back to article OCZ's new Vertex 4 SSD: Faster... and slower

OCZ has a new SSD that's both faster and slower than the previous model. That's what can happen when you swap controllers on an SSD. A year ago the hustling and bustling SSD supplier introduced its Vertex 3 with a bought-in SandForce SF-2281 controller inside. Since then LSI has bought SandForce and OCZ has bought its own …


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  1. G Mac

    Non-zero Y-axis and 'Quite a bit slower'?

    "But Vertex 4 is not faster than Vertex 3 bandwidth-wise; in fact it is quite a bit slower at sequential reading. It appears that OCZ has optimised the thing for random I/O and been unable to get sequential I/O up to Vertex 3 levels, which is a pity."

    Look, maybe it's me, but when you graph stuff (looking at second graph here) not from a zero Y-axis you should say so. Especially given the previous graph is from a zero Y-axis. I expect better from The Register.

    Also, from your numbers (550 Vs. 535 MB/sec), I would not say that it is 'quite a bit' slower given it is around 3%. Yes slower, but 'quite a bit'?

    No, I am no OCZ fanboi, and no, I don't have an SSD (yet) - but I am looking at these products and I appreciate balanced reports.

    1. Morg

      Re: Non-zero Y-axis and 'Quite a bit slower'?

      Everyone agrees, bad graphs ;)

      Good to see continued pressure in the mainstream SSD market (especially on the seek times/IOPS), more el cheapo badass cloud-supporting solutions for me ^^

    2. Mike Flex

      Re: Non-zero Y-axis and 'Quite a bit slower'?

      > Look, maybe it's me, but when you graph stuff (looking at second graph here) not from a zero Y-axis you should say so.

      By clearly labelling the Y-axis perhaps? Oh, it was. It seems we have some Regtards who could do with some practice reading graphs.

      1. G Mac

        Re: Non-zero Y-axis and 'Quite a bit slower'?

        But you would agree that 'quite a bit' is an exaggeration? Or maybe not - it might be like the R measure in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - a measure that is relative to only oneself.

        Or maybe it was meant to reinforce the non-zero labeling of Y-axis... so that the Statitards can keep their jobs.

        Of course, real reviews not only reveal the measure but what is better or worse. You might what to comment on AnandTech's graphs for the same product and tut-tut about how it is for the unwashed masses.

    3. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Yeah, misleading graphs

      But I think the fact they're just the manufacturer's specifications, rather than actual test results, is much more of an issue than the vertical scale not starting at zero. At least the values are shown on the axis.

      Real hardware testing websites have covered Vertex 4 vs Vertex 3. For some workloads v4 is superior, for others it isn't.

  2. Andrew 25

    "in fact it is quite a bit slower at sequential reading"

    Seriously? Seems a massively biased review to state that and draw graphs with non zero Y axis so to a cursory glance it looks like a 25% performance drop when 15MB/sec out of 550 is 2.7%.

    I know 72% faster random reads, 3% slower sequential reads, 12% faster random writes might not sound as snappy, but this is The Register not the daily mail or metro.

    So stick to the facts, put in a few funny quips and jibes when it fits but don't exagerate beyond all proportions and for goodness sake never ever repeat dodgy graphs like that

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Is *ANYONE* in the target market for one of these drives going to notice the difference between 535 and 550 MBs?

    Also, is it just me or is saying random IOPS redundant - aren't IOPS always assumed to be random where sequential is expressed in MBs?

    1. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

      Re: FFS

      "Also, is it just me or is saying random IOPS redundant - aren't IOPS always assumed to be random where sequential is expressed in MBs?"

      I know it is a minority of cases, but I have seen both measured in both units. i.e. I have seen random 4k reads measured in MB/s, and I am sure I have seen one where sequential performance has been measured in IOPS. I would prefer they continue to specify "random IOPS" (in fact my preference would be to include transfer size and queue depth), as this avoids the case where someone quotes 18 gazillion IOPS with "sequential 1bit reads" in the small print.

  4. Ammaross Danan

    Another Matter

    So, you end your article citing poor response in fixes/firmware and reliability concerns as a potential "let's wait and see if they do better," HOWEVER, the only thing OCZ had to do with the Vertex 3 was putting SandForce controllers together with Micron (or otherwise) NAND on a PCB. They didn't make the chips, they didn't make the controller, and they arguably didn't make the firmware (they have a custom firmware spin, yes, but they didn't write it from scratch). Now, with the Vertex 4, they're using their own (acquired) controller, and thus firmware. The ball is nearly entirely in their court for reliability of the controller and firmware, as well as response times for problems, since they can actually do something about it now other than just drop-ship you a new drive.

    Stop giving a negative spin and almost lying to do it. Unfortunately, this stab wasn't near as obvious as your terrible graphing.

    1. Morg

      Re: Another Matter

      This is important, btw.

      The designs that gave OCZ a bit of bad rep were only Sandforce-based.

      I haven't heard of Indilinx issues before, and the Vertex4 is Indilinx based so it's unlikely to have the exact same (sandforce) issues.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    OCZ has earned their bad rep

    It's not just unreliable SSDs, OCZ has shipped a lot of crap products including RAM, PSUs, etc. Their poor customer support should be known before people spend money on over-hyped products that are often unreliable and difficult to get replaced under warranty. These are FACTS that can be confirmed all over the Net.

    As far as the Vertex 4 is concerned most reviewers consider it a mixed bag. The company hype sounds good but the test results, especially in real world use are not what they should be.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I like OCZ and use a Vertex as a main drive on a workstation. However, I also have a 60 GB OCZ from way back when that has made the round trip 3 times and has never worked. Faced with that 50-50 experience, I bought a Samsung for my 512 laptop upgrade over the weekend. Sorry, OCZ, I need the stability as well as the performance.

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