The OCZ VX500 is Toshiba's latest mainstream 2.5-inch standard solid-state drive (SSD,) slated to be faster than the company's budget drives, like the OCZ Trion 100. And in testing, the new drive was indeed a beast, with sustained copy speed of 447MB/s for writing and 437MB/s for reading, among the fastest I've seen.
But with that performance comes with a stiff price. The new VX500 is available in four capacities of 128GB, 256GB, 512GB and 1TB that have the suggested retail price of $63.99, $92.79, $152.52 and $337.06. respectively, or somewhere between 30 to 50 cents per gigabyte, making it one of the most expensive among recent SSDs on the market. You can easily find many SSDs for less than 30 cents per gigabyte nowadays. Toshiba does say, though, that the street price will "very likely" be lower. Availability and pricing are currently not available for UK and Australia, but its current US price converts to around £48 and AU$85 for 128GB; £70 and AU$123 for 256GB, £115 and AU$202 for 512GB and £253 and AU$447 for 1TB.
The OCZ VX500 doesn't use the new and trendy 3D Flash memory, found in Samsung 850 Evo, or Crucial MX300. Instead, it uses the traditional planar MLC flash memory, making it the direct competitor of the Samsung 750 Evo that was released a few months ago. And while the OCZ was clearly faster in copy speed, in random access tests -- which simulates a computer's general activities such as application launch time, game performance and so on -- it wasn't faster. In fact, it was at times a tad slower than the Samsung, which currently costs slightly less.
But the OCZ VX500 more than makes up for that in its generous warranty. The drive includes a five-year warranty (as opposed to the three-year one offered on the 750 Evo) and also offers advance replacement. In case of defect, Toshiba will ship you a new -- not refurbished -- replacement drive right away and then pay for you to ship the old drive back. What's more, the VX500 also has high endurance rating, meaning you can use it for quite a long time before it becomes unreliable. Generally this is measured in TBW -- the number of terabytes of data that can be written to drive. Toshiba says the 128GB, 256GB, 512GB and 1TB capacities of the VX500 have endurance ratings of 74TBW, 148TBW, 296TBW, and 592TBW, respectively. To put this in perspective, if you write 50GB -- which is two Blu-ray discs worth of data -- per day and every day to the drive, it will take you 4 years to use up the endurance the 128GB version, or 32 years if you get the 1TB version.
Should I get it?
Overall, Toshiba's new OCZ VX500 is a terrific standard SSD. I do feel, however, that it's a little too expensive. That said, you should wait for the street price to come down before buying one. But if you can't wait, you won't be disappointed either. It's an excellent standard SSD for those needing performance. On the other hand, if you just want an SSD to upgrade an old computer that still runs on a regular hard drive, a budget SSD like the Plextor M7V, or the Crucial MX300 will get the job done for considerably less.