Print 17 comment(s) - last by Jansen.. on Mar 24 at 3:47 PM

OCZ's new top of the line SSDs use Samsung controllers

OCZ Technology is currently one of the top Solid State Drive manufacturers in the world. They have been aggressively developing new SSD products and bringing them to market, and can be credited for driving prices down through mass production and economies of scale.

As the company has never been afraid to experiment, they have tried prototypes with SSD flash controllers from different manufacturers. JMicron controllers are amongst the cheapest, so they go in lower end SSDs such as the Core and Solid series. The mid-range Apex series uses a JMicron RAID controller along with their flash controllers to improve performance. The high-end Vertex series uses a new flash controller from Indilinx that utilizes 64MB of cache to improve random read/write performance.

OCZ is currently developing their newest SSD series and will target it at the "premium" market. The Summit series uses a controller and firmware developed by Samsung. It also uses 64MB of cache to improve random read and write performance.

Sequential read speeds are expected around the 250MB/s range, while sequential write speeds are expected to be in excess of 200MB/s. Figures for random read and write speeds are currently unavailable, but those are increasingly becoming looked at by educated consumers as they more accurately represent real-world usage models. The firmware is still being tweaked, so performance numbers have not been finalized.

The design is similar to Samsung's own 256GB SSDs, which are currently available only to OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers). Power consumption for the Summit series should be also comparable, using around 1 watt at load. There will be 30GB, 60GB, 120GB, and 250GB models.

The Summit series is currently targeted for launch around the end of April. Pricing is expected to be moderately above the Vertex series, which has dropped dramatically in price over the last month. The 120GB Vertex model can now be purchased for around $300 with a mail-in rebate.

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By jadeskye on 3/24/2009 9:15:45 AM , Rating: 2
As a user of the Vertex series i've been awaiting the summit SSD for some time. I can't wait, especially if the rumours and pre-views on performance are accurate.

Could potentially be an intel beater, if not on performance then deffinately on affordability/performance if you've got the cash to drop.

RE: Anticipation!
By Mk4ever on 3/24/2009 10:02:24 AM , Rating: 2
I believe anticipation is indeed the correct word. I have been waiting for Samsung's new drive since their first generation was released. I was about to get a G.skill Titan, but the price didn't feel right for the relatively poor performance (referring to random writes).

Looks like the wait is about to end soon.

RE: Anticipation!
By therealnickdanger on 3/24/2009 10:53:35 AM , Rating: 2
I've got the G.Skill FM-25S2S-64GB with revised JMicron 602B controller and I haven't experienced any pauses or slowdown in my month of use thus far. For people looking for a super-fast and quiet upgrade, I would highly recommend it. As far as SSDs go, it's cheap at ~$130. Great bang for the buck IMO.

RE: Anticipation!
By inperfectdarkness on 3/24/09, Rating: 0
RE: Anticipation!
By Moishe on 3/24/2009 12:05:22 PM , Rating: 2
I'm curious as to the "punchline" of your post.

Why would that change the performance and what performance would be expected after loading it up and then deleting the files?

RE: Anticipation!
By Sagath on 3/24/2009 12:16:40 PM , Rating: 5
Here is the Punchline:

I'm constantly amazed how few people do research before dropping multiple hundreds (or thousands) on products.

SSDs, unless you buy Summit/Vertex/Intel are garbage.

RE: Anticipation!
By inperfectdarkness on 3/24/2009 12:36:33 PM , Rating: 2

precisely. i've already linked to that article twice before. there's a LOT of misinformation & lack of understanding revolving around SSD's.

i, for one, do NOT want a drive that performs inferior to a 5400rpm laptop drive when it is "used".

RE: Anticipation!
By MikeMurphy on 3/24/2009 1:50:10 PM , Rating: 2
Fantastic article from Anandtech that goes into quite some detail regarding SSDs in general, and OCZ's offerings.

Its a long read but I thought it would supplement this article quite nicely.

RE: Anticipation!
By Jansen on 3/24/2009 3:43:42 PM , Rating: 3
Even with the issues Anand mentioned, second generation SSDs are still superior to 7200 and 5400 RPM HDDs.

That includes Apex, Vertex, Summit, Titan, and Intel's entire lineup.

The random write performance issues are mitigated with the new updated JMicron controller, especially when used with onboard RAID and a few minor tweaks. For power users, the age of SSDs has arrived.

For everyone else, it will arrive a little bit later. The roadmaps I have seen would blow you away...

RE: Anticipation!
By therealnickdanger on 3/24/2009 12:47:19 PM , Rating: 1
Well, this is some kickass "garbage" then.

I was already aware of everything in that AT article and I did plenty of research before buying. But no amount of research or reviews can tell you what your actual experience will be. I wanted to test it out for myself, run my apps, handle my day-to-day business on it to see how it performs in real life - and not just running IOMeter all day.

I'll admit, when I spent the money on this drive, I was hoping I wouldn't be one of the 15% on Newegg that gave it a negative rating. I will be giving this drive five eggs as it has performed flawlessly. Be it multi-tasking (installing apps while web-surfing, copying files, creating videos in WMM, and using instant messenger) or just booting Vista, it is f*cking flawless. Even IF/WHEN my SSD slows down, even according to AT, it won't slow down more than 10%... which will still beat the pants off any HDD. Time will tell, I guess. By then, however, I'm sure I'll be on to the next drive.

Certainly, if I went looking for problems and created synthetic write scenarios to intentionally cripple the drive, then yeah, I could stand there and laugh victoriously... but that's not how I use a boot drive. I load my apps on it and expect it to open and use them quickly! This drive does that.

Buy one and try it, I'm pretty confident you'll like it. Use it normally as you would your current boot drive. Until then, you really don't know what you're talking about.

Best bang for the buck. 'Nuff said.

RE: Anticipation!
By Djangogvlsc on 3/24/2009 1:29:16 PM , Rating: 2
Did you read that article you linked to or did you just skim it? Re-read page 11 if so.

The slow down of the drive due to nature of the LBA Block setup when deleting to already written to pages is true. But even with that factored in, it's still a good buy. As the sole drive in a laptop it's still a lot more dependable that the mechanical drives. As a storage drive it's still worth it in load times of apps and games.

Plus the fact that you can run the secure wipe utility on it to get all of the performance back, where's the down side? Ok, maybe if it was your boot drive, you wouldn't want to secure wipe it very often. But the fact that it's solid state would make up for the 10% loss in speed. Even if it was then as slow as a normal IDE drive. The loss of data and the cost of recovery on laptop hard drives is astronomical.

RE: Anticipation!
By therealnickdanger on 3/24/2009 2:02:33 PM , Rating: 1
Sweet, for a minute I thought I was the only one who actually read the article... ;-)

For those of you who are on the fence and have money burning a hole in your pocket, I would recommend TRYING a switch to SSD. Whether it's a the G.Skill I bought or a better one, I'm pretty sure you'll absolutely love it. However, you lose NOTHING if you just wait it out. If you have the patience to wait, then you'll probably be even happier 3 months from now.

RE: Anticipation!
By mindless1 on 3/24/2009 12:11:23 PM , Rating: 2
It won't work fine at first, all those who make jmicron based SSDs should be taken behind their factory and shot.

RE: Anticipation!
By therealnickdanger on 3/24/2009 2:04:01 PM , Rating: 2
Your screen name applies... I have no experience with JM602, but my SSD has the JM602B and I'm not experiencing any issues.

Stop the FUD!

But what about....
By Naviblue on 3/24/2009 2:17:44 PM , Rating: 2
Price? Any word? I've been following the SSD development, reviews, gripes and hopes, kind of sitting back and enjoying the ride on my WD Raptors.

If these drives hit the "reasonably affordable" mark, it just might be that time!

RE: But what about....
By Jansen on 3/24/2009 3:47:46 PM , Rating: 2
My sources say the price has not been finalized. Once the specs are firmed up based on the shipping firmware, they will develop a pricing model taking into account the state of the market.

By Wierdo on 3/24/2009 1:36:07 PM , Rating: 2

Ryan said we’d lose some sequential write performance. The drive would no longer be capable of 230MB/s writes, perhaps only down to 80 or 90MB/s now. I told him it didn’t matter, that write latency needed to come down and if it were at the sacrifice of sequential throughput then it’d be fine.
A couple days later and I got word that OCZ just got a new firmware revision back from Korea with the changes I’d asked for.
I couldn’t believe it. There was no way. “Sure”, I said, “send the drive over”. He asked if I’d be around on Saturday to receive it. I would be, I’m always around.
As far as I know, this is the one of the only reviews (if not the only) at the time of publication that’s using the new Vertex firmware. Everything else is based on the old firmware which did not make it to production. Keep that in mind if you’re looking to compare numbers or wondering why the drives behave differently across reviews. The old firmware never shipped thanks to OCZ's quick acting, so if you own one of these drives - you have a fixed version.
The entire production of Vertex drives was held up until they ended up with a firmware revision that behaved as it should.

So OCZ's Vertex line supposedly shouldn't suffer from the silly stuttering problems of the past - due to companies optimizing for pro-marketing seq. transfer numbers instead of more real-world random access stuff.

Looks like OCZ's Vertex and Summit product lines should finally give Intel's products some pressure in the closer to mainstream segment.

"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer

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