Back in November we had our first run in with the Indilinx Everest controlled Octane from OCZ Technology. While the members of the media (and our personal notebooks) were pleased to receive the massive capacity 512GB model, most end-users longed for performance metrics from the more affordable capacity sizes. OCZ's own specification sheet shows a 120MB/s difference between the write speed of the first unit we tested and the most affordable 128GB unit that we are looking at today.
It's no secret that larger capacity SSDs are faster than the smaller capacity drives. The way data travels can be similar to a highway system, the more lanes a highway has the more cars you can push through at the same time. If SSDs only read and wrote on a one lane highway then we would be limited to less than 200MB/s on the highest rated flash available today. By opening up several lanes drives are able to reach very high speeds and do so without the limits of moving parts.
On the surface the Octane is not a huge performer. OCZ has placed the drive under the Agility 3 yet the Octane costs more than the Vertex 3. You may wonder why the media has taken such an interest in Octane and I can answer that quickly. At CES this year OCZ demoed the Everest 2, the successor to the controller used in Octane, which is a potential candidate for OCZ's flagship Vertex 4 that should hit be sampling in time for Computex in June. Any time spent decoding the mysteries, finding the strengths and weaknesses of Indilinx's new SATA III architecture is essentially a dive into the technology OCZ plans to use in the second half of the year.
OCZ has already taken steps to improve the performance of the Indilinx Everest. A new firmware increased random write speeds. The performance firmware release nearly doubles random writes for all capacity sizes.