I mentioned in our Mid-Range SSD Roundup that most SSD vendors like sampling the best balance of capacity/performance when it comes to SSD review samples. For the SandForce SF-2281 with 25nm NAND that just happens to be 240GB. Unfortunately there's a pretty big fall off in performance when going from 240GB to 120GB due to the decrease in total number of NAND die (8GB per die x 32 die vs. 16 die). I've explained this all before here.

Enter OCZ's MAX IOPS drive. Using 32nm Toshiba Toggle NAND instead of 25nm IMFT ONFI 2.x NAND the die capacity drops to 4GB, which means you get twice as many die per NAND device. The end result? 240GB Vertex 3 performance for slightly more than 120GB Vertex 3 pricing.


I ordered the 120GB MAX IOPS drive at the beginning of the week and just got it in yesterday so I've only had a small amount of time to test with it thus far. Check out the 120GB MAX IOPS drive vs. the Intel SSD 510 in Bench using our 2011 storage test suite. Expect the full review in the coming days.

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  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Saturday, June 18, 2011 - link

    I have tested 8 different SF-2281 based drives and unfortunately I haven't been able to get any of them to create the BSOD issue that other users are seeing. I have also deployed three OCZ SF-2281 drives full time in machines here (one on 24/7) with hopes of accelerating the problem, but again, I haven't seen a single issue. Ever since my first SSD review I've done extensive long term testing on any drive we recommend to get a good idea of its overall behavior over time and reliability. Regardless of whether others were having issues this is standard procedure for us here. If we recommend it, we have to use it in our systems.

    That being said, I know the problems exist, I just don't know why and I also don't know how widespread. At this point any SF-2281 recommendation is basically "hey this could work, but keep in mind that you could have problems. if you don't want the risk, go Intel".

    As always, I'll keep on it. I spent three months testing the Intel SSD 510 in my main system before swapping it out for a Vertex 3. I'll be testing it for the next few months as well to see how it behaves over time.

    Take care,
  • Jeff72 - Saturday, June 18, 2011 - link

    If you want to get the blue screen:

    I used an Asus P8Z68-V PRO motherboard with current BIOS (I was using the beta 8801 BIOS at that time) at stock (no overclocking) settings
    CPU was Intel i5-2500K at default stock settings
    Graphics card is AMD 6950 at stock settings
    OCZ Vertex 3 120GB (with firmware 2.06 at the time) (for OS)
    Western Digital 640GB 7200RPM hard drive (for data)

    Set SSD in BIOS to AHCI and Hot Plugable, per OCZ recommendation.
    Updated SSD from 2.02 to 2.06 firmware.

    Partition SSD before installing Windows 7 (Boot from Windows 7 DVD and use Shift-F10 and "diskpart" to partition for one partition)

    Installed these drivers only:
    Intel LAN Driver
    Intel Chipset Driver
    Realtek Audio Driver
    Management Engine Interface (Intel)
    USB 3.0 Driver
    ASUS Bluetooth Driver
    Graphics card drivers

    Installed these applications:

    Ran Windows Experience Score to Rate this computer

    Leave power settings on Windows 7 at default (allow it to sleep).

    Leave the system on and at times sleep on occasion during the day and browse the web with two Chrome windows open. Eventually I got the blue screens on two separate brand new OCZ Vertex 3 120GB SSD drives after installing as above. The system would at times slow down and seem to lock up and eventually blue screen.

    The Windows 7 seemed to blue screen because the SSD OS drive seems to vanish. After Windows 7 warm reboots the system from the blue screen, BIOS does not see the OCZ SSD drive, but it did still see my data hard drive in BIOS. After powering off and powering on the system completely, the OCZ SSD was seen in BIOS again. Sometimes I would not get blue screens for awhile, other times it happens fairly quickly.

    Same system and install but now with an Intel 510 series 120GB SSD drive and I have no issues now. No blue screens at all anymore.

    Note, I did NOT install Intel RST at all yet on any installs since I do not believe I needed it since i'm not using RAID.
  • rjraouf - Wednesday, September 14, 2011 - link

    I have the same system configuration as Jeff72, Asus MB, Vertex SSD and OS. I have been having the same issue. OCZ recommended upgrade to latest firmware 2.11 and secure erase, and fresh install of OS. Problem continues to re-occur.

    OCZ is not a company to be trusted and they DO NOT stand by their product. They even refuse to acknowledge a problem.

    I can pretty much guarantee if anyone wants to replicate the problem, simply get an Asus P8Z68-V PRO motherboard and attach the SSD to either the Marvell or Intel controller and after installation of Windows 64bit, Run some applications and then let the computer sit ideal for a while. About 12-24hrs from that point, the symptoms will appear. Computer reboots, SSD is not recognized unless you shut the power off and on. If you have trouble making it reboot after 12hr of ideal time browse the internet for a few min and either reboot occurs while browsing or after idling the system again.

    I have replicated this problem successfully three times on three sets of motherboards and SSD drive
  • semo - Sunday, June 19, 2011 - link

    Thank you for this info Anand. Why do we have to read through the comments section of every SSD article to find useful nuggets of information like this? If you know about an issue in the wild, why not write a news article about it?
  • Holly - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    Asus P8P67 PRO (latest non-beta bios, board revision 3.0)
    OCZ Vertex 3 240GB (2.06 firmware)
    2x WD Black 640GB (raided data storage)
    1x WD Raptor 150GB (system backup)

    Intel Rapid Storage Technology driver version:

    Problems with drive started about 24hrs after being installed (along with clean Win7 64b installation)

    To make system even remotely stable I had to perform all the steps mentioned in http://geekmontage.com/texts/ocz-vertex-3-freezes-... (well, except turning off raid mode in favor of ahci mode which I could not do)
    Then I had Vertex causing BSODs and not showing up after computer restarted (another obviously wide spread problem).
    It seems finally there might be light at the end of tunnel after updating firmware to 2.08, but it's too soon to tell... Among other things updating firmware on your system SSD is definitely not a thing regular computer user should even think about.

    The drive is helluva fast, I like it, but it would be fine if I could actualy use it without bsod worries. Especialy if I want to use remote desktop.
  • Jeff72 - Thursday, June 16, 2011 - link

    I bought an OCZ Vertex 3 120GB SSD. Installed Windows 7 64bit and the needed drivers for my Sandybridge Asus P8P67-V PRO motherboard. Eventually got blue screens in Windows and it would reboot itself and then BIOS would not see the SSD anymore until a full power off and power on was done. I exchanged the SSD for a replacement. Installed Windows 7 64bit on 2nd exchanged OCZ Vertex 3 120GB SSD and the needed drivers for my Sandybridge Asus P8P67-V PRO motherboard. Eventually got blue screens in Windows and it would reboot itself and then BIOS would not see the SSD anymore until a full power off and power on was done. I returned the 2nd OCZ Vertex 3 120GB SSD for a full refund.

    I bought an Intel 510 series 120GB SSD. It just works.
  • Jeff72 - Thursday, June 16, 2011 - link

    Correction: Sandybridge Asus P8Z68-V PRO motherboard.

    The Intel SSD is working great and no blue screens at all. Very fast and reliable is a good thing.
  • L. - Friday, June 17, 2011 - link

    Makes me wonder how good it works on non-Intel motherboards tbh.
    I wouldn't put it past Intel to create issues between their chipsets and other people's SSD's.
  • rpmrg - Friday, June 17, 2011 - link

    They work fabulous on AMD's SB850 SATA 3.0 controller.
  • Belard - Friday, June 17, 2011 - link

    I've installed intel SSDs into AMD systems... no problems. Other than I don't like the silly AHCI screen that pops up during POST for a second. Otherwise, no issues.

    With all the reviews I've seen... OCZ Vertex3 seems like a good choice, in general, but the intels still look pretty good and their reliability record still seems to be there.

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