OCZ Octane 512GB SSD Sneak Peek - Indilinx Has Returned

Subject: Storage | November 22, 2011 - 01:00 PM |
Tagged: ssd, ocz, Octane

A few months back, OCZ acquired Indilinx. Ever since, we've been wondering if the next generation Indilinx offering could stand up to the competition, who has made leaps and bounds since the first generation SSD controllers were released.

It appears that wait is over, well mostly at least. While OCZ's new Octane series does not officially launch until tomorrow, we've been authorized to give our readers a sneak peek:

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From our peek inside we were able to derive that OCZ is using IMFT Synchronous flash memory - the same present in OCZ's Vertex line. There's also a lot of it - our sample is the first 512GB 2.5" SSD being tested in our labs.

...and for those curious on performance, I've also been allowed to sneak a bench out to you. If you're only able to speak about an SSD with a single benchmark, ATTO is probably the way to go:

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Pushing 350 MB/sec writes and 540 MB/sec reads, with very good IOPS performance at 4K (roughly 45k write IOPS).

This new offering from Indilinx/OCZ is looking very good so far. More to follow once the OCZ Octane officially launches tomorrow!

Note: It appears OCZ's Octane product page is live. Hit the link below to check it out.

The OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid, a PCIe SSD with a HDD piggybacking a ride

Subject: Storage | November 10, 2011 - 01:18 PM |
Tagged: revodrive hybrid, PCIe SSD, ocz

If you have $500 and a free PCI-E x4 2.0 slot then OCZ has a rather unique product you could try out.  This new RevoDrive Hybrid is a 100GB PCIe SSD card with a low power 2.5" Toshiba 1TB HDD spinning at 5400RPM.  You could think of it as similar to an Agility 3 120GB, though in this case it is acting as a very large cache for a HDD using OCZ's proprietary Virtualized Controller Architecture 2.0.  Performance-wise this odd looking beast surprised Hardware Canucks, beating the hybrid drive from Seagate as well as the Intel SRT that they tested against, but they caution prospective buyers about some sacrifices that had to be made by OCZ.  These drives are not quite plug and play, they require software to be installed in order to function properly and it turns out that the software is quite CPU intensive.  Read through the article and see if the sacrifices are worth the gains for your system.

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"Searches for affordable high capacity SSDs usually come up blank so several manufacturers have begun releasing hybrid solutions which combine the performance of an SSD with the storage space of the hard drive. OCZ's RevoDrive Hybrid is the latest to take on this challenge by combining a 100GB SSD with a 2.5" 1TB HDD. This isn't exactly a match made in heaven but the benefits are tangible."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

 

OCZ Technology Unveils the PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk III Power Supply Series

Subject: Cases and Cooling | November 9, 2011 - 12:03 PM |
Tagged: ocz, pc power & cooling, silencer mk III, PSU

SAN JOSE, CA – November 9, 2011 - OCZ Technology Group, Inc., (Nasdaq:OCZ) a leading provider of high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs) and power management solutions for computing devices and systems, today unveiled the Silencer Mk III Power Supply Series from PC Power & Cooling. Offering industrial-grade performance and stability for demanding computing environments, the Silencer Mk III provides high efficiency, quiet operation, and features the company’s first modular design.

“PC Power and Cooling has always catered to those clients that are looking for both performance and reliability from their power management solutions and the Silencer MKIII PSU continues that tradition and incorporates new features such as a modular cable design,” said Steve Lee, Senior Vice President of Power Management at OCZ Technology Group. “This is the first modular PC Power PSU and we spent extra time and resources to make sure we got it right by combining a highly efficient core with Japanese capacitors, a whisper quiet 120mm fan, and the flexibility of modular cabling, all to create the best Silencer yet, and we are releasing this exciting new series in a range of models up to 600W and pricing them competitively, making the Silencer MKIII PSU’s the ideal blend of performance, features, and overall value for customers.”

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Building on the award-winning Silencer core architecture, the Mk III once again defines the ultimate power management solution for today’s power users. For the first time, PC Power & Cooling customers can enjoy the convenience and benefits of a modular cable configuration, and eliminate unnecessary wire clutter for a more streamlined computer case. Combining a powerful single +12V rail and premium components, the Mk III balances the needs of server-class and IT professional standards with 100% Japanese 105°C capacitors, continuous output at a demanding 50°C ambient temperature, and heavy-duty protection circuitries. Key features include a 120mm variable RPM fan for quiet operation, well regulated electrical noise and ripple, and 80 Plus® Bronze-level efficiency up to 85% at typical loads.

The Silencer Mk III Series will be available in 400W, 500W, and 600W models, and comes backed with a leading 5-year Warranty for unparalleled peace of mind.

OCZ Technology Introduces the RevoDrive 3 Max IOPS Edition

Subject: Storage | November 7, 2011 - 02:19 PM |
Tagged: ocz, RevoDrive 3, Max IOPS, X2 Max IOPS, PCIe SSD

SAN JOSE, CA - Nov. 7, 2011 - OCZ Technology Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:OCZ), a leading provider of high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs) for computing devices and systems, today launched the RevoDrive 3 Max IOPS and RevoDrive 3 X2 Max IOPS solid state drives. Designed to deliver maximum throughput in multithreaded applications, the new Max IOPS edition is an extension of the company's industry-leading RevoDrive 3 product line, supporting workstation users that require greater transactional throughput and bandwidth.

The RevoDrive 3 X2 Max IOPS series combines a proven cutting-edge PCI Express architecture and OCZ proprietary Virtualized Controller Architecture™ (VCA) 2.0 flash virtualization layer with premium NAND flash components to deliver exceptional 4KB random write performance of up to 245,000 IOPS, along with increased transfer rates at 1900MB/s reads and 1725MBs/ writes.

"The new RevoDrive 3 Max IOPS solid state drives further expand on our original PCIe series, and are designed to deliver even more bandwidth for the most demanding applications," said Daryl Lang, VP of Product Management, OCZ Technology Group. "Engineered to leverage the benefits of multi-threaded processors and applications, the Max IOPS provides both the performance and features required by clients to address the most intensive workloads common in high performance computing and workstation environments."

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The RevoDrive 3 Max IOPS edition will be available in 120GB to 480GB capacities while the RevoDrive 3 X2 Max IOPS edition will be available in 240GB to 960GB capacities, providing ample space for primary persistent storage, multimedia files, and operating systems with the superior durability, energy efficiency, and reliability of SSDs. The new RevoDrive 3 Max IOPS and RevoDrive 3 X2 Max IOPS will be available throughout OCZ's global distribution channel and come with a three warranty.

OCZ's new Sandforce SF2281 firmware update tested

Subject: Storage | November 4, 2011 - 02:36 PM |
Tagged: ocz, firmware, Sandforce SF2281

The Tech Report has been investigating the OCZ 2.15 firmware update for their Sandforce SF2281 based SSDs.  The firmware was released to fix several specific issues that users were encountering which caused BSODs or stuttering during normal usage.  The testing was a little odd for The Tech Report, they certainly didn't see any BSODs after flashing to the new firmware, however they never saw any BSODs on their drives previously.  A little investigation showed them a significant decrease in the number of people complaining about BSODs on forums which leads them to believe the firmware update is effective at what it does.  Even better, the firmware has no real negative effect on the drives performance.

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"SandForce SSDs have been dogged by reports of BSODs and other issues, but new firmware promises relief. We take a quick look at OCZ's recent 2.15 firmware update to see how it affects SSD performance and the BSOD bug."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

 

OCZ Technology Introduces Octane SATA 6Gbps and Octane-S2 SATA 3Gbps Solid State Drives

Subject: Storage | October 20, 2011 - 01:29 PM |
Tagged: Indilinx Everest, Octane, sata 6Gbs, sata, ssd, ocz

SAN JOSE, CA - Oct. 20, 2011 - OCZ Technology Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:OCZ), a leading provider of high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs), today launched the Indilinx Everest-based Octane SATA 3.0 and SATA 2.0 SSD series, striking the ideal balance between capacity, physical size, and speed. In addition to being the world's first SSD to achieve up to a 1TB capacity in a compact 2.5 inch format, OCZ's Octane SSD series combines high-speed data transfer rates with record-breaking access times to provide a superior user experience and improved application performance.

"OCZ has reached an important milestone in the development of its own controller technology," said James E. Bagley, Senior Analyst with Storage Strategies NOW. "The high sustained performance, even with compressed files, the rapid boot feature and high access speeds using SATA 3.0 protocol puts their controller technology in the major league."

"Until now SSDs have been tailored for specific applications, forcing users into a product which maximizes performance for a narrow band of applications, but is significantly lacking in others," said Ryan Petersen, CEO of OCZ Technology. "The Octane Series solves this problem by providing the highest level of performance across varied workloads including mixed file sizes and mixed compressible and uncompressible data, all while nearly doubling NAND flash endurance."

The Octane series leverages the cutting-edge Indilinx Everest platform to deliver up to 560MB/s of bandwidth and 45,000 IOPS and is optimized for the complete spectrum of file types and sizes. In particular, the Octane's proprietary page mapping algorithms allow for steady mixed-workload performance, mirroring real world conditions across a wide range of applications. The Octane series also includes a number of advanced features unique to Indilinx, including innovative latency reduction technology, enabling both read and write access times as low as 0.06ms and 0.09ms respectively, the lowest of any commercially available SSD. This enhances application responsiveness and enables features such as "fast boot" in consumer applications.

Octane SSDs also come equipped with Indilinx's proprietary NDurance™ technology, increasing the lifespan of the NAND flash memory, ensuring the most consistent and reliable performance as well as minimizing performance degradation even after the drive's storage capacity is highly utilized. In addition, Octane series drives support AES and automatic encryption to secure critical data.

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Octane Product Features:

  • Dual Core CPU
  • Up to 512MB DRAM cache
  • 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB models
  • High sequential speeds: Octane (SATA 3.0) Read: 560MB/s; Write: 400MB/s Octane-S2 (SATA 2.0) Read: 275MB/s; Write: 265MB/s
  • High transactional performance
  • Optimized for 4K to 16K compressed files Octane (SATA 3.0) 45,000 random read 4K IOPS Octane-S2 (SATA 2.0) 30,000 random read 4K IOPS
  • Industry-low latency: Read: 0.06ms; Write: 0.09ms
  • Strong performance at low queue depths (QD 1 – 3) 
  • Up to 8 channels with up to 16-way Interleaving
  • Advanced BCH ECC engine enabling more than 70 bits correction capability per 1KB of data
  • Proprietary NDurance Technology: increases NAND life up to 2X of the rated P/E cycles
  • Efficient NAND Flash management: Dynamic and static wear-leveling, and background garbage collection
  • Boot time reduction optimizations
  • NCQ support up to 32 queue depth - End-to-end data protection
  • TRIM support
  • Industry standard SMART reporting

The OCZ Octane SSD Series will be available November 1st in models ranging from 128GB-1TB capacities throughout OCZ's global channel.

OCZ Technology Unveils the Modular ZT Power Supply Series

Subject: Cases and Cooling | October 19, 2011 - 01:45 PM |
Tagged: PSU, modular psu, 80 Bronze, ocz, OCZ ZT Series

SAN JOSE, CA – October 19, 2011 - OCZ Technology Group, Inc., (Nasdaq:OCZ) a leading provider of high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs) and power management solutions for computing devices and systems, today unveiled the ZT Power Supply Series which offers consumers performance and stability for gaming systems and desktops. Providing high efficiency, cool operation, and a fully modular cable design, the ZT Series comes in a range of wattage options for users looking for a quality upgrade.

“The new ZT power supply is designed with quality components and rich features including a fully modular design for easy configuration and superior airflow within desktops,” said Steve Lee, Senior VP and General Manager of Power Management at OCZ Technology Group. “This ZT PSU Series delivers clean and efficient power with the flexibility of modular cabling all at a competitive price point making it an ideal choice for mainstream consumers.”

Together with the PC Power & Cooling design team, OCZ developed the all-new ZT Series to remain rock-solid and stable even under intensive multitasking and gaming environments. With a 100% modular cable management system, the ZT Series improves airflow and eliminates unnecessary wire clutter inside computer desktop chassis. Kept supremely cool with a variable load and temperature controlled 140mm fan, ZT power supplies are engineered to limit distracting noise from your PC when working or gaming. Furthermore, the 80-Plus Bronze certified ZT Series features up to 85% efficiency under typical load environments and complies with the ErP (Energy-related Products) Directive to ensure less than one watt of power is used in passive standby and off modes.

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The OCZ ZT Series will be available in 550W, 650W, and 750W models, and comes backed with a leading 5-year OCZ PowerSwap Warranty for unparalleled peace of mind. The ZT PSU Series will be available worldwide with an MSRP of $99.99, $109.99, and $119.99 respectively.

SandForce finally patches elusive 2200 series SSD controller bug. OCZ issues firmware, others soon to follow.

Subject: Storage | October 18, 2011 - 12:25 AM |
Tagged: ssd, sandforce, ocz, firmware, bug, BSOD

Over the past few months, we had noted a seemingly disproportionate surge of negative reports from users of SandForce-2200 based SSD's. These include OCZ's Vertex and Agility 3, Corsair's Force 3 and GT, Patriot's Pyro and Wildfire, along with many others. The complete list is available in our handy SSD Decoder.

The issue at hand was random BSOD's, with the possibility of an eventual complete failure of the SSD, rendering it unrecognizeable to the BIOS or Operating System. More details (and the fix) after the break:

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I witnessed this personally, as the SF-2281 pictured above suffered the same fate when we attempted to use it a few weeks ago.

Today (hopefully) marks the answer to everyone's prayers. SandForce issued base firmware 3.3.2 for SF-2000 series controllers.

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OCZ's Toolbox software V 2.40.02 can patch OCZ's line of SF-2200 SSD's with the new fix.

The release notes follow (and seem to lack mention of the aforementioned bugfix):

OCZ Toolbox version 2.40.02
---------------------------
- Modified Identity data display
- Fixed Smart data display for power fail backup attributes
- Added BIOS update for Hybrid drive

Known Issues:
- Update Firmware feature prohibited for primary drives with 1500 & 2000 controllers
- Intel RST Driver 10.1.0.1008 prohibits SSD detection

OCZ's press tidbit for the new firmware(s):

OCZ is pleased to announce that the cause of a BSOD issue experienced by some SF-2000-based drive owners has been identified by OCZ and SandForce. A new firmware update which directly addresses this BSOD occurrence related to SF-2000 based SSDs is available here. All newly manufactured OCZ SF-2000 based SSDs will feature the new 2.15 firmware revision (which is based on SandForce firmware version 3.3.2.) We highly recommend that any customers that have experienced the BSOD issue update their firmware to 2.15.
 
We sincerely appreciate the support from our customers, and if any customers have any questions or require additional support please do not hesitate to contact a customer service representative and we will be happy to address any questions or concerns.

If you own any of the affected SSD's, I highly recommend updating as soon as possible. Until then, I also recommend you back up any data present on these drives, as the above statements confirm the presence of an issue that can potentially brick your SandForce SSD at any moment.

Remember, patch only applies to the 2200 Series controller (i.e. SandForce SSD's capable of SATA 6Gb/sec).

OCZ Technology Acquires UK Design Team from PLX Technology

Subject: General Tech | October 5, 2011 - 05:35 PM |
Tagged: ssd, plx, ocz, merger, acquisition

SAN JOSE, CA—October 5, 2011—OCZ Technology Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:OCZ), a leading provider of high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs) for computing devices and systems, today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the UK Design Team and certain assets from PLX Technology, further strengthening the company’s global research and development team.

PLX’s UK Design Team has built a reputation for designing innovative and reliable system-on-chip (SOC) solutions and the acquired engineering team’s expertise provides OCZ with additional resources for controller design. Through the acquisition of the engineering team and the license of intellectual property (IP), OCZ will be able to accelerate solid state drive development, reducing its time to market for next generation SSD products, while also reducing development costs.

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“We are pleased to augment our engineering organization with the UK Design Team as they have been providing best of breed system-on-chip designs, software, and firmware since 1992,” said Ryan Petersen, CEO of OCZ Technology. “We believe the additional engineers along with the access to increased IP resources will enable us to significantly reduce the costs associated with storage protocol licensing, while simultaneously speeding our time to market.”

Pursuant to the agreement, OCZ will among other items acquire from PLX access to substantial IP and the UK Design Team, which consists primarily of approximately 40 engineers located in Abingdon, United Kingdom. PLX will retain their existing line of products which they will continue to support and supply to their customer base, and any patents related to the technology, for which OCZ will receive a perpetual license. The acquisition is subject to the satisfaction or waiver of various closing conditions.

Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: OCZ Technology
Tagged: z-drive, ssd, r4, pcie, pci-e, ocz

Introduction

Introduction:

Back in June of last year, OCZ released the RevoDrive, followed up rather quickly by the RevoDrive x2. A further jump was made with the introduction of VCA 2.0 architecture with the RevoDrive 3 and 3 x2. Each iteration pushed the envelope further as better implementations of VCA were introduced, using faster and greater numbers of PCIe channels, linked to faster and greater numbers of SandForce controllers.

While the line of RevoDrives was tailored more towards power users and mild server use, OCZ has taken their VCA 2.0 solution to the next level entirely, putting their sights on full blown enterprise purposing. With that, we introduce the OCZ Z-Drive R4:

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Continue to the full review for all the details!