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OCZ SSD 25nm vs 34nm (Vertex 2, Agility 2)

ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Original poster
Sep 21, 2010
9,593
6,846
Many on these forums including myself have recommended OCZ Vertex 2 in the past.

This is just a head's-up that the current model Vertex 2 (25nm version) is noticeably diminished in write speed, lifespan, and capacity than the previous 34nm version. This affects models 180GB or smaller.

The speed is slower for writing non-sequential data that is not compressible (fallen from 130ish to 80ish MB/s). The lifespan has fallen from 5000 P/E cycles to 3000. The unformatted capacity has fallen by about 4-5GB (for example, a 120GB model is reduced to 115GB, a 4% loss). Obviously this means a larger percentage is lost from a smaller drive (60GB to 56GB is a 9% loss!).

OCZ is indicating that none of this could be helped, as the NAND manufacturer is forcing 25nm on them. I agree. However, particularly damning is that there was no model change, no warning, no decrease in the advertised capacity, and rumor is they are actively deleting complaints on their forums.

http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/forum/showthread.php?84598-Drives-Shipping-With-25nm-NAND.-Q-amp-A

http://www.guru3d.com/news/ocz-vertex-2-with-25nm-nand-flash-reported-slower/

There is no visible method for determining whether your Vertex/Agility 2 is 25nm or 34nm other than opening the case, a warranty-ending move. Perhaps it can be checked by way of reported capacity. Does anyone know what the formatted capacity is in OS X of a drive with 120GB unformatted capacity?
 

DanielCoffey

macrumors 65816
Nov 15, 2010
1,193
24
Edinburgh, UK
My OCZ Vertex2 120Gb (firmware 1.24) has a raw capacity of 120.03Gb and a formatted capacity of 119.69Gb. I have had it a couple of months so it is the older generation and I am very pleased with it.

EDIT : I believe OCZ said they were increasing the over-provisioning on the 25nm models which effectively reduced the formatted capacity to about 115Gb?
 
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kbonnel

macrumors 6502
Mar 1, 2004
469
0
In a nice place..
Yea, this is definitely something that concerns me. I recently purchased a 240GB 3.5" vertex 2, and I just haven't been completely "wowed" by it, and cannot determine 100% if this is a 25nm or the 34nm. (or if my expectations were too high) Since I had the 1.28 firmware, I suspect 25nm, but OCZ has indicated in the forums that firmware level does not indicate 100% which NAND is being used. What concerns me, as with many others, is how OCZ handled this, keeping the same name, which leads to same speeds assumptions. (I based my purchased decision heavily on performance capabilities)
 

johnnymg

macrumors 65816
Nov 16, 2008
1,316
6
Yea, this is definitely something that concerns me. I recently purchased a 240GB 3.5" vertex 2, and I just haven't been completely "wowed" by it, and cannot determine 100% if this is a 25nm or the 34nm. (or if my expectations were too high) Since I had the 1.28 firmware, I suspect 25nm, but OCZ has indicated in the forums that firmware level does not indicate 100% which NAND is being used. What concerns me, as with many others, is how OCZ handled this, keeping the same name, which leads to same speeds assumptions. (I based my purchased decision heavily on performance capabilities)

Can't you determine the die size by the non-sequential write speed?
 

rob0t

macrumors newbie
Feb 12, 2011
2
0
The speed is slower for writing non-sequential data that is not compressible
and that raises a question if normal user could ever observe any change?

The unformatted capacity has fallen by about 4-5GB (for example, a 120GB model is reduced to 115GB, a 4% loss). Obviously this means a larger percentage is lost from a smaller drive (60GB to 56GB is a 9% loss!).
it seems the change is from 55 to 51GB
http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/forum/showthread.php?84445-Vertex2-60GB-formatted-size
 

kbonnel

macrumors 6502
Mar 1, 2004
469
0
In a nice place..
Can't you determine the die size by the non-sequential write speed?

Not sure what the best bechmark tools there are for OSX, so far there seems to be limited free options, at least to test 4k tests. here is xbench:

Disk Test 338.90
Sequential 209.10
Uncached Write 246.71 151.47 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Write 253.15 143.23 MB/sec [256K blocks]
Uncached Read 114.40 33.48 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Read 419.37 210.77 MB/sec [256K blocks]
Random 893.48
Uncached Write 1005.37 106.43 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Write 442.83 141.77 MB/sec [256K blocks]
Uncached Read 3129.68 22.18 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Read 1105.62 205.16 MB/sec [256K blocks]
 

aznguyen316

macrumors 68010
Oct 1, 2008
2,000
0
Tampa, FL
My OCZ Vertex2 120Gb (firmware 1.24) has a raw capacity of 120.03Gb and a formatted capacity of 119.69Gb. I have had it a couple of months so it is the older generation and I am very pleased with it.

EDIT : I believe OCZ said they were increasing the over-provisioning on the 25nm models which effectively reduced the formatted capacity to about 115Gb?

Mine shows the same numbers as yours in disk utility and under finder get info for formatted. I'm hoping mine was the 34nm as I purchased it from NewEgg on January 10, 2011.
 

VirtualRain

macrumors 603
Aug 1, 2008
6,304
115
Vancouver, BC
This is bizarre. Isn't 25nm NAND flash way cheaper than 35nm flash? It also requires better ECC algorithms to compensate for the reduced endurance. Why is OCZ trying to say they are being forced to use lower cost NAND in one of their flagship products?! Why are the implementing this without updating their controller firmware?! If this is really the case, then they have very poor control over their supply chain and to top it off, are not taking a very good system engineering approach to implementation. It's all very odd. I wouldn't buy any more OCZ SSD's until this is sorted out.

Here's some info on 25nm NAND...

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4043/micron-announces-clearnand-25nm-with-ecc
 
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aznguyen316

macrumors 68010
Oct 1, 2008
2,000
0
Tampa, FL
I agree about using it on one of their flagship product lines. As for using it in general, I'm not upset about that, this is what everyone wanted.. the use of 25nm to reduce costs etc. I've been hearing about it for the past year when people have asked if it is "worth" upgrading to an SSD now or later. Well here it is! And it isn't as awesome as we thought eh? haha
 

VirtualRain

macrumors 603
Aug 1, 2008
6,304
115
Vancouver, BC
I agree about using it on one of their flagship product lines. As for using it in general, I'm not upset about that, this is what everyone wanted.. the use of 25nm to reduce costs etc. I've been hearing about it for the past year when people have asked if it is "worth" upgrading to an SSD now or later. Well here it is! And it isn't as awesome as we thought eh? haha

Yeah, I expected 25nm products to be announced about now, but as complete engineered systems with next gen controllers, and at a much better price point.
 

mdgm

macrumors 6502a
Nov 2, 2010
974
52
So once again it looks like ssds are still not ready for prime time. I guess we need to wait some more. oh well

It is disappointing but I guess it is still pretty new technology. Hopefully once they've sorted things out, the price will be more affordable. I'm happy to wait a while.

Yeah, I expected 25nm products to be announced about now, but as complete engineered systems with next gen controllers, and at a much better price point.
I hope you're right and they come out soon. I guess if the supply of the 34nm flash is drying up then the hand of the SSD manufacturers will be forced.
 

xgman

macrumors 603
Aug 6, 2007
5,149
903
Yeah, I expected 25nm products to be announced about now, but as complete engineered systems with next gen controllers, and at a much better price point.


vertex 3 with sandforce 2000 and better memory should be out in a couple of months according to some ocz reps.
 

Icaras

macrumors 603
Mar 18, 2008
6,182
2,794
Yeah, I expected 25nm products to be announced about now, but as complete engineered systems with next gen controllers, and at a much better price point.

What I've been reading on various forums and news articles is that the new 25nm Intel G3s have also been delayed and that the Intel 510s are supposed to be taking over their release for this month.

So it seems all around that 25nm SSD technology in general still needs some work?
 

hitek79

macrumors member
Feb 11, 2011
90
0
Just bought one

These drives just showed up on Newegg.com with a $25 price drop, and a $30 MIR, so I decided to take a gamble on it. Final cost should be $176 for the drive. It's worth the experiment because I'm sick of waiting for the latest and greatest to finally ship. This will pacify me for the time being, and the 20% savings makes me feel ok with the experiment.
 

VirtualRain

macrumors 603
Aug 1, 2008
6,304
115
Vancouver, BC
This move is not looking smart on behalf of OCZ... with the denser NAND, they are using half the channels which is impacting some benchmarks. Anyway, as mentioned earlier, I would stay away from OCZ SSD's now until this is cleared up.

StorageReview.com review of 25nm OCZ Vertex 2...

Conclusion

With the wide selection of SSDs on the market today, there is no question that some drives will be slower than others. Reviewers like ourselves and buyers alike understand that some models will score differently, and we can choose with our wallets. The problem we have with this particular situation is that any choice to make an informed buying decision was taken away when OCZ sold and advertised these models as identical through online retailers. Both list the same 285MB/s read and 275MB/s write speeds, the same three year warranties, and the same retail price. What the average buyer doesn't know is that depending on which model they get, one is up to 49% slower than the other and has only 66% of the rated write-cycles. There are other complaints as well, such as having a 5GB smaller capacity. Considering both models are sold as being 60GB; one being formatted with 55.8GB of space with the other having only 51.2GB is a huge difference. All that said, at least the 25nm version held up well in our real world benchmarks.

Overall there is no question that OCZ messed up with the way they handled the introduction of 25nm flash with their consumer SSD line. Listing these drives as different models, changing the rated speeds, mentioning the lower expected life-span, and even changing the pricing would have let buyers know what they were getting in to. Instead they took the approach that no one would notice... well we did and plenty of their own buyers did too.

Pros

* Handles real-world performance test well
* Fast and priced competitively against 40GB boot drives
* Up to 10% less power used compared to 32nm Vertex 2

Cons

* Marketing practices could burn bridges with customers
* Up to 49% slower in certain synthetic benchmarks
* No sure-fire way to tell which model you have until you plug it in

Bottom Line

If it weren't for their shady marketing practices, OCZ could have come to market with a pretty decent 25nm SSD, at least based on our real world benchmarks. As it is though, the "new and not so improved" Vertex 2 is branded and marketed the same way as the "old and faster" Vertex 2. Buyers are better off finding an old Vertex 2 if they can, but that's nearly impossible since the two products even share the same model number. At this point it is buyer beware until OCZ steps up and reveals some degree of transparency.
 

brentsg

macrumors 68040
Oct 15, 2008
3,516
891
Having used a lot of OCZ RAM and power supplies over the years, I have to say I'm disappointed in this. They were always straight and reliable for me, but this just doesn't make any sense.
 

philipma1957

macrumors 603
Apr 13, 2010
6,313
215
Howell, New Jersey
Well I have to say they were pretty good to me about the RMA. My Patriot Inferno Rma was pretty quick and so was my corsair RMA. having a 50% fail rate for each of the 3 companies I pretty much gave up on ssd's.

I give kudos to intel for the slow but sure approach including recalls before the gear is released.
 

ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Original poster
Sep 21, 2010
9,593
6,846
having a 50% fail rate for each of the 3 companies I pretty much gave up on ssd's.

I have both a Vertex2 and Agility2. They work well and I am happy with them.

However, I have given up on recommending SSDs at all. Too many reports of failure. And to those who say Intel is somehow perfect, look at Newegg reviews. The reviews are chock-full of reports of failure from all manufacturers, including Intel.

One of the touted advantages of SSD is the reliability over a moving-parts storage device like hard drives. So far it appears as if this reliability is only theoretical. SSDs are on the cusp of being mainstream--heck, the MacBook Air uses one by default. Yet they still feel a little bleeding edge to me.
 

philipma1957

macrumors 603
Apr 13, 2010
6,313
215
Howell, New Jersey
I have both a Vertex2 and Agility2. They work well and I am happy with them.

However, I have given up on recommending SSDs at all. Too many reports of failure. And to those who say Intel is somehow perfect, look at Newegg reviews. The reviews are chock-full of reports of failure from all manufacturers, including Intel.

One of the touted advantages of SSD is the reliability over a moving-parts storage device like hard drives. So far it appears as if this reliability is only theoretical. SSDs are on the cusp of being mainstream--heck, the MacBook Air uses one by default. Yet they still feel a little bleeding edge to me.

Even though my intels are 20 for 20 it does not mean they are failsafe.

It means they were 20 for 20. my other ssds were 3 for 6 and all 3 rmas worked so they are 6 for 9. I am talking

about turning into bricks over night.

Not occasional stutters or sleep issues. So for ssd users they are still not as good as I would like.

RIGHT NOW I DON'T USE THEM! Most of my computer business had been upgrades of mac mini's.

I can see where ssd as work drives to be used and burned up for large file edits as a huge time saver makes a lot of sense. If my non-Intel ssd rates are accurate 6 for 9 there will be lots of happy users. If you are the 1 in 3 user that it bricks you are not going to like them.

The only truly bad mechanical hdd I had was a seagate I had a 8 for 14 failure rate in mac minis for the 500gb 7200 rpm 2.5 inch first and second edition model's dates from aug 2008 to july 2009. What I don't like about ssds is across many companies and models there was a high failure rate. For myself and lots of other users. So if you need two 100 dollar ones in a raid0 for a work setup it may be a money maker after a few weeks of use. But if you want a nice sized 512gb ssd as a killer osx/itunes drive think about waiting a bit.
 

xgman

macrumors 603
Aug 6, 2007
5,149
903
I have had 3 ocz's and 2 corsairs and out of the 5, only 2 didn't brick for one reason or the other. Pretty bad odds no matter how you look at it. Nevertheless, I am not giving up on ssd's as the performance differences are so clear. I will wait on the new sandforce 2000's before going any further though.
 

nbizic

macrumors newbie
Feb 12, 2011
3
0
OCZ VERTEX2 120Gb

I can tell that my
120Gb ocz verex 2 is 115Gb on macbookpro 5.1 late 2008.
Also write speed is slower then read speed
Read is something about 280 and writ is 170
 

ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Original poster
Sep 21, 2010
9,593
6,846
Did you send the right link? I clicked through and got a story about Vertex 3 Pro, and some general thoughts about life expectancy.
 
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