Dealnews had a shocking deal today: An OCZ Vertex Plus 60 GB drive for $45. That’s an after-rebate price, but even writing off the $10 rebate, at $55 the drive is still priced historically low.
I didn’t buy one. And I didn’t buy three. Here’s why.
I went to Newegg and looked at the reviews. Here’s how I read purchaser reviews. A shocking 51% of reviewers gave it a one-egg review. Some said the drives were DOA, useless from the very beginning. Others said the drives were very fast, but quickly developed corruption and became unusable. One person said he reinstalled Windows 55 times. Ouch. Even if they’re exaggerating and only installed 12 times, still, ouch.
I can write off a small number of one-egg reviews as flukes, or people not knowing what they’re doing. You’ve probably seen those before: Someone buys a bare OEM drive, then gives it a one-egg review because it didn’t come with a SATA cable. Or because they didn’t like the shipping.
But not half. Most bottom-of-the-barrel motherboards–stuff nobody who’s been into computers more than 12 months would buy for themselves–manage to do better than that.
I’m not sure what went wrong with this drive. It’s a new revision of the old Indilinx Barefoot controller used in the original OCZ Vertex drives, tuned to work with current-generation flash memory and to bring performance to Intel X25 levels. It should be a viable entry level or even midrange SSD, faster than a Kingston drive and with a competitive price.
But I’ve been seeing more reports of problems with recent-generation OCZ drives (even their pricier Sandforce-based drives) than with OCZ drives from 2008-2009, and these drives sound worse. The higher-capacity drives have a similar number of bad reviews.
It could be that with revised firmware, the drives would be fine. Or it could be that OCZ is giving up on the drives and this is a way of clearing inventory. I’m not inclined to find out, myself. Not firsthand, at least.