OCZ Confirms Octane and Vertex 4 use Marvell-based Silicon
OCZ Technology has confirmed the Vertex 4 is based on a Marvell Controller, which utilizes a custom Indilinx firmware.
In our recent review of OCZ's Vertex 4, we discussed how the Vertex 4 was based off an Indilinx Everest 2 controller that definitely impresses us with its performance compared to other SandForce or Marvell based controllers. This was OCZ's second Everest controller after the purchase of Indilinx, which resulted in Octane SSD series. In information leaked to AnandTech and later confirmed by OCZ Technology, the Vertex 4 is not based on an Everest 2 controller but utilizes a Marvell controller (similar to controllers used in Crucial's m4, Intel's SSD 510, etc...) with a custom Indilinx firmware. OCZ is working on non-Marvell based solutions, but the Everest 1 (Octane) and Everest 2 (Vertex 4) are based on Marvell hardware. The firmware is entirely Indilinx's own development, but with Marvell hardware. As Intel has previously stated with their own SSDs, "the value in delivering an SSD isn't always in controller hardware but rather the firmware and validation." It looks to be OCZ's Indilinx firmware is what helped deliver the performance seen with the Vertex 4.
The Vertex 4 looks to be more of a continual joint effort between OCZ and Marvell, as seen with the Z-Drive R5 developed "Kilimanjaro" platform. As for more of an official statement, OCZ states "Marvell is a valued partner with OCZ and we have co-worked together on a number of projects to create SSD platforms. The Everest platform utilizes a custom solution from Marvell running at higher clock speeds and delivers enhanced performance and features with Indilinx proprietary firmware. OCZ will continue to co-work with Marvell on current and future SSD technology including our next generation enterprise solutions including the already announced Z-Drive R5 which features the jointly developed Kilimanjaro platform."
Does this truly change anything about the performance of the Vertex 4? No, it just means what initially was thought to be an Everest 2 controller is truly a Marvell controller (thought to be Marvell's new 88SS9187 controller) with an Indilinx firmware. It doesn't change the fact that the drive offers great performance, great value and a 5-year warranty, which won us over during our review.