Goodbye OCZ, and Thanks for the Drives

Paul Lilly

Enthusiast PC brand bites the dust

It's the end of an era, folks. If you've been around the PC building block awhile, you'll recall how OCZ Technology started off as an enthusiast memory maker over a decade ago. OCZ ducked out of the struggling DRAM business in January 2011 to focus on the more profitable solid state drive (SSD) market, but even that proved difficult to navigate. With no other recourse in sight, OCZ is filing for bankruptcy .

According to Reuters , OCZ said it "substantially completed" negotiations with Toshiba to sell the company's assets. Once the paperwork with Toshiba (and Hercules Technology Growth Capital Inc., one of its lenders) is completed, OCZ will file a petition for bankruptcy.

It's been a rough road for OCZ since the DRAM's glory days when a stick a high performance RAM commanded a king's ransom. OCZ made a series of moves to keep itself in the game, such as acquiring former boutique system builder Hypersonic PC only to shut down the venture three years later. The company also purchased PC Power and Cooling, a maker of super reliable power supplies (a number of which we picked to power various Dream Machine configurations throughout the years), and continued to sell power supplies under that brand up until the end. Also on the list of acquisitions is Indlinix , which builds controller chipsets for SSDs.

Despite all the moves OCZ made, the company hasn't posted an annual profit in five years. Stripped of cash, OCZ would have had to file for bankruptcy immediately and liquidate its assets had Toshiba not stepped in with an offer.

The writing was the wall for a long time now. Back in August, OCZ retained Deutsche Bank AG to help it evaluate strategic options, serving as an indication that things had gone from bad to worse. And in November of last year, OCZ had slashed 28 percent of its staff and dropped 150 of its product lines after having hired a new CEO to address a growing credibility problem.

While we're not particulary stunned by the news, we're bummed that it had to end this way for OCZ, especially right before the holidays. Our best wishes go out to OCZ's staff, some of which will hopefully find employment at Toshiba.

Follow Paul on Google+ , Twitter , and Facebook

Around the web