OCZ displays new SSDs, PSUs at CES

Solid-state drives have been big business for OCZ, so it was no surprise to see a number of them on display at the company’s suite during CES last week. The most interesting drives for enthusiasts were a selection of Vertex 2 SSDs based on controllers from newcomer SandForce.

SandForce has two controllers: the SF-1200 for client SSDs and the SF-1500 for enterprise. OCZ is putting the former in an MLC-based Vertex 2 model that will be available in 50, 100, 200, and 400GB capacities. The Vertex 2 is expected to hit read and write speeds of 270 and 260MB/s, respectively, and 9,500 4KB random-write IOPS.

Carrying on the enthusiast tradition of using enterprise-class hardware in desktops, OCZ will also have a Vertex 2 Pro that pairs the SF-1500 with MLC memory. This drive’s preliminary specs suggest it will hit 280MB/s with reads and 270MB/s with writes. OCZ says the Pro will nearly double the standard model’s 4KB random-write IOPS rating, too.

Of course, there will also be an SLC-based Vertex that uses the SF-1500. The Vertex 2 Pro EX boasts the same preliminary read and write speed ratings as its MLC-based counterpart, but it should perform better with random writes. According to early specs, the Vertex 2 Pro can crank out 19,000 IOPS with 4KB random writes, while the EX can handle 25,000. The Pro and EX will be available in the same capacities as the standard Vertex 2, although the EX will lack a 400GB model.

Final pricing hasn’t been set for the Vertex 2s, but OCZ says they’ll be a little more expensive than existing Indilinx-based drives due to higher controller costs. The SandForce-based drives will be sold alongside existing first-generation Vertex models rather than replacing them. Expect the Vertex redux to arrive in March.

Interestingly, OCZ has dropped Samsung-based drives from its SSD lineup. Samsung’s reluctance to allow users to perform firmware updates didn’t help the relationship, nor did the memory giant’s refusal to allow OCZ access to its firmware source code. SandForce has apparently been more cooperative, allowing OCZ to have input on firmware. OCZ says the Vertex 2s are built entirely from scratch in-house, as well.

On a more extreme note, OCZ was also showing off its latest Z-Drive PCIe SSD. Dubbed the e88, this fourth-generation product uses an x8 interface and is entirely powered by the PCI Express slot. Up to eight Indilinx SSD controllers reside on a single card behind an LSI RAID chip that runs in RAID 0 by default, but supports other array levels. The card is bootable, and OCZ developed proprietary drivers and firmware that allow TRIM commands to pass through the RAID controller. The rest of the card is an in-house OCZ design, right down to the SO-DIMM-style NAND slots that let users easily replace spent NAND daughter cards.

OCZ says the e88 can hit read and write speeds of 1400 and 1500MB/s, respectively. The drive can apparently manage 20,000 4KB random-write IOPS, too. Expect to see the e88 in 512GB and 1TB capacities. No official word on pricing yet, but if you have to ask, you probably can’t afford it.

In addition to SATA and PCIe solid-state drives, OCZ was also showing a prototype external SSD with SuperSpeed USB 3.0 connectivity. This drive uses an Indilinx controller and will be available in 64, 128, and 256GB capacities. Final pricing hasn’t been set, but OCZ says the drive should only cost $25-30 more than equivalent SATA models. OCZ isn’t talking performance just yet; however, it did reveal that the drive uses a Symwave USB chip. The drive measures just 56 x 120 x 10 mm and uses a slim "Micro B" USB 3.0 connector.

Although DRAM was conspicuously absent from OCZ’s suite, the company did have a couple of new PSUs on display, including a Fatal1ty-branded 750W unit. More interesting was an all-new Silencer Mk II 950W—the first fresh PC Power & Cooling model in quite a while. This Silencer successor retains the original’s single 12V rail and disdain for modular cables. However, the Mk II is quite a bit smaller, despite the fact that it uses a much larger 135-mm cooling fan. The fan upgrade apparently makes this latest revision even quieter than the first Silencer, which was long one of our favorites for its low noise levels under load.

Expect to see the Mk II arrive in about a month and a half starting with a 950W model. 750, 650, and 500W flavors are also planned, with the latter two carrying 80 Plus Bronze ratings. The 750 and 950W models have 80 Plus Silver certification.

Comments closed
    • swish
    • 10 years ago

    As NAND capacities keep rising, we might see SSD modules built into motherboards just like RAM is now. After all, what’s the point of all that extra packaging to put PCBs inside hard-drive-sized enclosures? What a waste. There’s no need for shock protection. A standardized socket would be nice for SSD-based storage as long as they can support hot-swap 🙂

    Keeping the socket standard from one motherboard generation to the next would be important, too. It’s a Good Thing that SATA is as widespread as it is.

    What do you think? 🙂

      • Freon
      • 10 years ago

      Well, DIMM is a specific requirement for bandwidth and latency that no other interconnect can provide. SSD is well served by SATA, PCI-Ex, and USB3. I don’t see any reason for a new device interface just for SSD.

      I do like those PCI-Ex 1x cards that just plug right in, but still nothing really wrong with SATA.

      Built into the mobo driving price up and killing expandability? Surely not!

        • Arag0n
        • 10 years ago

        well, that doesn’t need to kill expandability but he is somehow right. If NAND capacity stills raising someday 1TB will be of the size of a microSD card. 32x the memory density actualy abalible. In this case scenario, a SSD integrated with good performance and arround 30-50$ cost would kill the price of non integrated parts at 60-75$ price point because they will need all the stuff needed to allow high capacty hard-drives.

        I never thought about it but he has a point. Desktop computers may not improve very much from this but notebooks would see a cost production decrease because actually you can’t choose a notebook motherboard itself to upgrade your computer with new cpu….

        After all, this doesn’t need to kill the possibility to upgrade storage capacity with SATA, USB or NAT devices.

        Dunno, i see that arround 250Gb will be the very standart for non media data for long. I couldn’t see an increase on size of programs in the last 5 years. Office 2003, Office 2007, Office 2010, all they have similar capacity needs and with a system that owns itself storage with lower latency and higher bandwich to run the system OS, programs, games, it will be a kill point for premium motherboards.

        Or.. may be a killing motherboard for low end plataforms for enterprises that would need only PSU, RAM, CPU, MOBO. Decreasing the number of componenets needed, reducing the cost of the systems and maintance and more over (At the end this is the selling point of integrated GPU already).

        I wouldn’t be suprised by this 2 selling points in not very long time, as i mentioned before about notebooks that consumer wouldn’t notice any diference in most of cases than a price cut.

          • TO11MTM
          • 10 years ago

          I see 80-500GB being a standard size. You’ll see smaller sizes on business PCs, larger sizes on desktop computers.

          As it stands, I’ve got a Core i7 at work with only about 100GB used on a 250GB partition. And that’s running Server 08 with a decent selection of apps on it for end users.

          That said, I have another 250GB partition with virtual machines, ETC. And 500GB of SSD storage would have killed the price point of the machine.

          …. But the more I think about it, in the office more and more you just need 32-64GB of space for windows/office. And like it or not, the office segment often dictates enthusiast/midrange development. Core i3 is what Cyrix failboated at over a decade ago.

    • SomeOtherGeek
    • 10 years ago

    Was supposed to be a reply! The reply button tricked me!

    • albundy
    • 10 years ago

    a year from now, your gonna be laughing at that supersized Z-drive, much like everyone is laughing at adaptec nowadays.

    • Anvil
    • 10 years ago

    Hahaha, I just realized that I’m looking at a Silencer with a >80mm fan and what it means.

    Where is your FUD now PCP&C!?

    • Jigar
    • 10 years ago

    Is it wrong to desire for E88 ?

      • loophole
      • 10 years ago

      Only if you don’t have a PCIe slot for it 🙂

      • SomeOtherGeek
      • 10 years ago

      Nope! If I had the money, this would be the way to go. 1400/1500 read/write speeds, damn!

        • Thrashdog
        • 10 years ago

        Texas Memory Systems called, they want their RAMSAN back.

      • no51
      • 10 years ago

      No, but dressing up as a pcie slot in order to uh… copulate with it is where I draw the line.

    • Asbestos
    • 10 years ago

    Intel, Plextor, OCZ. Lots of SSDs but not a price to be seen. Let’s hope that flash memory prices begin to drop after the stagnation that we have seen for the last year.

    • Welch
    • 10 years ago

    It must be the press release day for all things SSD ahaha. I’m hoping this is the beginning of the push for SSD and the drop in price.

    • barich
    • 10 years ago

    Sign me up for that 512 MB SSD!

      • Hemotoxin
      • 10 years ago

      Yep. Man Hard drives are getting huge! 512mb! Remember the 1mb days?

      /sarcasm

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