uses the SandForce SF-1200 which is now used in several other drives from other manufacturers besides OCZ. But what makes the OCZ drive unique is a custom firmware from SandForce that is optimized for maximum IOPS (Input/Output Operations Per Second).
The Vertex 2 arrived in the retail package you see above. The box is black and silver with a photo of the drive on the front and a description and specifications on the rear. Although you can't really tell in the photos, the package was actually pretty bulky as if something had been shoved in at the last minute. We will get to that in a moment, but first let's take a quick look at the specifications list, borrowed from OCZ's website.
One of the nice things we see regarding the Vertex 2 is that rated performance is the same across capacities from 50GB up to 240GB. Most previous generation SSDs scaled performance with drive capacity, meaning you had to buy a large capacity drive to realize the full performance potential of the unit.
Let's move ahead and take a closer look at the OCZ Vertex 2 50GB solid state drive.