Photos and Breakdown
Much like the packaging, the styling on the Vector 180 has changed considerably from the Vector 150. The Vector 150 was a great looking drive but I still like the new look. For the 180 OCZ blacked out the top of the drive and just slipped in the silver and blue trim from the Vector 150 in the form of the four dashes across the top. The drive once again comes in the amazing looking milled aluminum case that I always love. This means the drive has rounded corners where most other drives come in a steel casing that only allows for a more squared off look. Beyond the top of the Vector 180 the rest of the drive does have a silver finish on it.
In our photos the Vector 180 looks a little thick but it is actually a 7mm drive meaning it will support some of the Ultrabooks and other devices that require thin drives although a lot of those devices have moved to mSATA or M.2 drives recently. The casing has a cutout for the SATA power and data connections as expected as well.
On the underside of the Vector 180 we have all of the required government certification logos as well as barcodes and numbers for the part number, WWN, and the serial number.
I couldn’t just stop there, I had to dig into the Vector 180. To do that you have to pull off the silly warranty void if removed sticker then pull the four small screws out from the bottom of the drive. The PCB inside of the drive has four more screws holding it in place as well. With the PCB out I found it interesting to see that while the drive looks like it is machined out of aluminum it is actually cast and the top of the drive is actually mounted to the casting. I still love the design, but was surprised.
With the PCB out we can finally take a look at what makes the Vector 180 tick. As expected OCZ went with their own OCZ Barefoot 3 M00 controller for the controller on the Vector 180. This is the same controller that they used on the Vector 150. Considering the 180 is just a continuation of the Vector 150 that isn’t too big of a shock. The controller gets you their Power Loss Protection to avoid bricked drives in the event of power loss. The OCZ Barefoot 3 M00 is paired up with Toshiba A19nm NAND. The NAND on our board have the Toshiba branding with a product number of TH58YEG8DDKBA8C. Each side of the PCB has 8 NAND packages for a total of 16. At 32 gigs for each chip the Vector 180 has an actual capacity of 512 but OCZ over-provisioned the drive down to 480GB to make sure the drive has room to keep its full capacity over the life of the drive. Then of course we have the DRAM Cache. The smaller capacity Vector 180’s have a 512MB cache but the 480GB and 960GB both get an impressive 1GB cache to keep things from bottlenecking.