Myce.com Latest Updates

OCZ Octane SSD review

Posted 29 January 2012 19:37 CET by Wendy Robertson

Final thoughts and the conclusion


User experience

A modern operating system such as Windows 7 rarely does one thing at time; it processes hundreds of threads at once. Just take a look at the processes and services that are running in task manager for an idea of how much is going on, even with the PC idling at the desktop. When you start running applications on top of this, the workload increases in line with the number and type of applications you are running. It’s also fair to say that many of these processes are already loaded into system RAM, but many are also loaded into and unloaded from RAM from the system drive as and when they are required.

The fact of the matter is this. If you are running a mainstream or high end modern PC with a powerful CPU and graphics card, and are still running a traditional HDD as a system drive, regardless of how fast that HDD is, it is still bogging the system down substantially. It has long since passed the stage where one can meaningfully debate if an SSD is really faster than a traditional HDD. The fact is they are, and not just by a little bit: they are much faster.

If we look at the 3 basic requirements for a fast SSD, they are as follows.

  • Small file threaded performance needs to be high
  • Small random file performance needs to be high
  • Sequential read and write speeds needs to be high 

The OCZ Octane 512GB has all of the above attributes. Couple this to the Octane’s very low read and write latency, and you have an SSD that performs much better in the real world than its specifications would suggest.

Stability

Last year (2011) was a good year for SSD innovation, with SSDs based on the SandForce SF-2281 showing unheard of performance from a single SATA SSD solution. The Crucial M4 was also another big star of 2011, offering excellent performance.

Unfortunately 2011 was a bad year for SSD reliability. Every single SATA 6Gbps SSD platform had problems with the new Intel Sandy Bridge motherboards, including BSOD problems from SF-2281, Crucial M4, and the Samsung 830, and also the Intel 320 series having problems with the so called 8MB bug. Generally all these problems have been sorted out with firmware updates.

The OCZ Octane has a new controller, the Indilinx Everest, which only appeared a few weeks ago. OCZ assure me that they have done extensive validation on this new controller, and so far I have no reason to doubt them on this.

The OCZ Octane is as “plug n play” as it gets. There are no special tweaks needed other than simply making sure that AHCI SATA mode is enabled in the system UEFI (BIOS) if you want to get the best performance and compatibility out of this SSD.

I have only had the OCZ Octane SSD for three weeks, so it’s not possible to comment on the drive's long term reliability. But what I can tell you now is that during the testing period, the OCZ Octane has been 100% solid, with not a single issue to report.

Long term testing on the OCZ Octane begins now, and I will report back if I should encounter any reliability issues with the SSD.

Conclusion:


Let us summarise the most important positive and negative points below:

Positive:

  • Silky smooth operation as a system drive.
  • Excellent sequential reading and writing performance.
  • Very good 4K random I/O performance at low queue depths.
  • SATA 6Gbps support.
  • TRIM support under Windows 7.
  • Lightning fast access times.
  • Completely silent operation.
  • Fast operating system start-up and shutdown times.
  • 3 years warranty.

Negative:

  • Writing speeds do not scale very well when queue depths rise.


To sum up, this is what I would say:

OCZ can be very proud of what they have achieved with their first SSD based on their own controller. In the real world the Octane is very fast, and depending on your PC usage pattern, the Octane could be the fastest SSD currently available.

Read and write access times are excellent, sequential reading and writing performance is excellent, and the OCZ Octane has more than enough random small file performance for any desktop PC scenario that I can foresee.

On paper, the Octane may not look as fast as many SF-2281 based SSDs or the Crucial M4, but in the real world the Octane can hold its own with the very best of them.

Price

As I write this article, I found the OCZ Octane 512GB SSD at e-buyer for £655 Inc VAT, which translates to €784.24 at the current exchange rate.

Model

User capacity

Price

Cost per GB

OCZ Octane 512GB

477GB

£655 €784.24

£1.28 €1.53

 

The parting sentence is

“The OCZ Octane is a well rounded SSD with excellent reading and writing performance, and outstanding access times”.

You may comment on this review below.

Thanks to:


EFD Software for providing the fully licensed versions of HD Tune Pro

Alex Schepeljanski for AS SSD Benchmark

Anvil’s Storage Utilities

 

Wombler
Administrator & Reviewer
Posted on: 29 Jan 12 20:35
Superb review as usual Dee.

Amazing performance from that unit. SSDs just seem to get better and better with every revision.

Some interesting results there though, with the revised firmware apparently slowing down some tests yet the drive is actually faster in real world use.

It's the perfect example of why the real world tests are more important than synthetic benchmarks.


Wombler
0 Agree

alan1476
Senior Moderator, Software Editor and Head of Promotions
Posted on: 30 Jan 12 18:09
Awesome review Wendy, I want one already, I have 3, 240gb SSDs and I want the 512 so bad I can see it in my computer already. I am waiting for the 3960X C2 stepping to be released then I might take the plunge.
0 Agree

Dee
Senior Administrator and Reviewer
Posted on: 31 Jan 12 23:48
Thanks for the comments.

The key to the Octane's performance is in the ultra low access times. In some cases the Octane can access data 10 times faster than some other SSDs.
Low latency "rules" in the real world.

We should also see the Everest 2 platform sometime in the summer.
0 Agree

alan1476
Senior Moderator, Software Editor and Head of Promotions
Posted on: 05 Jul 12 20:10
0 Agree

Post your comment

Myce.com settings

Several settings at Myce.com can be changed, they are stored in cookies, which means they will be reset if you clear Myce.com cookies

Background

Change the background to a plain color or trianglified image (similar to the default image)

No tracking features

At Myce most social media feature are done server side and impose no privacy risk to the visitor when not used. Several features use Javascript with you can turn off here

Layout

Switch to the List layout for an index with chronologycally listed news items or Grid layout for a block based layout. To see the change you need to reload the page

×