OCZ Vertex 3.20 120GB Solid State Drive Review

Today, we will be taking a look at OCZ newest drive to market. Actually isn’t quite new, it is a refresh of the original Vertex 3 drive with a couple of upgrades to enhance its performance and reliability. The biggest difference between the two would be the introduction of 20nm NAND from Intel vice the 25nm modules used before.

OCZ Vertex 3.20 120GB Solid State Drive Review


It seems as if we can’t go a month without reviewing a solid state drive and we are not complaining one bit. OCZ is arguable the leader when it comes to SSD manufacturing. They pretty much cover all segments from the regular to the enthusiast to the enterprise level buyer. I guess you can say they do have it all covered.

Just last month we took a look at one of my favorite OCZ drives of all time. And that would be the Vector. The Vector is fast and I mean very fast and it contains a heavy dose of what OCZ is capable of. The ‘Indilinx Infused’ controller is the heart of the drive and it just goes on from there.

Today, we will be taking a look at OCZ newest drive to market. Actually isn’t quite new, it is a refresh of the original Vertex 3 drive with a couple of upgrades to enhance its performance and reliability. The biggest difference between the two would be the introduction of 20nm NAND from Intel vice the 25nm modules used before.

OCZ’s take on the Vertex 3.20

OCZ Vertex 3 Solid State Drives are designed and built to significantly improve your gaming, multimedia, and overall computing experience over traditional mechanical hard drives. In addition to maximized productivity, a Vertex 3 upgrade makes a hard drive-equipped notebook more portable than ever with superior durability and reduced power consumption. Using proven controller and next generation MLC flash memory technology, Vertex 3.20 SSDs deliver the performance and responsiveness your hard drive-ridden Mac or PC has been begging for.


  • Available in 120GB and 240GB Capacities
  • 20nm MLC NAND Flash
  • Interface: SATA 6Gbps / Backwards Compatible 3Gbps
  • Native TRIM support
  • Seek Time: .1ms
  • 2.5″ Design
  • Dimesions: 99.8 x 69.63 x 9.3mm
  • Lightweight: 83g
  • Operating Temp: 0°C ~ 55°C
  • Storage Temp: -45°C ~ 85°C
  • Low Power Consumption: 2.15W Active, 0.55W Idle
  • Shock Resistant up to 1500G/0.5ms
  • RAID Support
  • Compatible with Windows, Linux, Mac OSX
  • 3-Year Warranty

120GB Max Performance

  • Max Read: up to 550MB/s
  • Max Write: up to 520MB/s
  • Random Read 4KB: 20,000 IOPS
  • Random Write 4KB: 40,000 IOPS
  • Maximum IOPS: 90,000

240GB Max Performance

  • Max Read: up to 550MB/s
  • Max Write: up to 520MB/s
  • Random Read 4KB: 35,000 IOPS
  • Random Write 4KB: 65,000 IOPS
  • Maximum IOPS: 90,000


• Based on the award-winning Vertex 3 Series, built with leading-edge NAND flash to deliver a superior user experience and improved application performance compared to hard drives.
• Includes SandForce’s robust DuraClass™ features that work in tandem to deliver world-class SSD reliability, performance, and power efficiency
• DuraWrite™ architecture optimizes the number of program cycles to the flash, effectively extending flash rated endurance by 20x or more when compared to standard SSDs
• Advanced wear leveling and monitoring – optimized algorithms further extend flash endurance
•Advanced read/program disturb management – safeguards against errant re-programming of cells during read and program cycles
• Recycler – intelligently performs garbage collection with the least impact on flash endurance

Closer look

OCZ did not steer from their usual scheme when it comes to the overall appearance of the new Vertex drive. The main components of the drive are protected by a black plastic shell with a aluminum bottom. The printing on the top sticker looks much like must other OCZ drives. But in the case it’s black and silver.

OCZ chose to use a 9mm enclosure and not the thinner 7mm that would make the drive useable in the newer Ultrabooks.

The product label remains on the bottom of the casing. And to repeat what we have stated before. You get all the product information like the drive model, size and what not to do when handling the drive.

Looking at the rear end of the drive we see the typical SATA and SATA power connectors. The intent is to run the Vertex 3.20 on a SATA III controller but it is fully capable of being backwards adaptable to the SATA II protocol.

The fun part about working for a review site is being able to void warranties and not losing any of your own money doing it. So, we removed the back cover to see what makes up the Vertez 3.20.

The heart of the drive is the SandForce SF-2281 controller. The same controller that power most of the solid state drives on the market. Usually when it comes to OCZ drives using the controller they receive a heavy dose of OCZ coding within its firmware.

When it comes to the NANDs, the drive uses 20nm Intel ones labeled 29F64G08ACMF3.

Test Hardware:

1. ASUS X79 Deluxe Motherboard
2. Intel Core i7 3930K Processor
3.Kingston HyperX 1866 DDR3 16GB
4.Kingston V+ 200 120GB Solid State Drive
5.ASUS BC12B1LT BD-Rom Drive
6. Thermaltake Frio Extreme CPU Cooler
7. MicrocoolBanchetto 101 Open Air Test Bench
8.Silverstone Strider Gold Evolution 850W Power Supply
9. ASUS Nvidia GTX 560Ti 448 Graphic Card


HD Tune Pro 3.50
HD Tune Pro is an extended version of HD Tune which includes many new features such as: write benchmark, secure erasing, AAM setting, folder usage view, disk monitor, command line parameters and file benchmark.

CrystalDiskMark 3.0
CrystalDiskMark is designed to quickly test the performance of your hard drives. Currently, the program allows to measure sequential and random read/write speeds.

Anvil’s Storage Utilities
The Standard Storage Benchmark performs a series of tests, you can run the full test or just the read or the write test or you can run a single test like i.e. 4K QD16.

The synthetic tests to determine the sequential and random read and write performance of the SSD. These tests are carried out without using the operating system caches. In Seq-test measures the program how long it takes to read a full 1 GB of file to write respectively. In the 4K test the read and write performance for random 4K blocks is determined. The 4K-64-THRD-test corresponds to the 4K procedure except that here distributes the read and write operations on 64 threads. This test should be SSDs with Native Command Queuing (NCQ) differences between the IDE operation mode where NCQ is not supported, and represent the AHCI mode. The additional compression test can measure the performance of the SSD as a function of compressibility of the data. This is especially the controllers that are used to increase the performance and life of the cell compression is important.

SiSoftware Sandra
We are pleased to announce the launch of SiSoftware Sandra 2011, the latest version of our award-winning utility, which includes remote analysis, benchmarking and diagnostic features for PCs, servers, mobile devices and networks. A year ago, SiSoftware released Sandra 2010 with full support for Windows 7; in the 18 months since the launch of Windows 7, more than ever before we have seen the line blur between PC and entertainment hubs. Two months ago we released a Blu-Ray benchmark, now we have added a brand-new Media Transcoding benchmark using the new Media Foundation of Windows 7. We have also added yet another benchmark (GP Cryptography) which allows direct comparison of CPU performance (using crypto instruction sets) and GPGPU/GPCPU/GPAPU performance.

Simpli Software HD Tach
Sequential write test is available on removable media and non-partitioned fixed disks. Additionally, when an RW user chooses to save a set of benchmark results a .csv (comma separated values) file is saved for use in spreadsheet programs or internal databases. Finally, HD Tach RW is capable of performing the sequential read and write tests on the entire disk instead of the small number of zones in the quick and long test.


With the OCZ Vertex 3.20, we see what will be a very popular trend and that is the reduction in memory NAND size. And it is nice to see OCZ leading this trend as well we have with many of their products. In this case we saw that the drive came up a tidbit short of similar drives like the Kingston V300 but not by much. Being able to see 500MB/s read is still a big deal and we saw that with the Vertex 3.20. With the way that OCZ is always releasing firmware upgrades for their drives I am willing to bet the small gap will get smaller as time goes on. How it stands right here right now the Vertex 3.20 is a good little drive that we would be happy to recommend to others to use.

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