Conclusions and Final Thoughts
 
TRIM Tool Hangups
 
I was fairly excited about the performance of the Vertex and UltraDrive ME, right up to the point where they fragmented, which happened rather quickly.  The TRIM tool gave vast improvements in performance, but only when it worked properly.  The fact that people are scheduling the TRIM tool to run more frequently than absolutely necessary makes this even more risky.  Running it at startup is even worse, as the chance of TRIMming an area as it is being written by the OS is even greater.

There are also additional compatibility concerns.  I initially tried running the tool under XP64 in AHCI mode.  The tool took *forever*.  It would have taken hours to complete at the rate it was going.  Some searching of the OCZ forum revealed I was not the only one seeing this issue.  I tested under different configurations and found the following:

  Windows XP64
Windows Server 2003
Windows Vista
Windows 7 RC1
IDE
Fast
Fast
Fast
Fast
AHCI Slow
Slow
Slow
Slow
RAID (non member)
Slow
Slow
Slow Slow

Here is a short list of issues with the present implementation:
  • The tool *will not work* through any sort of RAID.
  • The tool works ONLY on the booted drive, and ONLY on partitions it recognizes.
  • The tool prefers standard IDE mode and basic drivers (Nvidia chipset driver will not work).
  • Some SATA controller / driver combinations pass only 28 bits of the 48 bit TRIM address, resulting in the wrong areas of the drive being TRIMmed and user data corrupted and/or lost.
  • Possibility of data loss/corruption from fresh data written during TRIM tool operation.
Finally, consider that there is no guarantee Windows 7 will send TRIM to drives for operations such as overwriting files that are modified in-place.  This potentially means that even with TRIM fully supported at both the drive and the OS, an Indilinx drive may still fragment its OS files over time, as OS specific files are never deleted by the OS itself.

Warranty

The Super Talent UltraDrive ME ships with a 2-year warranty, and the OCZ Vertex ships with a 3-year warranty.

Pricing and Availability

As of this writing, both drives are available at approximately $375.  That puts it at 2.9 $/GB, carrying an advantage over the X25-M, which is currently selling at $315 for 3.9 $/GB.



Final Thoughts

I’ve always seen the Indilinx drives as having great potential, and that continues to be the case.  That said, I continue to get the feeling that they have not yet reached their full potential.  If you are willing to jump through all of the necessary hoops to make the TRIM tool work, and run it regularly, you will see some great write performance.  If you don’t, expect your write performance to drop considerably as you use it.

These hurdles *should* be overcome with future firmware updates and the incorporation of native TRIM into the firmware and Windows 7, but bear in mind that Samsung and Intel also plan to also push out firmware updates in support of TRIM, and their performance may also see an increase.

Be sure to use our pricing engine to find the best prices on hard drives and anything else you might need:

OCZ Vertex 120GB / Super Talent UltraDrive ME 120GB



« PreviousNext »