So far, we have covered quite a wide variety of SSDs here at HCW. We have mostly been focusing on mid-range 128GB reviews, since I think that’s what most mainstream users will buy. However, to get the most potential performance, and SSD controller needs access to a lot of flash memory channels at once. This means using more flash chips, or chips with more parts per die. From what we have seen, drives with 128GB of flash top out at 32 channels. The SandForce controller can use more than this, which is why larger hard drives are usually faster, something we saw with Intel’s 520 SSD in our review. We also saw amazing potential with the 120 GB Vertex 3 Max IOPS, which uses Toggle flash, but even though it performs faster than most 120 GB drives, it still falls short of a good 240 GB drive, and sits somewhere in between in terms of price.
Today we’ll be looking at the OCZ Vertex 3 240 GB, which should allow the SandForce 2281 controller to run at peak potential.
The Vertex 3 is OCZ’s ‘second from the top of the line’ consumer SSD, and the specs show. We’ll take the lid off it on the next page, but if you are familiar with any 240 GB SandForce based drive in its price range, you probably know what to expect; 248 GB of high quality Micron NAND flash, with 4 channels per die, allowing 64 channels to the SandForce SF-2281 controller.
The 240GB Vertex 3 retails for around $350 online, which is reasonable for the specs. Certainly it’s a better deal than the $550 Intel 520 with nearly identical specs (but a 5 year warranty, compared to OCZ’s 3 year offer).
Let’s pry this thing open, and see what lurks underneath! If you follow us already, you already know that the flash chips are quite interesting…