New controller, plenty of cache; decent speeds; strong writes.
Low random IOPS; not the best value.
Remember Indilinx? The company’s Barefoot SSD controller was the first really good solid-state controller. It was one of the first controllers to offer Trim support, as well as sustained read and write speeds near 200MB/s, and it ruled the roost until SandForce’s SF-1200 controller leapt ahead of Barefoot’s capabilities. The company’s next-gen controller was delayed, and in March 2011 OCZ bought the company. It’s been nearly a year, but OCZ finally has a consumer drive with the new Indilinx Everest controller. Was it worth the wait?
The 512GB Octane drive sent to us by OCZ contains 16 256Gb 25nm Intel synchronous NAND modules, two 2Gb Micron DDR3 SDRAM cache modules (512MB total), and, of course, the Indilinx Everest controller, all in a standard 2.5-inch SSD form factor. In CrystalDiskMark, it averaged 445MB/s sustained reads (35–40MB/s slower than the SandForce drives we’ve tested) and 315MB/s sustained writes (15MB/s faster). Its single-queue-depth 4KB random writes were competitive at around 5,600 IOPS, but at QD32, it only put out 22,000 IOPS—Samsung’s 830 Series does 35,000 and the Patriot Pyro SE does over 90,000. The Octane’s maximum response time in Iometer, at 429ms, is a bit worrying, too—its competitors have max response times of around 40ms. The Octane’s video encoding performance was within seconds of the other drives, and its PCMark Vantage and PCMark 7 scores, though lower than the rest, weren’t too shabby.
We’re not 100 percent sure OCZ knows what “infused” means.
So where does that put the Octane among today’s 6Gb/s SATA SSDs? It’s better than drives with the Marvell 9174 controller, like Plextor’s M2 and Crucial’s M4, and even some SandForce-powered SSDs with cheaper asynchronous NAND. But aside from a slight write-speed advantage, the OCZ Octane falls behind SandForce drives with synchronous NAND in most benchmarks, and its random‑write speeds at depth are much, much lower.
The biggest problem with the OCZ Octane is Samsung’s 830 Series, which is available in the same capacities (aside from the Octane’s unmatched 1TB model), is faster in every single benchmark, and is cheaper than the Octane—by $100, at the 512GB capacity. The Octane has more-than-reasonable performance and we like the fact that it has the new Indilinx controller, but given its price and the existence of cheaper, better alternatives, it’s not the best bang for your buck.
|Patriot Pyro SE||Intel 520 Series||OCZ Octane||Samsung 830 Series SSD|
| Sustained Read (MB/s)||482||470.6||445.4||506.4|
| Sustained Write (MB/s)||300.3||299||315.5||398.5|
| Seq. Read (MB/s)||506.7||502.6||432.2||502.6|
|Seq. Write (MB/s)||295.2||288.3||285.9||164.1|
|4KB Read (IOPS)||4,986||5,655||5,546||5,513|
|4KB Write (IOPS)||14,179||14,123||10,417||12,800|
|64KB File Read (MB/s)||443.24||422.81||408.57||405.85|
|64KB File Write (MB/s)||487.9||490.29||287.02||515.05|
|4KB Random Write||91,171.26||87,713.73||22,073.97||35,329.48|
|Max Access Time (ms)||41||39||429 ||31|
|Premiere Pro Encode Write (sec)||424||423||425||420 |
|PCMark Vantage x64 HDD||61,686||49,622||57,030||62,168|
|PCMark 11 x64 SST||5,305||5,312||4,945||5,257|
Best scores are bolded. Our current test bed is a 3.1GHz Core i3-2100 processor on an Asus P8 P67 Pro (B3 chipset) running Windows 7 Professional 64-bit. All tests used onboard 6Gb/s SATA ports with latest Intel drivers.