OCZ Vertex 120GB SSD Review

by AkG     |     July 5, 2009

First Impressions

As with the Apex OCZ SSD we reviewed recently this drive's all metal cover is done in a striking black and silver colour scheme. As mentioned in that review, the base of the unit is denude of paint and thus “silver” though one could argue it’s a black and nude colour scheme. The “top” label is done in the same bold and aggressive colour scheme which is used on the package it came in, but unlike the Apex which was also consistent with its colour scheme, it really does work well here and we have no complaints about its looks. An expensive, fast drive should look expensive and fast.

Flipping the drive over we see the typical all white information label with black lettering. As with all SSDs this label is crammed full of useful information. The biggest of these is the .35A draw off the 5 volt line or to be more precise this version of the Indilinx 12xGB SSD uses a full .2A less than the G.Skill Falcon at peak. We are not sure if this is a typo, the Falcon’s number was a typo, G.Skill is being more conservative and overestimating the power draw…or even if OCZ has somehow worked a miracle and lowered the voltage requirement by 40%.

The only other notable feature is the dual pin jumper located next to the SATA data and power ports. As we stated in the Falcon review, jumping these pins with the jumper (which is not included) allows you to update the firmware of your drive, though this is mainly for major revisions rather than incremental.

To update to the 1.1 firmware from a previous version requires the jumper to be in place BUT to go from 1.1 to 1.3 you need only run a DOS-based updater (there is no official 1.2 firmware revision). We highly recommend making sure you are running the latest firmware for the Vertex as earlier versions were lacking in certain regards.

When it comes to the looks of this drive there’s not much to dislike. It’s sexy as hell in its black and silver motif; and more importantly, this really is a fitting colour scheme for such a powerful SSD. Though as good looking as this drive is (and to play devil’s advocate for a moment) we have seen little to prove why you should purchase the OCZ branded drive over the competition's version. The quicker release of the 1.3 firmware does seem to help justify the added expense somewhat, but lets see if there are any conclusive reasons to chose one version of the barefoot controller SSD over another.

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