OCZ Releases Firmware Update for Octane, Increases Random Write Performanceby Kristian Vättö on January 23, 2012 2:39 PM EST
OCZ released a firmware update for its Octane SSD series. The update carries a version number 1.13 and OCZ claims substantial random write improvements. To refresh everyone's memory on Octane, it's based on the Indilinx Everest controller, the first public outcome of OCZ's Indilinx acquisition. We reviewed Octane last November and it did fairly well in our tests, but it wasn't able to steal the performance crown from SandForce. With this update, Octane is getting closer to SandForce performance. Below is a table comparing the random write performance figures provided by OCZ:
|OCZ Octane Random Write 4K IOPS Performance|
|Capacity||Old Firmware (v1.12)||New Firmware (v1.13)||Change in Performance|
|128GB||7.7K IOPS||18K IOPS||+134%|
|256GB||12K IOPS||25K IOPS||+108%|
|512GB||16K IOPS||26K IOPS||+63%|
The smaller the capacity, the bigger the improvement in random write performance. We are still nowhere near the performance of SandForce based SSDs or Crucial m4, which have IOPS rates of 60K and 50K for 240GB/256GB models respectively. However, Octane is getting close to Samsung 830, which is rated for 36K IOPS (256GB model).
This is definitely pleasant news and tightens the SSD competition even more. Moreover, this update once again shows that the firmware has a huge impact on the performance of an SSD (remember Crucial m4 FW0009?). Given the relative immaturity of the Indilinx Everest controller and its firmware, it's possible we will see another, or even two, performance updates for Octane in the future.
We will be running Octane with the new firmware through our regular SSD tests to see how the new firmware performs in our test suite. In the meantime, OCZ's firmware updater along with the new firmware can be found here. As always, we recommend caution when moving to new firmware; this particular update is destructive so your SSD will be formatted in the process of updating, thus you should backup your data before flashing.