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Kevin OBrien

OCZ Petrol SSD Review Discussion

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When OCZ announced the Petrol family of SSDs at the end of last year, it was clear they wanted to be able to offer an entry-level SSD to appeal to the consumer who wants many of the benefits of an SSD, but doesn't have the budget or computing need to justify a mainstream or enthusiast class drive. The OCZ Petrol uses OCZ's own Indilinx Everest platform just like the Octane, but with a different NAND configuration. While the Octane uses synchronous NAND, Petrol uses asynchronous, which helps keep the build cost and price lower.

OCZ Petrol SSD Review

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I like seeing more entry level SSDs that push the prices down but I'm struggling to find this for significantly less than a Crucial M4. On Amazon this one costs more than the Octane and Agility 3.

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Yeah, pricing is an issue...so buy the Octane if the Petrol prices are close or higher.

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Did you have any stability issues with these drives during testing? I picked up two, and had to exchange both of them due to reallocated sectors and eventual read errors. The stock firmware had no SMART table values, so I didn't work with that firmware other than on the first drive prior to updating to see how much of an improvement it produced. As such, I had both drive failures using the updated firmware--but nothing has been released since. I've basically shelved the drives until new firmware is released, but it's been months now.

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What firmware revision is on the drives you have?

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3.12, I intentionally never purchased any of the drives until the new firmware was available.

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Had a hunch and just scanned ours again. Running 3.14... have you tried running the latest OCZToolbox and seeing if it updates?

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I have two of these drives, so I re-ran the update with the 3.12 firmware's toolbox, and it destroyed the first one (black chassis). It completed without error, asked to shutdown and the drive is now bricked. Since I obviously didn't trust that updater anymore, I used the updated toolbox utility distributed with the Vertex 4's new release version of firmware 1.4 to update the second one, which has a silver chassis. The silver drive completed successfully and requested shutdown the same as the first drive, but still worked after rebooting although it just reflashed the drive with the same 3.12 that was on it. I would suggest that you document in your reviews the firmware revisions tested. Both of these drives are "new" RMA swaps for my original two that had a constantly growing number of defects and read errors, which I flashed to 3.12 and shelved until a new update was released since both showed the same small number of reallocated sectors immediately after updating to 3.12 (the stock firmware did not even have a SMART table!).

I'd be quite wary of OCZ, they are notorious for releasing imploding drives in these Indilinx product lines (eg: early Vertex Plus's, which was solved after 3.50 but took them ~6 months to release) and manipulating public perception of what you're buying (eg: Indilinx-infused meaning a completely different architecture Marvell controller in the Petrol/Octane/Vertex 4 with custom "Indilinx infused" firmware). It appears to me that they've waited until they have an internal "stable" release to provide you with a drive to review, but this does not reflect the drives everyone has been buying for nearly 6 months and which cannot be "fixed" with any publicly available firmware.

If you could document in your reviews the firmware revision they have provided you with, we can tell when they're essentially manipulating the media to gloss over their past mistakes--which is exactly how I'd describe what they did here. Otherwise, it compromises the integrity of what you're doing here as user experiences with these drives are vastly different than what you have seen in your review evaluation. We know from your Vertex 4 1.4RC firmware release evaluation that your reviews are accurate and not knowingly glossing over deficiencies & stability issues, but I think OCZ pulled a fast one in this case. I'm a huge fan of your site since the early 2000's and it's been my #1 storage resource since the days of Eugene...keep up the good work!

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There have been widespread problems of premature relocations occurring with the Petrol and Octane and to a lesser degree the Vertex 4. Once relocated sectors start to appear they rapidly escalate until the drive stops functioning. This problem is not confined to one particular NAND type.

Do you have any information on this issue and what might be causing it?

Also f/w version 1.4 for the Vertex 4 appears to result in a significant drop in write speeds on the 128GB version of the drive in certain scenarios. This appears to be by design. Do you have any information on why the write speeds drop? What instigates the “problem” and how can write speeds then be restored?

Edited by Ao1

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We have a different thread on the Vertex 4 with the new firmware, so let's take any additional conversation on that topic over there. I won't have a lot to add though, we're still working with OCZ on testing the firmware build with our series of drives.

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