Final Words

The Indilinx Everest is a surprisingly competent controller. When OCZ first mentioned its work on the controller to me I wrote it off as yet another low performing alternative that wasn't worth consideration. Based on its performance in our Storage Bench tests, I'd say the OCZ Octane is easily able to hold its own against SandForce based drives. The obvious benefit is you get solid performance regardless of the type of data you're moving around - everything from text to compressed movies can move at the same rate. The benefit is also a downside. SandForce drives tend to have very good average write amplification (0.60 - 0.70) thanks to their real time compression/dedupe of commonly used files. The result is relatively consistent performance over time, something that more traditional SSDs can't offer nearly as well. With TRIM enabled this should be a moot point, but it's still an advantage that no one else can duplicate without SandForce's technology.

Write amplification is a concern, although I suspect it'll only be a problem for enterprise workloads. The bigger issue is that to address these limitations, OCZ will likely have to do a significant redesign of the Octane's firmware architecture. OCZ did let me know that an even faster Octane H drive was due out in the not-too-distant future. It's possible that the Octane H may address my concerns here. I'll find out in due time.

It's clear that the Octane is a powerful competitor, what matters now is its reliability. In the past OCZ has been at the mercy of third party controller makers to fix bugs in their firmware, but now with Indilinx in house I wonder how things will change. I believe OCZ needs a good 12 months of an Intel or Samsung-like track record to really build confidence in its products. The brand definitely took a hit with all of the SandForce BSOD issues (and the wild goose chase interim "solutions" to the problem). OCZ has the opportunity to start fresh with Octane and there can be no finger pointing this time. The controller, firmware and drive are all produced in house. I don't expect the drive to be perfect in every system, but it had better be very close to it.

The good news is that if OCZ is able to deliver reliable and compatible firmware, the Octane is worth owning. It performs at the top of its class, and it's priced more aggressively than OCZ's SandForce based drives. My standard recommendation for any new SSD still applies: wait and see. Let others (myself included, the Octane will be going into a work machine starting today) be the beta testers. If the waters look safe, only then should you jump in.

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  • Chloiber - Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - link

    ...now let's wait what Indilinx has learned from the Barefoot fiasco. The performance looks good - so does the performance of the competition. The only things that matter now are 1) reliability, 2) price and 3) performance over time. Reply
  • IceDread - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    Reliability is very important, performance and price are as well of course but without reliability the later two does not really matter.

    So it will be interesting to later know the statistics there.
    Reply
  • Zane K - Sunday, November 27, 2011 - link

    I work at quite a large computer shop, and we sell a heap of OCZ drives. Unfortunately we see 12-14% of these come back compared to 2-4% for out corsair force 3 and Silicon Power drives, until this works its self out, I will neither buy or recommend a ocz drive. Reply
  • dj christian - Monday, November 28, 2011 - link

    I agree completely!

    This says it all

    http://www.hardware.fr/articles/843-7/ssd.html

    - Intel 0,1% (contre 0,3%)
    - Crucial 0,8% (contre 1,9%)
    - Corsair 2,9% (contre 2,7%)
    - OCZ 4,2% (contre 3,5%)
    Reply
  • dj christian - Monday, November 28, 2011 - link

    Sorry forgot the above is the reliability index

    Translated for you

    http://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c...
    Reply
  • happycamperjack - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    Comparing last gen SSD with this Gen of SSD is hardly fair. But I guess Vertex 3 series had suffered earlier this year from a firmware bug, but it''s solved now. Should be smooth sailing from now. I would probably get Vertex 3 over Octane though. Reply
  • maxgrax - Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - link

    Definitely going to wait for reliability results before I jump back onto OCZ. They still have the best performance / $ but that has little meaning when data security is at risk. Was hoping after yesterday's preview that you would have more than just the 512GB drive benched :( , I hope the speed doesnt degrade too much going down to 256 and 128 Reply
  • Marlin1975 - Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - link

    How about testing with a SB950 AMD 6Gb controller

    Like to see what diff the newwest Intel vs AMD controllers are.

    That and more 128gb reviews. most don;t have SSDs and even fewwer have 512gb models.
    Reply
  • inighthawki - Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - link

    I would love to see a lot more tests runs on SSDs with less storage. Many of the drives have higher performance in the higher capacity models, and it's pretty obvious that your even your above average tech savvy user isn't going to be dishing out one thousand dollars for the 512GB version of the drive.

    You should perhaps try to keep all of the tests in the same size range (IE, test all 120/128GB drives, all 250/256GB drives, etc in a single batch).
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - link

    I agree completely, but all we got this round was the 512GB drive. I'm still waiting for lower capacities :)

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply

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