OCZ Vector 256GB SSD Review

OCZ soft launches the 256GB Vector SSD with its first OCZ-proprietary controller, the Barefoot 3. Geared for steady state performance, the OCZ Vector SSD is designed with the end user in mind. Today we take a look at the Vector and the new controller architecture and see how these fare in our steady state testing.

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Packaging

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The box the OCZ Vector SSD comes in is standard fare, with a blue color scheme and the relevant information on the front and rear of the box.

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Once the foam insert is slid out the included 3.5" drive bay adapter comes into view. This eases installation into the users existing drive bays. There are screws to connect the drive into the 3.5" drive bay adapter, and screws to connect the adapter into the user's case included in the package. We can also observe the schnazzy "I Heart my SSD" sticker that is a hallmark of OCZ enthusiast SSDs.

There is an included insert with a key for installing Acronis. Acronis is an easy to use drive image utility that will allow users to clone over existing operating systems to the SSD. This is a handy software tool to have, and a welcome inclusion to the kit.

BUILD

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The OCZ Vector’s black and blue case is bold and looks great. Even though it comes in a 7mm Z-Height it is surprisingly sturdy. This is one of the sturdiest consumer SSDs that we have tested, and the case has quite a bit of heft to it. This is actually a nice feature as it is much more rigid than other 7mm SSDs on the market.

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Bucking the trend of many other flagship SSDs the OCZ Vector PCB is secured into the case with four screws. Many other 7mm drives aren't secured into the chassis. There is an included thermal pad to keep the Barefoot 3 controller cool by shedding the heat into the SSD's case.

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There are 8 x 25nm NAND packages on the front of the PCB, and another 8 on the rear. There is one Micron 256MB DRAM package per side, for a total of 512MB of cache. The Barefoot 3 controller occupies the center of the board, strategically placed very closely to the NAND packages to keep the traces as short as possible.

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The Indilinx Barefoot 3 controller is front and center, with the part number IDX500M00-BC. Hopefully for OCZs sake we will see this controller in a number of different SSDs in the future.

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Finally, we get the SSD back into the case and onto the drive bay adapter, and it’s off to the benches!