|OCZ Octane SATA 6 Gb/s Indilinx Everest SSD|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Tuesday, 21 February 2012|
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Closer Look: OCZ Octane SSD Series
Solid state drives have gained quick popularity with performance-minded consumers because they work equally well in PC, Linux, or Apple computer systems. Likewise, they install quite easily into both desktop and notebook platforms without modification. The OCZ Octane SSD Series is best suited for performance-orientated users, giving personal computers a much faster response time and boosting productivity. OCZ Octane SSDs are designed with a focus on consumer-level performance features, such as high operational transactions and fast data transfer speeds. Additionally, OCZ's Indilinx-Infused architecture includes automatic AES encryption for secure data protection, and improved NAND wear-leveling through their proprietary Indilinx Ndurance NAND flash compression technology.
For this article Benchmark Reviews is testing the 512GB OCZ Octane SSD, which is specified to reach sustained speeds of 480 MB/s for sequential reads and 330 MB/s sequential writes. OCZ specifies 4K random writes up to 26,000 IOPS and random reads up to 35,000 IOPS, for 61,000 combined IOPS performance. All OCZ Octane SSDs feature a 512MB DDR3 DRAM cache buffer, which assists in the speedy transfer of data to NAND flash components and yields a near-instant 0.06ms response time. The 512GB model we received for testing is built using 25nm synchronous Intel-Micron MLC NAND flash components. OCZ Technology offers several capacities for the OCZ Octane series of solid state drives: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB (yet to be released). All models share the same part numbers with a capacity designator: OCT1-25SAT3-512G stands for 512GB.
The OCZ Octane SSD chassis is finished in black, with a brushed aluminum underside. Once installed the SSD is usually hidden away from view, which explains why OCZ has maintained a conservative appearance on the Octane solid state drive. Both halves of the enclosure are made of metal, with a textured semi-gloss finish on the top panel and metal finish on the bottom. Standard 2.5" drive bay mounting points are pre-drilled into the SSD chassis with fine screw threading, allowing this drive to fit directly into notebook computers that use SATA connections. The SSD mounting positions matched up to the drive bracket on my notebook computer, and after only a few minutes of upgrading I was booting from a restored Windows 7 System Backup Image with ease. Optionally, by using a 3.5" to 2.5" tray adapter (not included) this SSD will also install directly into ATX desktop computers.
Unlike fragile Hard Disk Drive (HDD) storage products, SSDs are not nearly as sensitive to impact damage and do not require (or benefit from) any kind of special vibration dampening or shock-proof enclosures. OCZ utilizes a standard two-piece metal enclosure for their Octane-series SSDs, which reveals the internal components after removing four small counter-sunk screws located along the sides of this solid state drive. OCZ Technology offers a three-year warranty on all Octane SSD storage products.
At the heart of OCZ's Octane SSD is the Marvell-based 275 MHz dual-core Indilinx Everest controller, which is branded with part number IDX300M00-BC, and comes with 128KB on-chip SRAM for programs and another 64KB for data. Backwards compatible with SATA 1.5 GB/s and 3.0 GB/s interfaces, this SATA 6.0 GB/s controller includes standard features such as Native Command Queuing (NCQ), S.M.A.R.T. health monitoring, and TRIM-based garbage collection. Marvell-based Everest SSD controllers all offer BCH error correcting capable of 70 bits correction per 1KB of data.
In the next few sections we'll test the OCZ Octane solid state drive, comparing this solid state drive to other retail products intended for notebook and desktop installations.