OCZ Storage Solutions, a Toshiba Group Company, is a battle-hardened veteran of the SSD market. OCZ was one of the early pioneers of the client SSD market, and some even credit them as the catalyst that touched off SSD usage in mainstream client applications. Toshiba purchased OCZ in January, addressing OCZ's key weakness by giving them direct access to NAND fabrication. OCZ brings an established retail channel and their controller technology to the relationship.
The Intrepid series consists of the 3600 and 3800 models that are available to OEMs or retail markets. Server-side flash is a booming business and the entrance of the fabs into this segment has upset the old model of deploying client-side SSDs into read-centric applications. Fab-enabled companies can provide enterprise features and firmware at very competitive prices.
The Intrepid SSDs are geared for use in appliances and server-side flash deployments. The 800GB Intrepid 3800 features up to 7.48 PB of endurance for write-intensive applications. The 800GB Intrepid 3600 has up to 1.5 PB of endurance and is geared for read-intensive applications, such as web search, media streaming, indexing, and other general-purpose server-side flash deployments. The primary differentiator between the two SSDs lies in the NAND. Both use Toshiba 19nm Toggle, but the higher-endurance 3800 utilizes eMLC to provide more endurance, while the 3600 utilizes standard MLC.
OCZ has provided enterprise storage solutions in the past with their SandForce-powered Intrepid and Deneva offerings. However, the amount of control OCZ exerted over the firmware was limited. For the new Intrepid series, OCZ utilizes the Marvell SS9187 with OCZ's own proprietary enterprise firmware. This gives OCZ the flexibility required to add more enterprise-centric features and functionality. OCZ also offers the drive with locked firmware, ensuring wide compatibility and intense verification, an important consideration for OEM use.
OCZ has custom controller silicon in use in client applications, and validation and qualification cycles are likely already underway for the enterprise segment. OCZ's Everest 2 platform leverages the hardened Marvell 9187 with organic firmware in their inaugural SSD. The Intrepid offers end-to-end full data path protection via CRC (Cyclic Redundancy Check) as the data traverses the internal buffers and caches. OCZ ensures data integrity with advanced ECC algorithms. The Intrepid also features another layer of protection with an integrated RAID-like parity scheme. These techniques provide a 1 per 10E17 UBER rating.
The Intrepid 3600 has a 6GB/s SATA connection and comes in capacities of 100, 200, 400, and 800 GB in the 2.5" form factor. Performance varies by capacity point, but the 400 GB model we have on the test bench provides a solid 90,000 / 38,000 IOPS of 4k random read/write performance. Sequential speed checks in at 515 / 465 MB/s read/write. A quick glance at the competing SSDs indicates the Intrepid is on the upper end of endurance for the read-intensive class.
Power loss protection (PLP) is an expected characteristic of any enterprise-class offering, and the Intrepid series offers PLP with a unique design. The large AVX supercapacitor offers enough capacitance to flush any data in-flight to the NAND in the event of host power loss. MTBF weighs in at 2,000,000 hours and the drive is 256-bit AES-compliant to fulfill encryption requirements.
OCZ focused on providing exceptional performance and consistent latency for the Intrepid 3000 Series. OCZ's performance consistency focus is important; it delivers big dividends in application performance and RAID environments. The Intrepid is five time faster than the previous-generation Deneva in random write and twice as fast in random read workloads.
Enhanced SMART attributes offer temperature logging and monitoring along with other enterprise-specific attributes. The Intrepid is backed by a five-year warranty with dedicated FAE support. OCZ also offers the StoragePeak 1000 software for management. Let's see how the Intrepid 3600 stacks up against the competition.
PRICING: You can find the OCZ Intrepid 3600 400GB SSD for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.
United States: The OCZ Intrepid 3600 400GB SSD retails for $533.00 at Amazon.
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