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The OCZ Octane cannot blow you away with its performance. It is inferior to the latest SandForce- and Marvell-based SSDs across most of real-life tests. The synthetic benchmarks provide the explanation: the Octane is too slow at random-address operations. The new firmware (version 1.13) has improved that parameter, yet not as much as to make the Octane drive competitive.

It doesn’t mean we are unhappy with the Octane. It really has its highs. It is fast at sequential operations, for example, which makes it suitable for such applications as video editing and software development. Another important advantage of the Octane series is that it includes large-capacity SSDs of 512 GB and 1 TB. There are virtually no other SATA 6 Gbit/s SSDs with such capacities now.

Unfortunately, the pricing of the Octane series is somewhat too high currently. This refers both to the large- and low-capacity models. The manufacturer must be trying to capitalize on the fact that it is a brand new and truly unique product rather than through rational arguments.

However, OCZ’s new SSDs based on the Indilinx Everest controller should also be viewed from a global standpoint. It is the company’s first step towards developing their own SSDs from scratch. And also a step away from the past collaboration with SandForce which was marred by various problems. The exclusive partner status of OCZ allowed it to introduce new SandForce-based products ahead of other makers but the company also took the biggest share of the criticism against the shortcomings and deficiencies of the SandForce platform. Moreover, OCZ has eventually become just one of a number of brands that offer absolutely identical SandForce-based SSDs.

So now OCZ seems to be going to give up SandForce-based products in favor of controllers from its own subsidiary Indilinx. The Octane is the first try, and a very good one at that. The new SSD has up-to-date specs and good performance. Most importantly, the Octane came out stable, reliable and problem-free. Now that OCZ has successfully debuted in the premier league of SSD makers who develop their own controllers, we are looking forward to the next generation of the company’s products based on improved Indilinx Everest 2 controllers. As far as we know, they are going to come about as soon as this summer.

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