Review of the OCZ Octane SATA 3 SSD with 512 GB

Klaus Hinum (translated by Martina Osztovits), 12/26/2011

Pioneer. The OCZ Octane is the first SSD featuring the new Indilinx Everest Controller. The 6 GBps drive promises a high performance at a cheap price. We test the high-end model with 512GB capacity.

OCZ Indilinx infused Octance 512GB in Review

Manufacturer's information

  • Indilinx Everest Controller (ICX300M00-BC) Dual-Core CPU with 512 MB Cache
  • automatic AES encryption
  • 128 GB (read max. 535 MB/s, write max. 170 MB/s) up to 1 TB (read max. 560 MB/s, write max. 400 MB/s).
  • 2.5 " (99.8 x 69.6 x 9.3 mm), 83g
  • 1.98 W active, 1,15 W stand-by
  • MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures): 1,250,000 hours
  • 3 years warranty
  • OCZ toolbox not yet available - but sheduled
  • Manufacturer's site

ATTO

In the ATTO benchmark, most SSDs reach top values, and so the marketing claims of the manufacturer. This is true for the read rates of the Octane (530 versus 535 MB/s), but ATTO could only measure a write rate of 353 MB/s instead of the promised 400 MB/s. Later, in the AS SSD benchmark, we'll see that OCZ does not make empty promises anyway. In this benchmark, the Octane achieves 397.7 MB/s in the sequential write test.

ATTO: In reading the Octane is nearly on par with Sandforce based SSDs. However in writing it is clearly outperformed and on par with the Intel 510.
ATTO: In reading the Octane is nearly on par with Sandforce based SSDs. However in writing it is clearly outperformed and on par with the Intel 510.

Sequential Write and Read Rates

The new Indilinx Controllers can show its strength in the sequential data transfer rates. In AS SSD and CrystalDiskMark it can (partly clearly) outperform its competitors. Even the High-End SSDs 510 from Intel and the Vertex 3 from OCZ are 30% and 13% slower on average.

OCZ Octane 512GB Desktop
Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, OCZ Octane OCT1-25SAT3-512G
ADATA S510 120GB Desktop
Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450, ADATA S510 S510S3-120GM-C
Samsung SSD 470 Desktop
Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 470 Series MZ-5PA256/EU
Intel SSD 320 Desktop
Intel Core i7-2600K, AMD Radeon HD 6450 GDDR5, Intel SSD 320 Series SSDSA2CW300G310
Intel SSD 510 250GB Desktop
Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Intel SSD 510 Series SSDSC2MH250A2K5
OCZ Agility 3 240GB Desktop
Intel Core i7-2600K, AMD Radeon HD 6450 GDDR5, OCZ Agility 3 AGT3-25SAT3-240G
Schenker XMG A701
Intel Core i7-2630QM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M, OCZ Vertex 3 VTX3-25SAT3-240G
HD Tune Transfer Rate Average
364357
-2%
202.9
-44%
220
-40%
348
-4%
352.3
-3%
332
-9%
HD Tune Transfer Rate Maximum
351381
9%
216.8
-38%
218
-38%
351
0%
368.1
5%
316
-10%
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
-59%
-39%
-41%
-7%
-43%
-13%
Read Seq505213.7
-58%
264.3
-48%
277
-45%
486
-4%
220.7
-56%
478
-5%
Write Seq364144
-60%
257.2
-29%
230
-37%
327
-10%
255
-30%
293
-20%
AS SSD
-62%
-43%
-55%
-13%
-48%
-17%
Seq Read484204.6
-58%
251
-48%
165
-66%
468
-3%
212
-56%
485.6
0%
Seq Write398135.2
-66%
245
-38%
221
-44%
308
-23%
241
-39%
266.6
-33%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-29% / -39%
-41% / -41%
-44% / -45%
-6% / -7%
-22% / -30%
-12% / -13%

4K Performance

It looks slightly different in the 4K benchmarks. While the Octane is still partly faster than its high-end competitors in the read tests, it rather ranges in the lower end in the write tests. However, read access is more important in typical use.

OCZ Octane 512GB Desktop
Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, OCZ Octane OCT1-25SAT3-512G
ADATA S510 120GB Desktop
Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450, ADATA S510 S510S3-120GM-C
Samsung SSD 470 Desktop
Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 470 Series MZ-5PA256/EU
Intel SSD 320 Desktop
Intel Core i7-2600K, AMD Radeon HD 6450 GDDR5, Intel SSD 320 Series SSDSA2CW300G310
Intel SSD 510 250GB Desktop
Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Intel SSD 510 Series SSDSC2MH250A2K5
OCZ Agility 3 240GB Desktop
Intel Core i7-2600K, AMD Radeon HD 6450 GDDR5, OCZ Agility 3 AGT3-25SAT3-240G
Schenker XMG A701
Intel Core i7-2630QM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M, OCZ Vertex 3 VTX3-25SAT3-240G
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
15%
-11%
-17%
-16%
50%
56%
Read 512335206.6
-38%
201.2
-40%
180
-46%
335
0%
210
-37%
436
30%
Write 512358144
-60%
253.7
-29%
219
-39%
303
-15%
254
-29%
292
-18%
Read 4k26.528.6
8%
17.58
-34%
21
-21%
20.6
-22%
28.6
8%
26.7
1%
Write 4k46.981.7
74%
57.23
22%
40.2
-14%
46.4
-1%
81.4
74%
82.97
77%
Read 4k QD32145.5102
-30%
130
-11%
142
-2%
81.3
-44%
145.6
0%
192
32%
Write 4k QD3258.9139.5
137%
75.3
28%
70.8
20%
50.1
-15%
225.6
283%
183
211%
AS SSD
44%
2%
-1%
-32%
91%
97%
4K Read23.518.02
-23%
16.2
-31%
18.7
-20%
18.6
-21%
18.7
-20%
16.4
-30%
4K Write38.765.17
68%
49.1
27%
34.4
-11%
14.3
-63%
63.2
63%
43.9
13%
4K-64 Read132.588.09
-34%
113
-15%
135
2%
76.6
-42%
140
6%
184
39%
4K-64 Write49.3130.58
165%
61.4
25%
61
24%
48.7
-1%
205
316%
229
365%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
30% / 27%
-5% / -6%
-9% / -11%
-24% / -22%
71% / 66%
77% / 72%

Access Times

The access times  of our Octane were also excellent. So, on average, the storage device is top. However, the performance gain should not really be noticeable as the results only differ from the second decimal place downwards.

OCZ Octane 512GB Desktop
Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, OCZ Octane OCT1-25SAT3-512G
ADATA S510 120GB Desktop
Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450, ADATA S510 S510S3-120GM-C
Samsung SSD 470 Desktop
Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 470 Series MZ-5PA256/EU
Intel SSD 320 Desktop
Intel Core i7-2600K, AMD Radeon HD 6450 GDDR5, Intel SSD 320 Series SSDSA2CW300G310
Intel SSD 510 250GB Desktop
Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Intel SSD 510 Series SSDSC2MH250A2K5
OCZ Agility 3 240GB Desktop
Intel Core i7-2600K, AMD Radeon HD 6450 GDDR5, OCZ Agility 3 AGT3-25SAT3-240G
Schenker XMG A701
Intel Core i7-2630QM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M, OCZ Vertex 3 VTX3-25SAT3-240G
HD Tune Access Time
*0.10.1
-0%
0.1
-0%
0.1
-0%
0.2
-100%
0.1
-0%
0.073
27%
AS SSD
-182%
-27%
-17%
-119%
-180%
-124%
Access Time Read *0.060.151
-152%
0.108
-80%
0.072
-20%
0.203
-238%
0.154
-157%
0.082
-37%
Access Time Write *0.090.281
-212%
0.066
27%
0.102
-13%
0.089
1%
0.273
-203%
0.28
-211%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-91% / -121%
-14% / -18%
-9% / -11%
-110% / -112%
-90% / -120%
-49% / -74%

* ... smaller is better

IOMeter

In using the profiles IOMix from c't and Worstation, the IOMeter tests check the performance during typical desktop PCs and workstations use. The Octane is slightly slower than high-end SSDs (Intel 510 and Sandforce based ones like the Agility 3), but faster than mid-range SSDs like the Samsung SSD 470 or the ADATA S510 (also based on Sandforce, but featuring a cheaper asynchronous flash memory).

IOMeter
IOMix, 5min, 10GB Partition
OCZ Octane 512GB Desktop
GeForce GTX 470, 2600K, OCZ Octane OCT1-25SAT3-512G
141 MB/s ∼2%
ADATA S510 120GB Desktop
GeForce GTS 450, 2600K, ADATA S510 S510S3-120GM-C
105 MB/s ∼1% -26%
Samsung SSD 470 Desktop
GeForce GTX 470, 2600K, Samsung SSD 470 Series MZ-5PA256/EU
73.1 MB/s ∼1% -48%
Intel SSD 320 Desktop
Radeon HD 6450 GDDR5, 2600K, Intel SSD 320 Series SSDSA2CW300G310
103 MB/s ∼1% -27%
Intel SSD 510 250GB Desktop
GeForce GTX 470, 2600K, Intel SSD 510 Series SSDSC2MH250A2K5
156 MB/s ∼2% +11%
OCZ Agility 3 240GB Desktop
Radeon HD 6450 GDDR5, 2600K, OCZ Agility 3 AGT3-25SAT3-240G
159.7 MB/s ∼2% +13%
Workstation, 3min, 10GB Partition
OCZ Octane 512GB Desktop
GeForce GTX 470, 2600K, OCZ Octane OCT1-25SAT3-512G
92 MB/s ∼34%
ADATA S510 120GB Desktop
GeForce GTS 450, 2600K, ADATA S510 S510S3-120GM-C
69.5 MB/s ∼26% -24%
Samsung SSD 470 Desktop
GeForce GTX 470, 2600K, Samsung SSD 470 Series MZ-5PA256/EU
33.3 MB/s ∼12% -64%
Intel SSD 320 Desktop
Radeon HD 6450 GDDR5, 2600K, Intel SSD 320 Series SSDSA2CW300G310
101 MB/s ∼38% +10%
Intel SSD 510 250GB Desktop
GeForce GTX 470, 2600K, Intel SSD 510 Series SSDSC2MH250A2K5
109.7 MB/s ∼41% +19%
OCZ Agility 3 240GB Desktop
Radeon HD 6450 GDDR5, 2600K, OCZ Agility 3 AGT3-25SAT3-240G
101.3 MB/s ∼38% +10%

Degrading

Performance drops of used SSDs are a known problem. These can not be completely avoided despite TRIM. In particular, after longer and heavy use, the performance of an SSD can clearly fall. This is only true for the Octane to a lesser extent. After two hours, the IOMix profile still achieved results comparable to those after short usage and the results usually ranged between 130 to 143 MB/s.

Interestingly, the sequential data rates were slightly lower with an Intel Core i7-3960X and an Intel  pre-production mainboard (-6% in the read test and -15% in the write test). However, this can also be due to the pre-production state of the mainboard. So, we did not record these benchmarks in our database.

Compressed Data

In the AS SSD Compression Benchmark Chart, you can see that the Octane Controller does not depend on the compressibility of data at first glance. So, it can copy poorly compressible data considerably faster than current Sandforce models (e.g., see the figure in the Agility 3 test).

AS SSD compression benchmark: Performance doesn't drop with low-compressible data
AS SSD compression benchmark: Performance doesn't drop with low-compressible data

System Performance - PCMark7

PCMark 7 should record the general system performance by means of many tests. Here the Octane is slower than the Intel SSD 510 and the older Samsung SSD 470. It cannot be said that it is especially weak in one of the categories and the maximum difference of 8% is also very low.

OCZ Octane 512GB Desktop
Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, OCZ Octane OCT1-25SAT3-512G
Intel SSD 510 250GB Desktop
Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Intel SSD 510 Series SSDSC2MH250A2K5
Samsung SSD 470 Desktop
Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 470 Series MZ-5PA256/EU
PCMark 7
Score49444760
Lightweight51064636
Productivity47554343
Entertainment47054638
Creativity54125059
Computation47554736
System Storage51944592
PCMark Vantage - 1024x768 HDD Score
OCZ Octane 512GB Desktop
GeForce GTX 470, 2600K, OCZ Octane OCT1-25SAT3-512G
67005 Points ∼100%
ADATA S510 120GB Desktop
GeForce GTS 450, 2600K, ADATA S510 S510S3-120GM-C
65768 Points ∼98% -2%
Samsung SSD 470 Desktop
GeForce GTX 470, 2600K, Samsung SSD 470 Series MZ-5PA256/EU
29950 Points ∼45% -55%
Intel SSD 320 Desktop
Radeon HD 6450 GDDR5, 2600K, Intel SSD 320 Series SSDSA2CW300G310
43956 Points ∼66% -34%
Intel SSD 510 250GB Desktop
GeForce GTX 470, 2600K, Intel SSD 510 Series SSDSC2MH250A2K5
40153 Points ∼60% -40%
OCZ Agility 3 240GB Desktop
Radeon HD 6450 GDDR5, 2600K, OCZ Agility 3 AGT3-25SAT3-240G
65942 Points ∼98% -2%
Schenker XMG A701
GeForce GT 540M, 2630QM, OCZ Vertex 3 VTX3-25SAT3-240G
22666 Points ∼34% -66%

Copying Data

We used the copy benchmarks integrated in AS SSD to check the performance while copying data. The Octane achieves excellent results here too and can partly clearly outperform its competitors. Interestingly, the performance clearly fluctuated during the test. In the ISO sub test it even achieved a maximum rate of 388 MB/s.

AS SSD
Copy ISO MB/s
OCZ Octane 512GB Desktop
GeForce GTX 470, 2600K, OCZ Octane OCT1-25SAT3-512G
222 MB/s ∼29%
ADATA S510 120GB Desktop
GeForce GTS 450, 2600K, ADATA S510 S510S3-120GM-C
130 MB/s ∼17% -41%
Samsung SSD 470 Desktop
GeForce GTX 470, 2600K, Samsung SSD 470 Series MZ-5PA256/EU
209 MB/s ∼27% -6%
Intel SSD 320 Desktop
Radeon HD 6450 GDDR5, 2600K, Intel SSD 320 Series SSDSA2CW300G310
134 MB/s ∼18% -40%
Intel SSD 510 250GB Desktop
GeForce GTX 470, 2600K, Intel SSD 510 Series SSDSC2MH250A2K5
211 MB/s ∼28% -5%
OCZ Agility 3 240GB Desktop
Radeon HD 6450 GDDR5, 2600K, OCZ Agility 3 AGT3-25SAT3-240G
119 MB/s ∼16% -46%
Schenker XMG A701
GeForce GT 540M, 2630QM, OCZ Vertex 3 VTX3-25SAT3-240G
176 MB/s ∼23% -21%
Copy Program MB/s
OCZ Octane 512GB Desktop
GeForce GTX 470, 2600K, OCZ Octane OCT1-25SAT3-512G
158 MB/s ∼38%
ADATA S510 120GB Desktop
GeForce GTS 450, 2600K, ADATA S510 S510S3-120GM-C
99.6 MB/s ∼24% -37%
Samsung SSD 470 Desktop
GeForce GTX 470, 2600K, Samsung SSD 470 Series MZ-5PA256/EU
131 MB/s ∼31% -17%
Intel SSD 320 Desktop
Radeon HD 6450 GDDR5, 2600K, Intel SSD 320 Series SSDSA2CW300G310
97 MB/s ∼23% -39%
Intel SSD 510 250GB Desktop
GeForce GTX 470, 2600K, Intel SSD 510 Series SSDSC2MH250A2K5
155 MB/s ∼37% -2%
OCZ Agility 3 240GB Desktop
Radeon HD 6450 GDDR5, 2600K, OCZ Agility 3 AGT3-25SAT3-240G
96 MB/s ∼23% -39%
Schenker XMG A701
GeForce GT 540M, 2630QM, OCZ Vertex 3 VTX3-25SAT3-240G
146 MB/s ∼35% -8%
Copy Game MB/s
OCZ Octane 512GB Desktop
GeForce GTX 470, 2600K, OCZ Octane OCT1-25SAT3-512G
242 MB/s ∼30%
ADATA S510 120GB Desktop
GeForce GTS 450, 2600K, ADATA S510 S510S3-120GM-C
110.1 MB/s ∼14% -55%
Samsung SSD 470 Desktop
GeForce GTX 470, 2600K, Samsung SSD 470 Series MZ-5PA256/EU
160 MB/s ∼20% -34%
Intel SSD 320 Desktop
Radeon HD 6450 GDDR5, 2600K, Intel SSD 320 Series SSDSA2CW300G310
116 MB/s ∼14% -52%
Intel SSD 510 250GB Desktop
GeForce GTX 470, 2600K, Intel SSD 510 Series SSDSC2MH250A2K5
192 MB/s ∼24% -21%
OCZ Agility 3 240GB Desktop
Radeon HD 6450 GDDR5, 2600K, OCZ Agility 3 AGT3-25SAT3-240G
115 MB/s ∼14% -52%
Schenker XMG A701
GeForce GT 540M, 2630QM, OCZ Vertex 3 VTX3-25SAT3-240G
181 MB/s ∼22% -25%

Real Tests

In addition to the synthetic tests, we also ran two real-world tests and compared the results with the Intel SSD 510 and the Samsung SSD 470. First of all, we measured the boot times of a used Windows 7 64 Bit installation. OCZ advertises a special optimization called "Boot Time Reduction Optimization". However, it was not measurably faster than the Intel 510 in our tests (average of several tries). The difference to the older Samsung SSD 470 is also marginal.

In our second test, we started the demanding Battlefield 3 in offline mode. The time until the intro videos start is the same for all contenders (19 s). In comparison, loading from the relatively fast desktop HDD, Samsung HD103SJ (1TB 7200RPM), it took an agonizingly long 75 seconds.

Verdict

The first SSD with Indilinx Controller after it was bought by OCZ is impressive. The performance convinces and is top in many categories. Just the 4K write performance could be better. Poorly compressible data are no problem for the Octane - contrary to current Sandforce models.

Because of its steep price (770 - 1000 Euros), the 512 GB model unfortunately is not the model bought most often. The cheaper models with lower capacity are also slower. At the time of writing, the price of the Octane (SATA 3, 6GBits) is between the Agility 3 and the Vertex 3. So, the price performance ratio is absolutely fair.

The new controller will have to prove how well it performs in terms of reliability in the next few months. Sandforce based SSDs had some problems in the past months (e.g., blue screen). With a warranty of 3 years, it is at least protected longer than the usual lifetime of a PC. Nevertheless, the user is responsible for data security (backup).

 

 

Update 2012-01-23: OCZ has just released a new firmware version (v1.13) for the 6GBps Octane which should improve the random 4K write:

For all Octane SATA 6Gb/s models, the improved IOPS made possible by this new firmware allow for greater transactional performance, especially during small file and random access speeds in everyday computing applications. When compared to the previous revision, random write IOPS performance doubles across nearly all capacities when tested in Iometer 2008:  

Old Random Write 4K IOPS (FW v1.12)

New Random Write 4K IOPS (FW v1.13)
 Octane 128GB 7,700

18,000 

 Octane 256GB 12,000 25,000 
 Octane 512GB 16,000 26,000
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review of the OCZ Octane SATA 3 SSD with 512 GB
Author: Klaus Hinum, 2011-12-26 (Update: 2013-04-23)