OCZ Vector 256GB SSD Review
OCZ made sure that the Vector would fit in any place a standard 2.5” would and then some more. The SSD is only 7mm tall, allowing it to fit inside ultraportable devices as well, such as a large number of ultrabooks and tablets. The body of the Vector is metallic with rounded edges and a decorative sticker covers the entire top side of the chassis.
A standard sticker with the drive's specifications, bar codes, serial numbers and certifications has been placed on the bottom side of the chassis.
Four screws hold the metallic bottom cover in place. Removing them exposes the green PCB of the SSD, the surface of which extends all the way to every corner of the drive. A thermally conductive patch has been placed on the controller itself, suggesting that the metallic body also serves as a passive heatsink for the heat generated by the controller. A secondary connector is being formed on the opposite side of the SATA cable plugs, which looks like but is not an mSATA connector. We are unaware of its functions but this connector is probably being used during the drive’s manufacturing process or simply is a standard feature of the PCB OCZ is using, perhaps to develop integrated solutions in the near future.
As we mentioned in our introductory paragraph, the OCZ Vector is based on the Indilinx Barefoot 3 controller, the first product fully developed in-house after OCZ acquired Indilinx back in 2011. Naturally, the firmware is proprietary as well, meaning that OCZ is finally unbound by the limitation of having to share the same hardware as well as the same firmware basis as much of their competition. This however also means that the company now has the responsibility of supplying hardware and software capable of outperforming other solutions, in both terms of performance and reliability.
OCZ rebranded the NAND flash chips inside the Vector, although it was not difficult for us to find out that these are IMFT NAND flash chips based on a 25nm fabrication process. These are but a step behind the now available top-of-the-line 20nm IMFT chips; however, many factors are in play when it comes to performance than the fabrication process of the NAND flash chips alone.
The Indilinx Barefoot 3 controller requires the presence of DDR2 or DDR3 RAM, as a buffer is a necessity in order for the chipset to function properly. We found two Micron 2DM77-D9PFJ DDR3 chips inside the Vertex, making 512MBs of 1600MHz DDR3 RAM available to the controller. A TPS 6525I0 power management chip is also present at the bottom side of the PCB.