Inside the OCZ Vector
Taking apart the OCZ Vector is as easy as removing four Phillips screws, and the warranty sticker (if you are really careful, you can actually remove the sticker with a razor blade and replace it later, if you ever need to do this).
The PCB is attached to one side of the enclosure via four more screws. The other side works as a heatsink, which makes contact with the Barefoot 3 controller via a thermal interface pad.
The Vector has most of the NAND arranged around the Barefoot 3 controller, similar to the layout of the Vertex 4. The intention is to keep traces as short and consistent as possible, but it looks like it’s not quite as crucial with the Vector as it was with the Vertex 4.
The NAND chips are Micron branded modules labelled 29F128G08CFAAB. These are the same 25nm synchronous MLC NAND chips seen on most other high end consumer SSDs, with 2 die per package. This means there are 32 die total on this drive, which should be enough to saturate the SATA bus completely (the 512MB version with 64 die shares identical specs to this 256GB version, but the 128GB version with 16 die has lower specs).
Each die is good for 3000 P/E cycles, and the drive itself has a relatively low TBW rating of 36.5 Terabytes. The only similarly sized SSD we’ve seen with such a low TBW is the Intel 335 Series, at 32 TB with its 20nm MLC flash.
Still, while the TBW isn’t quite as high as, say, the Kingston HyperX 3000 (153.6 TB) or Crucial m4 (72 TB), the OCZ Vector still carries a 5 year warranty. However this warranty ends once it hits its 36.5 TB limit. If you’re wondering how long that will take, consider that this works out to about 20.48 GB total host writes per day over 5 years.
The accessories package is familiar if you’ve seen other OCZ drives – a nice 3.5″ adapter bracket is included, along with a sticker. This time a key for a full copy of Acronis TrueImage is included, which is a nice touch considering the software sells for $50 normally.
Possibly due to too many errors caused by AHCI drivers leading to more RMA tickets, the OCZ Toolbox software is now presented as a Linux boot image instead of a simple Windows application. To update the firmware and perform secure erases, you’ll need to burn to a CD or make a bootable USB stick. While this makes for more steps to perform tasks on the drive, it will probably make the Vector more reliable overall.