OCZ Storage Solutions' first outing with their proprietary firmware signifies an interim step as they ramp to deploying their own enterprise-class controller silicon. The Intrepid 3600 offers enterprise-specific features, such as enhanced ECC, end to end data-path protection, power loss protection, device-level parity, and locked firmware. StoragePeak 1000 software also provides the ability to centrally manage and maintain OCZ storage products deployed in multiple servers.
OCZ utilizes advanced engineering to deliver more performance and endurance from the Intrepid 3600. We are observing a new class of SSD in the low endurance read-centric segment. The Intrepid's impressive specifications place it into the relatively new performance-oriented read-centric class alongside the Micron M500DC. These two competitors consistently separated themselves from the other SSDs in the test pool.
It is important to note that the Intrepid provides 80GB less user-addressable space than the competing SSD's in the test pool. This lower amount of capacity pays off through chart-topping performance in several of our tests. The OCZ Intrepid 3600 provides strong random read performance only rivaled by the 845DC EVO. In 4k random write testing, the Intrepid led the pack convincingly and provided a much more consistent performance distribution than the runner-up. The Intrepid was edged slightly for the lead in the 8k random write workload, but was able to deliver solid performance within striking distance of the leader.
The Intrepid 3600 also featured the highest power consumption in our test pool. The efficiency measurements offset the higher power consumption and the 3600 actually beat two of the three competitors in IOPS per Watt metrics. The Intrepid easily beat the competition in sequential write testing, but we were unable to match the spec'd sequential read speed, falling short by 85 MB/s. This could be due to a differing test platform or methodology. The Intrepid's sequential read performance came in last with a 128K file size, but was still within striking range of the competition.
Most real-world applications reside in mixed workloads and the Intrepid owned that round of testing in both random and sequential access. This impressive performance carried over to our server workloads, and the Intrepid scored a resounding win in OLTP and email server workloads.
Latency was another bright spot that highlighted the Intrepid's tuning for real-world workloads. The 3600 regularly exhibited excellent latency characteristics.
Overall we came away impressed with the Intrepid 3600. It already has several design wins and Dell has the Intrepid 3600 in stock. Early availability will usually affect pricing and the 3600 is hard to gauge at this point. Amazon and other retailers are selling the 3600 at 20 cents per GB higher than the M500DC, but we advise readers to check pricing regularly for up-to-date information.
The merging of Toshiba and OCZ Storage Solutions will bear fruit for a long time to come, and Toshiba's established OEM relationships will certainly help as OCZ continues forward with the march into the OEM and enterprise market. The OCZ Intrepid 3600 wins the TweakTown Performance Award for the SATA read-centric segment.
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.
Product Summary Breakdown
|Quality, Design, Build and Warranty||94%|
|Power Consumption and Efficiency||88%|
|Overall TweakTown Rating||93%|
The Bottom Line: OCZ Storage Solutions' Intrepid 3600 enterprise SSD delivers a compelling mix of robust performance and excellent latency consistency. Enterprise-specific features such as power-loss protection, full data path protection, and encryption, are complemented by an available software management tool.
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