The OCZ Octane Review (512GB)by Anand Lal Shimpi on November 23, 2011 12:00 PM EST
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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Flashfir - Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - linkA little correction to your claim that OCZ is becoming jack of all trades, practically failure at all of them.
Almost ALL of OCZ new lines of PSUs have been garnering really great reviews over reputable review sites like Jonnyguru and Hardwaresecrets. Personally I'm running an OCZ StealthXStream II 600w and I did my review searching, seemed good, it's running my rig excellently. 80+ Cert which actually meets bronze level!
Newest lines: ZX, Z, ZT, ZS series. I recall seeing ZS reviews, ZX reviews and ZT reviews all glowing, >9/10 ratings on Jonnyguru!
PSUs doing well, their SSD lines are suffering granted. The particular Vertex Plus line got crippled by data corruption issues when used with SATA I, instead of Sata II or III aka, lower than Sata 3GB/S standard.
They didn't loudly warn people about it nor did they loudly advertise the fix which was included in the 3.55 firmware update. I helped my roommate get one and it works great but I had to research and double check to see if all the 50%+ negative reviews on NewEgg were because of a controllable issue. It was true! And now his netbook is lightning fast.
Beenthere - Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - linkJust because of late OCZ's PSUs have improved, doesn't mean that they have resolved their QC/design issues any more than fixing one SandForce BSOD issues means SSDs are now free of reliability and compatibility issues. I just call it like it is and OCZ has and continues to have a very checkered history on product quality.
Corsair has also had issues with their PSUs, SSDs and closed loop coolers. This is what happens when companies rush crap out the door for quick profits without doing proper qualification of the goods. As long as "enthusiasts" buy this half-baked crap and make these companies huge profits, that's what they will continue to deliver - crap.
Flashfir - Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - linkTrue. Everything you say is true. You know how emphasizing the bad without talking about anything good tends to give people the wrong ideas about how things really are.
If OCZ's PSUs continue to be good from here on out, then their past is still checkered but they've spent enough effort to show they're good. Which we're seeing if they will do.
It's not about being right or wrong but whether or not if people who don't know much who read in can really get the same sense of "it as it really is". I wanted to correct you a little bit to clarify that PSU lines can possibly be improving.
Beenthere - Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - linkTo be perfectly fair OCZ would not be at the top of my list for any product at the moment. Maybe five years down the road they will be selling reliable, trouble-free products, but right now I wouldn't touch their stuff. Same goes for Corsair other than their RAM. You couldn't pay me to use a half-baked Asus mobo either. All of this stuff is rushed out the door for profit before it's ready for prime time, IME.
Unfortunately the PC industry is rifle with crap products - because people are naive enough to buy them.
jleach1 - Sunday, November 27, 2011 - linkOh yeah? My stealthxstream blew in a spectacular manner 6 months after I purchased it and it filled my whole house with that burnt electronics smell that you can never seem to get out of your nose.
That combined with the nonexistent support I received for a set of DDR3 dims that required lowering the speed and upping the voltages every few months has me avoiding OCZ for the 12 months Anand spoke of at all costs.
I didn't even attempt to rma my power supply.
How many people have decided just to junk their hardware after being nickeled out of a manufacturers rebate or hounded on by ocz support for months with useless questions, I don't know. And we'll probably never know.
jimbowdang - Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - linkGreat review Anand, reading your comments on passing up on this drive for use on OS X makes me wonder if those hacks that supposedly allow non-Apple SSDs to use Trim actually work. I've been using an Intel G2 160 GB SSD in my 2010 13" MBP for over a year now and I've done the hack but I've never seen any testing to confirm that it actually works. I would love to see some testing on this as real Trim support would open up a lot of SSD options for OS X.
NCM - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - linkSurely you'd notice if your enabling OS X TRIM on a (non-Sandforce) SSD wasn't working, at least unless you had a quite large amount of spare capacity to start with. Even then you'd eventually start reusing storage and would see a slowdown.
I think it's worth making clear that although OS X only turns on TRIM by default for Apple supplied SSDs, it's trivial to enable it for third party units. It also seems reasonable to suppose that anyone motivated to install their own SSD on a Mac would also know to do that.
We're currently running four of our Macs with SSDs, two laptops and an Xserve that I ordered that way, plus a Mac Pro that I retrofitted.
Peroxyde - Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - linkDid the new CEO also setup un-honored Mail In Rebate as a business? If so it is quite successful.
geddarkstorm - Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - linkHad that happen to me with two different kingston products. Don't trust mail-in-rebate to begin with, no matter who is peddling it.
krazyderek - Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - linkWould have really liked to see a throughput vs transfer size for this drive :( some of us move around large compressed movies for editing and i'd like to know how the octane fairs against the m4 in such cases.
also, where is the avg access time, and max latency?? could also be good points to have about a new controller!