The results from today's re-test of the OCZ Octane 512GB drive really weren't what I expected to see when I started.
I hoped that some of the magic OCZ found for Everest II would somehow start to appear in Octane's Everest controller, but the magic just isn't there. The new firmware increased performance in a couple of real-world tasks, but when you sum it all up, the drive lost more performance than it gained. That doesn't mean Octane is a bad product, just one that isn't as special as say a Vertex 3, the pinnacle of SSD performance.
There are some things to remember if you have an Octane and are updating the firmware. This release is a destructive update; the drive will be erased in the update process when it changes the blocks from 16k to 8k. If you want to keep the data from the drive, you'll need to back it up. Also, when we updated the Octane on our Z68 motherboard we had to install the drive to the Marvell SATA port, the Intel port with the latest Intel drivers wouldn't see the drive from the OCZ Update Tool. There is also an issue with OCZ's Update Tool and X79 motherboards. The issue is documented in the releases notes, so we didn't even try to mess with X79. The last issue is universal for all HDD/SSD products; you can't update the firmware on your boot drive.
A big reason why I wanted to run this drive back through the benchmark mill is because of the association with Vertex 4... or potential association, whatever. I'm not sure how this architecture is going to change to go from Octane to Vertex 4, but the changes will need to be pretty big for that to happen.
At CES OCZ had a Vertex 4 candidate on display and the Indilinx controller number was different than that of the controller in Everest. I guess we'll all just have to wait until June or July to see what tips up. Hopefully 20nm flash is ready by then too so we can all share in the experience of having 512GB of flash storage for much less than $800.
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