OCZ Technology's Octane 128GB is a solid state drive with all of the benefits of solid state drive technologies that make them the absolute best upgrade for a computer today. For most users any of the tier 1, 2, 3 or 4 drives will be enough to satisfy their web browsing, light gaming and FaceTwitSpace posting needs.
Access times are the key to a better user experience and it is one area that platter drives have little hope overcoming anytime soon on their own. If you take into account MaxIOPS type products with SF-2281 controllers and Toshiba Toggle mode flash and use it as the starting point for consumer 2.5" drives, calling those tier 1 then the OCZ Octane is a solid tier 4 product that is able to outperform tier 3 products with SF-2281 controllers paired with IMFT 25nm asynchronous flash. I'm talking about real-world tests in real-world environments. I would use an Octane before I'd use an Agility 3 in my personal system since I keep my notebook drives fairly full with daily use programs, some instant access music and other tidbits.
The only real issue with the OCZ Octane and every other non-SandForce controlled drive on the market is the OCZ Vertex 3 and other 2281/sync flash drives. OCZ is the main culprit with the 120GB Vertex 3 selling for as low as $150 new in the box all over the web. The Vertex 3 is balls out fast, but is priced like a budget drive. Go figure! Every other non-SandForce drive used DRAM cache and it adds to the overall cost. Until someone makes a breakthrough to either get cost down or makes a significant architecture performance improvement, the lower cost 2281/sync option is still the king and why would anyone be tempted to buy anything different?
Still, Indilinx Everest is the processor to Everest II and we're keeping a close eye on this drive to gain some insight into OCZ's next-generation flagship offering. On its own the OCZ Octane doesn't impress us with its performance or its value other than the way it feels as an OS drive.
I do have to applaud OCZ for their transparency when it comes to Octane. Usually companies try to tuck products without an outstanding feature away from the media. I've heard other companies say they wouldn't sample a product knowing it was going to get a poor score. Octane isn't a bad product, it's just a little late to market for the performance it has. If Indilinx released this drive back with Crucial released the C300 SATA III or the SandForce SF-1200 drives like the Vertex 2, it would have been a really good performance offering. Indilinx was going through a difficult time, trying to get Jet Steam up to speed and they lost a lot of time, a whole generation actually. OCZ is now at the reigns and we expect to see some good things coming from the new OCZ / Indilinx controllers, just not this one.