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OCZ Vertex 3 SATA-600 solid-state drive review:

OCZ Vertex 3 SATA-600 solid-state drive

When the drive is used as the main hard drive that hosts the operating system, the tests are designed to gauge the computer's performance as a whole. For this reason, the hard drive only plays a small role in the final score. Nonetheless, the test machine showed a visible difference in performance contributed by the OCZ Vertex 3.

We compared the OCZ Vertex 3 against a few SATA 3 SSDs and hard drives on the market, including the 3TB Seagate Barracuda XT and the Plextor PX-256M2S.

In the boot-time test, the OCZ took a very short time, just 29.1 seconds, a tad slower than the Plextor's 28.2 seconds, and significantly faster than the Seagate's 48.2 seconds. Note that this boot time includes the time the test machine spends going through the hardware initialization, which already takes about 15 seconds. For shutdown speeds, the OCZ topped the chart with just 5.8 seconds while the Barracuda took twice that amount of time.

In the Office Performance test, in which we time how long the computer takes to finish a comprehensive set of concurrent tasks including use of Word and Excel, file transferring, and file compression, the OCZ took the first place at just 338 seconds, followed by the Plextor and Seagate, which needed 383 seconds and 391 seconds respectively.

It seems the drive's speed doesn't affect the speed of music conversion much, as on the test machine it took exactly the same amount of time for all three drives to convert music from MP3 to AAC format using iTunes. However, it was a little different with our multimedia multitasking test, which gauges the computer's performance when it converts a hi-def movie from one format to another while iTunes is doing a heavy job of music conversion in the background. In this test, the OCZ Vertex 3 was again the fastest, though it beat the other two by only a few seconds.

We test a storage device's throughput performance by timing how long it takes to finish copying a large amount of data from one place to another. Both as the main drive and as a secondary backup drive the Vertex 3 was very fast, at 150.01MBps and 260.71MBps, respectively. These numbers beat those of the Barracuda XT, which scored 51.1MBps and 115.71Mbps as a main and secondary drive respectively, by a huge margin. Note that these are real-world sustained throughput speeds after all the software and hardware overheads.

All in all, we were very happy about the OCZ Vertex 3's performance. Using it as the main drive increased our tested machine's overall performance significantly and applications loaded much faster. And the computer was able to wake from sleeping instantly.

CNET Labs system performance scores (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Multimedia multitasking test  
Seagate Barracuda XT
Plextor PX-256M2S
OCZ Vertex 3

Boot and shutdown time (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
OCZ Vertex 3
Plextor PX-256M2S

Data transfer (in MBps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
As secondary drive  
As OS Drive  
Plextor PX-256M2S
OCZ Vertex 3
Seagate Barracuda XT

Service and support
OCZ Technology Group backs the Vertex 3 with a three-year warranty, which is a decent deal, similar to what you get for the Samsung 470 and the Plextor PX-256M2S. When it comes to storage devices, the length of the warranty is the most important factor and it would be even better if the company offered a five-year warranty as in the case of the Momentus XT.

As with the Plextor PX-256M2S, the OCZ Vertex 3's hefty price keeps us from naming it an Editors' Choice. However, the Vertex 3 is an excellent replacement drive for a desktop or laptop, especially one with built-in support for SATA 3. The OCZ Vertex 3 will help you get the most performance out of your high-end system.

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