Overview of the Vertex 4
With a listed max read speed of 560MB/s and a max write speed of 430MB/s, the Vertex 4 is aimed at users who want only the fastest parts for their computer setup. The Vertex 4 uses the SATA III interface, and as a result requires a SATA III-compatible motherboard to make the most of the drive’s capabilities. Another thing to note is the Vertex 4’s 2.5” form factor, which is the standard size for notebook drives but smaller than standard desktop drives. As a result, a 3.5” hard drive caddy adapter (included in the package) is required for users looking to add the Vertex 4 to a desktop setup.
An Alienware M14X R1 (spec’d with an Intel Core I7-2630QM, 8GB RAM, and 1.5GB Nvidia GT 555M) served as the testing platform for both the Vertex 4 and the WD Scorpio Black. Each round of testing saw either the Vertex 4 or the Scorpio Black being placed into the same hard drive slot of the computer, ensuring that all untested variables (that is, everything besides the two data drives) were kept constant throughout. Our benchmarking tools consisted of ATTO Disk, CrystalDiskMark, and HD Tune, allowing us to test for a wide variety of performance measurements.
Our first benchmark tool, ATTO Disk, allows us to look at read and write speeds using a variety of file sizes. For our particular test, we tested file sizes of 0.5KB to 8192KB.
The Vertex 4 shows a clear performance difference in all read/write tests on ATTO Disk, transferring data at almost 5X the speed of the Scorpio Black with certain file sizes. The Scorpio Black HDD reaches its max transfer rate at about 100MB/s read and write, while the Vertex 4 maxes out at about 550MB/s read and 380MB/s write on the ATTO Disk tests.
The next benchmarking tool we used, CrystalDiskMark, allowed us to compare random and sequential file transfers of the Vertex 4 and the Scorpio Black.
Another test, another clear winner. The Vertex 4 shows marked performance advantages in every type of file transfer, whether it be random (i.e. located all over one’s data drive) or sequential (data that’s already organized for fast access).
Our final benchmarking tool, HD tune, gives us a visual way to compare the read/write performance variability as well as access time of the Vertex 4 and the Scorpio Black.
All transfer rates (minimum, maximum, and average) were about 3 to 4 times faster using a Vertex 4 compared to a Scorpio Black. Access times were much quicker on the Vertex 4, which gives credence to the faster response times of SSDs. For whatever reason, the burst transfer rate of the Vertex 4 was actually less than that of the Scorpio Black, but overall the Vertex 4 clearly outperforms the Scorpio Black.
While synthetic benchmarks can provide a pretty good picture of a drive’s performance, most users will use data drives in more real-world settings, which we looked at in the following test.
Whether it was Windows 7 boot times or game load times, the Vertex 4 consistently provided a substantially quicker experience. Depending on the game, users can expect to see a 30 – 70% decrease in loading times.
The OCZ Vertex 4 128GB has everything going for it performance-wise. It crushed the Scorpio Black HDD in almost every test and provided substantial real-world benefits in startup and load times. A top-of-the-line product, the Vertex 4 retails for $139.99, making it a worthwhile upgrade for users looking to get the most out of their computer.
Special thanks to OCZ for sending us a Vertex 4 SSD to review!