OCZ VX500 review: A featherlight SATA SSD that's ideal for laptop upgrades

This drive offers the solid overall performance of MLC NAND at an affordable price.

Toshiba/OCZ has struck again with its latest 2.5-inch SATA 6Gbps MLC SSD, the VX500. Released hot on heels of the RD400 (a fast M.2 NVMe drive), the mainstream VX500 delivers solid overall and sustained performance, and is featherlight—a boon for anyone looking to upgrade a laptop.

Capacity and price

The VX500 is available in four capacities: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB, with prices ranging from approximately $70 up to $350 (for the 1TB version on Newegg). You pay a slight premium for the 1TB drive, but it’s still just 35 cents per gigabyte. And we’re talking about MLC (Multi Level Cell/2-bit) NAND, not slower TLC (Triple Level Cell/3-bit), which requires cache to attain 6Gbps-like write performance. Drives using TLC write substantially slower when the cache is full. Writing three bits simply takes longer than two.

vx500 box OCZ

Retail packaging for the OCZ/Toshiba VX500, which includes a license for Acronis True Image 2016.

At a hair under two ounces, the VX500 is one of the lightest 2.5-inch SSDs we’ve ever encountered. Indeed, I was concerned OCZ might’ve sent me a mockup when I first held the unit. Its lack of heft and 7mm profile make the VX500 particularly suitable as an upgrade for laptops. And cloning the hard drive it replaces will be a snap since OCZ bundles a license for Acronis True Image 2016.

Performance

By and large, the VX500 performed as expected for a modern MLC drive. AS SSD rated its sequential reads and writes at 508MBps and 479MBps, respectively—a very good pace. Access times were scant, as with any SSD.

ocz vx500 as ssd

Unlike its TLC cousin, the Trion 150, the VX500 sustains its performance during long writes and is a worthy competitor to top-notch MLC drives like the Kingston HyperX Savage.

The VX500 performed nicely in our real-world 20GB large-file read and write tests, as well as the 20GB small-file and -folder write test. However, for some reason, small-file/folder read performance was closer to what we see from TLC drives than a top MLC drive like Kingston’s HyperX Savage.

ocz vx500 20gb

We were a bit disappointed by the VX500’s small-file read performance, but otherwise it maintained pace.

The VX500 is warrantied for five years, and endurance is rated for 74TBW (terrabytes written) per 128GB of capacity. The drives are also covered by Toshiba/OCZ’s advanced warranty program. It should probably be called “advance,” because if the company determines that the drive is defective after you consult with a tech, it will advance you a return shipping label for free.

Conclusion

Though we weren’t overly impressed with the VX500’s small-file read performance, its overall and sustained performance still easily exceeds that of TLC drives. When comparing it against other MLC drives, consider the overall performance and cost. If you’re upgrading a laptop, factor in the VX500’s light weight too, which should put it over the top.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags SSDOCZ

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jon L. Jacobi

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?