OCZ Vector 180 480GB in Four-Disk RAID Review

by - 8 years ago

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Introduction


OCZ_Vector180_480GB_RAID-Photo-Four_Drives

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.

Four-times-Vector-180

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.

OCZ_Vector180_480GB-Photo-rear

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.

OCZ_Vector180_480GB-Photo-inside_out

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_Vector180_480GB-Photo-pcb_1

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.

OCZ_Vector180_480GB-Photo-pcb_2

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_Vector180_480GB-Photo-box_contents

–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

Test Procedure


OCZ_Vector180_480GB-Photo-top

Test system:

  • Supermicro C7Z97-OCE motherboard
  • Intel Xeon E3-1230Lv3
  • Corsair Vengeance 8GB 1866MHz
  • Kingston HyperX 240GB SSD

We would like to thank our sponsors for providing us with the equipment needed to perform these tests.

I’ll be using as many different software applications as possible to gain the broadest spectrum of results, which in return allows for the fairest testing possible.

Software used:

  • AIDA64 Engineer
  • Anvil’s Storage Utilities
  • AS SSD Benchmark
  • ATTO Disk Benchmark
  • CrystalDiskMark

I will be testing the drives with Intel’s RAID controller in each possible drive mode: RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10 as well as Single disk. I will running a series of benchmarks with the software mentioned above on each setup before destroying it and moving onto the next to repeat it again. The SSD with the operating system is running on a different SATA controller to avoid possible performance impact. Each of the following pages will display a list of screenshots from each test as well as comparison charts for a quick overview.

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AIDA64 Engineer


AIDA64 is a streamlined Windows diagnostic and benchmarking software for home users. It provides a wide range of features to assist in overclocking, hardware error diagnosis, stress testing, and sensor monitoring.

It has unique capabilities to access the performance of the processor, system memory, and disk drives and is compatible with most Microsoft Windows operating systems. It also has a disk benchmark tool, and that is the one we’ll be using.

OCZ_Vector180_480GB_RAID-Chart-AIDA_read

OCZ_Vector180_480GB_RAID-Chart-AIDA_accesstimes

RAID 0

OCZ_Vector180_480GB_RAID-SS_AIDA_linear-RAID0

OCZ_Vector180_480GB_RAID-SS_AIDA_random-RAID0

OCZ_Vector180_480GB_RAID-SS_AIDA_accesstimes-RAID0

RAID 1

OCZ_Vector180_480GB_RAID-SS_AIDA_linear-RAID1

OCZ_Vector180_480GB_RAID-SS_AIDA_random-RAID1

OCZ_Vector180_480GB_RAID-SS_AIDA_accesstimes-RAID1

RAID 5

OCZ_Vector180_480GB_RAID-SS_AIDA_linear-RAID5

OCZ_Vector180_480GB_RAID-SS_AIDA_random-RAID5

OCZ_Vector180_480GB_RAID-SS_AIDA_accesstimes-RAID5

RAID 10

OCZ_Vector180_480GB_RAID-SS_AIDA_linear-RAID10

OCZ_Vector180_480GB_RAID-SS_AIDA_random-RAID10

OCZ_Vector180_480GB_RAID-SS_AIDA_accesstimes-RAID10

Single

OCZ_Vector180_480GB_RAID-SS_AIDA_suite-Single

OCZ_Vector180_480GB_RAID-SS_AIDA_accesstimes-Single

–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

Anvil’s Storage Utilities


Anvil’s Storage Utilities is a relative new benchmarking utility that has the ability to test mainly hard drives and solid state drives, but also any other form of storage medium that you can throw at it. It is completely free as well, which is a nice thing

As well as testing the drive in a variety of benchmarking tests, it also has a drive endurance test that consistently reads and writes data to the selected medium to give days, months and potentially even years of use in a shorter period of time to see how the drive handles in the long run.

OCZ_Vector180_480GB_RAID-Chart-Anvils_compressible

OCZ_Vector180_480GB_RAID-Chart-Anvils_incompressible

RAID 0

OCZ_Vector180_480GB_RAID-SS_Anvil_compressible-RAID0

OCZ_Vector180_480GB_RAID-SS_Anvil_incompressible-RAID0

RAID 1

OCZ_Vector180_480GB_RAID-SS_Anvil_compressible-RAID1

OCZ_Vector180_480GB_RAID-SS_Anvil_incompressible-RAID1

RAID 5

OCZ_Vector180_480GB_RAID-SS_Anvil_compressible-RAID5

OCZ_Vector180_480GB_RAID-SS_Anvil_incompressible-RAID5

RAID 10

OCZ_Vector180_480GB_RAID-SS_Anvil_compressible-RAID10

OCZ_Vector180_480GB_RAID-SS_Anvil_incompressible-RAID10

Single

OCZ_Vector180_480GB_RAID-Bench-Anvil_compressible-Single

OCZ_Vector180_480GB_RAID-Bench-Anvil_incompressible-Single

–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

AS SSD


The AS SSD software determines the performance of Solid State Drives (SSD). The tool contains five synthetic and three practice tests. The synthetic tests determine the sequential and random read and write performance of the SSD. These tests are performed without using the operating system caches. In Sequential tests, the program measures the time it takes to read and write a 1 GB file respectively. To give a clearer picture of the drives tested, I’ve chosen to include all tests. Special the copy test is one that I think is relevant on the consumer level as it gives the user a view

OCZ_Vector180_480GB_RAID-Chart-ASSSD

RAID 0

OCZ_Vector180_480GB_RAID-SS_Asssd_combined-RAID0

OCZ_Vector180_480GB_RAID-SS_Asssd_compression-RAID0

RAID 1

OCZ_Vector180_480GB_RAID-SS_Asssd_combined-RAID1

OCZ_Vector180_480GB_RAID-SS_Asssd_compression-RAID1

RAID 5

OCZ_Vector180_480GB_RAID-SS_Asssd_combined-RAID5

OCZ_Vector180_480GB_RAID-SS_Asssd_compression-RAID5

RAID 10

OCZ_Vector180_480GB_RAID-SS_Asssd_combined-RAID10

OCZ_Vector180_480GB_RAID-SS_Asssd_compression-RAID10

Single

OCZ_Vector180_480GB_RAID-Bench-ASSSD_combined-Single

OCZ_Vector180_480GB_RAID-Bench-ASSSD_compression-Single

–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

ATTO


The ATTO Disk Benchmark is a performance measurement tool is for Windows. It measures storage systems performance with various transfer sizes and test lengths for both reads and writes. It has multiple options available to customize your performance measurement, including queue depth, overlapped I/O and even a comparison mode with the option to run continuously.

ATTO can be used to test any manufacturers RAID controllers, storage controllers, host adapters, hard drives and SSD drives so it is a popular tool everywhere.

OCZ_Vector180_480GB_RAID-Chart-ATTO2

RAID 0

OCZ_Vector180_480GB_RAID-SS_Atto_RAID0

RAID 1

OCZ_Vector180_480GB_RAID-SS_Atto_RAID1

RAID 5

OCZ_Vector180_480GB_RAID-SS_Atto_RAID5

RAID 10

OCZ_Vector180_480GB_RAID-SS_Atto_RAID10-text

Single

OCZ_Vector180_480GB_RAID-Bench-ATTO-Single

–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

CrystalDiskMark


CrystalDiskMark is a small HDD benchmark utility for your hard drive that enables you to rapidly measure sequential and random 4KB/512KB read/write speeds.

OCZ_Vector180_480GB_RAID-Chart-CDM

RAID 0

OCZ_Vector180_480GB_RAID-SS_CDM-RAID0

RAID 1

OCZ_Vector180_480GB_RAID-SS_CDM-RAID1

RAID 5

OCZ_Vector180_480GB_RAID-SS_CDM-RAID5

RAID 10

OCZ_Vector180_480GB_RAID-SS_CDM-RAID10

Single

OCZ_Vector180_480GB_RAID-Bench-CDM-Single

–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

Final Thoughts


Pricing

The OCZ Vector 180 hasn’t been on the market that long yet and the availability hasn’t spread as far as I’d liked to see it, but I’m sure that’s just a matter of time. The drives also did great in this RAID review and you can pick up your own for $269.99 at Amazon or £246.99 at Amazon UK. NewEgg also has the drive for $274.99 and German readers can find the cheapest via Geizhals where it starts at €276.22 at the time of writing.

OCZ_Vector180_480GB_RAID-Chart-price

Conclusion

The Vector 180 is OCZ’s new enthusiast and performance drive and it certainly lives up to that. The performance convinced just as much in this RAID review as it did in the single drive tests we did a little while ago. What RAID setup you should choose comes down to whether you need redundancy, speed, or a mixture of both. Depending on the setup, we saw linear read speeds close to 1700MB/s and a random 4K  performance up to 175K reading and 140K writing. Great results!

The physical part of the drive follows OCZ usual drive design with two simple stickers. The top one will show the company and series name and come in the series colour, in this case black. The sticker on the bottom contains all the relevant information such as serial numbers, firmware revision and product numbers, just like it should be. Everything at one glance when you need it and otherwise hidden away from the field of view in display-built systems.

OCZ is part of Toshiba now and as such this drive is a complete in-house creation. It’s using OCZ’s Indilinx Barefoot 3 SSD controller and it is paired with Toshiba’s A19nm NAND chips for superb performance and reliability. The combination will not only give you a great performing drive, but also one that will last for a long time and one that comes with almost any feature that you could want, such as S.M.A.R.T., Trim, Garbage collection, and also the new Power Failure Management Plus protection. A feature like the PFM+ is rarely found in consumer drives and it helps to flush data from the cache to the NAND in case of a sudden power failure.

The Vector 180 doesn’t just perform great with fast transfer speeds and speedy throughput, it also comes with a 50GB per day endurance rating and is backed by OCZ’s 5-year ShieldPlus Warranty. You also get a good bundle with the drive that includes both a 3.5-inch adapter and a copy of Acronis True Image disk cloning software.

Pros

  • Great speeds and endurance, also in RAID
  • 3.5-inch adapter & Acronis True Image included
  • 5-year ShieldPlus Warranty
  • Good price

Cons

  • Getting four of these drives might be too costly for some

“The OCZ Vector 180 480GB is one I’d love to have four of in a RAID setup. This is a kinda of performance that’s hard to ignore and the drives come with great features and endurance.”

Extreme-Performance

OCZ Vector 180 480GB in Four-Disk RAID Review

Thanks to OCZ for providing us with these samples.

Article Index

  1. Introduction
  2. Test Procedure
  3. Aida64
  4. Anvil's Storage Utilities
  5. AS SSD
  6. ATTO
  7. CrystalDiskMark
  8. Final Thoughts
  9. View All

Author Bio

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