OCZ Octane Series SATA III Solid State Drive Review
Introduction and Specifications
OCZ had been a strong partner of Indilinx, dating all the way back dating back to the original Vertex series of SSDs, which featured the Indilinx Barefoot controller. Due to stiff competition from Intel and SandForce, on both the price and performance fronts back then, Indilinx-based SSDs ultimately fell out of favor with enthusiasts. And when the company failed to launch a next-gen SATA 6.0Gbps capable controller on time it all but fell off the map. There were rumblings of an upcoming controller that would compete favorably with newer offerings, but nothing ever materialized.
Then, in March of this year, OCZ announced that they had plans to acquire Indilinx. A few months have passed since the acquisition, but today the combined forces of OCZ and their recently assimilated team members from Indilinx are ready to officially unveil the OCZ Octane series of solid state drives, which are based on the new Indilinx Everest platform. Everest builds upon the previous gen Indilinx Barefoot controller, but offers a SATA 6.0Gbps interface and support for the latest NAND flash technologies, among other things.
We’ve had an OCZ Octane 512GB SSD in the lab for a few days now and have run it through a series a tests, comparing it to a handful of other popular drives throughout. Check out the pages ahead for the full scoop...
Usable Capacities (IDEMA)
The OCZ Octane series of solid state drives will be offered in both SATA III (6.0Gbps) and SATA II (3.0Gbps) varieties, with orange decals designating the former and light-blue decals the latter. The drive we have pictured here is a nearly top-of-the-line SATA III model sporting a 512GB total capacity.
OCZ has made some changes to their packaging with these drives and have replaced the flat, cardboard boxes of older drives with a transparent plastic blister pack that showcases the drive prominently. Included within the package—along with the drive itself, of course—were a user’s manual, an installation guide, and a “My SSD is faster than your HDD” decal. Notably missing was a 2.5” to 3.5” adapter, but they’re becoming less and less necessary.
Like most other SSDs available today, the OCZ Octane series drives conform to the standard 2.5” form factor and, other than a few stickers, there’s little to differentiate one drive from another, looking at the external design. Crack the OCZ Octane open, however, and it’s a whole different story.
As we’ve mentioned, the OCZ Octane is based on the Indilinx Everest controller platform. The exact model of the controller pictured here is the Indilinx IDX300M00-BC. The controller will be offered in both SATA 3.0 and SATA 2.0 flavors, and it features support for up to 8 channels with up to 16-way Interleaving and it does not have any data-compression related limitations, meaning it should perform consistently with both highly-compressible and incompressible data.
The Everest-based OCZ Octane also offers Dynamic and Static wear-leveling and background garbage collection algorithms to maintain strong long-term performance and features “Indilinx nDurance” technology to help minimize write amplification and increase life-span of its NAND Flash memory. The drive also features Indilinx “Fast Boot” technology, which is designed to decrease boot and wake-from-sleep times, but OCZ hasn’t released many details on how the technology works.
Paired to the Indilinx IDX300M00-BC Everest controller in our drive is 512GB (16 x 32GB) of 25nm IMFT synchronous NAND flash memory and 512MB of DRAM cache, comprised of two Micron chips which reside on the top and bottom sides of the PCB.