Comments on: Not All SSDs Are Created Equal: The Story Continues Everything OWC and Newer Technology Thu, 02 Jul 2015 16:36:35 +0000 hourly 1 By: OWC Michael Sun, 17 Jul 2011 12:17:13 +0000 No, only the 2011 models have been found to have 6Gb/s internal bus rates.

By: Chris Sat, 16 Jul 2011 14:09:17 +0000 Will my older Mac Book Pro (mid-2010) support 6Gb/s – 4K Random Data Rate

By: Nila Fri, 29 Apr 2011 06:14:11 +0000 Hello Grant,
Really thanks for your post, searching for the SSD market all over the world, OCZ Vertex2 seems to be the cheapest between all Sandforce based SSD, I am so curious about this. And in many forums, too many Vertex 2 users said their SSD failure. Your post give us a clear statement.

By: Matthew Fri, 01 Apr 2011 04:34:11 +0000 Well I’m waiting for the price of 240GB SSDs to drop (I’m not willing to spend $500 USD on a SSD). I’d like to see a 25nm version even if the capacity has to be dropped a little to keep the performance up.

By: OWC Larry Thu, 31 Mar 2011 18:54:32 +0000 Hi Keith and thanks for bringing this up.

Yes, the new 115GB is built using 25nm NAND device technology. Like OWC, SandForce is extremely conservative in what Flash devices they approve for use in drives driven by their processor and the formula for over provisioning to ensure the reliable usage of the product over the long long haul. 25nm flash is new and related to initial write cycle ratings, the amount of over provisioning was increased. Currently only our 115GB and 480GB Pro models utilize 25nm flash.

The sustained peak sustained data performance of our 25nm based solutions is absolutely in line with the prior 34nm based options. There are some differences up and down depending on type of testing, but overall – the performance remains exceptional.

Since you raise some concern about OCZ units, they have had multiple differences which do not apply to us:

• While OCZ shipped a 120GB formatted capacity drive which was actually a 115GB formatted capacity drive, we were planning this move to 115GB capacity well in advance….which was reflected in the 115GB model being listed in our Macworld US and Macworld Australia print ads that published Feb/Early March and the ads were submitted to the magazines in late January weeks before the OCZ capacity fiasco even broke out.

• Concerning OCZ’s performance drop, the key fact to know is that the SandForce controller supports 16 channels. As we understand it, the way the OCZ 60GB/55GB 25nm drive was built, only half the channels were actually populated/operating. With half the data bus, one would have to realize performance would take a hit. Additionally, there is also a likely impact in individual units where OEM or other grade NAND was used instead of Tier 1/Grade A chips.

The bottom line – as we see it, is that OCZ’s actions put a black eye unnecessarily on 25nm NAND technology.

There is no mystery here. The industry is moving to 25nm technology. What makes all the difference in this move is how SSD manufacturers build and design to use this flash type. OWC could have been shipping 25nm based product weeks before we did…but the firmware supporting this was still in testing and we were still testing built options for this use.

So right you are, not all SSDs are created equal.

By: Keith Thu, 31 Mar 2011 16:04:27 +0000 I’m posting here because I was looking for some explanation why suddenly your 120GB Mercury Extreme Pro SSD model (OWCSSDMX120) seems to have been quietly replaced with a 115GB model (OWCSSDMX120,) with the only spec change being 7% over-provisioning bumped up to 11% – explaining the 5GB drop in capacity.

More telling on some underlying change is the $40 drop in price from the old 120GB model to this new one – not counting the current $10 discount!

Has (what is basically a 128GB drive) model been changed to 25nm NAND chips? And why has the over-provisioning been bumped up to 11%?

OCZ’s recent move to 25nm 64gB NAND chips for their Vertex 2 drives resulting in a major performance drop (as mentioned above) has left a sour taste in my and numerous others mouths as potential buyers of SSD this year.

From these newer Vertex 2 drives, it has given many people the impression that the move to the 25nm chip equates to a price drop which doesn’t justify the loss of speed.

Can I ask that you – OWC – clarify why this change to the 120GB/115GB model was made, and what the implications are in terms of performance hits or improvements? In fact, a separate blog entry with actual benchmark comparisons would be fantastic.

After all, not all SSD’s are created equal, right?

By: OWC Grant Wed, 30 Mar 2011 14:29:41 +0000 Hi Jim and thanks for your opinion. Regardless of the AL grade, Micron is the parent company of SpecTek. We asked the Micron source for their opinion…since we would only expect to see top tier chips in an SSD. I’m not sure how us pointing out that not all SSDs are created equal is disingenuous; as well stressing in that same post that we always use the highest grade flash available. Our specifications are complete so that consumers truly know – and trust – what they are buying.

By: Jim Tue, 29 Mar 2011 18:42:11 +0000 You Grant as a representative of OWC are very disingenuous when you say the Micron quoted source said:
“It is a very brave action to take, using these chips in a data storage device,” to mean using SpecTek graded AL chips. Why don’t you ask Micron source about SpecTek graded AL chips?

I first thought OCZ should never be used. Now I realize OWC is the one to NOT BE TRUSTED!!! OWC is digging their own grave. Bye-bye guys.

By: OWC Grant Tue, 29 Mar 2011 13:42:55 +0000 Hi Gitarzysta to you in Poland! Always like to say a special hello to our very distant visitors.

Hope you can understand, but we cannot disclose business information. We can appreciate your question, but can assure you the SandForce processor is highly reliable and in fact offers better reliability and longevity that others on the market. That’s why we chose it for our line. Plenty of reviewers have noted they have had our SSD now for over a year without any issue. With a three year warranty and a 2 million MTBF, you can buy OWC with confidence.

By: Gitarzysta Tue, 29 Mar 2011 08:13:36 +0000 Hi, do guys mind sharing with us the failure rate for your OWC SF-based SSDs?

Intel (well trusted brand as far as SSDs) has just stated it’s 1.4% for their G2 drives (source:

Reason for asking: I happen to own an OCZ SSD (mainly because they were the only affordable, Mac-friendly, efficient solutions in Poland when I bought it and getting an OWC here would have cost much more – and in case of any failures would mean MUCH more hassle to RMA the disk).

Having read this post I may never buy OCZ again and will reconsider OWC – but looking around OCZ forums it is scary how many drives went dead. Is it the low-cost memory or maybe SF firmware issues? I don’t know.

But it makes me wonder if there’s something specific about SF controllers that make SSDs based on them less reliable than others. I’d appreciate if you could put some light on it. Thanks

By: OWC Grant Tue, 29 Mar 2011 02:05:04 +0000 Hi Matthew…our 115GB Mercury Extreme Pro also utilizes the 25nm flash:

and yes…OWC SSDs are fine with XP.

By: Matthew Mon, 28 Mar 2011 22:25:09 +0000 I just checked and noticed that my MacBook has SATA I ports (too much looking at System Profiler on my other Macs recently I guess).

Still I would think faster SSDs would be of some benefit. Sequential read/writes aren’t everything.