I received a tip yesterday with proof that OCZ's Everest controller was actually a Marvell 88SS9174 controller (the same controller used in Crucial's m4Intel's SSD 510, etc...) with a custom Indilinx firmware. After a bit of digging, it turns out that this is indeed the case (OCZ confirmed it to me earlier today). Although OCZ is working on non-Marvell based solutions, the Everest 1 (Octane) and indeed the Everest 2 (Vertex 4) are both based on Marvell hardware. The firmware is entirely Indilinx's own development, but the hardware is from Marvell. The hardware implementation isn't completely identical as OCZ claims its solutions run at higher clock speeds than the standard off-the-shelf Marvell components. 

This doesn't really change anything but it does explain how OCZ was able to bring two revisions of Everest to market as quickly as it did after the Indilinx acquisition. OCZ and Marvell have been working very closely together for a while now and even announced a native PCIe controller they collaborated on at CES this year called Kilimanjaro. As even Intel has admitted to in the past, the value in delivering an SSD isn't always in controller hardware but rather the firmware and validation.

Update: Just to clarify, my information says the Everest 1 (Octane, Petrol) is a higher clocked Marvell 88SS9174. The Everest 2 (Vertex 4) could very well be the new Marvell 88SS9187 given its significant performance enhancements. If it is the 9187 that could tell us a lot about just how close OCZ and Marvell are, as the Vertex 4 started shipping less than a month after Marvell announced the new controller.

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  • iceman98343 - Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - link

    so are you saying this is the same marvell controller as the plextor m3? we need more information.... Reply
  • Beenthere - Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - link

    Yeah and we know how well that's worked out for Intel in the past... or NOT. Reply
  • dgingeri - Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - link

    I just got a 120GB Vertex 4, and now I find this out. I feel lied to. While I was considering getting an m4, and finally decided to get the Vertex 4, I could have had the m4 for $40 cheaper at the same store. Now I find out they're pretty much the same. I am really disappointed, OCZ. Reply
  • jwilliams4200 - Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - link

    Actually, the m4 uses the Marvell 88SS9174, while the Vertex 4 uses a rebadged 88SS9187, so the V4 has a better controller.

    But the V4 firmware is OCZ, and they did a poor job with low QD sequential reads.

    The Plextor M3P (which uses the older 9174) is still a better SSD than the Vertex 4, and I expect Plextor will release a new model soon (using the 9187) that will be even better.
    Reply
  • ajp_anton - Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - link

    If you bought it for the name, it's your fault if you're not satisfied.
    If you bought if for the performance, this doesn't change anything. It's still the same drive you saw in the reviews.
    Reply
  • dgingeri - Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - link

    you have a point there. I saw the performance, I wanted a drive without the issue I've heard about the Sandforce drives. this one seemed to fit the bill. Reply
  • extide - Friday, April 13, 2012 - link

    It still had the OCZ exclusive firmware so it's NOT the exact same drive as a Crucial M4 or Plextor M3 Reply
  • jwilliams4200 - Friday, April 13, 2012 - link

    Both the Crucial and Plextor models have their own excellent firmware. The fact that OCZ's people wrote some firmware is not an advantage. Reply
  • Movieman420 - Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - link

    I'd be willing to bet that it won't be long until Ocz gets the Everest 2 fw how they want it (ie better low queue depth performance). Once that's accomplished I fully expect that they will start using 24nm toggle.It'll probably be deemed the Vertex 4 MaxIOP. I'll be holding out for the 24nm version to launch before getting a pair of 128's for a R0 boot array.

    Anand said his tip was that the V4 is using the 9174 marvell...but there are a few posts by peeps who think it's the 9187. If I had to guess, I'd say they're using the 9174 for the Octane line and the 9187 in the V4. We know for sure that at least one of the two (prolly the V4) have been tweaked by Ocz via a faster clock and possibly their latest FTL and maybe faster ram for the cache...but not sure what ram is in the other Marvell makers drives using the 9187. I'm sure more of the details/blanks will be filled in soonish...I hope anyway.
    Reply
  • jwilliams4200 - Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - link

    No. Anand did NOT say that the tip was that the V4 is using the 9174. He said the tip was that the Everest controller is a 9174.

    Anand said that he confirmed that both the Everest and Everest 2 controllers are based on Marvell hardware.

    The Vertex 4 uses what OCZ calls the "Everest 2" controller, which (although Anand did not write it) appears to be nearly identical to the 9187.
    Reply

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