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Random and Sequential Reading/Writing with a “Fresh” SSD

We benchmark the speed of random- and sequential-address reading and writing with CrystalDiskMark 3.0.1 test. This benchmark is convenient to work with as it can measure the speed of an SSD with both random incompressible and fully compressible recurring data. So, there are two numbers in the diagrams below that reflect the maximum and minimum SSD speed. The real-life performance of an SSD is going to be in-between those two numbers depending on how effectively the SF-2281 controller can compress the data.

The performance tests in this section refer to SSDs in their “fresh” out-of-the-box state (FOB). No degradation could have taken place yet.

The first numbers make it clear that the OCZ Octane is completely different in its behavior from both the SandForce-based products and the Marvell-based Crucial m4. On one hand, the Indilinx Everest controller does not compress data and thus delivers the same performance irrespective of whether the data are compressible or not. On the other hand, the Octane cannot beat its opponents with any type of disk operation despite all the optimizations in its new firmware. It is very good at sequential writing but inferior to the SandForce-based SSDs elsewhere. Moreover, the Octane is downright uncompetitive with 4KB data blocks and even falls behind the Corsair Force 3 which is equipped with cheap asynchronous flash memory.

The CrystalDiskMark results do not show the Octane to be a total failure, though. Its value will depend on its usage scenario. Obviously, it won’t be a good choice as a small system disk or as a server disk subsystem which has to have a low response time and a high speed of processing small data blocks. OCZ doesn’t actually target the Octane at such applications. The emphasis on high storage capacity means that OCZ positions it as a full HDD replacement in a desktop PC, as a single disk that is used for storing user data among other things. In this scenario, the Octane can indeed make sense as it delivers a good performance at sequential writing.

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