October 20, 2011, 1:34 PM — No one stays in this business, even as an observer, without a good dose of silicon fever – the high-tech version of gold fever that creates a permanent lust for newer, faster, smaller technology.
It should go away after a while, or at least be dampened by bitter experience with great new developments that almost worked the way they were supposed to, or at least didn't work that much more slowly than the previous generation.
It doesn't go away, though, even when the lust it inspires is not for feather-light laptops or slick, stylish tablets or even software in a cloud that keeps all our data right with us all the time and never exposes us to the the risks of the Internet, or service providers who value our privacy to exactly the degree (and price) they can get by packaging and selling it.
Elbow room (room for very fast elbows)
The fever spikes even when the product is boring, if it promises to take the laptop that is our view and environment half the hours of every day and give us the one thing we want out of it more than anything else – speed.
Flash-storage and power-component manufacturer OCZ is answering that need with a boring product that could make laptops and users scream with ecstasy, rather than the usual frustrated expletives, by replacing old, slow hard drives with bootable flash storage with an entire terabyte of space.
Solid State Drives are the grownup version of flash, but have never been that attractive to most geeks, despite legions of fans that praise them for their speed, the incredibly long battery life they allow and their light weight.
They'd better be light, if you're paying $300 or $400 for one carrying 250GB of space – plenty for an OS and a few apps to make your travel kit lighter and save your batteries, but nowhere near the closet space you'd need for your main laptop.
Today OCZ announced something that's only an evolutionary step above all the other SSDs out there – all of which have been getting faster, cheaper and larger in their storage size, at least since Intel started pushing SSD as a growth market by dropping prices for its own versions in 2009.
OCZ's Octane SSD has what Anandtech calls "competitive" input/output speeds of 560/400 Mbps and data-throughput speeds.
Its connection speed is impressive – either speeds of either 3 Gbps or 6Gbps, but that depends on whether you ask for 6Gbps SATA interface or a 3Gbps SATA 3 or 2 plug. The difference is mostly in the shape and capacity of the plug, so that doesn't add anything special.
The 1TB on the box is special.