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
NAND 20nm IMFT MLC NAND 25nm IMFT MLC NAND
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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  • semo - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    "unlike with the Vertex 2 when OCZ silently switched to 25nm NAND"
    But they didn't just switch to 25nm NAND. They took out some speed AND capacity. They should have done a mass recall but they didn't.

    Only people that knew they were scammed and complained managed to get their issue resolved.
    Reply
  • Death666Angel - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    "But they didn't just switch to 25nm NAND. They took out some speed AND capacity. They should have done a mass recall but they didn't."
    A side effect of the switch.
    "Only people that knew they were scammed and complained managed to get their issue resolved."
    One could say that those other people were fine with the product they got. Or they made the decision that their time and effort was better spent on other problems they might have.
    Reply
  • semo - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    Basically you are saying that if OCZ managed to get away with it, more power to them? Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    3Xnm die was 4GB, whereas 25nm IMFT NAND moved to 8GB die. That resulted in decreased performance in smaller capacity drives because the increase in die size led to less parallelism.

    It was definitely wrong to do the switch silently because it had an enormous impact on performance. The good news is that OCZ isn't doing it again.
    Reply
  • semo - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    I know the technical details. The effect of their actions is the most important thing and it wasn't just performance, capacity was affected as well (they would have picked that up in the smoke testing stage).

    The bad news is that they never did a mass recall so no one other, than OCZ, know how many affected drives are out there in circulation.
    Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    What do you mean by capacity? Reply
  • semo - Thursday, February 21, 2013 - link

    The 25nm Vertex 2 drives had less capacity than the original V2s but the SKUs were the same. Can you spot what OCZ did wrong?

    "The matter is complicated by the way SandForce's NAND redundancy works. The SF-1000 series controllers have a feature called RAISE that allows your drive to keep working even if a single NAND die fails. The controller accomplishes this redundancy by writing parity data across all NAND devices in the SSD. Should one die fail, the lost data is reconstructed from the remaining data + parity and mapped to a new location in NAND. As a result, total drive capacity is reduced by the size of a single NAND die. With twice the density per NAND die in these early 25nm drives, usable capacity was also reduced when OCZ made the switch with Vertex 2."

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/4256/the-ocz-vertex-...

    http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=21433...
    Reply
  • HisDivineOrder - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    ...ran out of 3. Plus, Sandforce is probably pretty easy to get hold of now. Reply
  • smitty123 - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    ... with the latest vertex 4 and vector firmwares

    and specify what firmware version of the other vertex 4's used in the bench,
    there's a vertex4 v1.4 and another.
    Reply
  • Hrel - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    So, is the price lower now? I want a 512GB SSD for under 200 bucks! Reply

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