Conclusion, Pricing, and Final Thoughts
- Extremely low latency, beating Intel in most areas
- Outstanding IOPS performance, unseating SandForce (and Intel) in most areas
- Available 1TB capacity ($$$)
- Some cache tuning needed for better handling of mixed read+write workloads
- Some compatibility issues noted with non-native chipsets *(see below)*
Pricing and Availability:
- 128G @ $200 ($1.56 / GB)
- 256G @ $370 ($1.44 / GB)
- 512G @ $880 ($1.72 / GB)
- 1TB @ TBD
It’s a bit early in the game to gauge street pricing. While some vendors have listings, most if not all are not yet stocked. That said, provided the MSRP remains the upper bounds of pricing, these should have a hard time staying on the shelves this holiday season.
* Compatibility *:
In the lab, we noted some odd issues with the Octane that we feel necessary to mention. The drive worked flawlessly when connected to our testbed’s native Intel ICH SATA 6Gb/sec as well as Marvell 6Gb/sec controllers. We did however see some issues when attempting connection via an eSATA dock linked to an Asus P6T’s JMicron controller. We also tried a USB 2.0 to SATA dongle from Apricorn. The Octane refused to properly link to the system with either configuration, causing Disk Management to timeout or to incorrectly show the NTFS formatted drive as a RAW partition or as an unformatted device.
OCZ passed us a last minute beta firmware (build 1349, flashed via OCZ Toolbox) that they suspected might fix it, but retests showed the incompatibility remained. More to follow on that front. For now, our readers should be advised that while the Octane functioned flawlessly when directly connected to motherboard controllers, users planning to clone their existing OS partition over to a new Octane may have issues doing so when using a USB or eSATA based dongle or dock. Cloning *should* work provided the Octane is directly connected to a desktop motherboard, but this potentially forces single-bay laptop users into a clean install or to perform the cloning with their desktop.
The Indilinx Everest had a very good showing in OCZ’s Octane SSD. Sequential read and write performance was right at the top of the charts, and the new unit turned in some of the lowest latency and highest IOPS figures we’d seen from a SATA SSD to date, sticking it to Intel and SandForce in nearly all areas. Combine that high performance with some very low cost/GB figures and choosing the Octane almost becomes a no-brainer.
Save a bit of mixed workload sluggishness and a few compatibility quirks, presumably correctable with firmware updates, this is an extremely fast drive. The idea behind the original Indilinx Barefoot controller was to deliver good performance at low cost. Back then it was easy, but despite the large increase in competition, they just might have pulled it off a second time.