Solid State Drives have become quite common- especially with notebooks. If you are looking to get a nice boost in speed, upgrading your hard drive to an SSD would probably be the best option. Today we compare two 256GB SSDs that are based on the SATA3 standard- and we don’t suggest going lower than that as you will see a degrade in speed of SATA2 based drives.
OCZ Vertex 450 256GB
OCZ has been synonymous with performance for as long as I can remember. Their SSDs are considered on the top of enthusiasts list and we have their Vertex 450 with us. The Vertex 450 is 7mm thin allowing it to fit into newer and thinner laptops easily although it is a tad bit heavy at 115g. Bundled with a 3.5” adapter, the Vertex 450 can also be installed on a standard desktop chassis without any issues. OCZ has also thrown in Acronis True Image 2013 HD application that lets you easily clone and mirror drives making migration from your old drive to the Vertex easy.
OCZ uses the Indilinx Barefoot 3 M10 controller on the Vertex 450 along with 20nm Multi-Level Cell (MLC) Flash that OCZ claims gives you a sequential read of up to 540MB/s and sequential write of up to 530MB/s. Here is how it performed in CrystalMark on our testbed made of the MSI Z77A-GD80 with an Intel Core i7 3770K CPU. The drive was attached to the SATA1 port on the motherboard.
Plextor M5 Pro
We’ve been impressed with some of the Plextor SSDs that we’ve looked at recently. The latest one that was sent to us was the Plextor M5 Pro which, like the OCZ Vertex 450, is just 7mm thin but is much lighter at just 70g which is around half the weight of the Vertex 450. Plextor also bundles a 3.5” kit that allows you to install the drive on a standard desktop chassis. On the software side, you get the NTI SSD Suite which includes NTI Echo and NTI Back Up Now EZ. These utilities help you migrate data from your current hard drive to the SSD.
Plextor uses the Marvell 88SS9187 controller along with Toshiba 19nm Toggle-Mode MLC NAND that give it claimed sequential read of 540MB/s and sequential write of up to 450MB/s, theoretically making it a bit faster than the Vertex when is comes to sequential performance. Here is how the drive performed in CrystalMark using the same MSI Z77A-GD80 with an Intel Core i7 3770K CPU. The drive was attached to the SATA1 port on the motherboard.
Looking at the results posted above, both the drives perform according to the speeds stated by the manufacturers. If you ask which one is faster- that’s a bit hard to judge. The OCZ Vertex 450 writes faster in all tests whereas the Plextor reads faster in almost all the tests. When it comes to warranty, Plextor has an upper hand with a 5 year warranty compared to OCZ’s 3 year warranty. It also has the benefit of being lighter which help if you were to use this in a laptop. However, what it all comes down to is the pricing between these two drives- The Plextor M5 Pro is listed at $359 on Newegg whereas the OCZ Vertex 450 is listed significantly cheaper at US$229. With that big of a difference, our opinion goes in the favor of the OCZ Vertex.