Energy consumptionFinally we measured energy consumption with a clip ammeter. Consumption was taken at idle and during a sequential read and a sequential write, with this last task being the one that puts most demand on the SSD.
We have already noted several times that SSD consumption increases significantly with capacity. These SSDs are no exception to the rule with consumption levels of around 4.5 Watts during writes. Given that the Octane is faster with writes, it is in fact more efficient in this area. It is also more economical in reads but has higher energy consumption at idle.
With the Octane, OCZ has given itself a new lease of life in the world of SSDs. At the forefront of SSD innovation for the last four years via privileged partnerships with Indilinx and then SandForce, OCZ is now able to design its SSDs from the bottom up. Of course, in comparison to Crucial, Intel or Samsung, OCZ is still lacking a flash production facility and Hynix or Toshiba may, for example, soon find themselves being targeted.
It has to be hoped that OCZ will benefit from its new standing to avoid reproducing the mistakes of the past. We’re thinking here of the way the Vertex 2s were switched over to 25nm flash without any change in model number and even with lower capacities, or of the reliability issues discovered on the SandForce SF-2000 SSDs before the latest firmware updates. Of course, responsibility in this second case would seem to lie with SandForce, but as the assembler of the product, OCZ is answerable to the end user. We didn’t come across any such problems during our test with the OCZ Octane, but many consumers will have the company’s bad rep in mind when they come to buy their SSD.
All things considered, we can only commend OCZ’s metamorphosis, though the Octane struggles to stand out from the competition. In its 512 GB version it manages very high write performance, but this isn’t transposed to the other versions, which drop back to more standard speeds in comparison to the competition. With random accesses the Octane is down on the Crucial M4 (both read and write), so much so that application performance levels are slightly down. Note however that the difference isn’t really noticeable.
At the end of the day the OCZ Octane joins the pack of top SSDs that combine an SATA 6G controller and synchronous MLC memory, whether based on a Marvell (Corsair Performance Pro, Crucial M4, Intel SSD 511), Samsung (Samsung PM830) or SandForce SF-2000 controller (Corsair Force 3 GT, OCZ Vertex 3, Kingston HyperX). In practice these SSDs all offer very similar performance and warranties (3 years) and it’s therefore the price per GB and reports from other users that will influence you in your choice of which to go for. As the last out of the blocks, the Octane obviously has a bit of ground to make up, though even SSDs that are reputed to be reliable might happen to suffer from a bug...