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OCZ Technology 240gb SSD

OCZ Technology 240gb SSD

After giving the Samsung 470 Series SSD a test a few weeks ago I realized just how big of a difference a newer SSD could make as compared to my one year old model.

The Samsung SSD performed admirably, but it had one limitation that I wanted to overcome. The Samsung has a 3 GB/s connection, while many new laptops now have hard drive connectors that can accomodate up to 6 GB/s.

So, the real question was, how big of a difference would this make?

I searched Amazon for the fastest SSD drive I could find with a minimum size of 256GB and a 6.0 GB/s SATA III connection and finally settled on the OCZ Technology 240GB SSD. It was a little smaller, but I think it’s because the extra 16GB of lost space goes towards redundancy within the drive. (If anyone can verify that please leave a comment.)

Testing Methodology

In order to test the drives as equally as possible without having to completely erase everything I decided to clone the Samsung SSD onto the OCZ Technology drive and then perform a swap. Here’s how I did it:

  • I used my brand new MacBook Pro i7 2.2 quad core running Mac OS X 10.6.8.
  • I connected the Samsung MZ-5PA256 SSD to the MacBook Pro via a Thermaltake BlacX external drive adapter.
  • I used SuperDuper for Mac to clone the existing drive onto the new one.
  • I used Xbench for Mac to measure the Samsung SSD.
  • I physically swapped the two hard drives, and then ran Xbench on the new OCZ drive.

Results

First, let’s look at the Samsung 470 Series test results. Keep in mind that this drive is rated at “Up to 250MB/s Read speeds and 220MB/s Write speeds”:

Results	314.43	
	System Info		
		Xbench Version		1.3
		System Version		10.6.8 (10K540)
		Physical RAM		4096 MB
		Model		MacBookPro8,3
		Drive Type		SAMSUNG 470 Series SSD
	Disk Test	314.43	
		Sequential	209.60	
			Uncached Write	213.71	131.21 MB/sec [4K blocks]
			Uncached Write	312.15	176.61 MB/sec [256K blocks]
			Uncached Read	113.72	33.28 MB/sec [4K blocks]
			Uncached Read	415.29	208.72 MB/sec [256K blocks]
		Random	629.08	
			Uncached Write	341.36	36.14 MB/sec [4K blocks]
			Uncached Write	591.88	189.48 MB/sec [256K blocks]
			Uncached Read	1630.41	11.55 MB/sec [4K blocks]
			Uncached Read	887.97	164.77 MB/sec [256K blocks]

Next, we’ll examine the OCZ Technology 240 GB Vertex 3. Again, this drive is rated for Read speeds up to 550MB/s, and Write speeds up to 520 MB/s.

Results	489.42	
	System Info		
		Xbench Version		1.3
		System Version		10.6.8 (10K549)
		Physical RAM		4096 MB
		Model		MacBookPro8,3
		Drive Type		OCZ-VERTEX3
	Disk Test	489.42	
		Sequential	284.08	
			Uncached Write	429.57	263.75 MB/sec [4K blocks]
			Uncached Write	589.39	333.48 MB/sec [256K blocks]
			Uncached Read	117.08	34.26 MB/sec [4K blocks]
			Uncached Read	660.01	331.72 MB/sec [256K blocks]
		Random	1765.81	
			Uncached Write	2716.46	287.57 MB/sec [4K blocks]
			Uncached Write	997.89	319.46 MB/sec [256K blocks]
			Uncached Read	2943.69	20.86 MB/sec [4K blocks]
			Uncached Read	1800.84	334.16 MB/sec [256K blocks]

For comparison, here is the benchmark test from a 1 TB 7,200 RPM 3.5″ drive in an iMac.

Results	60.93	
	System Info		
		Xbench Version		1.3
		System Version		10.6.8 (10K540)
		Physical RAM		12288 MB
		Model		iMac11,1
		Drive Type		ST31000528ASQ
	Disk Test	60.93	
		Sequential	144.61	
			Uncached Write	135.13	82.97 MB/sec [4K blocks]
			Uncached Write	134.84	76.29 MB/sec [256K blocks]
			Uncached Read	142.50	41.70 MB/sec [4K blocks]
			Uncached Read	171.62	86.26 MB/sec [256K blocks]
		Random	38.59	
			Uncached Write	11.91	1.26 MB/sec [4K blocks]
			Uncached Write	225.15	72.08 MB/sec [256K blocks]
			Uncached Read	106.40	0.75 MB/sec [4K blocks]
			Uncached Read	170.81	31.70 MB/sec [256K blocks]

As you can see, either of the SSD drives completely crush even a full-sized desktop hard drive, much less a slower portable drive.

Summary

The question about whether a 6GB/s connection vs a 3GB/s connection seems to have been answered, authoritatively! Although the OCZ wasn’t twice the speed of the Samsung in every measurement, it certainly performs in general at about twice the speed. Additionally, this drive clocks in faster than many RAID arrays comprised of traditional hard drives, and it’s the fastest drive I’ve ever personally tested.

The bottom line is, if your computer only has a 3GB/s connection for the drive, this SSD probably won’t offer a huge improvement over the Samsung. However, if you have a newer computer or if you’re concerned about having a drive that is future proof, I highly recommend the OCZ Vertex 3. So much so, we’re awarding it with the Geek Beat Editor’s Choice award!

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About The Author

Avatar of John P.
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John P. is CEO of Livid Lobster and co-host of Geek Beat TV. You can also find him on Twitter and Google+.

One Response

  1. Curiosity63

    Hello John,
    thank you for this great article.

    “16GB of lost space goes towards redundancy within the drive.” To be precise it’s 12,960 MB redundancy so rounded up to 16GB sounds about right. You were right about that as far as I can remember from the reviews I’ve seen.

    Take care,
    nick