Vertex 4 VTX4-25SAT3-256G
5 years or none, we are ripping this drive apart to see what makes it tick! The Vertex 4 enclosure if half plastic and half metal, with the metal side acting as a heatsink for the Everest 2 controller. When removing the top, you’ll find a thick heat transfer pad applied to the controller:
You’ll probably notice right away that the flash modules are arranged in an interesting pattern. We are used to seeing flash chips installed all together on one end of the PCB, but on the Vertex 4 they are arranged in a ring around the controller. This is said to keep latencies as low as possible across all chips.
The chips themselves are OCZ branded, but manufactured by Micron. They are 25nm MLC nand, fully synchronous.
On the other side of the drive are 8 more flash chips, and the second half of the dual-channel DDR memory cache. The Vertex 4 has a massive 512MB cache, which is required for all of the added endurance and performance features.
The Vertex 4 retail kit is identical to what we expect from OCZ SSDs – it includes a rather nice 3.5″ adapter bracket, but not much else. The latest version of OCZ’s Toolbox software can be downloaded from their site, and with it you can do things like update the firmware and secure-erase it (to have it running just like new) and check the SMART data. Here’s hoping that one day OCZ offers a Windows migration utility. Compared to other SSDs, that’s just about the only thing missing, and it can really come in handy if it works well.