OCZ Discovers Bug in Onyx SSD, Updated: We're in the Clearby Anand Lal Shimpi on May 5, 2010 1:19 PM EST
A week ago I got a shipment of a bunch of new SSDs including OCZ's long awaited Onyx. This is based on the Indilinx Amigos controller, which is basically a cost reduced version of the Barefoot controller with only half the channels. A 32GB Onyx should sell for around $99.
The first drive I received showed CRC errors during a Windows install. I told OCZ to stop shipment two Fridays ago. OCZ responded by saying that they wouldn't stop shipments after only one bad drive. Their mistake.
In my experience, I never get a "bad drive", it's either DOA or has a firmware/controller bug. Three days later OCZ issued a recall on the drive and got in touch with its customers directly to make sure they were taken care of.
OCZ had the bug fixed within a week and sent me a new drive (as well as posted an updated firmware on their site). I've been testing the fixed Onyx and while it doesn't exhibit the same issues as the first drive, I am seeing an unexpected CRC error in one particular test that shouldn't be there. I just got off the phone with OCZ and they are going to be pulling back all drives until the problem is squashed.
Building SSDs is a challenging business. I stressed to OCZ that this could have been avoided if they just sent out samples a week before shipping to etailers. I have to at least hand it to OCZ for acting quickly to pull the drives, especially after today's warning.
Update: OCZ's earlier firmware update appears to have squashed the bug completely. Its engineers and I have been working to reproduce the more recent CRC error and it doesn't appear to be an issue with the drive itself, rather something limited to my test platform. I was concerned about the possibility of another data corruption bug given the issue I had with the first drive and arrived at the wrong conclusion. Using the latest firmware the OCZ Onyx has completed almost all of my tests thus far without issue. I will keep you all updated on my experiences with the drive.