Thursday, April 14, 2011

Review: OCZ Vertex2 60GB SSD

OCZ Technology 60 GB Vertex 2 Series SATA II 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive (SSD) OCZSSD22VTXE60G

After having played with my Asus Eee PC 1215N for about a week or so and determining that it should be faster, I bought an OCZ Vertex2 60G SSD for it. After some initial headaches (my netbook wouldn't recognize it), I finally got it to install after upgrading the firmware. I made a mistake that would come back to bite me, though. After using a 2nd PC to upgrade the drive, I formatted it as well. This, I found out later, caused the drive to be "misaligned," which I still don't completely understand, but it has something to do with the block size matching the flash memory sectors. So, upon running a benchmark after my initial install of Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit, I saw that my write speeds were less than half of the advertised rate of 275MB/s (read speeds were as advertised). My actual write speeds were about 120MB/s max using ATTO, the recommended benchmark. After I found out about the misalignment from the OCZ forums, I wiped the drive and reinstalled Windows, letting the Windows installer do the formatting. This yielded an aligned drive (info via AS SSD). However, my write speeds as of now are no higher than 180MB/s. This is much better than before, but I still feel cheated. Maybe there's a limitation from the system I'm using, but I doubt it. Other people with my model netbook are posting higher write speeds than me. Oh well, it was cheap and it's still way faster than the stock drive. The only other bit of advice is that if you can avoid installing the Intel Matrix Storage drivers for your chipset, do so. Using the stock Microsoft AHCI increased my write speed performance drastically. To summarize, buy this drive if 280MB/s read and 180MB/s writes are good enough for you.