In the SSD space, OCZ has already established themselves as one of the leading brands with products like the Vertex 4 and the flagship Vector.
With their acquisition of Indilinx back in 2011, they’ve now produced the Vertex 450 using in-house components giving them more control, improved reliability and importantly; better support for end users.
It comes with a 3 year manufacturer’s warranty, Acronis cloning software with Windows 8 compatibility and a very sleek & glossy 3.5 inch OCZ adapter for desktop upgrades. You also get the customary “I love my SSD” sticker, in case you feel like showing off your support for the brand.
One of the noteworthy upgrades from OCZ is the transition from using 25NM Nand chips on the Vertex 4, to now using 20NM “Nanometer” Nand Flash chips for the Vertex 450. So, what difference does that make? Smaller Nand Flash allows for better sequential performance, high IOPS and reduced power consumption – meaning improved battery life for laptop users.
OCZ claim to deliver 540MB/s read and 525MB/s write speeds with the improved Vertex 450, so it will be interesting to see how it fits in to the hierarchy of available SSD options.
Design and Durability
Unpacking the Vertex 450 I couldn’t help but admire the good looking well crafted design on the 2.5-inch, 7mm form of this SSD. It’s made of an aluminium chassis that feels sturdy and was clearly built for endurance.
That aluminium outer shell also acts as a heat sink, helping to dissipate heat produced by strenuous, continuous operation. The only downside of having a full aluminium chassis (particularly for laptop users) is that it makes the SSD slightly heavier but that is a small price to pay for the build quality.
The durability of the Vector 450 doesn’t stop on the outside either. Inside, the SLC (Single Level Cell) flash memory has a life span of over 100,000 program cycles which is over 3 times better than any SSD sporting the MLC (Multi Level Cell) type of memory (30,000 program cycles) – empowering your SSD with a very long lifespan.
Less power consumption and smaller Nand chips would normally be associated with reduced levels of performance. However OCZ’s in-house Barefoot 3 M10 series controller can boost performance to almost the maximum levels that SATA III (6GB/s) bus will allow. This means that performance is not affected by the smaller chips.
As a result of using the SLC technology that I mentioned before, the Indilinx Barefoot 3 M10 controller is able to use the full capacity of the drive, allowing it to perform well under all circumstances.
What it does is, on a cellular level the drive will use the first bit only, which can be accessed much faster than the second or the third bit in that cell. This technique has been in use since OCZ released the Vertex 4 and has been implemented on all Vector SSDs. Now, it has been perfected for the 450 series.
The SLC technology used in the Vertex 450 may be more expensive than MLC technology, but it’s also less prone to error and has a significantly longer life span – making it worth the cost. So, if you are looking for an SSD that can handle high amounts of read/write cycles, I strongly recommend an SSD with SLC flash memory such as the OCZ Vertex and Vector series.
In terms of sequential read/write speed tests, here’s how the OCZ Vertex 450 performed against some other top-level SSDs:
All tests were conducted under the same environment, which consists of an Asus P8Z77-VLX Motherboard; Intel Core i7-2600 cpu @ 3.40GHz 3.40GHz and 16GB RAM.
As the graph shows, the OCZ Vertex 450 SSD outperformed all of the competition with the nearest SSD being the Samsung 840 Pro. It is worth mentioning that the Samsung SSD is actually hosting the OS, therefore it would likely match, or surpass the OCZ’s performance as a fresh SSD.
The Bottom Line
If you are looking for a top performing, durable and feature rich SSD with high longevity – then the OCZ Vertex 450 ticks all the boxes.
The only downside is the hefty price tag (£175.00 average) which leaves it in direct competition with the similarly priced Samsung 840 Pro series, but it’s a price reflective of the quality of the product.