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Latest OCZ SSDs nearing SATA II speed limit

Chicago (IL) – OCZ announced new high-performance NAND-flash based solid state disk (SSD) drives, which are among the fastest we have heard of to date (if we forget Fusion IO’s drives for a moment.) The new drives, available in 60 and 120 GB capacities are reading data about as fast as the SATA II interface allows.

I personally would have loved to sink some money into an SSD, but simply haven’t seen any value in such a device for personal use in a desktop PC just yet. The outrageous prices, which a lot of NAND flash companies use to compensate for the losses they take with lower-end flash memory devices, is one side of the story. The other is, of course, that you just know that the interfaces and memory chips will get faster over time and the performance of many of today’s mainstream SSDs does not justify the price premium over a fast hard drive such as WD’s Velociraptor, for example.

If you know that SATA II allows a bandwidth of about 300 MB/s, why would you spend your hard-earned money on those (current) expensive drives that top out at read speeds of 200 MB/s or less?

While we already know that SATA III will become available in some high-end storage device with a bandwidth of 600 MB/s later this year, SATA II is destined to soon become a much more interesting option, especially since we are seeing vendors approaching that 300 MB/s mark. And OCZ’s latest SSDs show that there is still some room in SATA II left.
OCZ announced, at least to our knowledge, the fastest SATA II SSD to date, as far as the spec sheet is concerned. Available in 60 GB and 120 GB versions, the new Vertex EX 2.5” drives promise a sequential data read speed of “up to” 260 MB/s, and write speeds of “up to” 200 and 210 MB/s, respectively. Sustained read speeds are rated at “up to” 100 MB/s.

I will leave it up to hardware review sites to find out whether these promises will hold in real life conditions and, of course, there is a big question mark behind value proposition of these devices. OCZ did not say how expensive the drives will be, but I am sure they won’t be cheap.