With memory prices continuing to decline, OCZ has made the decision to duck out of the DRAM market completely and focus its attention on solid state drives, the company said as part of its fiscal 2011 third-quarter announcement.
"In August 2010, the Company announced a strategic optimization of its memory products whereby it discontinued certain unprofitable commodity memory module products with the intent to continue only with certain high-performance memory products," OCZ said. "However, since that time, there has been well-chronicled, continued weakness in the global DRAM markets.
"Having balanced this DRAM market weakness against the capital needs of the Company's growing SSD products, the board has determined that it is in the best interests of the stockholders to accelerate plans to discontinue its remaining DRAM module products by the end of its current fiscal year of February 28, 2011."
On one hand, the announcement's a little surprising, considering OCZ helped pioneer the enthusiast memory sector. But the move is also understandable given the sorry state of the DRAM market. Maybe OCZ saw the writing on the wall a long time ago, as evidenced by its robust product portfolio. Long gone are the days where OCZ only served up memory, and now the company kicks out SSDs, flash drives, cooling products, power supplies, peripherals, and even do-it-yourself notebook kits.
Back in the summer of 2010, we awarded OCZ's Vertex 2 100GB SSD a 9-verdict and our coveted "Kick Ass!" award because of its "blazing fast" performance. We hope to see more of the same from OCZ's newly announced Vertex 3 pro SSD being showed off at CES.
OCZ says its latest MLC-based Vertex variant is built around the next generation enterprise SandForce controller. The result? Staggering performance numbers to the tune of 80,000 IOPS and 550MB/s transfer rates, according to OCZ.
OCZ also has a handful of other products on display, including the follow-up Z-Drive "R3' PCI-Express SSD, which is OCZ's first SandForce-driven PCI-E SSD for Tier-0/1 data applications, as well as the new ZX Series of power supplies with 80-Plus Gold certification. These PSUs will be available in 850W, 1KW, and 1.2KW configurations.
Long time readers of Maximum PC magazine already know what we think of PC Power & Cooling (now owned by OCZ). More than a couple of PCP&P power supplies have ended up in our annual Dream Machine builds, and for good reason -- the company typically puts out rock solid PSUs.
The latest entry to PCP&P's PSU line is the Silencer 760, hitting the sweet spot in the Silencer series that ranges from 500W to 910W. The 760W also "further raises the bar with an 80 PLUS Silver efficiency" rating, running at 88 percent efficiency on a typical load.
As with all PCP&P PSUs, the Silencer 760 pumps all of its +12V amps through a single rail (74A in this case) rather than split them up through two, three, or even four +12V rails, as some PSU makers are prone to do. Other features include 835W peak power (the 760W rating is continuous power), dual 6-pin PCI-E connectors, dual 6/8-pin PCI-E connectors, eight SATA connectors, seven peripheral connectors, and one mini connector.
Sure, OCZ is all about SSDs these days, but the company hasn't forgotten its roots as a memory maker. To prove it, OCZ on Tuesday unveiled a handful of new kits, including the Blade 2 Series, Platinum XTE (Xtreme Thermal Exchange) Series, and Gold XTE Series.
"Building on our previous lines of enthusiast overclocking memory, the new XTE and Blade 2 DDR3 memory series are designed to set the benchmark once again and deliver the ultimate in performance and stability," said Alex Mei, CMO of OCZ Technology Group. "Featuring new compact, yet highly efficient heatspreader designs, these hand-tested kits are the ideal solution for overclockers, gaming, and productivity applications, and are optimized for th latest generation of platforms from Intel and AMD."
The Blade 2 kits come rated for 2133MHz or 2400MHz in both dual- and triple-channel configurations, while the Platinum XTE and Gold XTE range in frequency from 1600MHz to 2133MHz..
OCZ pushed the SSD speed limit with the release of its RevoDrive PCI-E solid state drive earlier this year, and now the company looks to shift to an even higher gear with its new RevoDrive X2.
"The original OCZ RevoDrive SSD was designed to be the first high-performance, bootable PCI-E SSD solution and has become a popular choice for demanding computing applications that require faster, more reliable storage," said Ryan Petersen, CEO of OCZ Technology. "Building on the success of the original design, we are excited to introduce the RevoDrive X2, which delivers both increased performance and capacity, making the RevoDrive X2 a viable option for a wide spectrum of applications that include professional graphic design, multimedia rendering, and workstations."
Side-stepping the SATA II bottleneck, the RevoDrive X2 plops into a PCI-E x4 slot to deliver up to 740MB/s read and writes, and up to 120,000 IOPS. Part of that is achieved by using an onboard RAID 0 design, though the X2 also employs four -- yes, FOUR-- SandForce 1200 controllers versus two in the original, OCZ says.
The RevoDrive X2 is available now in capacities ranging from 100GB to 960GB.
You may already be familiar with Dynamite Data through the company's Firefox plugin, which crawls through cyberspace to see if it can locate a better deal on items than the one you're viewing at, say, Newegg for example. The plugin works fast, and to ensure it always will, Dynamite Data has entered an agreement with OCZ to let the latter provide SSDs to boost server performance.
"Disk I/O is the fundamental bottleneck of any data heavy business," delcared Kristopher Kubicki, Chief Architect at Dynamite Data. "We could not scale without reductions in storage latency, and the best way to get that today is with OCZ SSDs."
Dynamite Data says it extracts more than 10,000 webpages per minute, roughly the equivalent of downloading content from 17 million webpages per day. This, the company says, causes considerable disk strain, and using conventional hard drives penalizes the process. By switching to OCZ's SSDs, Dynamite Data says it's able to deliver data processing in real-time without any lag.
You'd be hard pressed to find a company more active in the solid state drive (SSD) space than OCZ, and they're about to kick things up a notch. The SSD maker on Tuesday announced the opening of a new SSD manufacturing plant in Taipei, Taiwan that will begin cranking out new drives starting October 25, 2010.
"As our SSD revenues continue to expand, we are happy to announce our new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Taipei, Taiwan," said Ryan Petersen, CEO of the OCZ Technology Group. "Our new 20,000 square foot facility was set up in response to increased demand from OEMs for our Enterprise Solid State Drive products and significantly increases our monthly SSD capacity."
The new plant will nearly triple OCZ's SSD output from 50,000 units a month to 140,000 units. That's made even more impressive when you consider OCZ was averaging 15,000 units per month for the fiscal first quarter ending May 31, 2010.
We have to hand it to OCZ for the company's relentless march into SSD territory, which hopefully is getting us closer to mainstream price-per-gigabyte ratios. And that's really the intent behind OCZ's new Onyx 2 series, the company says.
"While we are constantly looking to push the envelope in solid state drive performance, we are also dedicated to making the technology more affordable to consumers," said Ryan Petersen, CEO of OCZ. "The new Onyx 2 series SSDs give customers the very best of both worlds when it comes to performance and value, and they are an ideal solution for mobile and desktop users that want to take advantage of all the benefits that SSDs offer over traditional rotational based drives."
Though OCZ is shooting for affordable, performance isn't exactly an afterthought. The Onyx 2 series benefits from the mighty SandForce controller that's become so popular, resulting in up to 270MB/s read and up to 265MB/s write speeds, as well as up to 10,000 random write IOPS (4k aligned). And of course TRIM support comes as part of the deal.
The 2.5-inch Onyx 2 series will be available in 120GB and 240GB capacities. Pricing has yet to be determined, so we'll reserve judgment on whether these are truly affordable or not.
In the midst of bombarding the market with a bazillion solid state drive models, OCZ has gone back to its roots and introduced a handful of desktop memory kits.
Taking aim at gamers with a green eye, the new kits consist of Ultra-Low Voltage (ULV) and Extreme-Low Voltage (ELV) grade DDR3 that OCZ promises has the chops to fit in with an enthusiast oriented build.
"We are pleased to announce a complete range of low-voltage memory offerings designed for the latest crop of energy efficient platforms," said Eugene Chang, Vice President of Product Management. "In the past, lower voltage meant lower performance, but now with our extreme-low voltage optimized memory, consumers don't have to sacrifice high performance to also achieve energy savings."
OCZ's Platinum ELV line sips just 1.35 volts and come in 4GB and 6GB kits, while the company's new Reaper HPC and Gold ULV memory operate at 1.5 volts and are offered in up to 12GB capacity kits. Both the ELV and ULV kits are available in triple-channel and dual-channel form in DDR3-1600 and DDR3-1333 trim.
We’ve seen a few USB 3.0 external drives here at Maximum PC, and we do appreciate the long-overdue speed boost. It’s nice to have file transfers limited by drive speed again, rather than the interface—the 33MB/s maximum was killing us. And while we appreciated the boost we got from USB 3.0 in WD’s My Book 3.0 and the Vantec NexStar 3 SuperSpeed enclosure, the former was only as fast as the mechanical drive within it and the latter couldn’t even match the speeds of the drives it enclosed.
It’s great to have a USB 3.0 interface on a mechanical drive, but wouldn’t it be nice to combine USB 3.0 with SSD? With a theoretical bandwidth limit exceeding 5Gb/s, why wouldn’t you? Thankfully, OCZ did. The Enyo is a compact anodized aluminum brick stuffed with MLC NAND and a USB 3.0 SuperSpeed port.