Why I’m avoiding OCZ SSD’s

About 9 months ago, I bought my first SSD drive. For the first few months I was delighted with the performance. It happened to be an OCZ Vertex Turbo (60gb). A drive this size is designed to be an OS boot drive. It can hold the operating system and some vital apps. There are the apps you use most frequently, and yes an SSD is much quicker than a traditional 7200rpm hard drive.

It’s worth mentioning I ran the drive on Windows 7, and applied all the known tweaks (turning off auto defragging and indexing), shutting down services that are not vital, etc.

I paid 361.884 USD for this drive, which is a small fortune, so I expected it to last as long as it claimed it would. The drive started giving problems after just 9 months.

Now it is important that I explain exactly what happened. The drive started developing bad sectors because all the write cycles had been used up in 9 months.

So what exactly was I doing with the hard drive. A lot. I’m a .net developer, so I have SQL, Sharepoint, Visual Studio, and other essential development tools installed at all times. I also do some web development, meaning I have a variety of browsers running. I’m also the type of geek who never shuts down his computer and leaves it on all night. I’m what you might call a power user. I certainly let the machine work, and I expect computer equipment to last at least 3-5 years.

After the drive broke, I did a lot of research. I questioned if infact any SSD was really designed for the power user in mind. I began wondering if SSDs were designed for those guys who own Mac books, who check their email once or twice a day, and maybe watch the odd DVD.

I posted many questions on forums, and sites like Super user. I got many responses. The SSD still under warranty took 1 month for the computer supplier to get back to me.

In that time, I noticed that the OCZ Vertex Turbo had been taking off the market, essentially discontinued. OCZ give no reason as to why this has happened. I have my suspicions it was not a great product, and OCZ dropped it, possibly due to too many defects. I wouldn’t have to guess if OCZ issued some kind of press release, but they remain silent leaving much to the imagination.

At the same time SSD prices have gone down by as nearly as much as 50% since I bought the drive 9 months ago. The price of an equivalent Vertex 2 60GB is now 178 USD.

The shop I bought it from tried their best to convince me to take the replacement Vertex 2, but I held my ground and got my money back.

So now the question remains, should I buy another OCZ SSD and walk away with the change. Or possibly even opt for a 120GB OCZ SSD, which is now the same price as the 60GB used to be. I think not.

After this experience I had with SSD, I am completely put off SSD’s in general, and I won’t be buying one until all the reliability issues are ironed out.

I hated having to copy sparingly to try extend the drives lifespan. It bothered me that I never trusted the drive enough to store any source code on it. I trust my regular HDDs with source code. Once it started failing it was difficult to spot the problem. You don’t get a big alert popping up saying your drive is failing. Instead your system becomes unstable, and you get many blue screens of death. It took me 2 weeks just to determine it was the drive at fault.

I’ve now read many reader posts on forums, even threads on Reddit, complaining about the quality of OCZ SSDs. OCZ seem to always be able to replace their faulty products, but some posts out there talk about people having problem, after problem, after problem with these drives.

I noticed the Revo PCI from OCZ also has some after thought wiring that have been soldered on, that are not part of the original design.

I’m now convinced that OCZ are in the business of producing inferior goods. I would say if you are after an SSD, be careful and avoid OCZ.