OCZ firmware update battles SandForce BSOD bug

When we concluded our recent SSD round-up, we ended up recommending a handful of SandForce-based drives based on their pack-leading performance and strong value proposition. However, we had to temper those recommendations with a word of caution about the so-called BSOD bug that strikes some systems seemingly at random. Now, OCZ has released a 2.15 firmware update for its Vertex 3, Agility 3, and Solid 3 SSDs that purportedly banishes the BSOD bug.

According to the official release notes (PDF), the 2.15 firmware addresses BSOD errors associated with running the SSDs as OS drives. The firmware also deals with problems related to various sleep modes, and it purportedly eliminates stuttering that could have occurred after an error reading the drive. Interestingly, the release notes also mention an improved TRIM implementation—but the changes are said to impact system stability rather than improving performance. SandForce SSDs have a notoriously relaxed TRIM mechanism that takes its time reclaiming cleared flash pages, resulting in slower used-state performance.

The folks in the OCZ forums seem pretty happy with the update, so it’s worth a shot if you’ve been hit by the BSOD bug. I’ll have to get our Agility 3 and Vertex 3 SSDs updated so we can see whether there’s any affect on performance. Thanks to TR forum moderator Ryu Connor for the tip.

Comments closed
    • bcronce
    • 8 years ago

    I can’t wait for the memresistor SSDs to come out in 2013. Since they don’t wear out, no more wear leveling to fubar your drive and no more reserving 30% of your drive for wear leveling.

      • chrone
      • 8 years ago

      if this is true, would be a great addition to the arsenal. 😀

    • Buzzard44
    • 8 years ago

    No offense tech report, I love you guys and come to this site religiously, but you just said

    “We recently rounded up all the SSDs, compared them against each other, and then recommend the ones that:
    Randomly caused BSODs
    Had slower used-state performance
    Had stuttering issues after errors reading the drive
    Had problems with various sleep modes.”

    If that’s the best SSDs have to offer, I think I’m going to stick to mechanicals for another year or two.

    Eh, figure I’ll get about a -3 for this, but I speak for truth.

      • Jeff72
      • 8 years ago

      I went with the Intel 510 120GB SSD. It’s been great as my OS drive for months.

      I tried 2 different OCZ Vertex 3 120GB SSD drives before this, and both had the BSOD. I won’t get OCZ anymore. I’m convinced reliability is the most important thing with SSDs now.

      • ShadowEyez
      • 8 years ago

      I think that’s the conclusion a lot of people are coming to – wait around until the dust settles, the price drops, and then plunk down for an SSD.

      That said, I have two older gen vertex 2’s in a RAID0 and its worked for me in Win7 64-bit.

        • axeman
        • 8 years ago

        has the performance degraded over time? or is there something else that the drives can do to eliminate the block rewrite performance issue when TRIM is not available?

    • josephjpeters
    • 8 years ago

    I love how most people blame OCZ, when really it’s Sandforce. If you read the forums, you’d realize that the OCZ staff knew what the problem was, they just couldn’t get Sandforce to implement it quicker.

    I’ve had a Vertex 3 since May and haven’t had a single issue. The Internet always blows things out of proportion. Yes, some people had issues, but now those are fixed. 2.15, from what I can tell makes all Vertex 3’s stable.

      • tejas84
      • 8 years ago

      Are you really Ryan Peterson CEO of OCZ??

      • JohnC
      • 8 years ago

      Yes, yes, poor OCZ’s execs were brutally tortured and had to sign up the lifetime contract with Sandforce in exchange for their lives and the lives of their beloved… Is that what you’re saying?

      • maxxcool
      • 8 years ago

      OCZ has a 40% return rate. Nobody else using the sdf1222 does. OCZ lied. OCZ baited and switched. they are liars and cheats.

      Right through the pantz…. effed.

    • jstern
    • 8 years ago

    I bought a Kingston Hyper X 240gb, and it was the absolute most horrible experience I’ve ever had, regarding computers. It was just blue screens after blue screens after blue screens, all of a sudden. So I guess it was a SandFord bug. After a month, and paying extra money to have it shipped back and getting a new one, I finally got another one that seems to work, except for the fact that I can’t install Service Pack 1 for Windows 7. I’m assuming that it’s related to the SSD, since I’ve installed Windows 7 so many times on my laptop. So fast though.

    • Plazmodeus
    • 8 years ago

    I have two OCZ SSD’s, a Vertex2 120gb and a Vertex3 120gb. The Vertex2 has NEVER had a problem. I’ve experienced all of the problems associated with the Vertex3, but not since the last firmware update, 2.13. I went to 2.15 just to be smart. Both drives are very fast.

    • draksia
    • 8 years ago

    I guess I should be counting my blessing, I have two 50GB Vertex LE’s running in raid0. I haven’t had an issues at all. This has been going for almost a year.

    • 5150
    • 8 years ago

    I have three Vertex 2 240GB drives sitting in my office and I’m afraid to give them out to anybody because I’m worried about their drive crashing and me catching the heat for it. Just using them to run test VM’s for right now. Kinda sad. 🙁

      • SomeOtherGeek
      • 8 years ago

      I have one running as my main drive right now and everything seems to be running smoothly. Is there something that we should be worrying about?

        • 5150
        • 8 years ago

        The fact that they have OCZ written on the outside and Sandforce on the inside. Seriously though, I don’t think so, but I’m not going to give them to somone who doesn’t properly backup and gets pissed with some downtime.

          • Ethyriel
          • 8 years ago

          I always backup properly, and I know better than to complain about such things. Just sayin’.

        • josephjpeters
        • 8 years ago

        No, just people who want to complain. I too don’t have an issue. I hope people realize anyone can write reviews on Newegg. You can write as many as you’d like too. Some of those reviews are CLEARLY written by someone with an agenda.

          • Palek
          • 8 years ago

          You only just joined today but you are all over this news article. If I were you I’d be more careful throwing around accusations about having an agenda.

          • travbrad
          • 8 years ago

          [quote<] Some of those reviews are CLEARLY written by someone with an agenda.[/quote<] You mean the positive reviews?

          • NeelyCam
          • 8 years ago

          I sense a severe case of selection bias

      • kuraegomon
      • 8 years ago

      To be fair, there aren’t any data loss problems for the SF-2281 drives that I’m aware of. Unlike, say, Intel for example?

      Let’s not kid anyone – OCZ’s QA processes cannot be anything other than terrible. The barrage of incidents over the last few years tells you what you need to know. But “terrible” is a relative thing, and to this point they _have_ managed to do the number one thing a storage vendor has to do – preserve your data. Unlike, umm Intel.

      I own two Vertex 3 240’s, both of which have been afflicted by the BSOD bug. It’s been frustrating and annoying, but not the end of the world.

        • NeelyCam
        • 8 years ago

        I wonder how widespread that Intel bug is… in Newegg reviews on 160GB 320, I saw 3 reports out of 49 having the firmware issue.

        That reminds me, I [i<]really[/i<] should update the firmware on my 320..

    • maxxcool
    • 8 years ago

    I will *NEVER* buy a OCZ ssd… EVER. I haven’t looked in 6 months, but the last time I did it seems like 40% of the SSD reviews on newegg were DOA, or DOA after 6 months + horrible stability.

    And after the 22nm “switchero” BS that on units that were supposed to be (then) higher performing 32nm parts… eff them through the pantz.

      • 5150
      • 8 years ago

      +1 I LOL’d “eff them through the pantz.”

      • Kulith
      • 8 years ago

      Dead on Arrival after 6 months?

        • maxxcool
        • 8 years ago

        Doh!

        • kitsura
        • 8 years ago

        That’s unpossible!

    • glynor
    • 8 years ago

    Hopefully it helps this time, but I’m a [i<]little[/i<] bit skeptical. The SandForce controllers seem to employ a bit too much black-box "magic" for my tastes. I'm very pleased with my Crucial M4.

    • JohnC
    • 8 years ago

    Never bought anything from OCZ, never will. Their forums are pretty good, though – always a good source of entertainment from all of their masochistic customers.

      • NeelyCam
      • 8 years ago

      I got some memory a while back – it was ok.

        • axeman
        • 8 years ago

        I gave you a thumbs up, because people seem to downvote you just because. I only downvote your opinions 😛

          • NeelyCam
          • 8 years ago

          Thx! The funny part is that you just got downvoted for upvoting me.

          The hatred runs deep…

            • maxxcool
            • 8 years ago

            s’ok, i up-voted the down-vote

            • NeelyCam
            • 8 years ago

            Good job. 🙂

    • Kulith
    • 8 years ago

    Man I’m tired of OCZ’s endless abyss of problems. And their forums are a rat maze, with 20 different attempts at a unified sticky all pointing to other stickies which then point you to a different download forum which then doesn’t have the latest update to download -.-

      • NeelyCam
      • 8 years ago

      Hey, are these problems related to Sandforce or OCZ in general? I’m wondering if I should avoid anything Sandforce, or if it’s enough to steer away from OCZ implementations.

        • josephjpeters
        • 8 years ago

        They are Sandforce problems, but now they’re fixed so I wouldn’t avoid them at all. Best drive you can buy. I posted above that I’ve had mine for months and haven’t had a single problem.

          • NeelyCam
          • 8 years ago

          Thanks for the info. With all due respect, though, a single positive experience isn’t enough for me to trust those drives.. After all that bad publicity, I need to hear way more positive feedback before I seriously consider them. Vertex2’s started dying after 6-12mo… you’ve had your Vertex3 for less than 6 mo..

          It takes >10 positive comments to negate one bad experience… I just don’t have the time or patience to take risks anymore to save a few bucks or gain a few MB/s.

    • dashbarron
    • 8 years ago

    Better late than never, but I’m too scared of the recent problems and would get a more reliable Intel if I bought one today.

      • josephjpeters
      • 8 years ago

      Pay 2x for something that’s half as fast. Vertex 3 is reliable now, why buy an Intel drive? You like the brand?

    • PrincipalSkinner
    • 8 years ago

    I wanted a SF2281 drive but went for Crucial m4 instead only because of the BSOD problem. Anyway, good news for SF owners!

      • FroBozz_Inc
      • 8 years ago

      *hugs his 128GB Crucial M4* me too!

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