Anandtech Review of OWC 6G SSD

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Weaselboy, May 5, 2011.

  1. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #1
    Anandtech has posted their review of the new OWC 6G SSD. As expected, speeds are comparable to the OCZ Vertex 3 since they use the same controller, but there are a couple problems spotted in the review.

    There apparently is an error in the PCB layout that was corrected by soldering a wire between two contacts on the board. You can see the red wire on the right side of the PCB in this image from the Anand review. I have to agree with Anand, a retail release product with a rework like this makes one "uneasy."

    [​IMG]

    Closeup photo of the rewire job.

    [​IMG]

    Also, Anand reports OWC is shipping the drive with a crippled Sandforce firmware that limits 4KB random writes causing the drive to post a 27K IOPS score, even though OWC advertises 60K IOPS.

    OWC tells Anand they will have an updated FW soon to remedy this. Since OWC still provides no method for the user to update FW under OS X, you will presumably need to install Windows under Bootcamp like with previous OWC FW updates or ship your SSD back to OWC for the update.

    Quote from Anand review:

    So for $20 more you get similar performance as the OCZ Vertex 3, crippled firmware, and a PCB with wires soldered across it.
     
  2. xxBURT0Nxx macrumors 68020

    xxBURT0Nxx

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    #2
    thanks for posting....

    definitely seems like an ssd to pass on unless you find it for a really good price.

    No native updates under osx is enough of a reason for a lot of people I'm sure. To have to buy an ssd, then a copy of windows (assuming you don't have one) and go through that hassle just for FW updates surely crosses it off my list of possible drives.

    Gonna be unfortunate for those who buy it if that solder on the wire fails and disconnects. It's like they started mass production before fully testing it and now you're left with a "half ass" fix and beta FW. Still waiting to see if any drives beat out the Vertex 3 in the next month or two before I order, but my money is going to OCZ as of now!
     
  3. ELA2 macrumors member

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    #3
    Ouch!

    Ouch that sucks! I just saw this review a few minutes ago. Dodged a bullet on this one. Was considering buying this and then decided to simply purchase the Apple 256GB SSD. I wonder if this big freaking wire has anything to do with the increased power load at idle?
     
  4. Locodice macrumors regular

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    #4
    Absolutely disgraceful.

    They will lose a lot of business over this.
     
  5. C-DAWG macrumors newbie

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    #5
    I bought one of these because the Vertex 3 was back ordered. Mine works fine and I have had no problems with it (knocks on wood). The soldered wire patch in and of itself doesn't bother me. I build my own guitar effects from scratch with solder and wire and stomp the **** out of them all the time. They hold up as I'm hoping this will as well. What really bothers me about this is that the company would willingly sell a product with a known design flaw only to patch it up and send it out anyways. Along with the crippled 4kb random writes issue, I'm quite disappointed that the company would even release this drive. I don't have the room to install a windows partition to update this drive when it comes out (I bought the 120 Gb drive) so I'm going to have to pull it out and send it back to them for the update whenever it is released.

    I am writing my dissertation on the computer that contains this drive, I sure hope it doesn't die on me. Yes, I have my stuff backed up in 3 different places but I don't want to have to go through the headache of getting it all back along with getting this drive replaced later on down the line. I can't even imagine how irate I would be if this died on me a month before my dissertation defense. This was the first product that I purchased from OWC, this will also be the last product I ever purchase from OWC.

    Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
     
  6. KJmoon117 macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    I've been waiting for these for a loong time and jesus. I hope they come out with some kind of PR that explains this BS.

    Weaselboy & others: Not to hijack the thread but does anyone else recommend a good reliable high performing drive other than OCZ or OWC? They both have left a bad taste in my mouth :S
     
  7. Locodice macrumors regular

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    #7
    Cos the tech is so cutting edge they are all getting their fair share of problems.

    OWC were clearly in a rush to release a next gen drive as quickly as possible hence the hash job as pictured.

    It's a shame that the quality has to suffer in the efforts to speed up getting the drives out to the public.
     
  8. xxBURT0Nxx macrumors 68020

    xxBURT0Nxx

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    #8
    tried the intel drives? Haven't really heard a lot of bad things about them... kind of pricey, but what ssd's arent? The intel 320 is supposed to be better for random I/O and based on the old x-25 series ssd's and intel controller, the Intel 510 is made for really fast sequential write speeds.

    maybe a crucial m4... haven't really heard much about them though.
     
  9. Weaselboy thread starter Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #9
    It is difficult to imagine what they can say to fix this. Maybe they can try to say this was just a test drive shipped to Anand by mistake? As I was reading the Anandtech review that is what I was thinking, but Anand appears to have confirmed with OWC this is a shipping drive version.

    I find this all sort of humorous after the way OWC tried to jam OCZ over supposedly sub-standard NAND chips. Karma I suppose.

    Here is a thread some of us are discussing SSDs.
     
  10. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #10
    That would be a cowardly move in my opinion. Basically, they would calm down buyers and users by stating that it has been fixed although users have noway of knowing is it really. The only way to do that is to open up your SSD and void your warranty at the same time.
     
  11. Weaselboy thread starter Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #11
    I agree. If they try a stunt like that they are sure to be outed for it. At this point I'm sure OCZ would be willing to buy OWC drives for some bloggers just to see OWC outed. It will be interesting to watch.
     
  12. NickZac macrumors 68000

    NickZac

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    #12
    Horray. The two 'fastest' SSDs both have issues that may challenge their longevity that is being questioned by PERFORMANCE reviewers who generally over-concentrate on speeds and overlook reliability...now THAT is worrisome.
     
  13. xxBURT0Nxx macrumors 68020

    xxBURT0Nxx

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    #13
    it's brand new technology... each generation of SSD drives have become more stable and reliable. Intel is considered the most "reliable" guess you could say OCZ is the "fastest" but when you actually look at benchmarks there are areas where each SSD beats out its competition. Some are faster at reading, some at writing, some for random I/O, some for sequential.

    If you want the newest technology you are going to have to accept that it is going to be more prone to failure than magnetic hard drives that have been around for decades. If you buy from a reliable company (NOT OWC imo) you shouldn't have any trouble getting it replaced if the drive fails.
     
  14. kobyh15 macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    Just ordered an Intel 320 300 GB for my 2011 13". I'm tired of all this sketchy stuff. I'll stick with my 270 MB/s and peace of mind.
     
  15. NickZac macrumors 68000

    NickZac

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    #15
    My issue is paying more for something that has inferior quality and is cheaper to manufacture. The big two things about SSDs are speed and reliability/durability. All SSDs are fast, but not all are reliable. The OWC and OCZ are BOTH questionable in reliability, and this includes the SATA2 drives as both OCZ and OWC changed their SATA 2 drives in design without any publication, notice, or tests, specifically the Vertex 2 and Mercury Extreme Pro.
     
  16. Azathoth macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    Meh, as an engineer, these things happen, and doesn't necessarily indicate anything (apart from a short of time to market). Back in the old days (pre-90s) you would often see a few ECO wires on motherboards.

    I've also seen this in multi-€100k test equipment. Or ECO notes that recommend some fix like this.

    IPC-7711 shows acceptability of such rework (which is also allowed in Class 3 Military equipment)

    The companies that *don't* add a strap have perhaps not tested things closely enough...

    Unless someone sees the design & schematic, then you can't comment...
     
  17. xxBURT0Nxx macrumors 68020

    xxBURT0Nxx

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    #17
    being on the cutting edge isn't cheap... they have to recouperate some of their costs for research and development... SSD's didn't just appear out of nowhere and they manufacture them with no problems. Also I don't see how you say ssd's are cheaper to manufacture.... solid state storage is much more expensive than a mechanical hard drive. Why do you think 1tb HDD's sell for around $100...? :D
     
  18. NickZac macrumors 68000

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    #18
    No, 25nm SSDs are cheaper to make than 34nm SSDs. That was the driving force behind their development.
     
  19. xxBURT0Nxx macrumors 68020

    xxBURT0Nxx

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    #19
    i didn't know that's what you were referring to, i thought you were saying ssd's were cheaper to produce than conventional hard drives...
     
  20. sketchguy macrumors member

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    #20
    Response from OWC

    Having ordered a 120GB Extreme Pro 6G just the other day, I've been keeping up with all the latest developments and decided to flat out ask what they think about that review. Their response in the comments section:

    http://blog.macsales.com/9981-which-owc-ssd-is-right-for-you

    I just want to make sure I'm going to be able to apply this firmware patch when it becomes available, as I have no need to put Windows on the new 17" MBP when it arrives next week.
     
  21. xxBURT0Nxx macrumors 68020

    xxBURT0Nxx

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    #21
    OWC does NOT provide a way to update the firmware on the drives through OSX, so you will either need to windows on it, or send it back every time you want them to update the firmware.
     
  22. altecXP macrumors 65816

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    #22
    Aside from needing a firmware update who cares about a wire?

    It won't wear any faster than the rest of the SSD, and if Anand had not opened one none of you would have EVER known.

    So.. tell me again what the actual TECHNICAL problem is with the wire?


    About the link to the test video, I have to say I would hope for a little more than a 5% gain, if it was 10%+ I'd perhaps look into one.
     
  23. s.hasan546 macrumors 6502

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    #23
    Don't get caught up on just read & write speeds, sata II vs. sata II; etc. Most people will not be able to tell the difference from a sata III new ssd compared to a vertex 2, intel x-25, intel 320 series, and even the kingstons.

    Its a negligible difference that people just want to say they have the "fastest ssd". It's like getting 16 gb ram just to say you have it. Even though 99% of us don't need it.

    Id shop the sales more than caring about if its sata III or not. Id buy mainly based on price. I have a vertex 2 60 gb for $75 that i got on a newegg sale. Now just ordered a 96 gb kingston from amazon for $93 after mir. Can't beat those prices for negligible speed differences.
     
  24. kobyh15 macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    The video is interesting. I was expecting the 6G to be a lot faster; 1.5 seconds is literally nothing when looking at real world use. I'm sure users moving large files around on a regular basis would benefit more though. But for most users, any new SSD from a reputable brand will do just fine.
     
  25. Weaselboy thread starter Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #25
    OWC Grant quote:

    I see comments from others here that this is not a big deal, but please show me one SSD review anywhere where a wire was soldered on like this. To me it speaks to quality control. Would you rather have an SSD with wires soldered on or one with a properly manufactured PCB and no wires? I know what I would want for the price premium OWC charges.

    Also, even when directly asked about the crippled firmware issue that causes the drive to perform below their published specs, OWC Grant obfuscates and does not answer the question.
     

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