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.
Let’s play a little game. We have three solid state drives—one each from Patriot, OCZ, and Intel. Two of them are powered by the ubiquitous SandForce SF-2281 controller, and the other marks the consumer debut of a new 6Gb/s SATA controller. Guess which drive has the new controller?
If you guessed the Intel drive, time for a spit-take. It’s the OCZ drive that’s got the new controller, and the Intel drive which is SandForce-powered. What in the name of the MLC gods is going on?
The common line on solid state drives is that you can’t beat their speed, but the itty-bitty storage space capabilities leave a lot to be desired, at least on laptops. OCZ’s new Octane series of SSDs want to put an end to that disclaimer. The Octane line claims to be the first to cram 1 TB of SSD storage into a slim and trim 2.5-inch laptop drive, and if that wasn’t enough, its advertised read-write speeds are freakin’ fast. Maybe they should have called it the High Octane series?