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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  • Beenthere - Sunday, November 27, 2011 - link

    Hopefully a year from now SSDs will be reliable and trouble free. Right now they ain't worth the hassles IMO. Marvel and Samsung controller based SSDs hold a lot more interest for me than SandForce or Indilinx, so we'll see how their reliability turns out.
  • renosablast - Sunday, November 27, 2011 - link

    More great info on this drive available here:
  • adamdz - Monday, November 28, 2011 - link

    "Go above and beyond the call of duty in taking care of his customers and our readers".

    I had good experience with other companies that would still honor warranty a month or two after its expiration. OCZ wouldn't.
  • RohitK - Sunday, December 4, 2011 - link

    "Most of my suggestions were obvious, just to go above and beyond the call of duty in taking care of his customers and our readers. He agreed to do everything on the list, with one exception."

    I bought a $220 Vertex 3 Max IOPS 120GB a couple weeks or so ago. It is my first SSD. I had to save up for some time to have enough to get the drive without starving for a while (I'm a grad student), so you can understand that it was a big deal for me.

    All I got for my trouble was a lemon out of the box. I couldn't return the drive to Newegg because I had applied for a rebate already, so I was left to deal with OCZ directly. They took two days to respond to my "Trouble Ticket", and replied with directions to update the firmware and secure erase the drive (both things I'd already done before contacting them). After my response, their next contact came another two days later, telling me my RMA request was accepted and that they'd pass my info on to the RMA department, who will issue me an RMA number and then I can send the drive back. It's been five days since then now and I still haven't heard anything.

    Also, I have to pay for shipping now to send the drive back to them. To top things off, until they get the drive back, they won't ship me a new one, with the only alternative being that they charge me for a new drive on my credit card and then refund me later. This, however, does nothing for me, since I don't *have* a credit card.


    All in all, if I were you, Anand, I'd check again on how the company deals with its regular customers who aren't Anand Lal Shimpi before commending their CEO on a job well done. :-)

    First comment, by the way. I'd just like to say thanks, like the millions of other people, for being the only source worth coming to for reliable info on hardware. You're a legend.
  • gamoniac - Monday, December 5, 2011 - link

    Anand and AT,
    Do you plan on reviewing the new Kingston SSDNow V200? There isn't any beachmark on this series that I can find. It would be interesting to compare that to the OCZ Octane. Thanks.

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