Improvements and upgrades come in many forms. Some are imperceptible. In technology, some are simply vaporware and an excuse to tempt you to make a purchase. Some expect you to spend money to relocate a headphone jack to the bottom of a phone. Oddly, everyone expects upgrades to be performance related, even though there are many circumstances where it is not warranted or even slightly the goal of the manufacturer. Many items are worthy of a separate product designation or “New & Improved” tag with no perceptible difference in everyday usage. There are always other factors to consider.
Top tier SSD drives come close to fully utilizing the SATA 3 interface to its fullest capacity. This doesn’t mean that SSD manufacturers should stand pat and wait around for interface upgrades. 4k performance needs to be addressed. In many controller/NAND combinations write speeds need to be made faster. One thing that all combinations can always use more of, however, is endurance. Flash memory does not have unlimited life, there are only so many times each cell can be written to. When OCZ set out to upgrade what is arguably the fastest SSD on the market, this was their goal; make the top performing drive perform at the top for longer. What could possibly be better for the consumer?
The OCZ Vector 150 120GB SSD shares most of its traits with the original Vector, including the vaunted Barefoot 3 controller capable of managing blistering performance. The biggest change in the OCZ Vector 150 SSD line comes in its NAND flash, which has been changed out to 19nm Toshiba MLC. While the change does not have a huge performance impact, it does have a great impact on endurance and longevity, pushing endurance to 50GB of host writes per day for 5-years. The performance is what you would expect from an SSD bearing the Vector nameplate; 80k IOPS on the read side, with the Barefoot 3 pushing the writes to an incredible 95k IOPS. Sequential read and write top out at 550 and 450 MB/s on the 120GB drive. OCZ again used a solid metal 7mm housing for the Vector 150, and have included a 3.5” adapter, as well as Acronis True Image software in the package. OCZ is backing up the Vector 150’s endurance claims with a 5-year warranty.