Things have been a little rocky for OCZ over the past 6 months. First let’s start with the Vertex 4 and Octane drives that they released last year. Back in 2010 OCZ acquired IP and assets from Solid Data followed by the acquisition of Indilinx, which many of you know was the maker of the original “Barefoot” solid state drive controller. With these acquisitions OCZ set themselves up to produce solid state drive controllers in house.
When we reviewed the Vertex 4 drive we believed that since it was advertised as “Indilinx Infused” that it was a new Barefoot controller. It was eventually revealed that both the Vertex 4 and Octane drives were not using a new Indilinx Barefoot controller, but a Marvell controller and that the firmware was the part that was developed in-house by Indilinx. That is why it was advertised as “Indilinx Infused”. Consumers were not that happy when they found this out and many said it was deception on OCZ’s part.
If customer backlash was not enough it seems OCZ had a bigger problem on their hands. Last year it looked like OCZ was looking to be purchased by a larger company. Many companies took a look, but the big player was Seagate. To make themselves look better OCZ made an effort to boost sales by offering very high rebates and giving retailers a price guarantee. This not only disrupted the SSD market, but also meant that OCZ was selling their drives under cost. While this tactic looks good and generates great sales it does not last and OCZ started losing money. Seagate eventually backed out of any deal, it is widely rumored that Seagate took a look into OCZ’s books and did not like what they saw.
Soon after the CFO of the company took an unexpected early retirement and CEO Ryan Petersen resigned (although many think he was forced out by the board). By this time OCZ’s stock was plummeting and things got even worse when they delayed their Q2 earnings report to investors. The SEC finally decided to step in and is conducting their own investigation. OCZ’s new CEO Ralph Schmidth said that OCZ intends to fully cooperate with the SEC in their investigation.
With all of this going on OCZ has released the Vector Solid State Drive. This is officially the first consumer solid state drive from OCZ that is using the new Barefoot 3 controller. This new controller is designed completely in-house by OCZ. OCZ is touting this new drive as the standard for performance users and it offers sequential read and write speeds of 550MB/s and 530MB/s respectively. The Vector is available in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB versions and OCZ is backing it with a 5 year warranty. Will this be the drive that saves OCZ and puts them back on track or is the the last ditch effort of a dying company? Time will only tell. I personally would like to see OCZ get back on track, they have really done an amazing job becoming the top name when it comes to Solid State Drives.
Special thanks to OCZ for providing us with the Vector 256GB Solid State Drive to review.
|Available Capacities||128GB, 256GB, 512GB|
|Interface||SATA III / 6Gbps|
|Form Factor||2.5 inch; ultra-slim 7mm|
|Dimensions||99.7 (L) x 69.75 (W) x 7mm (H)|
|Controller||Indilinx Barefoot 3|
|Performance Optimizations||TRIM, Idle Time Garbage Collection|
|Power Consumption||Idle: 0.9W Active: 2.25W|
|OS Compatibility||Windows, Linux, Mac OSX|
|Included Contents||Acronis cloning software registration key*; |
3.5″ desktop adapter
The Vector drive comes in OCZ’s normal solid state drive packaging. It let’s us know that this is the 256GB version of the drive, that it is “Indilinx Infused” and lists some of the main features on the front. On the back there is some information about the Vector drive.
We have done a full unboxing and overview video of the Vector solid state drive so you can have the experience of opening up for the first time. Oh did I mention we voided our warranty?