OCZ Talks Up New SSDs For Consumers and Enterprise


OCZ Technology is one of the companies that usually keep themselves in the news, either for good reasons or for bad. Lately, it’s been mostly good. As many people have heard this week, OCZ announced that they would be exiting the DRAM business they originally got started in.

Instead, the company is going full force behind SSDs. It’s no surprise that OCZ made the move public during their latest earnings report which revealed approximately a 400 percent revenue increase of their SSD business.

Such a whooping growth has pushed OCZ’s stock to $7.20, up from just $2.72 in last October. Because of its heavy focus on SSDs, their CES suite heavily focused on solid state storage.

First, OCZ updated their lineup of Vertex series of SSDs. We got a closer look at the Vertex 3 Pro which boasts specs  usually reserved for PCIe-based SSDs.

For example, the Vertex 3 Pro claims speeds of up to 550MB/s read and up to 525MB/s write. On top of that, the random 4K write is 75K IOPS. The drive itself is actually based on the SandForce SF-2582 controller and will be available in 64GB to 512GB capacities (up to 400GB at launch).

Currently, the Pro version is going to be the first to market followed by an EX version with the same speeds, but utilizing SLC instead of MLC and 80K IOPS for 4K writes.

Left: OCZ Vertex 3 Pro Right: OCZ’s newest memory kits

On top of that, the Vertex 3 drives are going to be utilizing SATA 6G instead of SATA 3G like their predecessors. Both are technically intended for the enterprise class, but we know that most enthusiasts will still want one and can be attainable during the second quarter.

Because these are enterprise class drives, they will both sport power loss data protection, ECC protection and AES-128 Encryption featuring a 10 Million MTBF. These features are very similar to those that were available in the Vertex 2 drives, but with double the speed.

The next big announcement for SSDs is OCZ’s Z-Drive R3. The Z-Drive R3 will come in both MLC and SLC flavors utilizing the PCIe x8 interface for optimal performance.

The anticipated speeds for the Z-Drive are 1GB/s read and 950MB/s write with a random 4k read IOPS of 135,000.

The cool thing about the new Z-Drive is that it not only beats the old version in almost every way possible, but it also does it by being half the size and half the weight.

They decided to can the old design and go for a much shorter and lighter, rack mount friendly form factor.

They do lose the ability to swap out NAND modules, but the drives themselves are now much much smaller as illustrated by the image below.

OCZ has also refreshed their Deneva series of SSDs adding fibre channel as an interface to OEMs. This fibre channel Deneva drive will be capable of 450/300 MB/s read/write.

OCZ’s IBIS XL  SSD Concept Drive        

These Deneva drives can be expected to land during the first quarter of the year. The company also showed us their IBIS XL drive which uses a proprietary OCZ HSDL interface and is capable of speeds upto 1.8GB/s read and 1.7GB/s write as well as 200K IOPS at 4K writes.

The IBIS XL as expected will also come in larger capacities of up to 4TB. While we’re afraid to even ask how much that would cost, we will simply leave it to enterprise buyers to imagine since the IBIS XL is simply a proof of concept and probably won’t ever be sold. It is a simple illustration of what kinds of custom solutions OCZ is capable of delivering to enterprise customers based on their needs.

Left: side by side comparison of OCZ Z-Drive R2 and R3 Right: OCZ’s newest Z-Drive PCIe based SSD.

After we got the SSD showcase, we also got to take a look at OCZ’s PSU lineup consisting of both OCZ and PC Power and Cooling branded PSUs. OCZ has opted to go back to basics with the PC Power and Cooling PSUs and decided to go with the original silencer design utilizing dual 80mm fans. They also introduced some very high wattage OCZ branded PSUs as well. There was no indication whatsoever that OCZ would be moving away from PSUs at all, unlike DRAM.

Left: OCZ IBIS XL concept drive with HSDL Cable Right: OCZ’s newest PSU line ups including the new Silencer series.

The best part is that OCZ even showed us 3 new kits of DRAM that they had in development, so to claim that OCZ is completely leaving the DRAM market isn’t 100 percent accurate since it isn’t an immediate departure. Although, to be honest, the BLADE 2, Platinum XTE and Gold XTE memory modules will likely be the last ones that anyone will see coming out of OCZ as a DRAM manufacturer.