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Written by Olin Coles   
Tuesday, 21 February 2012
Table of Contents: Page Index
OCZ Octane SATA 6 Gb/s Indilinx Everest SSD
Closer Look: OCZ Octane SSD
Features and Specifications
SSD Testing Methodology
AS-SSD Benchmark
ATTO Disk Benchmark
CrystalDiskMark 3.0 Tests
Iometer IOPS Performance
EVEREST Disk Benchmark
PCMark Vantage HDD Tests
OCZ Octane SSD Conclusion

SSD Testing Methodology

Solid State Drives have traveled a long winding course to finally get where they are today. Up to this point in technology, there have been several key differences separating Solid State Drives from magnetic rotational Hard Disk Drives. While the DRAM-based buffer size on desktop HDDs has recently reached 64 MB and is ever-increasing, there is still a hefty delay in the initial response time. This is one key area in which flash-based Solid State Drives continually dominates because they lack moving parts to "get up to speed".

However the benefits inherent to SSDs have traditionally fallen off once the throughput begins, even though data reads or writes are executed at a high constant rate whereas the HDD tapers off in performance. This makes the average transaction speed of a SSD comparable to the data burst rate mentioned in HDD tests, albeit usually lower than the HDD's speed.

Comparing a Solid State Disk to a standard Hard Disk Drives is always relative; even if you're comparing the fastest rotational spindle speeds. One is going to be many times faster in response (SSDs), while the other is usually going to have higher throughput bandwidth (HDDs). Additionally, there are certain factors which can affect the results of a test which we do our best to avoid.

SSD Testing Disclaimer

Early on in our SSD coverage, Benchmark Reviews published an article which detailed Solid State Drive Benchmark Performance Testing. The research and discussion that went into producing that article changed the way we now test SSD products. Our previous perceptions of this technology were lost on one particular difference: the wear leveling algorithm that makes data a moving target. Without conclusive linear bandwidth testing or some other method of total-capacity testing, our previous performance results were rough estimates at best.

Our test results were obtained after each SSD had been prepared using DISKPART or Sanitary Erase tools. As a word of caution, applications such as these offer immediate but temporary restoration of original 'pristine' performance levels. In our tests, we discovered that the maximum performance results (charted) would decay as subsequent tests were performed. SSDs attached to TRIM enabled Operating Systems will benefit from continuously refreshed performance, whereas older O/S's will require a garbage collection (GC) tool to avoid 'dirty NAND' performance degradation.

It's critically important to understand that no software for the Microsoft Windows platform can accurately measure SSD performance in a comparable fashion. Synthetic benchmark tools such as HD Tach and PCMark are helpful indicators, but should not be considered the ultimate determining factor. That factor should be measured in actual user experience of real-world applications. Benchmark Reviews includes both bandwidth benchmarks and application speed tests to present a conclusive measurement of product performance.

Test System

  • Motherboard: ASUS P8P67 EVO (Intel P67 Sandy Bridge Platform, B3 Stepping)
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-2600K 3.4 GHz Quad-Core CPU
  • System Memory: 4GB Dual-Channel DDR3 1600MHz CL6-6-6-18
  • SATA 6Gb/s Storage HBA: Integrated Intel P67 Controller
    • AHCI mode - Intel Rapid Storage Technology Driver 11.7.0.1013
  • SATA 3Gb/s Storage HBA: Integrated Intel P67 Controller
    • AHCI mode - Intel Rapid Storage Technology Driver 11.7.0.1013
  • Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate Edition 64-Bit with Service Pack 1

Storage Hardware Tested

The following storage hardware has been used in our benchmark performance testing, and may be included in portions of this article:

Test Tools

  • AS SSD Benchmark 1.6.4067.34354: Multi-purpose speed and operational performance test
  • ATTO Disk Benchmark 2.46: Spot-tests static file size chunks for basic I/O bandwidth
  • CrystalDiskMark 3.0.1a by Crystal Dew World: Sequential speed benchmark spot-tests various file size chunks
  • Iometer 1.1.0 (built 08-Nov-2010) by Intel Corporation: Tests IOPS performance and I/O response time
  • Lavalys EVEREST Ultimate Edition 5.50: Disk Benchmark component tests linear read and write bandwidth speeds
  • Futuremark PCMark Vantage 1.02: HDD Benchmark Suite tests real-world drive performance

Test Results Disclaimer

This article utilizes benchmark software tools to produce operational IOPS performance and bandwidth speed results. Each test was conducted in a specific fashion, and repeated for all products. These test results are not comparable to any other benchmark application, neither on this website or another, regardless of similar IOPS or MB/s terminology in the scores. The test results in this project are only intended to be compared to the other test results conducted in identical fashion for this article.



 

Comments 

 
# PRICErealneil 2012-02-24 06:12
SSD's still cost too much. I have a few small ones, but cannot afford the larger, better performing drives yet.
Once they get their prices down, (by more than a little) they will have an explosion in sales.
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# Smaller SSDs are affordableMergatroid 2012-02-25 17:28
I agree that the larger SSDs are still too expansive. However, the smaller sized units (120 Gb and smaller) work great as boot drives. They really speed up your o/s. They're also big enough to put your favorite apps on and really give them a speed boost. I can't speak for anyone but myself, but I really don't need to have all my storage sped up (in fact, most of my movies, music and archives are on a NAS anyway).
However, I had a 60Gb Patriot Inferno SSD that was a pretty good boot drive, and all I could afford (~250 MB/s). A year later I added another in a RAID 0 and got quite the speed boost (not only in benchmarks, but boot times and load times for games and apps). If anyone had an older SATA II SSD but can't afford to purchase a larger drive, look around for another SATA II SSD for a RAID (make sure your board supports hardware RAID, not software). I wouldn't recommend this for people who already own an SATA III SSD since they're already fast, however you could add another in RAID 0 if you wanted to increase the size of your boot drive using a RAID volume without paying the higher cost for a larger drive.
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# RE: OCZ Octane SATA 6 Gb/s Indilinx Everest SSDsteve white 2012-02-27 02:10
Colin....maybe I'm not reading your review right but
the IOPS of 35,000 is less than half that of half a
dozen other SATA 111 SSD's on the market that are 40%
cheaper.
I've just ordered a Corsair 120Gb Force GT series 3
and admittedly is a very small temporary storage drive it's
IOPS is 85,000 and 4K sequential read is 550Mb/s and writes at
515Mb/s. Price $234 Aussie dollars.
Currently my 300Gb velociraptor (10,000rpm) is really showing
it's age and is holding the system back.
Any info I want to keep long term I burn onto 25Gb Blu-ray
media and catalogue.
I would be in heaven if I owned OCZ's Vertex 3 X2 hybrid
drive but the price right now is just too high, even if it
is the quickest out there.
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# RE: RE: OCZ Octane SATA 6 Gb/s Indilinx Everest SSDOlin Coles 2012-02-27 07:29
I'm guessing that you read it wrong, since you didn't get my name right.

At any rate, Octane is a plenty-fast SSD that's ideal for users like yourself. If you're running a database server on your system, then IOPS will matter. If you're just running standard applications, you won't notice a difference.
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# Network-capableJohnny-Cakes 2012-03-02 21:30
Colin - I appreciate your feedback on the OCZ Octane SSD card mentioned. Steve White said he bought a Corsair SSD that has and IOPS of 85k, but your comment says that the Octane SSD (at 35k IOPS) is ideal for him. Not sure I understand your feedback that indicates that IOPS matters, and if so, why would the Octane card at 35k IOPS be ideal for him when he has an SSD that does 85k IOPS?

Sorry, I am kind of a newbie looking to upgrade to a new SATA III board and SDD that is at least 300Gig, and don't understand your recommendation?

I don't run a database server on my system (and don't anticipate doing so on the new system), so I'm trying to get my hands around what is a worthwhile investment if i use standard applications plus a couple games like COD MW3, that may benefit from SSD performance?

I am currently under the impression that moving from my Raptor 10k rpm HDD to ANY ssd drive is a move in the right direction, but am thinking a really don't need to be paying the premium to get the highest performing SSD, since per your comment, I'm mostly using standard apps that won't realize much benefit. If COD MW3 is the most demanding app I use, should I even be looking at SSD at this point?
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# Any SSD is sweetMergatroid 2012-03-03 02:02
Even an SATA II SSD would get you 250 MB/s or more. A good SATA III SSD should net you around 500 MB/s.

Any SSD will blow the doors off any mechanical hard drive. Personally, I don't think how demanding the app is should be your deciding factor. I think you should look more at boot times and sheer performance in load times. I could only afford 120G worth of SSD (2 x 60GB in a RAID 0), but my system flies now, and I have installed the games I play the most on this volume and the performance difference is unreal. My system boots in about 15 seconds now. If you're looking at a 300G SSD, you'll get a pretty highly performing unit. It will cost a fair amount, but the performance increase will justify it easily.
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# Fast, while they last...WangoTango 2012-05-02 15:35
I bought 4 of the 512GB OCTANE drives and have had 2 fail, in different laptops. One just flat out died and the other acts as if it is being hot swapped, comes and goes, usually goes. One is off on an RMA now, getting ready to start a trouble ticket on the other. Got me so spooked that I replaced one critical drive with a Crucial 512GB. Got my fingers crossed on the other two units.
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