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

Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: OCZ

PCMark05

 For these tests, we use RankDisk, an application developed and copyrighted by Intel. In our testing, we found RankDisk to be suitable for a neutral benchmark. RankDisk is used to record a trace of disk activity during usage of typical applications. These traces can then be replayed to measure the performance of disk operations for that usage.

RankDisk records disk access events using the device drivers and bypasses the file system and the operating system's cache. This makes the measurement independent of the file system overhead or the current state of the operating system. In replaying traces, RankDisk always creates and operates on a new dummy file. This file is created in the same (or closest possible) physical location of the target hard disk. This allows the replaying of traces to be safe (does not destroy any existing files) and comparable across different systems. Due to the natural fragmentation of hard disks over time, they should be defragmented before running these tests.

The traces used for each test were created from real usage. The traces contain different amount of writing and reading on the disk; total ratio in the HDD test suite disk operations is 53% reads and 47% of writes.

The following input traces are used:

Windows XP Startup: This is the Windows XP start trace, which contains disk activities occurring at operating system start-up. The test is 90% reading and 10% writes. This trace contains no user activity.

Application Loading: This is a trace containing disk activities from loading various applications. It includes opening and closing of the following applications:

Microsoft® Word        
Adobe® Acrobat® Reader 5        
Windows® Media Player        
3DMark®2001SE        
Leadtek® Winfast® DVD        
Mozilla Internet Browser

The application loading trace is 83% reads and 17% writes.

General Hard Disk Drive Usage: This trace contains disk activities from using several common applications.

These are:

Opening a Microsoft® Word document, performing grammar check, saving and closing        
Compression and decompression using Winzip        
Encrypting and decrypting a file using PowerCrypt        
Scanning files for viruses using F-Secure® Antivirus.        
Playing an MP3 file with Winamp        
Playing a WAV file with Winamp        
Playing a DivX video using DivX codec and Windows® Media Player        
Playing a WMV video file using Windows® Media Player        
Viewing pictures using Windows® Picture Viewer        
Browsing the internet using Microsoft® Internet Explorer        
Loading, playing and exiting a game using Ubisoft Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon

The General Usage trace is 60% reads and 40% writes.

Virus Scanning: Virus scanning is a critical task in today's PC usage. As the major bottleneck of scanning viruses is in hard disk activity, it is reasonable to include virus scanning as a HDD test. The test consists of HDD activity of scanning 600MB of files for viruses. The Virus Scanning test is mostly disk reading (99.5%).

File Write: This trace contains disk activities from writing 680MB files on the hard disk and no read operations are involved in this test.

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PCMark showed Everest to be in a give and take battle with SandForce, with the Vertex and Agility 3 taking the lead in writes, mainly due to the fact that those units benefit from SandForce's on-the-fly compression. Everest does not compress written data. What comes into the controller goes straight out to the flash. This is also how Intel, Samsung, and Marvell controllers function.

 

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 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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