long with the Samsung 840 Pro, this is the fastest SSD currently around
This week OCZ launched a new SSD series under the name Vector. OCZ is aiming at the high-end segment with these, more or less as a follow-up to the existing Vertex 4 series. The interesting part about the new SSD is the controller, because the Indilinx Barefoot 3 has been developed in-house by OCZ. Hardware.Info tested the Vector to find out whether it can hold its own against the other fast SSDs that recently came out. See all storage reviews.
This week OCZ launched a new SSD series under the name Vector. OCZ is aiming at the high-end segment with these, more or less as a follow-up to the existing Vertex 4 series. The interesting part about the new SSD is the controller, because the Indilinx Barefoot 3 has been developed in-house by OCZ. Hardware.Info tested the Vector to find out whether it can hold its own against the other fast SSDs that recently came out.
The Vertex 4 SSD has been out for more than a year. When it first appeared, OCZ claimed that they were built around a controller they had developed themselves, called the Indilinx Everest 2, as Indilinx had been acquired a year before by OCZ. It appeared that this wasn't the whole truth, because the Everest 2 was actually a new generation Marvell controller equipped with Indilinx firmware. After the issues with its SandForce-based Vertex 2 and Vertex 3 SSDs, this news didn't make the company more popular.
The past few months the company seems to have reinvented itself. New management, new products and a new attitude, according to OCZ. From now on it will be all about quality and reliability, and this should be reflected by their products. With the new Vector SSDs OCZ claims to have do everything to ensure reliability. The SSDs have been tested by a large group of beta tester for an extended period of time, and each Vector that rolls off the assembly line is extensively tested.
The controller is new, in name the Barefoot 3 is the successor to the controllers developed by Indilinx that were used by the first-generation OCZ Vertex SSDs. The new controller is a completely new generation, however, developed by the engineers that OCZ acquired from Indilinx and PLX.
The Vector SSDs are built around the Indilinx Barefoot 3 controller. We've gotten used to the fact that manufacturers refuse the divulge the exact details about the inner workings of their SSD controllers. Apparently they really don't want the competition to know. Still, the most important qualities were revealed by OCZ.
The Barefoot 3 is based on the ARM-core from the Cortex generation, completed with a co-processor that can provide specific storage tasks. That co-processor is called Aragoni by OCZ. The integrated SATA-interface works according the Serial ATA 600 standard. The flash controller is suitable for both flash chips according to the ONFI standard (used by Intel/Micron) and for Toggle flash (used by Toshiba, Samsung and SanDisk). Like other popular SSD controllers, the Barefoot 3 can control eight flash chips in parallel.
The controller can make use of buffer memory, for that it has an integrated memory controller that supports both DDR2 and DDR3. The Barefoot 3 has an integrated ECC engine as well. The important TRIM command is of course completely supported by the Barefoot 3. The chip does not employ compression tricks like the LSI SandForce chips.
You can find the rest of this review on Hardware.Info.