Random Read/Write Speed

The four corners of SSD performance are as follows: random read, random write, sequential read and sequential write speed. Random accesses are generally small in size, while sequential accesses tend to be larger and thus we have the four Iometer tests we use in all of our reviews.

Our first test writes 4KB in a completely random pattern over an 8GB space of the drive to simulate the sort of random access that you'd see on an OS drive (even this is more stressful than a normal desktop user would see). I perform three concurrent IOs and run the test for 3 minutes. The results reported are in average MB/s over the entire time. We use both standard pseudo randomly generated data for each write as well as fully random data to show you both the maximum and minimum performance offered by SandForce based drives in these tests. The average performance of SF drives will likely be somewhere in between the two values for each drive you see in the graphs. For an understanding of why this matters, read our original SandForce article.

Desktop Iometer - 4KB Random Read (4K Aligned)

Random read performance is very good on the Octane, matching the Samsung SSD 830 and the Intel SSD 320. Random write performance is no where near as fast as the Samsung, Crucial or SF-2281 based drives, but as we've seen in the past this can be enough performance for a desktop workload.

Desktop Iometer - 4KB Random Write (4K Aligned) - 8GB LBA Space

Many of you have asked for random write performance at higher queue depths. What I have below is our 4KB random write test performed at a queue depth of 32 instead of 3. While the vast majority of desktop usage models experience queue depths of 0 - 5, higher depths are possible in heavy I/O (and multi-user) workloads:

Desktop Iometer - 4KB Random Write (8GB LBA Space QD=32)

Random write performance at higher queue depths doesn't scale nearly as well as the SandForce based drives. This doesn't really matter for desktop users, but I am curious to see how OCZ will position Everest in the enterprise space against SandForce. Perhaps that's where OCZ will focus its SandForce efforts instead and leave the consumer market to Indilinx.

Sequential Read/Write Speed

To measure sequential performance I ran a 1 minute long 128KB sequential test over the entire span of the drive at a queue depth of 1. The results reported are in average MB/s over the entire test length.

Desktop Iometer - 128KB Sequential Read (4K Aligned)

Sequential read and write performance is competitive, but not class leading. The Octane effectively performs like a Crucial m4 here, which isn't bad considering the m4 is a far more mature platform.

Desktop Iometer - 128KB Sequential Write (4K Aligned)

Background & The Drive AS-SSD Incompressible Sequential Performance
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  • Taft12 - Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - link

    Anand, do you have any insight into how the SSD industry's volume breakdown goes WRT size?

    I would be shocked if drives > 128GB made up more than 5% of shipments of consumer-class SSDs. I realize that hardware vendors want their product seen in the best possible light, but this 512GB drive might move a couple thousand units total globally whereas the 128GB version might see a couple orders of magnitude more.
  • Sunrise089 - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    I echo both the request-for-info-on/suspicion of the breakdown in shipments between 128gb models and 512gb models. I also very much echo the desire for more reviews of 128gb drives.

    I get this is what you get sent, but one of the reasons I love Anandtech is that you guys will actually play hardball with the manufacturers. I'm not telling you to refuse to review 512/256gb drives unless you're sent a 128gb model too, but at the same time I doubt you'd only review Extreme Edition CPUs or dual-GPU video cards.
  • niva - Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - link

    Thanks a bunch Anand, it's amazing how the perception for OCZ has changed, I remember the days when it was a "stay away from" company. Personally I still haven't bought an OCZ product after getting stuck with dead RAM modules (one outright, one with errors) years ago and having no recourse.

    Still, competition is good, and OCZ has done a lot to bring prices down for SSDs. Hope they succeed in the long term. I was also really tentative about the Indilux acquisition, but so far it's a definite success.
  • james.jwb - Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - link

    pretty much all the OCZ memory modules i had over time died prematurely. Bad luck i guess.
  • inighthawki - Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - link

    I own 4 1GB modules that are a good 5+ years old, all still work fine.
  • PubFiction - Saturday, November 26, 2011 - link

    Well I do not know how much it has changed overall I would say I still have a negative view of OCZ. They just seem to be a decent marketing machine but they put out alot of garbage. They constantly have sales on bad products which people jump on to try and then get burned. Right now and for months their SSDs which have reliability and firm ware issues are all going on sale for hard to resist prices. I had ram from them that while it still works had a sticker that was so thick it had to be removed in order to fit in the slots. Of course that was on sale too which is why I tried it. Instead of really fixing problems or avoiding them they tend to just drop prices and sell more of it. We also just went through the whole different slower nand on the same part fiasco.
  • inighthawki - Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - link

    Ah, ok. As someone looking into buying a new SSD soon, I sure would like to see how the 128GB version pairs up vs other SSDs in the same range. Hopefully you will extend the review at some point if you get different models :P
  • DigitalFreak - Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - link

    I wonder about that also. Seems like all the review sites got the 512GB model.
  • hackztor - Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - link

    hum, still seem to like the vertex 3 better. This could be good, but the other day newegg had a nice sale for the vertex 3 120gb max iops for 150. Really cannot beat that. I think the key though is benchmarks are getting overrated because these drives are so fast especially compared to hard drives. They need to have a reliability chart, that would be lol. I know I went through 4 vertex 1 drives before ocz upgraded me to vertex 2 so I am somewhat hesitant.
  • mckirkus - Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - link

    Given that the vast majority of people (according to top sellers at NewEgg) buy drives in the 60 to 128 GB range, it seems odd that they're rarely represented in benchmarks. It'd be interesting to know what percentage of their sales are 512GB drives.

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