OCZ Core Series 64GB SSD Review

Discussion in 'Reviews & Articles Discussion' started by HardwareHeaven, Aug 10, 2008.

  1. HardwareHeaven

    HardwareHeaven Administrator Staff Member

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    Read The Review Here
    ________________________

    OCZ have made the boldest move lately with the release of their new Core Series SSD drives. The OCZ Core Series not only uses the latest SLC technology (which is currently the fastest commercial design), but their retail prices are half any other similar SSD drive at the time of their launch.

    The Core Series drives are currently available in capacities ranging from 32GB to 128GB. We will take a look at the 64GB version of the product in this review.
     
  2. hellotheremyfriend

    hellotheremyfriend New Member

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    great review and some fantastic performance, well theorectically anyway.

    How does it work as a vista boot drive? I had huge problems with a previous SSD I ordered online and ended up returning it due to problems with speed. I also read the article on tomshardware that SSD's were consuming a lot of power (cant find the link but im sure you have seen it). is 1.8w really that good?

    I would like to order this item for my laptop however while we wait on yoyotech stocking them again :rolleyes: can you elaborate on the testing please? I really dont care for 4 or 5 purely synethic tests, its good as a basis for purchase but how does it handle small and constant accesses that an operating system will cause?
     
  3. Grace

    Grace HH's Tomboy

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    Hello hellotheremyfriend,
    (didn't that sound strange?)

    The particular OCZ Core Series drive works very well as a Vista OS drive, when SP1 is installed and if indexing, write caching and defragmenting are disabled. Defragmenting doesn't work on SSDs, write caching is not even meant for anything else but mechanical drives and Indexing actually makes them slower.

    Unfortunately there are many issues with SSDs and Vista, but SP1 fixed several of them and most drives should work fine. Some people say that the virtual memory file might cause corruption problems, but I didn't face anything like that.

    Concerning boot times, when compared to a Seagate Momentus 5400RPM 160GB drive, they are halved. About 16-18 seconds compared to 40+ I usually get.

    Now, about battery life...I didn't actually have enough time to test that thoroughly but I found out that there was only a small increase in battery life. My Dell usually show an estimated run time of about 4 hours from a full charge. With the SSD installed the estimated run time was between 4 hours 10 minutes and 4 hours 20 minutes. That was only a little better despite the SSD drawing less than half the power a HDD needs, but none of the power saving measures meant for HDDs work with the SSD. If Microsoft or the chipset manufacturers or anybody else gets some of these to work, battery life should increase but not dramatically. Besides not only the disk consumes power, the screen for example usually consumes more than half of the total power a notebook needs.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2008
  4. hellotheremyfriend

    hellotheremyfriend New Member

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    you mean indexing for vista search options? I wouldnt want to disable that, I like vistas search options.

    Turning vista defrag off helps? I was certain that only ran at a certain time every day and took literally 30 mins to an hour on an average sized drive. I didnt think it defragged all the time.

    Write caching? you mean drive write caching? the last drive I turned that off on I had issues and some of them wont let you turn it off unless the bios has the option as far as I know, so that could end up being machine specific.

    I dont meant to sound confrontational here, but why wasn't any of this mentioned in the review? sounds like rather big information to be missing.

    I won't touch these until you can slot them into a system and use them like a normal hard drive, with the benefits of having faster speeds. All these options being disabled is stupid, we are going backwards not forwards!
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2008
  5. Teme

    Teme Super Moderator

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    SSD's don't need to be defragmented at all. Actually if I'm not mistaken OCZ site says that it might be harmful for the drive.
     
  6. hellotheremyfriend

    hellotheremyfriend New Member

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    The only way it would be harmful for the drive is that each memory chip has a specific lifespan in relation to cycles. Disabling defragmentation will certainly increase this lifespan, however even under heavy daily use most manufacturers are quoting 20+ years. SSDs can start to fail after 100,000 writes to every single cell in the chip however this is highly unlikely.

    I simply fail to see how turning off vistas defragmentation which runs once a day at a specific time for a short time frame will massively help to increase drive performance outside this window.

    I am not starting to turn off vistas operating system functions just to help a drive that costs 5 times as much as a standard HD to work better !

    Perhaps the technology and onboard controllers to get suitable performance as an OS drive are still a few generations off...

    I think a gold award is too high for this unit if you have to disable operating system functions to get the performance we expect out of the box.
     
  7. HardwareHeaven

    HardwareHeaven Administrator Staff Member

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    The lack of operating system testing was an omission I will apologise for. We simply ran out of time with this review as the product had to go back very quickly. Grace did some testing and told me the drive works well as an OS drive if you apply a few tweaks.

    Do I personally agree with disabling certain things? No I don't. In fact i find it annoying that you can't just slot these drives in and use them as a regular HD without having to disable certain OS requests that Vista makes.

    Since our review of the crucial SSD, I have used it, and I think its rubbish, I will be honest. I wouldnt have given it an editors choice by any stretch of the imagination, not unless all I did was run HDtach on it all day. No matter what tweaks I have applied it will not run in the manner I would expect from a drive costing 8 times as much as a regular Hard drive.

    Right now I have not used a SSD drive I would use as a boot drive, granted i haven't tried these OCZ drives either but i would be cautious recommending them as an OS drive.
     
  8. Grace

    Grace HH's Tomboy

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    Let me try and explain a few things.

    Vista's indexing is meant for HDDs. HDDs have much higher access times, so indexing helps. With the access times SSDs have, it makes them slower, not faster. You can leave it on if you like but it won't help. I didn't touch it myself because I just...don't ever search for anything in my own laptop!

    Write caching can also be left on. It doesn't do anything when an SSD is installed. Disabling or enabling it doesn't matter at all, the drive performs just the same. And that's an option in Vista, not inside any BIOS. (Write caching caused problems with SanDisk drives, namely data corruption and it had to be manually disabled)

    Defragmenting is also meant for HDDs, because of their rotational platters and high access times. It doesn't help SSDs any and will reduce their life span of no real reason. Again you can leave it on if you wish, but it won't increase the performance at all. The access times of a SSD are too low to worry about fragmented files, they don't rotate like HDDs, they can access any file instantly no matter where it is "positioned".

    You have to understand that SSDs are nothing alike to HDDs, the entire concept is different and nearly no optimization meant for HDDs will work on them. Even if OS patches or driver releases fix these 'issues', they'll simply disable them, not replace them or fix them. The only option which can cause trouble is the defrag, indexing slows searches but does no real harm. However I do agree that these should already be fixed and not mentioned in the manual or in manufacturer's websites. But they should be fixed soon nonetheless, Microsoft is working with Samsung on that matter.

    Concerning the "going backwards, not forwards" comment, going forward doesn't mean that we need new technologies to adapt to everything meant to improve older technology products. These options should be disabled because SSDs don't need them and they perform better without them. I certainly don't agree that this must be done manually and there must be fixes about that in drivers or OS updates, but having engineers trying to get SSDs working with defragmenting on is the equivalent of trying to design an airplane running on carriage wheels. In order for a new technology to progress always a lot of 'optimizations', 'options' and 'designs' have to be ditched.

    Bottom line is that the OCZ Core Series drive works just fine if you install Vista SP1 in it. At least it did with my laptop. You just have to disable defragmenting as OCZ recommends because it will kill the drive faster for no reason at all.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2008
  9. Lowfat

    Lowfat Xtreme

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    I've thought long and hard about putting one of these in my Macbook Pro, however for $250 you think it would come with a slightly better warranty. That is what bothers me. They claim they last damn near forever but with a 1-2 year warranty on these SSD's, it really doesn't sound reassuring.
     
  10. HardwareHeaven

    HardwareHeaven Administrator Staff Member

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  11. Erroneus

    Erroneus Get off my lawn!

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    Sweet, could be interesting to see how it performs against the new raptor, which is priced very close to it.
     
  12. kris23

    kris23 Going Insane.....

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    is it worth it to install one into my desktop? i have planned, an extreme upgrade for my computer coming up, since it will become the surveillance center of the house....

    motherboard change, CPU upgrade, RAM upgrade etc, should i change my dual 7200.11s for this Core SSD?

    is there any issues with this thing regarding multiple read/write things?
     
  13. kris23

    kris23 Going Insane.....

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    anyone?
     
  14. Grace

    Grace HH's Tomboy

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    Sorry Kris, lack of time here.

    The OCZ drive didn't appear to have any issues out of the box. However it is still a fairly pricey drive, especially for its low capacity. I don't think it would be much of an improvement over your two RAID 0 drives. I'd wait until the prices go down if I were you, then get an SSD for installing the OS and basic applications alone.
     
  15. Lowfat

    Lowfat Xtreme

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    Looks like OCZ is releasing a Core V2 already! Hopefully you guys will be reviewing one also.
     
  16. kris23

    kris23 Going Insane.....

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    yea i noticed those yesterday, nice drives but no one has them in stock......

    well i guess since they came out yesterday too....

    thanks Lowfat and Grace
     
  17. Falstaff

    Falstaff Old Codger

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    Does OCZ plan to make a larger drive?
    I like travelling with a portable and this is a viable alternative if the size threshold has been raised.
    Good review.
     
  18. kris23

    kris23 Going Insane.....

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    200GB is the max for OCZ
     
  19. Falstaff

    Falstaff Old Codger

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    OCZ 128GB Core Series SATA II 2.5" (OCZ OCZSSD2-1C128G) : Lagoom.com

    pretty pricey, but I am looking for a suitable portable enclosure with the proper connections, etc.

    wouldnt that be a hoot?

    Christ I can afford it, but I would store my digital images on it I suppose. Maybe that technology is for more noble purposes but that is what I would use it for. I have lots of raw pics from my Canon AE 1 I want to store and the trades sell portable storage devices that are rather pricey as well, but this seems like a happy marriage of two things for me, and hell who knows, might be come cheaper soon.
     
  20. kris23

    kris23 Going Insane.....

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