OCZ Vector 180 480GB in Four-Disk RAID Review

Introduction


We’ve recently taken a look at how two OCZ Vector 180 960GB drives would perform in a RAID setup and to no one’s surprise, they were amazing. So how can we kick this up a notch? Easy, we take four of these amazing OCZ Vector 180 drives and try a RAID setup on them; now this is what I call fun and I love being able to test this setup.

Okay, I have to admit right away that this setup is halfway cheated, yet it shouldn’t have any performance impact. I only have two 480GB drives, but I also have two 960GB drives that use the exact same components. This means that I’ll just treat the 960GB drives as 480 ones and it won’t have any impact on our tests except that it will have a slightly different total space displayed. It’s really rare that I have four disks of the same brand for such a test, and I just didn’t want to let this chance slip away – and I’m sure more than a few of our readers will appreciate to find out how four of these drives will handle themselves in a RAID environment.

The new OCZ Vector 180 is the follow-up drive to the already successful Vector 150 series and on the base it’s still the same drive. It has however gotten a refresh in both parts, performance, and features, and it’s a drive well worth the attention that it’s getting here. With four drives at my disposal, I also got all the RAID modes available that the Intel RST has to offer: RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10, and I’ll be testing the drives in each available setup. The only place where I’ll only be using the two 480GB drives is the RAID 1 setup and this is a natural limitation based on the setup. Two disks are just max here.

The Vector 180 drive is based on the well-known, and in my opinion amazing, Indilinx Barefoot 3 M00 controller and it’s coupled with Toshiba’s A19nm NAND that we’ve seen perform great in any drive that it’s been used in. The drive is categorized as an enthusiast drive and that with good reason, the performance is great with a rated sequential speed of 550MB/s while reading and 510-530MB/s at writing. The random performance gets close to the 100K on 4K benchmarks, which isn’t bad either, not at all.

All the basic features like SMART, TRIM, and Garbage collection that is a must in every SSD these days are covered, but OCZ didn’t stop there. They also took something that’s usually reserved for enterprise-class drives and added it to their consumer drive and it’s called PFM+. PFM+ stands for Power Failure Management Plus and it helps to prevent data loss in the event of a sudden power loss. The drive has built-in capacitors that can provide enough power to flush the data from the cache to the NAND in the case that the power to the system should fail. Critical data can be saved with addition and it’s a great feature to have in any system.

OCZ’s Vector 180 comes with an official endurance rating of 50GB/day which is quite impressive for both desktop and server-grade disks. It also carries the amazing 5-year ShieldPlus warranty if the worst case situation should happen, where you can get around the hassle and troubles of normal RMAs and just get a new drive instead of the failed. I can not stress enough how amazing this is and you should give this warranty an extra look before you purchase your next SSD. It might be enough to change your mind on what to get, I know it did for me.

When it comes to what is bundled, then we find the usual great content inside the OCZ packaging. We get both a 3.5-inch adapter for those cases that aren’t suited for 2.5-inch drives natively as well as a key for the Acronis True Image disk cloning software so we easily can clone our old and slow drive onto our new and fast SSD. Other available capacities besides the 480GB are 120GB, 240GB, and 960GB.

OCZ Vector 180 480GB Solid State Drive Review

Introduction


We have had a look at the 960GB capacity of the new Vector 180 series already and today it’s time to take a closer look at the smaller sibling with 480GB capacity. The new mainstream and entry-level server SSD is packed full of great features and performance, and the 480GB capacity will probably hit the sweet spot for most people interested in this drive.

The drive is aimed at the mainstream market but still delivers more performance than most do in this segment and it lands right in the middle of features and performance. OCZ’s Vector 180 is built around the in-house created Indilinx Barefoot 3 M00 controller that has been coupled with the latest generation of Toshiba’s A19 MLC NAND flash for great sequential speeds up to 550MB/s and a random performance up to 100k IOPS. This is surely a drive that will wake the interest of enthusiast.

The drive doesn’t just come with great speeds, it also has a great endurance with an official rating of 50GB/day. OCZ’s Power failure management plus (PFM+) is a great new feature that prevents partial data loss and corrupting in case of power failure. There are capacitors that ensure the data at rest is safe but all user data in the DRAM buffer will still be lost in the case of sudden power loss. The capacitors ensure that all metadata is safe and that the drive will continue to operate normally after a power loss, i.e. the NAND mapping table won’t be lost, which can brick the drive or at least slow down the next boot up as the drive has to go through recovery process. While not perfect, it’s a really great feature and extra security to have.

The 480GB model is using a total of 16 Toshiba A19nm NAND and two Micron RAM chips just like the 960GB model does, but they’re half the capacity, of course.

You can easily relax for the next five years as OCZ’ ShieldPlus warranty covers your drive, even without receipt or proof of purchase. This is absolutely one of the best warranty services around. Vector 180 comes with a full bundle including 3.5-inch adapter and Acronis True Image disk cloning software. Other available capacities are 120GB, 240GB, and 960GB

OCZ Vector 180 960GB SSDs in RAID Review

Introduction


I often read the comment ‘that would be awesome with two 1TB SSDs’ or ‘I would love two of these new SSDs for a RAID setup’ in our comment sections, both here on the page and on Facebook. So what would be more obvious than testing the brand new OCZ Vector 180 960GB Solid State Drive in the available RAID setups.

With two disks at my disposal, my options are limited to just RAID 1, RAID 0, Recovery and the normal single disk modes. Each mode has its ups and downs and there really isn’t one that is better than the others, it comes down to your personal needs. Whether you need capacity, redundancy, speed or a just the baseline, that is your choice.

The new enthusiast drives from OCZ are built on a solid principle of proven components. At the heart is the Indilinx Barefoot 3 M00 SSD controller and it is paired with Toshiba’s A19nm MLC NAND. This is a great combination that will give you top speeds on a reliable drive full of features. The basics are covered with SMART, TRIM, and Garbage collection, but the Vector 180 also features Power Failure management plus (PFM+) to prevent data loss in the event of a sudden power loss.

OCZ’s Vector 180 comes with an official endurance rating of 50GB/day, quite impressive. It also carries the amazing 5-year ShieldPlus warranty if the worst case situation should happen and comes bundled with both Acronis True Image disk cloning software and a 3.5-inch adapter bracket. Other available capacities are 120GB, 240GB, and 480GB

We saw sequential speeds up to 550MB/s while reading and 510MB/s while writing in our one disk review, but how well will the Vector 180 perform in the different RAID setups?

OCZ Vector 180 960GB Solid State Drive Review

Introduction


It has been a while since OCZ first introduced us to the Vector 180 series, actually almost a year. The company wasn’t fully happy with the drive back then and decided to keep working on it until they had the best possible product to release. Now it’s finally that time and the OCZ Vector 180 drives are ready and released.

The first drive I’ll be taking a look at in the new Vector 180 series is the 960GB model, the biggest. This is the first time OCZ is releasing a client-level SATA SSD in the 1TB category, and one I’m sure will be welcomed by many users. SSD prices have dropped and these large sizes are increasingly becoming a valid option for more and more people.

The OCZ Vector 180 is built around the in-house created Indilinx Barefoot 3 M00 controller and coupled with the latest generation of Toshiba A19 MLC NAND flash for great sequential speeds up to 550MB/s while reading and 510MB/s while writing while also performing up to 100k IOPS; this surely is a drive that will wake the interest of enthusiasts.

The drive is aimed at the mainstream but delivers more performance than most in this segment and it lands right in the middle between performance and features. Not only does the drive come with great speeds, it also has great endurance with an official rating of 50GB/day. Power failure management plus (PFM+) is another new feature that prevents partial data loss and corrupting in case of power failure.

There are capacitors that ensure the data at rest is safe but all user data in the DRAM buffer will still be lost in the case of sudden power loss. The capacitors ensure that all metadata is safe and that the drive will continue to operate normally after a power loss, i.e. the NAND mapping table won’t be lost, which can brick the drive or at least slow down the next boot up as the drive has to go through recovery process. While not perfect, it’s a really great feature and extra security to have and one that you mostly find in the enterprise class drives.

The Vector 180 SSD is using a total of 16 NAND chips with 8 on each side of the PCB to achieve the 960GB capacity. To ensure that the transfer rates stay up and you have a smooth operation, the Vector 180 960GB SSD has two Micron RAM chips which should be 512MB.

The drive carries OCZ’s 5-year ShieldPlus warranty where a purchase receipt isn’t required and all defective drives will be replaced with brand new units. It also comes with a bundle of accesories, including a 3.5-inch adapter and Acronis True Image disk cloning software. Other available capacities are 120GB, 240GB, and 480GB