If it isn't broken, don't fix it. That appears to be the approach that OCZ Technology has taken with their latest solid state drive, the Vertex 3.20. This reimagined drive continues the Vertex legacy that started way back in 2009 and in many ways is very similar to the first Vertex 3 that we previewed in early 2011.
The Vertex 3 proved to be the fastest solid state drive we had tested to date, managing to outpace the company's RevoDrive X2 PCIe SSD in some tests. It was one of the first SATA 6Gbps drives we tested and the first powered by the SandForce 2881 controller. Provisioning was also low compared to other drives we tested around the same time. Simply put, there wasn't much not to love.
The key difference this time around, however, is the selection of MLC NAND. As the name indicates, the Vertex 3.20 uses 20nm MLC NAND compared to the larger 25nm / 34nm variants found on the original Vertex 3. It's part of a market-wide push for smaller flash across the board. That aside, everything else under the hood remains virtually the same although LSI now owns SandForce.
Despite the fact that the Vertex 3 is over two years old and has passed the performance crown on to the Vector, it's still a very fast drive with sequential reads and writes reported at up to 550MB/s and 520MB/s, respectively. OCZ says the drive is capable of up to 35,000 IOPS 4k random read and up to 65,000 IOPS 4k random write. It's available in 120GB and 240GB capacities both with a three year warranty.
Let's move ahead and take a closer look at OCZ's 240GB Vertex 3.20 SSD.