Fastest SSD? (120GB-180GB)

I'd say Vertex 4 with the new firmware are the fastest SSDs for most situations. However, SSDs don't make big differences in gaming except for storage intensive parts (such as loading textures, starting a new level, opening a menu, etc). They won't increase frame rates much.


Feb 17, 2012

Amazon says "Up to 535 MB/s sequential reads and 200 MB/s of sequential writes". Don't most SSDs do up to 550MB Read/Write?


Apr 18, 2012
Check out the firmware update dude, it increases performance "200%"..... which isnt really needed, but is very good for bragging rights. I have one.

Make sure you download the firmaware prior to installing anything on the ssd.


With the new firmware, Vertex 4 is the fastest SSD for most workloads. The new firmware shoots Vertex 4 writes far above 500MB/s and their random read/write is high off the scale compared to other SSDs.

Performance doesn't increase by over 200%, it increase to over 200% of its previous performance. It's more than double, but less than triple. Also guys, only the 128GB model gets this doubling in performance because the other Vertex 4 drivers were already over 500MB/s in writes. The 256GB and 512GB models get good boosts and are still ahead of the 128GB model, but don't expect then to hit 1GB/s like saying that all of Vertex 4 doubled in performance suggests. This firmware, above all else, let the 128GB Vertex 4 catch up to the higher capacity Vertex 4 drives while giving those higher capacity drives a decent boost at the same time.

Honestly, I don't know for sure. Chances are that you would need to update it yourself. This is true for most SSDs (it's usually best to update any SSD's firmware for what is usually minor performance and reliability improvements; Vertex 4's huge performance jump from the new firmware is a very unusually high performance jump), not just Vertex 4 SSDs.
Review of Vertex 4 w/firmware 1.4RC3.

Not knocking the vertex 4, but
Throwing around HIGH sequencial performance using ATTO is almost meaningless.
1) ATTO is a HDD benchmark using data that is highly compressable - Manufs love to quote this Number as it is artificully High. An OS + program drive is MUCH more dependent on High 4K random performance. Also these files may compress slightly, but NO wheres near the compresion ratio of data used by ATTO.
2) High Sequencial is MUCH more important when working with LARGE file structures such as: DVD files (typically 1 Gig per file), Blueray (typically upto 40 gigs per file), Large CAD/CAM drawings and large spreadsheets, and when often working with large numbet of 10 meg Photos (Not Bitmape will compress considerably, but Jpeg may not depending on desired quality). Are you going to put these types of files on a 120/128 gig SSD.

3) When looking at performance you need to look at benchmark using PCMark vantage which uses REAL programs for the benchmark,or at least use AS SSD which was developed for SSDs and uses data that does NOT compress. Boils down to in real Life, most of the "Big Boy" are really close when it comes to day-to-day usage, so instead of performance look at reliability and the company.

And Now a negative.
.. It's OCZ, which does NOT have a good rep. When they had all the troubles with their initial SF22xx drives they treated customers like dirt - For about 8 Months they blamed the user for the problems (Stange, intel did not have that problem with thier 520).
.. More a question, has OCZ finally got a method of upgrading the Vertex 4 without having to use a 2nd OS, or 2nd computer to update the firmware as I have not rechecked in the past couple of weeks. At That time they also did not have a bootable CD to update the firmaware. If they haven't I'm sure they will - Just indictive of kicking a product out the door without good support.

What I want is performance, but not by sacrificing reliability, Much prefer a "Good" SSD that has the LEAST user problems.

Do Not always look at price, IE OCZ agility III is OFTEN at bargain prices, and there is a reason, it's a SATA II performance SSD with a SATA III wrapper. That is it performs no better on a SATA III port than a SATA II port.
Yes I have 2 120 gig Agility III's , bought when they first came out - BIG mistake.
Plus 2 ea 128 gig Curcial M4's and 2 128 gig Samsung 830s
If you look thru these forums you will find that the most often recommended SSDs art the Intel 510/520, Curcial M4s and the Samsung 830s..

On Updating Vertex 4, Quote from OCZ (Just checked so though I would add). Still not the better method.

Updating the firmware from the toolbox is not supported when Windows is running off the drive you are trying to update.

WARNING: This is a Destructive Flash, back up all data on SSD. Proceeding with this update will result in complete loss of data on the SSD.

-Toolbox will not update a primary system drive (e.g. drive letter "C:"). You must run Windows from another drive and then update your SSD using Toolbox.

Vertex 4 uses a customized Marvell controller that does not use compression, so it's maximum theoretical data throughput is accurate for all situations (this is why it kicks the crap out of Sandforce in most situations) and since it uses Marvell instead of Sandforce, it is also much more reliable. Vertex 4 has huge random (IE 4K) throughput, so that's also not a problem. Like you said, the OCZ SandForce drives are unreliable and the OCZ Agility drives aren't fast drives, but Vertex 4 is consistently the fastest drive for all workloads, especially real-world workloads. I don't know if Vertex 4s can update their firmware without Windows, but I am sure that the new firmware is a destructive update, so it will probably wipe the drive (jsut means that you need to back it up before updating and then restore the drive's data using the back-up).

It's a customized Marvell controller. The firmware is Indilinx. OCZ did not design it any more than they designed the crappy SandForce controllers. You might not trust the company, but these drives are very reliable whether or not you trust them.
As first posted: [...] -review/13
Here is Anandtech, Must say it is with the older firmware, so some improvement. That 200% is NOT overall, I think it was targated at Sequencial performance, and based on Guru's comments it came at the expense of 4k random.

For their summury go to the last page, Again must emphase this was prior to the latest firmware which does provide a performance boost.
One cause is there apparently are two different vertex 4s - From the summary
"It almost feels like OCZ should have launched the enterprise version of the Vertex 4 first, given its strengths. For more typical mainstream client workloads, the Vertex 4 isn't as good of a fit."


Since the Anand article used the older firmware, it is not at all relevant and the Guru3D link seems to be broken. Also, the Vertex 4 drives with new firmware has among the greatest random read/write performance known, if not the greatest, even with the new firmware and we've already established that. That same Anand article clearly states this:

Sequential read performance is unfortunately just as important for client workloads, and the Vertex 4 doesn't do nearly as well there. If OCZ is able to improve its low queue depth sequential read performance through a firmware update in the coming weeks, it will truly have built a drive (and controller) that are among the fastest on the market. I see no reason that OCZ shouldn't be able to achieve this given the sequential read performance we saw from Octane, but as is always the case with these types of launches we have to review the product we have, not the product we'll get.

Considering the fact that OCZ did release that new firmware update, Anand clearly states right here that at the least, the Vertex 4s are now among the fastest drives in the market (although they are wrong about OCZ building the controller; OCZ only modified a Marvell controller and made their own firmware to go with it). I'd also go as far as to say that any drive that actually beats them only does it in specific situations, whereas the Vertex 4s are among the best in all aspects of SSD performance with the new firmware instead of excelling in one or two aspects and being mediocre in the others. Considering the huge benefits of the firmware, Anand probably underestimated the improvements of the new firmware, but oh well.
Also, you misunderstand the improvement. It's not a 200% improvement, it's an improvement to 200%. Improvement of 200% equals three times faster and an improvement to 200% equals twice as fast. Even if it mean a decrease in random performance (to which I admit the possibility), it's still the fastest random I/O per second drive available in it's price range, especially for writes.


May 24, 2012
so read/ write speeds are how fast ur SSD reads a program to launch it and how fast it installs right? then what it I/O and how does it effect performance?


Aug 17, 2007
Read / Write speeds are how fast an SSD can Read / Write data from / to itself and they're usually best-case-scenario supremums, rarely achievable in actual, every day use.

I/O stands for Input/Output, basically the same thing. However, RANDOM I/Os means the average speed at which the SSD does random reads/writes (random as in non-sequential i.e. the data it reads/writes is scattered around multiple files/places on the SSD) a much better indication of actual performance although, again, not the only factor.

SSDs such as the Vertex 4 and the Samsung 830 get much closer to their maximum rates speeds much more often than SandForce SSDs due to their performance not relying on varying compression rates of data, among other more minor reasons. Otherwise, I can agree with you and I can still admit that even with these two drives (and other similar drives, the Crucial M4 is another) that these non-SandForce SSDs might not always reach their rated speeds, but they do much better at reaching them than SandForce SSDs do.


Oct 20, 2009
So what i'm gathering from this thread is that while the Vertex 4 may have one of the fastest in the market (with their new firmware update), the company behind them is fairly questionable.
Whereas the Intel 510/520, Curcial M4s and the Samsung 830s seem to have a better company reputation, andwhile they may not be as consistently fast as teh Vertex 4, they are still the upper tier of the market
However, apparently the Sandforce technology is ....bad...yes?
Saw this in anotehr thread, thought it was pretty relevant considering....



Dec 2, 2011
i'm shopping for the best 120gb ssd too based on price/performance.

why would u go for ocz when they released a horrible product and gave their customers hell for it? ive read terrible review after terrible review on newegg for several ocz ssd products. whether or not the new firmware comprehensively fixes all of these problems remains to be seen.

besides i doubt the average user will notice a large difference between the samsung 830 and the vertex4. if u put it under a microscope, sure. if ur upgrading from a mechanical drive, definitely.

should you end up having trouble within a week of use (which often seems to be the case with ocz), ur better off dealing with customer support at intel or samsung, who are likely to be a lot more helpful than ocz.
^ That's my take,
And for the real life difference, I'll always go with most reliable.
In the case of the vertex 4, reliability, may be there, but I'll judge that after it's been on the market for 6-> 8 Monthes.

As the old saying goes Once bitten, twice shy. I went against my advice and bout not one, but to agility IIIs. when I could not install in my laptop (Sata III, SB i5-2410M) I started looking, and OCZs forum read Like a horror script, Rather than take responsibility and admit the problems, they kept Blaming the User, both knowledge/abilities, and / or their systems - From that point I vowed never to buy OCZ, If memory serves me right they also had a bad rep for Memory sometime ago.