OCZ Octane 512 GB SSD Review: Meet Indilinx's Everest Controller

Storage Bench v1.0, In More Detail

SSD manufacturers prefer that we benchmark drives the way they behave fresh out of the box because solid-state drives slow down once you start using them. If you give an SSD enough time, though, it will reach a steady-state performance level. At that point, its benchmark results reflect more consistent long-term use. In general, reads are a little faster, writes are slower, and erase cycles happen as slow as you'll ever see from the drive.

We want to move away from benchmarking SSDs fresh out of the box whenever possible because you only really get that performance for a limited time. After that, you end up with steady-state performance until you perform a secure erase and start all over again. Now, we don't know about you, but we don't reformat our production workstations every week. So, while performance right out of the box is an interesting metric, it's not nearly as relevant in the grand scheme of things. Steady-state performance is what ultimately matters.

While this is a new move for us, IT professionals have long used this approach to evaluate SSDs. That's why the consortium of producers and consumers of storage products, Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA), recommends benchmarking steady-state performance. It's really the only way to examine the true performance of an SSD in a way that represents what you'll actually see over time.

There are multiple ways to get there, but we're going to use Intel’s IPEAK (Intel Performance Evaluation and Analysis Kit). This is a trace-based benchmark, which means that we're using an I/O recording to measure relative performance. Our trace, which we're dubbing Storage Bench v1.0, comes from a two-week recording of my own personal machine, and it captures the level of I/O that you would see during the first two weeks of setting up a computer.

Installation includes:

  • Games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Crysis 2, and Civilization V
  • Microsoft Office 2010 Professional Plus
  • Firefox
  • VMware
  • Adobe Photoshop CS5
  • Various Canon and HP Printer Utilities
  • LCD Calibration Tools: ColorEyes, i1Match
  • General Utility Software: WinZip, Adobe Acrobat Reader, WinRAR, Skype
  • Development Tools: Andriod SDK, iOS SDK, and Bloodshed
  • Multimedia Software: iTunes, VLC


The I/O workload is somewhat moderate. I read the news, browse the Web for information, read several white papers, occasionally compile code, run gaming benchmarks, and calibrate monitors. On a daily basis, I edit photos, upload them to our corporate server, write articles in Word, and perform research across multiple Firefox windows. 

The following are stats on the two-week trace of my personal workstation:

Statistics
Storage Bench v1.0
Read Operations
7 408 938
Write Operations
3 061 162
Data Read
84.27 GB
Data Written142.19 GB
Max Queue Depth
452


According to the stats, I'm writing more data than I'm reading over the course of two weeks. However, this needs to put into context. Remember that the trace includes the I/O activity of setting up the computer. A lot of this information is considered one-touch, since it isn't accessed repeatedly. If we exclude the first few hours of my trace, the amount of data written drops by over 50%. So on a day-to-day basis, my usage pattern evens out to include a fairly balanced mix of read and writes (~8-10 GB/day). That seems pretty typical for the average desktop user, though this number is expected to favor reads among the folks consuming streaming media on a larger and more frequent basis.

On a separate note, we specifically avoided creating a really big trace by installing multiple things over the course of a few hours, because that really doesn't capture real-world use. As Intel points out, traces of this nature are largely contrived because they don't take into account idle garbage collection, which has a tangible effect on performance (more on that later).

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29 comments
    Your comment
  • I think in 2 to 3 years we can get a affodable and fast 1tb ssd in market
    3
  • Wow CRYSIS 2 reads and writes above 1 gb data per 20minutes
    3
  • theuniquegamerI think in 2 to 3 years we can get a affodable and fast 1tb ssd in market


    Fast yes, affordable no. My guess is atleast 5 years for a 1 TB ssd to be under $100
    6
  • Still comparing Crysis 2 to everything that moves? I had WD Blue in RAID 0 for quite a while and was relatively happy. Before Christmas however, I have replaced them with just simple, SATA 300 Intel 320 SSD 80Gb. Boy what a difference! No more HDD scratchy sounds, no heat from them, no vibrations, no annoying ticks when idle, silent.. Speed wise PC boots up within 30 sec, and I am only running Intel i3 2100 with no OC. To those who are holding onto HDD I would say unless capacity is the key - sell it off for an SSD. Especially now that HDD prices are skyroketting it is proving easier and easier to do the swap.
    0
  • ksampannaFast yes, affordable no. My guess is at least 5 years for a 1 TB ssd to be under $100

    it's so much fun to dream....don't expect prices to drop that much....that's what people people said about CPUs a few years back, yet nothing has changed.... another example is the mid and top end video cards....since manufacturing techniques have improved and have become more efficient one would think that the products would be cheaper....that's not the case....it's called demmand....people demand faster components and will pay a premium price for it, why would manufacturers drop the prices?...they still have to make a profit
    0
  • theuniquegamerI think in 2 to 3 years we can get a affodable and fast 1tb ssd in market



    yeah.
    and in 2 to 3 years we can get a 20 core intel 9999 X edition for $50.
    and gtx990X2 for just $100.
    -5
  • edvinasmStill comparing Crysis 2 to everything that moves? I had WD Blue in RAID 0 for quite a while and was relatively happy. Before Christmas however, I have replaced them with just simple, SATA 300 Intel 320 SSD 80Gb. Boy what a difference! No more HDD scratchy sounds, no heat from them, no vibrations, no annoying ticks when idle, silent.. Speed wise PC boots up within 30 sec, and I am only running Intel i3 2100 with no OC. To those who are holding onto HDD I would say unless capacity is the key - sell it off for an SSD. Especially now that HDD prices are skyroketting it is proving easier and easier to do the swap.


    And I recommend folks hold onto their current hard drives and get a boot SSD. 80GB may be enough for you, but a lot of us have bigger storage needs. Its gonna take about a year for the hard drive market to recover, so hang on to those mechanical drives.
    2
  • theuniquegamer I think in 2 to 3 years we can get a affodable and fast 1tb ssd in market


    mayankleoboy1yeah.and in 2 to 3 years we can get a 20 core intel 9999 X edition for $50.and gtx990X2 for just $100.


    I do believe that 3-5 years from now we will see a huge increase on performance accompanied by a huge drop in price (compare with today's prices and performance)

    Then we will probably have SATA 4 on the market and the "right price/GB/TB" will be on SATA 3 SSD's.

    With that in mind, I have always build my systems a generation "behind" which is always more than "a few" generations of whatever I had built last, I have always double or triple my previous built performance for around the same money invested on it.

    (plus/minus a few new "tricks" that probably were not on the previous built that could raise my budget
    200 dollars or so)

    Is is possible to get an 1TB SSD for around $100-$200 dollars in 3-5 years?
    I believe it will be.
    just don't expect to also be the faster SATA 4, you will have to "compromise" by been a little "behind"
    in speed.
    2
  • Add "SSD" to the title.
    -1
  • nebunthat's what people people said about CPUs a few years back, yet nothing has changed

    AMD Athlon 64 4000+ San Diego 2.4GHz circa 2005 - $475.99 inflation adjusted to 2011 ~$548.22
    Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 Conroe 3.0GHz circa 2007 - $279.99 inflation adjusted to 2011 ~$304.10
    Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz circa 2011 - $219.99

    I'm sorry, you were saying?
    8
  • I'm not sure why this product is being released. If its performance degrades so much, and the Vertex 3 is the same price and doesn't suffer from such an issue, who exactly is going to buy this? Seems like they are released a beta product on the public.
    1
  • I am not seeing anything special here either. Crucial M4 series still seems like the best option out there for speed, reliability and price. I use them at home and several at work and they've all been great.
    2
  • tetracycloideAMD Athlon 64 4000+ San Diego 2.4GHz circa 2005 - $475.99 inflation adjusted to 2011 ~$548.22Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 Conroe 3.0GHz circa 2007 - $279.99 inflation adjusted to 2011 ~$304.10Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz circa 2011 - $219.99I'm sorry, you were saying?

    they are still expensive....they can by sold for a lot less....here is another example....when stores have theses so called specials around 60% off retail prices they are still making a profit....so a cpu that's around 300 dollars could be sold at 180 dollars and the company would still make a profit....like said before, we empower the companies you set such high prices
    -4
  • nebunthey are still expensive....they can by sold for a lot less....here is another example....when stores have theses so called specials around 60% off retail prices they are still making a profit....so a cpu that's around 300 dollars could be sold at 180 dollars and the company would still make a profit....like said before, we empower the companies you set such high prices


    Its called R&D... It allows progress but is also adds the "high prices" If you say getting i5 2500k is too pricey then think again.
    4
  • "AMD Athlon 64 4000+ San Diego 2.4GHz circa 2005 - $475.99 inflation adjusted to 2011 ~$548.22"

    Man where were you buying your athlon 64s, i cant remember what i paid. But it certainly was under 200, i dont buy $200+ processors. I bought 3 A64s and 2 A64x2s and none of them were 200 let alone 476.

    I can find a athlon 64x2 3800+ in my newegg history from 2006 for 154, they were not expensive. (dont remember where i bought the others, so cant check exactly what i paid)
    -1
  • grodyI'm not sure why this product is being released. If its performance degrades so much, and the Vertex 3 is the same price and doesn't suffer from such an issue, who exactly is going to buy this? Seems like they are released a beta product on the public.

    um, core 2 duo's are around 150-180$ online in many places still, thats pretty high for somewhat old components... and a core 2 quad was like 300$ when i looked.
    0
  • Wow this is an amazing ssd!!!!!
    -1
  • theuniquegamerI think in 2 to 3 years we can get a affodable and fast 1tb ssd in market

    The prices dropped about 50 cents per GB in the last year. That's roughly 25% less.
    Next year if they drop another 25%, they will be roughly 1.20$ per GB
    I'm being optimist by saying you will be able to get a decent SSD at around 90 cents per GB.
    A year later, we can maybe look at 85Cent per GB on average.
    And then another year after that, 65 Cents.
    1 TB at 65 cents is 650$
    Unless there's a huge surge in flash memory production, I don't see a 1TB SSD for less than 500$ in the next 3 years.
    By the way, I don't see the sandisk SSD's on here. They seem to be the best deal around price wise.
    2
  • nebunthey are still expensive....they can by sold for a lot less....here is another example....when stores have theses so called specials around 60% off retail prices they are still making a profit....so a cpu that's around 300 dollars could be sold at 180 dollars and the company would still make a profit....like said before, we empower the companies you set such high prices

    You're conflating the retail space with the manufacturing space here to make a point that would not otherwise stand. When a retail store sells at 60% off retail prices it has absolutely nothing to do with manufactuers and what profits they may or may not be making and everything to do with retail strategy. They're either loss-leading or trying to move excess inventory. Either way they're not making a profit on the item being sold they're recovering the loss some other way or just writing off the loss. Just because some retail store offers a sale of 60% off doesn't mean that every item on the market sold at 100% MSRP was a 40% profit for the retail outlet. Which, again, is not the manufacture anyway so even if you point stood it wouldn't demonstrate what you're attempting to argue.
    3
  • asdlfjlk2jkl2lk2l"AMD Athlon 64 4000+ San Diego 2.4GHz circa 2005 - $475.99 inflation adjusted to 2011 ~$548.22"Man where were you buying your athlon 64s, i cant remember what i paid. But it certainly was under 200, i dont buy $200+ processors. I bought 3 A64s and 2 A64x2s and none of them were 200 let alone 476.I can find a athlon 64x2 3800+ in my newegg history from 2006 for 154, they were not expensive. (dont remember where i bought the others, so cant check exactly what i paid)

    $476 was the list price on newegg in early July 2005 for a 4000+ and the San Diego had only been released less than two months earlier in Mid April.
    The 64x2 3800+ was released around August of 2005 for around $350. So they were pretty expensive parts when they came out. Tom's even mentioned the expense explicitly in their review in August 2005 even though they were themselves the newer 'cheaper' x2's after the first gens were like $550+. If you got one in 2006 for any price it was cheap because it was old.
    2