Conclusion, Pricing, and Final Thoughts

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  • Excellent IOPS performance, regardless of usage pattern.
  • Excellent resistance to fragmentation-over-time effects.
  • Class-leading write speeds (even surpassing 6Gb/sec SATA offerings).
  • The price is currently higher than we’d like to see for an MLC unit.

OCZ Vertex LE (Limited Edition) 100GB SSD Review - Sandforce Goes Retail - Storage 36


This is certainly a premium drive, and with it no doubt comes premium pricing.  MSRP for the 100GB model is $399, and as of this writing the only listing we found online was for the 200GB model over at Amazon for a staggering $919.  Hopefully this ‘Limited’ drive will become not so limited and ship in sufficient volumes to get the price below $4/GB, as that is certainly a new high for the cost of a MLC based SSD.  Even OCZ’s own Colossus, with an internal RAID of 4 controllers, prices at about $3.20/GB.  To be fair, the Colossus is nerfed by its RAID and simply can not scale like this LE can.

The real competition for the Vertex LE is the Intel X25-M G2 160GB, which is currently going for around $2.75/GB.  While it can’t compete in writes, it does continue to dominate the field in both sequential and random reads, which is arguably the most frequent type of access for an OS drive.

Poor product naming scheme

If you take a look at my SSD Decoder Ring, you’ll note that the many OCZ Vertex offerings use Indilinx controllers.  SSD performance hinges mostly on the controller being used, so it made sense for OCZ to label a line of drives with a new controller to something different enough for users to tell that difference.  They did this with the Vertex 2 Pro.  ‘Vertex 2’ made the difference obvious enough for people to know there was something new and improved inside that little 2.5″ box.  Unfortunately OCZ opted to confuse everyone by dropping the ‘2’ and going with the ‘LE’ tag.  They think it’s enough of a distinction, but “Vertex Turbo” and “Vertex EX” already exist, and they both just sound faster than “Vertex LE”, even though they use Indilinx controllers and pale in performance.  Because of this, I fear the only people who buy this particular drive will be those who know *exactly* what they are looking for.  With such a high price point, this drive needs all the help it can get, and the name just doesn’t help it there.

Final Thoughts

It was great to see OCZ pull off such a fast push to manufacture of this new Vertex LE.  Just last month we saw it in engineering sample form, just a few weeks later we see retail silicon shipping out to resellers.  While the LE dropped some of the enterprise level features present in the Vertex 2 Pro, it still performed extremely well throughout our test suite, turning in staggering write speeds that would even leave SLC based units in the dust.  While this level of performance does draw a premium price, you won’t find write speeds like this in any other SATA SSD out there.

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