Yesterday OCZ introduced an updated version of their Vertex 3: The Vertex 3.20. The name derives from the fact that the new Vertex 3.20 uses 20nm IMFT MLC NAND, whereas the original Vertex 3 used 25nm IMFT NAND. OCZ did the same with Vertex 2 and it's a common practice to move to smaller lithography NAND when it becomes cost-effective. At first the new lithography NAND may be more expensive and limited in availability but once the process matures, prices start to fall and eventually will overtake the old process node. Fortunately OCZ has learned from their mistakes and now the Vertex 3 with new NAND is easily distinguishable from the original Vertex 3, unlike with the Vertex 2 when OCZ silently switched to 25nm NAND.

  Vertex 3.20 Vertex 3
Capacity 120GB 240GB 120GB 240GB
Controller SandForce SF-2281
Sequential Read 550MB/s 550MB/s 550MB/s 550MB/s
Sequential Write 520MB/s 520MB/s 500MB/s 520MB/s
4KB Random Read 20K IOPS 35K IOPS 20K IOPS 40K IOPS
4KB Random Write 40K IOPS 65K IOPS 60K IOPS 60K IOPS

I asked OCZ why only Vertex 3 was updated with 20nm NAND and OCZ told me that the 20nm NAND is slower than 25nm. Intel initially told me that their 20nm NAND is as fast as their 25nm NAND (only erase time is slightly slower but that shouldn't impact end-user performance), though it should be kept in mind that OCZ uses NAND from Micron too and their binning process may be different from Intel's. Either way, it doesn't make sense (at least yet) for OCZ to update their high-end SSDs with the slower 20nm NAND, which is why Vertex 4 and Vector will stick with 25nm IMFT NAND. 

In other news, OCZ is also looking to phase out Agility 3 and 4 models. If you've been reading about OCZ's new business strategy (in a nutshell, fewer products and more focus on high-end market), this move makes a lot of sense because Agility has always been a compromised budget lineup. In the near future the Vertex 3.20 will be OCZ's mainstream model, which is why it was important for OCZ to cut the costs by moving to smaller process node NAND. 

Source: OCZ Press Release

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  • Paulman - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    Yes - I, too, am very curious about what sort of cost savings to expect (and how soon) :P
  • Owls - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    All I hear are horror stories about OCZ SSDs and how frequently they fail. They have gotten really affordable but I would rather pay an extra $10-20 for brands that are more proven in their reliability. Hopefully they turn things around over there.
  • 'nar - Thursday, February 21, 2013 - link

    That is an over-simplification. I have only ever heard about the cheap OCZ drives like the Agility failing, so I think their restructuring is long overdue. The Vertex line is very reliable.

    I have personally installed 6 OCZ vertex drives into my systems and never had a *significant* issue. Most reports just speak about failed OCZ drives, but fail to list specific models. I have one guy that bought an OCZ Solid that failed. RMA'd and got an Agility, it failed. RMA'd and got another Agility, it failed. I told him to give up on the warranty and just by a drive with a better track record like Intel 335.

    While I use OCZ Vertex and Vectors and like them, I still feel that Intel drives are more reliable. At least more consumer friendly. I have built every computer for the last year with Intel SSD's and never got a blip from them. Well, once, but that turned out to be an OS install issue that was fixed by just reinstalling Windows. My personal systems are all getting Vector drives currently, I just wish OCZ had a Windows SSD Tools program like the Intel SSD Toolbox. The OCZ ISO is aggravating, it is alien in so many ways.
  • ShieTar - Thursday, February 21, 2013 - link

    Well, personally I have bought four SSDs so far:

    OCZ core series 30GB (~9 month in my desktop, used instead of an USB-stick ever since)
    OCZ core series V2 60GB (1 year in my desktop, then 1 year in my notebook, now sitting in my bedroom-mediaplayer)
    OCZ Vertex 2 120GB (1 year in my desktop, 1 year in my notebook, no in my fileserver for close to 1 year)
    OCZ Vertex 3 120GB (1 year in my desktop, now in my notebook for a few month)

    Never had any of those drives outright fail or loose data. The core series drives got slowed down with time, and Win XP did occasionally crash when it had to wait too long for a response, but that was pretty much standard for MLC drives back then.

    I did now switch to a Samsung 840Pro 240GB now for my desktop, but thats because it promised performance beyond anything OCZ offers right now, not because I was unhappy with OCZ.

    There. Now you can no longer say that all you hear are horror stories.
  • Galcobar - Sunday, February 24, 2013 - link

    The problem wasn't OCZ exactly. reliability issue was largely due to failure of that Sandforce controller.

    CZ was the most aggressive manufacturer in terms of introducing drives using the SF controller. This gave them market dominance, so when SF-based drives started falling in large numbers the majority happened to have OCZ branding.

    Now, OCZ customer service horror stories, that is all on them. The Vertex 2 bait-and-switch was the most egregious but was worsened by their fumbling the response until mass customer fury forced a full-fledged retreat.
  • Tjalve - Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - link

    Great... 2 new models for the Vertex 3... How many is there now?
    Vertex 3 60GB
    Vertex 3 LP 60GB
    vertex 3 90GB
    Vertex 3 120GB
    Vertex 3 LP 120GB
    Vertex 3 MAX IOPS 120GB
    Vertex 3.20 120GB
    Vertex 3 128GB
    Vertex 3 240GB
    Vertex 3 LP 240GB
    Vertex 3 MAX IOPS 240GB
    Vertex 3.20 240GB
    Vertex 3 256GB
    Vertex 3 480GB
    Vertex 3 LP 480GB
    Vertex 3 512GB

    or did i miss someone? :P

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