Random Read/Write Speed

The four corners of SSD performance are as follows: random read, random write, sequential read and sequential write speed. Random accesses are generally small in size, while sequential accesses tend to be larger and thus we have the four Iometer tests we use in all of our reviews.

Our first test writes 4KB in a completely random pattern over an 8GB space of the drive to simulate the sort of random access that you'd see on an OS drive (even this is more stressful than a normal desktop user would see). I perform three concurrent IOs and run the test for 3 minutes. The results reported are in average MB/s over the entire time. We use both standard pseudo randomly generated data for each write as well as fully random data to show you both the maximum and minimum performance offered by SandForce based drives in these tests. The average performance of SF drives will likely be somewhere in between the two values for each drive you see in the graphs. For an understanding of why this matters, read our original SandForce article.

Desktop Iometer - 4KB Random Read (4K Aligned)

Random read performance is very good on the Octane, matching the Samsung SSD 830 and the Intel SSD 320. Random write performance is no where near as fast as the Samsung, Crucial or SF-2281 based drives, but as we've seen in the past this can be enough performance for a desktop workload.

Desktop Iometer - 4KB Random Write (4K Aligned) - 8GB LBA Space

Many of you have asked for random write performance at higher queue depths. What I have below is our 4KB random write test performed at a queue depth of 32 instead of 3. While the vast majority of desktop usage models experience queue depths of 0 - 5, higher depths are possible in heavy I/O (and multi-user) workloads:

Desktop Iometer - 4KB Random Write (8GB LBA Space QD=32)

Random write performance at higher queue depths doesn't scale nearly as well as the SandForce based drives. This doesn't really matter for desktop users, but I am curious to see how OCZ will position Everest in the enterprise space against SandForce. Perhaps that's where OCZ will focus its SandForce efforts instead and leave the consumer market to Indilinx.

Sequential Read/Write Speed

To measure sequential performance I ran a 1 minute long 128KB sequential test over the entire span of the drive at a queue depth of 1. The results reported are in average MB/s over the entire test length.

Desktop Iometer - 128KB Sequential Read (4K Aligned)

Sequential read and write performance is competitive, but not class leading. The Octane effectively performs like a Crucial m4 here, which isn't bad considering the m4 is a far more mature platform.

Desktop Iometer - 128KB Sequential Write (4K Aligned)

Background & The Drive AS-SSD Incompressible Sequential Performance
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  • jwilliams4200 - Friday, November 25, 2011 - link

    You need to carefully check the dates on that data. It takes a while for this kind of data to trickle in, so you are mostly looking at returns that were sold about a year ago.
  • PubFiction - Saturday, November 26, 2011 - link

    I don't think anandtechs claims about a turn around took place in the last year.

    OCZ has a low rank in most areas it plays in. This reminds me of the fiasco with the different nand in the same product for OCZ and it seemed that alot of people were unhappy with how anandtech was dealing with that. IMO OCZ still has a bad name and I do not touch anything they make unless it is significantly less expensive and reviews fine. I guess the turn around is that OCZ was worse than terrible back then. The amazing thing is that being a bad company seems to pay off because OCZ is aquiring major players in multiple fields meaning they must be making money I guess.
  • jwilliams4200 - Saturday, November 26, 2011 - link

    Sigh. I did not say that OCZ stats will look better for parts sold after April 1, 2011. They may very well look worse. I was just pointing out that the data he was looking at may not reflect what he thought it did. For one thing, it will include very little of the SF22XX BSOD issues.
  • faster - Friday, November 25, 2011 - link

    What a great article. Not only a good technology review, but a great story about the transformation of OCZ. The perspective of this article could only be told by Anand because it was his own story and experience. This was a fantastic piece of writing that gripped me, interested me, and left me feeling good about OCZ. Great job!
  • ericore - Friday, November 25, 2011 - link

    This drive is very slow and relies poorly if you compare it with the Plextor px-m3s. In fact, that drive is probably the best SSD on the market yet Anandtech has never reviewed a single Plextor drive. It comes with a 5 year warranty, and uses a marvel controller. The specs for the 128GB alone are Random Read (IOPS 4K) 70,000, Random Write (IOPS 4K), 50,000 which hands down owns this drive and probably the Crucial M4 variant as well. Yet there has not been a single Plextor review, sadface. Note, Plextor also does a 20 hour burn-in on all drives.
    Also I remember reading the octane uses exclusively designed nand scaled for capacity at the cost of reliability therefore having much shorter lifespan than competition.
    This is a positive step for OCZ though.
  • Beenthere - Friday, November 25, 2011 - link

    It would be useful to see a proper review of the Plextor PX-M3 SSD. Perhaps Plextor hasn't shipped any review drives yet as I don't see any online reviews for them.
  • Fiah - Saturday, November 26, 2011 - link

    This reputable Dutch website reviewed one (I take their reviews as seriously as I do anandtechs)


    They're calling it the fastest SSD yet
  • Beenthere - Saturday, November 26, 2011 - link

    The Dutch site appears to have tested an MP2 model not the M3S - unless Plextor is using odd model numbering in Europe?

    The test data showed the MP2 to be faster in some benches and slower in others. I think we'll need to see Anandtech's or StorageReview.com results to get a clear picture on SSD performance for the M3S.

    I'm not so interested in speed as I am in reliability and compatibility. I have no interest in being an Un-Paid beta tester for PC companies.
  • Beenthere - Saturday, November 26, 2011 - link

    It turns out that the MP2 is not the M3S. SR reviewed the MP2 and it's a middle-of-the pack SSD based on performance. The M3S may actually be slower based on the specs Plextor is quoting. The M3S may be geared more toward enterprise?



  • Questor - Sunday, November 27, 2011 - link

    I echo the echo about seeing more smaller capacity SSD reviews. I personally have one 120 GB Intel , one 128 GB Samsung 470 and two 128 GB Plextor SSDs. I am very happy with them but would love to see all the technical stuff you folks here and Anandtech extract from this gear.

    I am also interested in percentage of drive sizes shipping to consumers (IE: what capacitie(s) are consumers buying most and ratio of brand to units shipped for sale, if at all possible).

    I have stayed away from OCZ like it was the next coming of the plague. As a matter of fact, 1) I posted recently on another article I wouldn't touch OCZ until they could make a reliable drive and prove it and...
    2) When someone around me started talking Sandforce and OCZ I would run.
    Your 12 month idea of watching and waiting for reliability results is right along the lines of my thinking.

    Other than those requests, thanks for a great article. It was so interesting, the wife is annoyed I stayed up to finish reading! =O I had better order those roses, come up with a real good verse for the card and get the dinner reseverations ready at some place we can't afford! If I didn't leep doing this, I could afford some 512 GB drives!

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