Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: OCZ Technology

Introduction, Specifications and Packaging

Introduction:

As of yesterday, the OCZ we all knew was officially acquired by Toshiba. They are now referred to as OCZ Storage Solutions, acting as a wholly owned subsidiary of Toshiba Group:

ocz-toshiba-logo-new.JPG

This deal has been in the works for a while now, and while some suspected OCZ might be going under, they have continued to release new drives. The acquisition is more beneficial to OCZ than you might think, in that they now have much better access to Toshiba flash memory. Further, they can likely purchase it at better costs than available to those outside of the new parent companies' umbrella.

Today is no different, and OCZ is ringing in the pairing with a new product launch:

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Lets jump right into the specs:

Specifications:

specs.png

OCZ also provided a comparison against prior models:

comparison.png

This new model, just like the Vector 150, sports Toshiba 19nm flash. It's a slightly newer version of the Barefoot 3 controller, but with a lower endurance spec and warranty period.

Continue reading our review of the OCZ Vertex 460 240GB SSD!!

Author:
Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: Various

The stars are aligned

One of the most frequent questions we get at PC Perspective is some derivative of "is now the time to buy or should I wait?"  If you listen to the PC Perspective Podcast or This Week in Computer Hardware you'll know that I usually err on the side of purchasing now. Why should you hold yourself back on the enjoyment of technology unless something DRAMATIC is just over the horizon.

This week I got another such email that prompted me to do some thinking.  After just returning from CES 2014 in Las Vegas, I think its fair to say that we didn't hear anything concrete about upcoming SSD plans that would really be considered monumental.  Sure, we saw plenty of PCIe SSDs as well as some M.2 options, but little for PC enthusiasts or even users that are looking to replace the hard drives in their PlayStation 4. Our team thinks that now is about as good of a time to buy an SSD as you will get.

And while you are always going to see price drops on commodity goods like flash storage, the prices on some of our favorite SSDs are at a low that we haven't witnessed without the rebates and flash deals of Black Friday / Cyber Monday.  Let's take a look at a few:

Note: It should go without saying that all of these price discussions are as of this writing and could change...

ssd-evo1tb.jpg

Samsung 840 EVO 1TB SSD (Red: Amazon, Yellow: Newegg) - Graph courtesy HoverHound

The flagship SSD from the Samsung 840 EVO series SSDs, also the personal favorite of Allyn and most of the rest of the PC Perspective team, is near its all-time low in price at just $529 for a 1TB capacity.  That is a cost per GB of just $0.529; no rebates, no gimmicks.  

ssd-evo500gb.jpg

Samsung 840 EVO 500GB SSD (Red: Amazon, Yellow: Newegg) - Graph courtesy HoverHound

Likely the most popularly purchased of the EVO series is the 500GB model that is currently selling on Amazon for $309, or $0.618/GB.  Obviously that is a higher mark than the 1TB hits but as you'll see in our tables below, in general, the higher capacity you purchase at the better value per GB you are going to find.  

There are other capacities of the Samsung 840 EVO starting at 120GB, going to 250GB, and even a 750GB, all are included in the pricing table below.  Depending on your budget and your need for the best perceived value, you can make a decision on your own.

ssd-evo.jpg

Let's not forget the other options on the market; Samsung may be the strongest player today but companies like Intel, OCZ and Corsair continue to have a strong presence.  The second best selling series of SSD during the holidays was the Intel 530 series of drives that utilize the LSI SandForce SF2281 controller.  How do they stack up price-wise?

Continue reading our analysis to determine if this is the best time to buy an SSD!!

CES 2014: OCZ shows Barefoot/Toshiba powered Vertex 460 and new Z-Drive 4500

Subject: Storage, Shows and Expos | January 8, 2014 - 01:56 AM |
Tagged: z-drive, toshiba, ssd, ocz, CES 2014, CES, barefoot 3

Earlier today we swing by OCZ for a look at what was new. First up is a fresh launch, the Vertex 460:

2014-01-07 17-20-17.JPG

This new SSD will sport a Barefoot 3 M10 controller driving Toshiba 19nm flash. With OCZ's recent acquisition by Toshiba, this makes things handy, as OCZ can now source this flash at a much lower cost. I suspect much of OCZ's lineup will make a similar transition as time goes on.

Also up is a few changes in the enterprise sector:

2014-01-07 17-21-49.JPG

The Intrepid (center) sticks around, while the PCIe solutions get a bit of a shuffle. To the left is the Z-Drive 4500, which is a shorter iteration of OCZ's previous enterprise offerings.

2014-01-07 17-23-52.JPG

The Z-Drive XL (right) may look a bit familiar from the back. It's actually a slight repackage of the Z-Dive R4. The main tweaks here were cooling optimizations and a heatsink that keeps the same form and function as the smaller 4500.

We will have a review of the Vertex 460 up in a few weeks time, and we are happy to see OCZ won't be going anywhere any time soon.

Coverage of CES 2014 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2014 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

OCZ updates their enterprise lineup with two new Intrepid 3000 Series models

Subject: Storage | December 12, 2013 - 04:44 PM |
Tagged: ssd, ocz, intrepid, 3800, 3600, 3000

OCZ hasn't exactly been having a smooth run lately. Despite, or perhaps in spite of talks of bankruptcy and buyouts, they have launched an update to their enterprise lineup:

OCZ_Intrepid.jpg

The new Intrepid 3000 Series is built on a Marvell 88SS9187 controller running custom firmware developed in-house by OCZ. This combination achieves a claimed 91,000 random 4K read IOPS and a steady 40,000 random 4K write IOPS. These specs are significantly higher than OCZ's previous generation enterprise SSD, the SandForce-driven Deveva 2. This combination has also enabled greater data endurance and protection via BCH error correction of up to 85 bits per 2Kb. The controller and new firmware also treat the flash as a RAID to further increase redundancy.

The Intrepid will be available in two models, segmented by the endurance rating of the installed 19nm Toshiba flash:

  • Intrepid 3600:
    • 19nm MLC
    • Rated for 5 years at 1 full drive write per day
  • Intrepid 3800:
    • 19nm eMLC
    • Rated for 5 years at 5 full drive writes per day

Both models will be available in 100, 200, 400, and 800GB capacities beginning Q1 2014.

Full press release after the break:

Podcast #279 - R9 290 Variance Issues, OCZ's Bankruptcy, Kaveri Leaks and more!

Subject: General Tech | December 4, 2013 - 05:10 PM |
Tagged: video, ultrasharp, toshiba, R9 290X, r9 290, podcast, ocz, Kaveri, dell, amd, A10-7850K, A10-7700K, 4k

PC Perspective Podcast #279 - 12/04/2013

Join us this week as we discuss R9 290 Variance Issues, OCZ's Bankruptcy, Kaveri Leaks and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
  • RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, and Scott Michaud

 
Program length: 1:18:11
  1. Week in Review:
  2. 0:31:05 This episode is brought to you by Carbonite.com! Use offer code PC for two free months!
  3. Hardware/Software Picks of the Week:
  4. Closing/outro

OCZ's new controller; Toshiba

Subject: General Tech | December 3, 2013 - 01:15 PM |
Tagged: purchase, ocz, toshiba

It is hard to say just how much per gigabyte Toshiba paid but for $35 million US they now own all of OCZ's storage, both consumer and enterprise.  In the statement released at OCZ it is implied that not much will change at OCZ, the sales teams and engineers stand a good chance of retaining their jobs and the OCZ brand will live on.  This lends credence to the statement made by OCZ yesterday that all warranties will continue to be honoured after their bankruptcy which should make many an enthusiast feel much more secure.  It will be very interesting to see what the future will hold for Toshiba's SSD business now that they have access to all of OCZ's intellectual property.  The Register has comments and a link to the press release here.

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"The Japanese concern has indeed ridden to OCZ's rescue, thanks to a $US35m cheque that will see it “acquire OCZ's client and enterprise solid state drive business” according to the canned statement about the deal."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Register

Alas poor OCZ, we knew them well

Subject: General Tech | November 27, 2013 - 03:04 PM |
Tagged: sad, ocz, bankrupt

It has been a rough year for OCZ as they tried to overcome the problems that they inherited from once CEO Ryan Petersen.  The news first broke in February when Wells Fargo announced that they would have OCZ delisted from the stock exchange as they had not submitted an acceptable profit statement since Q1 of 2012.  That would have had a drastic effect on the ability of OCZ to do business and would have triggered a shareholder revolt.   The new company head, Ralph Schmitt, managed to stave off the Feb 28th deadline with the help of Crowe Horwath LLP's auditors and received an extension on the SEC deadline.  As long as OCZ could produce an accurate accounting of 2012 and Q1 of 2013 by April 8th they would not be delisted.  Unfortunately the corrected bookkeeping revealed a serious problem with OCZ's sales model.  The higher their raw revenues climbed during 2013 the more their net loss increased, with sales incentives, poor chip supplies and other costs contributed to a seemingly unsustainable business model.

elreg_ocz_results_to_fy2014.jpg

Today the sad announcement of the coming demise of OCZ became official, at 9AM EST trading of OCZ stock was suspended as they announced their impending bankruptcy.  The trading resumed just a short time ago, at 2:30PM and as you can see the news is bleak for shareholders.

chart.gif

The stock price declined by 67% since the beginning of the year until this announcement and is currently plummeting even more.  According to Barrons and other sources, Toshiba has made an offer to purchase OCZ's assets, the "“material terms have been agreed to,” though there are a number of conditions that have to be satisfied, such as retention of employees."  Until this deal is finalized we will not know the fate of OCZ and their product lines or warranty support and it could be quite some time before the specifics are agreed upon and announced to consumers.  It is a sad day for enthusiasts who have enjoyed the great performance and low prices that OCZ's SSDs lines offered.

ocz sad.png

 

UPDATE : “With the recent news OCZ wants to reassure all our valued customers that the Company is honoring all product warranties. If any customers require support they are encouraged to contact our customer support and forum support teams who will be more than happy to assist.”

Source: Barrons

Podcast #277 - GTX 780Ti, OCZ Vector 150 SSD, Details about Kaveri, and much more from APU13!

Subject: General Tech | November 14, 2013 - 12:38 AM |
Tagged: podcast, video, gtx 780ti, Vector 150, ocz, r9 290, R9 290X, 290, 290x, WD, My Cloud, EX 4

PC Perspective Podcast #277 - 11/14/2013

Join us this week as we discuss the GTX 780Ti, OCZ Vector 150 SSD, Details about Kaveri, and much more from APU13!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
  • RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, and Allyn Malventano

 
Program length: 1:09:03
  1. Reminder about Halloween contest - update when I get home
  2. Week in Review:
  3. 0:30:50 This episode is brought to you by Carbonite.com! Use offer code PC for two free months!
  4. Closing/outro

OCZ shrinks their flash and is proud to show it off

Subject: Storage | November 8, 2013 - 06:08 PM |
Tagged: Vector 150, toshiba mlc, ssd, ocz, 19nm, Indilinx, barefoot 3

OCZ's newest contribution to the SSD market is the Vector 150 with 19nm flash and a tiny footprint perfect for today's ultra-mobile devices.  One of the most welcome advances in this family is increased over-provisioning of flash storage which allows increased lifespan by letting the drive retire more flash as it slowly becomes unusable without shrinking the size of the drive.  As far as the performance goes it beats out almost all previous drives we have seen and while The Tech Report is a little worried about the lifetime of the Barefoot controller the 5 year warranty mitigates that concern somewhat.

You can also see how well it survived Al's torture testing here.

TR_front.jpg

"There's a new SSD in town. OCZ's Vector 150 combines the Indilinx Barefoot 3 controller with 19-nm Toshiba NAND and additional spare area. We take a closer look at how it measures up."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: OCZ Technology

Introduction, Specifications and Packaging

Introduction:

It has been a while since OCZ introduced their Vector SSD, and it was in need of a refresh to bring its pricing more in-line with the competition, which had been equipping their products with physically smaller flash dies (therefore reducing cost). Today, OCZ launched a refresh to their Vector - now dubbed the Vector 150:

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The OCZ strategy changed up a while back. They removed a lot of redundancy and confusing product lines, consolidating everything into a few simple solutions. Here's a snapsot of that strategy, showing the prior and newer iterations of three simple solutions:

vector 150 - lineup.png

The Vector 150 we look at today falls right into the middle here. I just love the 'ENTHUSIST' icon they went with:

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Read on for our full review of the new OCZ Vector 150!