OCZ Vertex 2 50GB Solid State Drive
Author: Shawn Knight
Editor: Zahn Funk
Date: 07-12-2010
Provided by: OCZ Technology

I will be using the following benchmarks with the Vertex 2:

CrystalDiskMark 3.0 x64
ATTO Disk Benchmark 2.46
AS SSD 1.5.3784.37609
HD Tune Pro 3.50
IOMeter 2008

I have typically benchmarked drives as the OS drive as I feel that most users buy a solid state drive with the intentions of using it as their operating system drive. But it seems this method isn't widely used at other sites, the OS install will vary from user to user and most importantly, some of the new benchmarks I am using like HD Tune Pro will erase all of the data on the drive. So from here on out, I will be testing drives as empty drives only.

I will be comparing the Vertex 2 to the recently reviewed Western Digital SiliconEdge Blue 64GB drive. The Vertex 2 is the first SandForce drive I have tested so unfortunately I don't have another one to compare it to right now. The SiliconEdge uses a Western Digital branded controller chip, a 512MB cache chip and is rated at 250MB read / 170MB write. The Vertex 2 should win easily as its read and write numbers are both higher on paper.

But what we really want to see is how well it performs with smaller file sizes, which is the SandForce chip's claim to fame. As the story goes, large sequential numbers are nice to see but with an operating system drive, manufacturers have discovered (or so we are told) that the majority of activity behind the scenes involves small 4k files. The faster your drive can process these smaller files, the smoother it will run, the more multitasking it can accomplish, etc.

First up is CrystalDiskMark. For all results, the Western Digital drive is on the left and the OCZ drive is on the right.

Crystal shows the Western Digital drive to be faster in sequential and 512k files while the Vertex 2 is nearly 9x as fast in some of the 4k tests. Short of the Crucial C300 SATA 6Gb/s that Zahn recently reviewed, these are the fastest 4k speeds we have seen to date.

Next up is ATTO Disk Benchmark.

The Vertex 2 shows its superiority in ATTO as it trumps the Western Digital by a sizable margin. In fact, these are the fastest read / write numbers we have seen for a single SSD using SATA 3Gb/s and are approaching the interface's bandwidth limits. Even the 6GB/s Crucial drive mentioned above couldn't touch the write speeds on the Vertex 2. Very impressive.

Now we will have a look at AS SSD. This benchmark provides us with two sets of results: MB/sec, and IOPS. First up is MB/sec.

The MB/sec AS SSD test mirrors the results we saw with Crystal, that being the SiliconEdge is faster in sequential read / write while the Vertex 2 dominates everything else. The resulting score of the OCZ drive is over 3x higher than the Western Digital unit.

The IOPS paint an even clearer image of what is happening here. The SandForce controller and custom firmware is highly optimized for small file sizes.

HD Tune Pro is next. We will look at the read and write speeds of each drive, then have a look at the random access read and write speeds.

The two drives are pretty similar here. I'm not sure what's been going on with HD Tune lately, but my results always seem to be a good bit lower than what others are obtaining.

Again, more anomalies with HD Tune. The Western Digital drive virtually fell to pieces in this test and I have no idea why. I repeated the test over and over and kept getting the same results.

Let's see what the random access tests show. First up is the read portion.

The Vertex 2 edges out the SiliconEdge in every test size here. Let's try the write test now.

Another home run for the Vertex 2.

The final test I will be conducting is with IOMeter 2008 which was a last minute addition to the benchmark lineup. I had already put the Western Digital drive to work as an OS drive in another system so only the Vertex 2 will be tested here. I will be doing a random 4k write / read test on the OCZ drive. The configuration file for the write and read tests is shown below (write on the left, read on the right).

The difference between the two is the Percent Read / Write Distribution slider bar on the right side. First up is the write portion.

The write test is coming awfully close to the 50k IOPS claimed by OCZ. Let's see what the reads look like.

The read test shows a healthy 30k total IOPS.

Let's move ahead and wrap up everything we have seen here today.

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