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OCZ Octane 512GB SSD Full Review - Indilinx Has Returned With Everest

Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: OCZ

Internals, Testing Methodology and System Setup

Internals:

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The Octane shares a housing with the Agility 3. The top cover portion is made of plastic. This is not necessarily a bad thing - many other manufacturers choose entire housings made of plastic, so long as heat production is not an issue.

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The interesting bits hide on the bottom of the PCB.

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...and the rest on the flip side. Note the extra SDRAM chip.

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The shiney new Indilinx controller is paired with 512MB of SYNC DDR3 SDRAM, half of which is pictured here.

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Storage is accomplished via IMFT 25nm flash, configured to run SYNC for the Octane.

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We were a bit puzzled by the inclusion of what appears to be 8 4-bit 1-2 mux/demux chips from Texas Instruments. This configuration suggests this Everest is configured to run in 4-channel mode (8x 4-bit chips add up to split 4x 8-bit channels into a pair of the same, making up 8 channels). The question is - why add all of these extra parts when Everest is supposed to natively interleave multiple flash chips per channel? We don't have that answer, but these are extremely fast multiplexer chips that are likely just as fast as the controller could have switched natively anyway. Hopefully the added complexity and chip count won't negatively impact pricing.

Testing Methodology

Our tests are a good mix of synthetic and real-world benchmarks. PCMark, IOMeter, HDTach, HDTune, Yapt and our custom File Copy test round out the selection to cover just about all bases. If you have any questions about our tests just drop into the Storage Forum and we'll help you out! 

Test System Setup

We're breaking in a new SandyBridge testbed. Necessary for properly testing these new drives, even with the known issues. To get around this, we are using only the Intel SATA 6Gb/sec ports, which are known to not exhibit the inconsistent performance / connectivity issues. 

PC Perspective would like to thank ASUS, Corsair, and Kingston for supplying some of the components of our test rig. 

Hard Drive Test System Setup
CPU Intel Core i5-2500K
Motherboard Asus P8Z68-V Pro
Memory Kingston HyperX 4GB DDR3-2133 CL9
Hard Drive G.Skill 32GB SLC SSD
Sound Card N/A
Video Card Intel Core i5-2500K Native
Video Drivers Intel
Power Supply Corsair CMPSU-650TX
DirectX Version DX9.0c
Operating System Windows 7 X64

 

  • PCMark05
  • Yapt
  • IOMeter
  • HDTach
  • HDTune
  • PCPer File Copy Test

 

November 23, 2011 | 12:43 PM - Posted by Matt (not verified)

Great review and an interesting product. I am finally tempted to put an SSD in my Laptop. To bad about the compatibility issue. There is no way I would do a fresh install.

also, on the pc per File copy test page, you haev a small typo :

''Even with a laege cache''

November 23, 2011 | 02:05 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Thanks, fixed!

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November 23, 2011 | 04:00 PM - Posted by PNG (not verified)

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November 23, 2011 | 08:50 PM - Posted by Nilbog

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November 24, 2011 | 12:15 AM - Posted by Jeremy Hellstrom

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November 24, 2011 | 02:35 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

It is still made by OCZ and that alone is reason enough to go no where near this product.

November 24, 2011 | 02:34 PM - Posted by ToiT (not verified)

Times are changing... keep your eye on them.

November 24, 2011 | 08:01 PM - Posted by pdjblum

My vertex recently failed and it took over a month to get a replacement from them. In the mean time, I had to buy another ssd for my system. I got the intel 320 because I was more interested in reliability than having the fastest drive out there. Really two issues come up here: one is that the vertex failed; and two is that it took over a month to get a replacement. I too will stay clear of OCZ for the foreseeable future. I just hope my vertex 3 max io edition that I bought previous to my vertex debacle hangs in there.

December 1, 2011 | 12:23 AM - Posted by josephjpeters (not verified)

Your perception is based on a first gen product. Look at the reviews of the Vertex 3 (or all SF-based drives) and you'll see that they've become a lot more reliable. I've had a Vertex 3 since launch and never had a single issue.

Now at OCZ is developing their own products (own controller), they'll be able to respond much quicker to compatibility issues. Keep in mind they're a relatively small company. As they grow their support and subsequent reliability will improve.

November 24, 2011 | 11:52 AM - Posted by pdjblum

Allyn,

Can you say anything as to the effectiveness of trim on the drive?

November 24, 2011 | 02:37 PM - Posted by ToiT (not verified)

It's too bad that OCZ handed out all 512GB drives, considering the price, that's probably more than what the majority of buyers are going to consider as viable option. I'd love to see a review of something smaller since the specs are worse, I'm not sure it would keep up to any SF-2281's or other competitors.

December 1, 2011 | 12:29 AM - Posted by bluehorseshoe (not verified)

Rumor has it OCZ is being qualified at a major OEM who wants to put SSD's in every laptop across their product line, either all SSD or as part of a hybrid system. This is part a response to the recent HDD shortage. I'd assume that's where the 128GB and 256GB drives are being shipped at the moment.

January 3, 2012 | 10:44 PM - Posted by wujj123456

I just read a relevant review on tom's hardware. Honestly, based on my knowledge of SSDs, I think their test approach is more complete, especially if your are evaluating a new controller.

The worst case scenario and steady performance they pointed out is orthogonal to what you've tested here (sequential/random I/O). I don't see many other websites doing the same thing, and it would be great if you can try similar methodology if possible. Thanks.

March 28, 2012 | 02:29 AM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

First - I am the original source for review sites conducting this type of testing:

http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Storage/Long-term-performance-analysis-Inte... (dated Feb of *2009*).

The part of the Tom's article you speak of:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/octane-sata-indilinx-benchmark-perfo...

...is a dated method that is no longer relevant when using an SSD with an OS that continually issues TRIM commands to the drive. Benchmarks can not accurately test for this as they are unable to issue TRIM commands directly to the drive while doing all of those random writes. The closest you can get is to run something that fragments the drive, but then to partition and format the drive under Windows 7, *then* run the HDTach pass and see what happened. I do this to all drives as part of my testing, and the Octane behaved as all other modern SSDs do - performance had returned to normal. This was actually noted below the basing portion on that page of the Tom's piece.

That said, I'll revive my "Performance Over Time And TRIM" page for future pieces.

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