Print 37 comment(s) - last by mindless1.. on Jan 13 at 7:54 AM

OCZ Vertex 3 Pro
Strong SSD revenues prompt OCZ to quickly abandon DRAM products

When it comes to performance upgrades for computing systems, enthusiasts have been moving in large numbers to solid state drives. Upgrading a system from an "archaic" hard disk drive (HDD) to a solid state drive (SSD) can make an immediate difference in boot speeds, application launch times, and overall system performance.

OCZ Technology, once primarily known for its DRAM/memory products, has in recent years expanded its product portfolio to include cooling products and power supplies. Another product category that has seen large gains for the company has been the SSD market.

OCZ Technology saw a 325 percent increase in revenues from its SSD business for fiscal Q3 2011 versus the previous year. Q3 2011 SSD revenues were also up 105 percent compared to Q2 2011. 

"SSD revenue accounted for 78% of our revenue and just by itself exceeds our historical quarterly revenue totals across all categories, thus reinforcing our decision to discontinue our remaining DRAM products," said OCZ Technology CEO Ryan Peterson. 

Thanks to the strong performance of its SSD portfolio, and the overall weakness in the global DRAM market, OCZ is accelerating its plans to exit the DRAM market.

"We still have some commitment on the memory side moving forward and will continue with certain SKUs for a period of time, but the amount of memory sales are going to be non-material to our overall business," said OCZ CMO Alex Mei in a phone interview with DailyTech. "Memory sales continues to shrink as an overall portion of our business to the point where it was not as significant."

OCZ showcased its SSD prowess last week with the announcement of the Vertex 3 Pro SSD family. The new drives feature a SandForce SF-2582 SATA III/6Gbps compliant controller that provides maximum read speeds of 550MB/sec and maximum write speeds of 525MB/sec.

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By RussianSensation on 1/10/2011 6:50:45 PM , Rating: 2
I remember the excellent DDR1 and DDR2 OCZ that many overclockers would be after. Their Platinum Rev. 2 DDR2 chips were excellent. Even if OCZ remained in the memory business, their DDR3 offerings were completely uncompetitive with Corsair, Mushkin and G.Skill kits, among many others. Not sure what happened but OCZ was no longer the choice of enthusiasts.

Their PSUs is another example of them losing their competitive advantage. Not sure it's such a great strategy to have only 1 great product line in SSDs. There is no diversification at all. Pretty risky from a business perspective for long-term imo.

RE: Starting with DDR3, OCZ was no longer competitive
By bug77 on 1/10/2011 7:03:53 PM , Rating: 3
I'm not sure, but I have the feeling memory overclocking itself has died-out. L3 cache has killed the need for super-tight timings or tons of bandwidth. They're still important, but for day-to-day use stock memory is absolutely fine.
Oh, and I haven't heard of any IC to raise to the fame of TCCD. Still, all ICs are now DDR3-1333, yet many are sold as DDR3-2133, so the overclocking potential seems to be there. Maybe I just fell out of the loop.

By vol7ron on 1/10/2011 10:42:25 PM , Rating: 2
Did OCZ just rebadge the DRAM or did they manufacture the chips? I'm guessing they just improved Samsung DIMMs?

Still, wouldn't it make sense to keep at least some memory options open? To produce SSDs, you need some DRAM - my guess is this is going to be another performance bottleneck in the future. If OCZ is purchasing it, I'm sure they might want to keep some discounts to offer more affordable SSDs.

RE: Starting with DDR3, OCZ was no longer competitive
By bug77 on 1/11/2011 5:31:07 AM , Rating: 2
Only a handful (Samsung, Crucial/Micron) of memory makers produce their own chips. A third party can only perform a more thorough selection on IC batches and then cherry-pick - everybody does this.

As for keeping options open, I'm sure they thought about it. It's probably not worth it at this time (due to low-margins or whatever).

By azander on 1/11/2011 7:38:16 PM , Rating: 4
Hi guys, as this is the first post in this article let me identify myslef as Alex at OCZ Technology. I appreciate everyone's comments and just wanted to chime in.

bug77 is absolutely right, just a few fabs produce the IC's and we would screen those IC's and build them on our own SMT lines then handtesting the built modules for performance and pairing into dual channel kits. There was a time when we could add a lot value to memory modules via latencies, max speed or sheer density but with the low margins it really didn’t make sense, especially when with the advancement of platforms other areas became more of the bottleneck including mass storage.

By bug77 on 1/12/2011 5:28:03 AM , Rating: 2
Hey, SSD is still memory, so I'm glad you guys are still around.

By Lazarus Dark on 1/10/2011 7:38:36 PM , Rating: 2
I put OCZ ddr2 in several builds and they had some really great overclocker memory, but yeah, I think with changes in processors and such, overclocker memory is less important for ddr3 (actually overclocking in general seems to have declined, as I think stock speeds finally caught up with software)

By spathotan on 1/10/2011 8:52:22 PM , Rating: 1
Agree. The need for overclocking is quickly declining (it was never important to begin with). Why risk damaging expensive hardware when a 400mhz Turbo Boost can automatically OC for you without the risk and hassle.

By mindless1 on 1/13/2011 7:47:05 AM , Rating: 2
Not entirely true, done correctly overclocking is quite similar to merely buying the more expensive CPU and since we do see that more than one CPU price exists, obviously some people feel it is worth paying more for performance while others manage to get that for free from an o'c.

If you can't do it safely then maybe you are risking damage, but that does not make it inherently risky it is just a matter of restricting oneself to what the individual is competent doing... same as mowing the yard, walking and chewing gum at the same time, etc.

By azander on 1/11/2011 9:12:02 PM , Rating: 2
Hi Lazarus Dark, very good point. Today’s platforms and software have advanced a great deal and while there is absolutely a need for memory there are other areas in the system architecture where bottlenecks are exposed such as with mass storage. Traditional rotational media has been around a long time and so has solid state storage, only it hasn’t been “affordable.” With all the improvements in NAND processes and the technology finally within reach of consumers the timing is right for SSDs. I personally am very excited about solid state drives because this is a technology that users can really “feel” the difference with the minute they boot up their system or run an application.

By Flunk on 1/10/2011 10:59:54 PM , Rating: 2
Now more than ever, overclocking RAM no longer matters. With the Sandy Bridge chips featuring a fixed frequency bus. The RAM frequency and CPU frequency are no longer linked and the gain in performance you'll get from faster RAM is negligible at best.

By Dribble on 1/11/2011 10:17:23 AM , Rating: 2
I never wanted the *very* fastest memory, just fast and cheap. OCZ gold filled that slot - always worked fine for me, was always pretty cheap and fairly fast. Did the job, I'll be sad they are gone.

By azander on 1/11/2011 7:41:20 PM , Rating: 2
I appreciate the comments Dribble, OCZ Gold is one of my favorite products as it represented the best bang for the buck. In the short term we will continue to sell modules and we do have a few kits that will continue to be available through the wind down period. No matter what all warranties will be honored and we will take care of all our customers.

RE: Starting with DDR3, OCZ was no longer competitive
By CZroe on 1/11/2011 12:09:17 PM , Rating: 2
On my first Athlon X2 system I had OCZ DDR400 modules that were on the manufacturer's tested and recommended list for an Abit SLI board and yet games would blue-screen and the system would randomly crash unless they were under-clocked. Corsair ValueRAM was fine. Memtest confirms. The same modules worked great in an Intel P4 system (FIC Condor HTPC). This annoyed me greatly.

By azander on 1/11/2011 7:53:13 PM , Rating: 2
Hi CZroe, thanks for the comments and sorry to hear about the instability. The only reason I’m commenting here is I saw your system, the FIC Condor, and it immediately brought back a ton of memories for me. At that time I was actually in charge of marketing at FIC and the Condor was one of the products I launched here in the U.S., I’ll never forget that little box and the swing open latch design…that’s a classic now. =)

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