OCZ SSD 64GB 'Core series' Solid State Disk

Conclusion

Conclusion
  
In testing the Core Series SSD we had high hopes of it being the fastest drive on test today. I honestly wanted to say it's time to dump the conventional drive and leap into this new technology as not only are OCZ one of our favoured brands but new technology is always appealing to us at OC3D. However, the simple fact is and as our results show, that as a desktop solution, solid state drives have some way to go before they can replace the current high end hard drives available.
 
That isn't to say the OCZ Core series SSD isn't a rapid drive as it plainly is but compared to the high end conventional drives available, it cannot quite compete, especially so with the Western Digital Velociraptor. As a laptop solution I have no doubt the SSD is the way forward due to its weight, power consumption and no doubt speed differential compared to 5400rpm drives often used in the mobile computing environment.
 
During the tests I initially felt that the SSD was faulty, however I now believe it could well be the SSD's inability to work well with Vista or the drive is having conflicts with the controller. Regardless of our concerns, it is the hardware manufacturers responsibility to ensure the product is good to go with the current software and drivers available.
 
So for the time being it has to be said that the OCZ Core series SSD ultimately fails in its quest to be the top end storage solution. With all new advances in technology their are a few obstacles to leap and with a few more tweaks and a little boost to the writing capabilities of the technology on offer, the SSD could well surpass the current cream of conventional drives but as our review has shown, if you want the ultimate in speed, the WD Velociraptor still reigns supreme.
 
 
The Good
- Phenomenal access and read speeds
- Lightweight
- Portable
- 100% Silent
- Cool
 
The Mediocre
- Poor instructions
- Price though better, is still not good value for money
- Size may still be an issue for some
 
The Bad
- Poor write speeds of small files
- No mounting screws/3.5"-2.5" converters
 
 
Overclock3D Innovation Award
 
Thanks to OCZ for providing the Core SSD for review. Discuss this review in our forums.
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Most Recent Comments

05-08-2008, 12:49:29

w3bbo
There have been many advances in PC technology since its birth some 25 years ago but the humble hard drive has seen little in the way of significant change in storage medium. Can the latest Solid State Drive from OCZ change all that?

http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...185510915l.jpg

Read all about it HERE.

05-08-2008, 13:16:34

Luigi
Ooh, its looking better for the SSd market, still a long way to go though...

Nice review, but the forum link at the end doesnt work

05-08-2008, 13:20:56

w3bbo
Works fine here m8.

05-08-2008, 13:33:39

Luigi
:S this keeps happening to me..

05-08-2008, 14:55:25

Hassan
I could do with one of them and slap it onto my laptop. Oh sometimes I just wish my HD on my Laptop was faster.

05-08-2008, 15:07:17

Luigi
my dads laptop has a g sensor, the moment you touch it the HDD freezes.. its a touch over sensitive lol

05-08-2008, 15:27:58

Hassan
Whats the G Sensor for? or did u just crack a joke?

05-08-2008, 16:03:33

MikeEnIke
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Hassan'
Whats the G Sensor for? or did u just crack a joke?
Haha I'm assuming he means g force sensor where it detects how much force is being exerted on the laptop

06-08-2008, 04:43:27

Luigi
Yeah, its so it knows when you dropped it so it freezes the HDD to avoid damage.. Only it stops it if you so much as touch it

06-08-2008, 07:00:39

Mr. Smith
These SSDs don't seem to offer enough over HDD to warrant spending the extra ... I think I'll get a velociraptor or two after reading this

06-08-2008, 12:45:45

Bungral
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Mr. Smith'
These SSDs don't seem to offer enough over HDD to warrant spending the extra ... I think I'll get a velociraptor or two after reading this
Pretty much my thinking really... Velociraptors aint so bad with 300gb.. I could manage with that just about.

06-08-2008, 12:47:43

Luigi
they do 74 and 150gb velociraptors now

06-08-2008, 16:52:02

Hassan
One thing I think is that if todays HD stopped working and you need urgent data, then you can send it to a Data Recovery Specialist and they can somehow extract the data, but lets say the same was to happen with the SSD. What will happen then?

10-08-2008, 00:08:17

PP Mguire
Well considering my HDs generate a ton of heat, and im tired of slow ass laptop drives i think SSDs are for me. Ill leave the big clunkys in my server for storage. Im just glad this 64gig isnt 8grand. Ive seen a 128gig SSD for 9grand. Thats way to much. Youd think Sony are selling these (jk)

10-08-2008, 15:15:20

TJS
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='teknokid'
they do 74 and 150gb velociraptors now
OH H*** YEAH! Get four of those 74GB in a RAID 0 array and blaze!

11-08-2008, 16:55:27

Diablo
I can see the point of an SSD in laptops, but I'm happy with my Velociraptor. 64GB is quite a lot, and don't SSD's have a limited number of read write cycles? (I know its in the 100K to 1M range in terms of the Asus EEE) I might not feel to happy if my SSD just spontaneously died (same with HDs tho I s'pose)

11-08-2008, 23:21:45

PP Mguire
The point is so they arent so slow due to 5400rpms used in most laptops.

12-08-2008, 01:48:14

Diablo
Yeah just turned on my old pc...now i know why we all switched to 7.2k/10k/ssd...slow, clunky, noisy etc

12-08-2008, 02:53:53

PP Mguire
Exactly I have a 3gig Maxtor (5400rpm) in my P4 rig and its so SLOW.

13-08-2008, 18:44:09

magicmerlin
Hello geek-friends!

Im waiting on two of these drives - OCZ 32 GB Core-series, and a controllercard..Now i get a bit worried about the results...Have i made the right desition when i bought these?

Also im thinking, will my AMD Dual-core 6000+ processor be a bottleneck, or does it matter at all?

Anyway, at least i was fast and bought these before when the price was a bit lower, now they cant get me to pay the extra 69.73 dollars.

I cant wait to see the results, but when reading this i get the feeling that high expectations is unnecasary. Still waiting and hoping - at least boot-up time will be lightning-fast, thats a thing i learned when i had a 8 GB samsung ssd, even though it was extremely unstable, but i blame that on the small size....but just to be sure ill never ever buy another samsung ssd

14-08-2008, 10:18:29

w3bbo
What you have to remember is that the SSD was compared to the highest performing conventional drives available. If you are going from a standard drive then you will be impressed as they are very quick drives.

14-08-2008, 12:25:01

magicmerlin
I had a regular Raptor before, but i sold it. And i thought i wouldnt notice a great difference when i had a regular drive, but i was very wrong on that point...That was a 150 GB Raptor...A question: In the test one SSD was tested, how much different results will i get when i do a raid-0 configuration with a good controllercard (ADAPTEC SATA RAID 1220SA SINGLE)? It must be like 30% better then?

14-08-2008, 18:43:05

FlyBy
Advanced Host Controller Interface allows Hot-Plugging and Native Commands Queuing as well as multithreaded access of the drive by applications. Enabling AHCI results in conflicts between the controller and the drive that are apparent as sluggish overall system performance. Benchmarks that actually work are those that are not geared towards quick and dirty assessment of a HDDs performance based on optimization of the test algorithms to meet the typical HDD architecture. Examples are PCMark Vantage, Winbench 99 2.0 "Drive Inspection Test" or ATTO.

Taken from Benchmarkreviews.com - if the reviewer didn't disable AHCI then seems this review is pretty much useless. There is no mention of him having done so in the intro to the article.

15-08-2008, 05:09:03

JN
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='FlyBy'
Benchmarks that actually work are those that are not geared towards quick and dirty assessment of a HDDs performance based on optimization of the test algorithms to meet the typical HDD architecture. Examples are PCMark Vantage, Winbench 99 2.0 "Drive Inspection Test" or ATTO.
We run real file copy benchmarks, Game loading benchmarks, Windows startup benchmarks. All of which provide much more useful results than a "score" produced by applications such as PCMark.

Quote:
Originally Posted by name='FlyBy'

if the reviewer didn't disable AHCI then seems this review is pretty much useless. There is no mention of him having done so in the intro to the article.
AHCI was not enabled. Drives were set to IDE Compatible mode - Thanks.

15-08-2008, 13:12:30

w3bbo
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='FlyBy'

Taken from Benchmarkreviews.com - if the reviewer didn't disable AHCI then seems this review is pretty much useless. There is no mention of him having done so in the intro to the article.
As stated above, AHCI was disabled. I did initially think that AHCI had been enabled after running the benchmarks but a quick check confirmed it was still at its default [Disabled] setting. I therefore felt little need to inform the reader AHCI was disabled as most BIOS will have it disabled by default anyway.

With regards to the benchmarks, I was actually asked to run benchmarks that were more favourable to the OCZ Core drive but I questioned the validity of this as, by an OCZ employees own admission, the Core series does not appear to handle small files well, which naturally made me curious.

HD tune rightly or wrongly picks up on the 'issue' of the small files being written(which btw are not there with the original OCZ SSD) and therefore the results were included in the review for comparison purposes. The validity of the write results was however questioned, so to quote myself:

If these small files fall into a single block all is well, however if the files straddle over 2 blocks then the performance appears to be affected but this is not indicative of 'real world' performance. To verify OCZ's claims we also ran a quick test of the OCZ with ATTO:



As you can see. I openly admit that the issue with HDtune write readings are not indicative of real world performance, at least not to the extent it shows. However this does show that the Core series drive DOES have issues where a stall appears when writing small files. Some benchmarks do not represent this - PCMark being one of them, ATTO being another, which if you read the review again you will see was used for clarification purposes. Not only that but we also tested the drive in 'real world scenarios'. Compression/decompression & file creation were also used, again emphasizing the drives capabilities. Synthetic benchmarks will always be a contentious issue and hence we also ran some 'everyday' tasks to see how it performs with the aim to present a balanced and informative review. Sometimes though the latest hardware is difficult to benchmark as there are simply no benchmarks written that take advantage of it and reflect its true performance!

To Quote OCZ:

Every benchmark uses different methods of measuring performance and some benchmarks appear inadequate for measuring SSD performance, others are somewhat better but there are no benchmarks out there that are specifically geared towards SSD's.



Oh and I nearly forgot :

Taken from OCZ press release .Pdf file:

http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...182104531l.jpg

As quoted by you :

Quote:
Originally Posted by name='FlyBy'
Benchmarks that actually work are those that are not geared towards quick and dirty assessment of a HDDs performance based on optimization of the test algorithms to meet the typical HDD architecture. Examples are PCMark Vantage, Winbench 99 2.0 "Drive Inspection Test" or ATTO.

Taken from Benchmarkreviews.com
If you feel the need to read (and thereby quote) a direct port of an OCZ press release then please feel free to do so but here at OC3D, we prefer to tell our readers how it is.

16-12-2008, 08:19:50

Nick at da Mill
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='magicmerlin'
I had a regular Raptor before, but i sold it. And i thought i wouldnt notice a great difference when i had a regular drive, but i was very wrong on that point...That was a 150 GB Raptor...A question: In the test one SSD was tested, how much different results will i get when i do a raid-0 configuration with a good controllercard (ADAPTEC SATA RAID 1220SA SINGLE)? It must be like 30% better then?
I know this is an old thread, but for what it's worth, my Adaptec 1220SA freezes when my OCZ CORE_SSD (32G is plugged into either port. I don't know if this is a generic problem with OCZ CORE_SSDs, or is specific to my card (OCZ suggests I RMA it to find out, which I will). Adaptec, claim "No SSD type drives have been tested with the 1220SA card, and currently the card only supports SATA model drives". I presume that by "SATA model drive" they mean "Sata HD". In any case, it supports a Samsung MCBQE32G5MPP-0VA (32G SSD without problems.

The OCZ CORE_SSD (32G works fine on a JMicron JMB36X controller, in tandem with a Samsung MCBQE32G5MPP-0VA (32G, in a RAID0 configuration. In this configuration, I see a considerable improvement in load times, etc. over a pair of 150GB WD Raptors on the same controller and in the same configuration. Unfortunately, this controller does not write cache, nor does it overlap I/O across SATA devices, hence my desire to use another (better) controller.

Over the next week, after they arrive, I'm going to try a Promise FastTrack SX4 in place of the Adaptec 1220SA, and also a pair of Patriot Extreme Flash Warp (32G SSDs (which were on sale) on both controllers.

Finally, I have replaced a Samsung MCBQE32G5MPP-0VA (32G SSD with a OCZ CORE_SSD (64G on a two-disk bay HP Pavillion DV8219ea -- 32GB is just too small for Vista 32. Unfortunately, performance has gone to hell as a result. Vista hangs, with the disk activity LED pegged, from time to time. I've tried the "Windows Steady State" fix, but that makes no difference. Again, this may be a generic OCZ problem, or unique to my SSD.

I'll update as I find out more.

16-12-2008, 13:09:31

w3bbo
Cool, please let us know how you get on.

22-12-2008, 15:59:25

Nick at da Mill
Patriot Extreme Flash Warp SSDs (32G also hang the Adaptec 1220SA. Waiting for the Promise Adapter to arrive. Hopefully before Christmas.

23-12-2008, 06:51:36

noobieocer
still to expensive for em i stick to samsung f1 drives :P

24-12-2008, 06:16:18

Nick at da Mill
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='noobieocer'
still to expensive for em i stick to samsung f1 drives :P
You're obviously not a speed freak. I'm using two SSDs to replace a pair of 150GB Raptors, both in a RAID0 configuration. Even on the JMicron controller, the SSDs (not yet the Patriots) have resulted in a 40% reduction in load time.

I got the Patriots on sale for 80.55 (ex VAT) each. Not very big, but 64GB is fine for a C: drive. My D: drive is 2TB (5-x-500 WD Caviars in a RAID5 config) on an Intel IH9.

24-12-2008, 06:27:37

Nick at da Mill
Well the Promise controller (FastTrak S150 SX4) was a washout on my DFI LT-X48 MoBo - not recognized! Recognized under Vista X64 - but the 64 bit drivers aren't being recognized. Probably aren't signed in any case.

Recognized OK on an ASUS P5N-E SLI, but that already has an NVIDEA RAID controller that is working fine with a pair of Raptors in a RAID0 cionfig.

I'l try it in an old (RAID-less) server next.

I've now got an HP LSI SAS3041E SAS SATA RAID Controller on order. I'll wait to see how it fares on the DFI MoBo with a pair of Patriot SSDs, before upgrading my old server.

That leaves me with a spare Adaptec 1220SA with nowhere to go but eBay.

07-01-2009, 07:07:38

Nick at da Mill
Attempting to use discrete RAID/SATA 0 Controllers with Patriot Extreme Flash Warp (32G, or OCZ CORE_SSD (32G, SSDs on my DFI LT X48 MoBo has been a complte bust!

None of the three SATA/RAID controllers were able to support the OCZ or Patriot SSDs!

The Adaptec 1220SA, hung when it had a Patriot Extreme Flash Warp (32G or OCZ CORE_SSD (32G, but not a Samsung MCBQE32G5MPP-0VA (32G, SSD plugged into either port.

The HP LSI SAS3041E SAS SATA RAID controller rejected the Patriot Extreme Flash Warp (32G SSDs ("Wrn Typ") for inclusion in a RAID array.

The Promise FastTrak S150 SX4 was not recognized by the MoBo.

So I bit the bullet and removed 2-x-500GB drives from the RAID5 array (6 drives -> 4 drives) on my integral Intel ICH9 RAID/SATA controller freeing two ports for an ICH9-based RAID0 array (32K stripe, with write-back caching) employing two Patriot Extreme Flash Warp (32G SSDs. This, except for losing a Terabyte of storage, was a great success!

Under Vista Ultimate X64, an ATTO benchmark (with a 256MB file) reported a 60MB/sec read & write transfer rate for 1KB blocks. The write rate got no better, but the read rate peaked at 180MB/sec on > 8K blocks. An HD Tune benchmark reported average read rates of 190 MB/sec with a min of 170MB/sec and a max of 195MB/sec, an average access time of 0.2 ms (vs. 10.2 ms for a 2-x-150GB Raptor RAID0 array), and an 886MB/sec burst rate.

I then tried the HP LSI SAS3041E SAS SATA RAID controller on an ASUS P5N-E SLI MoBo. With 4-x-36GB Raptors in a striped (64KB - no alternative) and mirrored RAID10 (IME in LSI terminology) array, the performance was so bad that I gave up. I then tried the 4-x-36GB Raptors in a RAID0 (64KB stripe - no alternative) array. Under Vista Ultimate X64, an ATTO benchmark (256MB file) reported very poor small block read and write performance (1 MB/sec with 1KB blocks), with write performance peaking at 240MS/sec on >= 64KB blocks, and read performance reaching 230MB/sec on >512KB blocks). HD Tune benchmarks reported an average read performance of 76MB/sec and a max burst rate of 91MB/sec. It is worth noting that this controller only supports write through (as opposed to write back) caching.

Finally, I tried the Promise FastTrak S150 SX on an MSI MS-7091 MoBo in a RAID5 (16KB stripe) array with three 500GB HDs. Under Win Server 2K, an ATTO benchmark (256MB and 32MB file) reported quite weird results. Small block read/write performance was good (16MB/sec for 1KB blocks), but read performance peaked at 57MB/sec on 16KB blocks and then dropped to 38MB/sec on larger blocks. My guess is that this controller cannot support parallel operations over multiple SATA ports. It is effectively operating SATA ports as if they were PATA ports. Write performance peaked at 50MB/sec on >64KB blocks. An HD Tune benchmark reported average read rates of 35MB/sec with a min of 28MB/sec and a max of 63MB/sec, an average access time of 13.2 ms, and a 90MB/sec burst rate.

These results were very poor when compared with a 4 HD Intel IH9-based RAID5 (32KB stripe) array on my DFI MoBo. Under Vista Ultimate X64, an ATTO benchmark (with 256MB file) reported a 53MB/sec write, and an 83MB/sec read, transfer rate for 1KB blocks. The write rate peaked at 112MB/sec > 4KB blocks, and the read rate peaked at 162MB/sec on 16K blocks, before dropping to 120MB/sec on > 64KB blocks. An HD Tune benchmark reported average read rates of 165 MB/sec with a min of 106MB/sec and a max of 207MB/sec, an average access time of 16.8 ms (vs. 10.2 ms for a 2-x-150GB Raptor RAID0 array), and an 871MB/sec burst rate.

This is probably much more data than anyone wants! The results are pretty clear. Low cost RAID/SATA controllers are a bust on most SSDs. They also don't perform that well with conventional HDs. Integral Intel and NVIDIA RAID/SATA controllers seem to be fine with SSDs and deliver much better RAID performance with both SSDs and HDs. An integral JMicron JMB36X-based RAID/SATA controller falls somewhere in between!
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