OCZ Vertex 4 SSD firmware 1.4 has arrived, writes speeds improved, drive speed is now even more amazing

I have the OCZ Vertex 4 256GB SSD (VTX4-25SAT3-256G), used as cache for my RAID array, explained here:
tinkertry.com/oczvertex4

This drive arrived from the factory with firmware 1.3, so I’ve been following he firmware 1.4 release candidate discussions, seen here for example:
pcper.com/news/Storage/OCZ-Updates-Vertex-4-Enthusiasts-14-Release-Candidate-Firmware

and discussed on this PC Perspective Podcast #201 I had recently enjoyed.

Today, I noticed that OCZ’s firmware 1.4 has now come out of beta/release candidate status, and is available here:
www.ocztechnology.com/ssd_tools/OCZ_Vertex_4

Indeed, just as the OCZ release notes state (dated May 17 2012):

 

writes are now faster. Also note that reads are boosted at nearly all sizes, and doubled at 0.5KB! The only slower results were the slight drops seen just at the 512KB & 1024KB read sizes.

Here’s how I tested:

  • took the SATA cable from the RAID controller off, and attached the OCZ Vertex to an AHCI enabled Intel 6Gbps port on vZilla‘s motherboard, booted, ignoring LSI RAID warnings
  • booted Windows 7 x64 SP1, and used Drive Manager to NTFS format this 256GB SSD
  • downloaded and ran OCZ Toolbox Firmware Updater (that includes firmware 1.4) and didn’t just reboot, but instead shut down/powered off (this step is important)
  • ran OCZ Toolbox again, to verify 1.4 was in effect
  • ran ATTO Disk Benchmark, knowing that my 1.3 results were very nearly identical to this review, giving me confidence my 1.4 results were also reliable
  • when I’m done benchmarking/testing, I’ll attach the SSD back to my RAID5, and reconfigure CacheCade 2.0 (I don’t see a need to run Parted Magic)
Here’s the video of the actual firmware update:
 

Check out the results below:

 

As far as “AS SSD” benchmarks results, I didn’t capture 1.3 results, but here’s how firmware 1.4 looks:

 

As for my next tests, I’ll now put the OCZ Vertex back in the role of RAID5 cache. I’m very curious to witness the firmware boost in that array caching scenario, aren’t you?


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  • Staraffinity

    Nice graphs, but what about stability? I don’t care much about the performance unless it’s stable. Also, do you know how it fares with Mac OS X?

  • tinkererguy

    In all honesty, as long as it doesn’t seem to drop from my heavily abused RAID5 array, I’m happy.  In other words, this isn’t a laptop with potential BSOD on suspend/resume or anything, it’s strictly getting used as a read/write cache for my LSI 9265-8i RAID5, which is formatted as one big VMFS at 5.7TB, and carved up into a variety of NTFS Windows VMs, and some Linux. If the cache drops, that’s ok, the RAID5 still lives on (which I tested, when removing the SSD from the cache to move from FW 1.3 to 1.4).

    See also:
    http://www.tinkertry.com/whylsi9265-8i

    I hope this helps explain why I’m willing to go a bit on the edge (versus say a Samsung 830 mentioned here http://www.tinkertry.com/lsi-cachecade-pro-2-0-faq/ )

    Perhaps follow what folks say about OCZ Vertex 4 these next few weeks of firmware 1.4′s arrival, and see how things shake out for folks?

  • http://www.sataiiissd.com/ SATA 3 SSD

    OCZ has made with its new firmware update (version 1.4) a few tweaks to sequential read and write speeds that should provide a major performance benefit. Therefore I advise everyone who own this drive to update to that driver version.

  • tinkererguy

    Couldn’t agree with you more!

  • http://www.facebook.com/Reppgoa Devin Harris

    So quick question. I am getting ready to take the plunge on an LSI controller and cachecade software. If you had to build vzilla again right now, with today’s current gen hardware, would you go with the LSI controller again and which SSD would you use for your cache? I want to use 2 smaller SSD’s in raid zero for my cache. What size cache do you think is optimal?

    • tinkererguy

      Hmm, I don’t have a quick answer. I’d go with Samsung 830 (based on conversation with LSI person at VMworld last week), but they want the enterprise (2x cost) version, working with them on their compatibility chart now, with no solid answers yet (other than no OCZ products listed). Also the LSI tech said to use one SSD instead of 2 (although others have reported great results with RAID0 of two SSDs for cache), really depends on how many points of failure you’re willing to endure it would seem.

      I do plan to do a new blog post soon, once I know more, working with LSI support, by giving them full evidence of some quirks with enabling CacheCade 2.0. Any chance you could hold off for a bit on buying?

      No, I do not have regrets, although the battery design of the 9266-8i is appealing (otherwise identical to ESXi, same drivers).

      I did have one time the RAID dropped under stress test I was doing, but that was older firmware on 9265 and SSDs not on their support list, so that means very little.

      Thank you for your excellent question!

      • http://www.facebook.com/Reppgoa Devin Harris

        Yea, I can definitely hold off. I am taking my setup and configure Vsphere 5 training in November, and then the exam a few months after that so I have plenty of time.