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OCZ May Be On Its Last Legs

Soulskill posted about 9 months ago | from the long-term-warranty-looking-less-useful dept.

Data Storage 292

itwbennett writes "OCZ, one of the first commercial solid-state drive (SSD) makers has been blaming a shortage of NAND for its woes for some time now, but things have taken a precipitous turn for the worse: 'For its second fiscal quarter ended August 31, 2013, revenue was $33.5 million, a huge drop compared to revenue of $55.3 million for the first quarter of 2013 and revenue of $88.6 million for the second quarter of 2012. The net loss for this quarter was massive, $26 million, a doubling of the $13.1 million loss in the same quarter last year.' The company has burned through cash, its stock collapsed, and now so have sales. Meanwhile, other SSD makers are doing well. So what is happening here?"

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292 comments

Tiniest violin (5, Insightful)

stonecypher (118140) | about 9 months ago | (#45175201)

They burned too many customers with "enterprise" devices that'd fail almost immediately, then treating the customers like shit when they did.

They bet too heavily on high performance, while not maintaining the kind of behavior that would bring back the customers who want devices like that.

The reason Dell and HP can get away with burning customers is simple: there's always another person who needs a cheap laptop.

Not many people need a new PCIe SSD.

Good riddance.

Full of BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45175343)

As your sig says, you're full of BS. I have seen no evidence that they had shitty enterprise devices nor that they treated them like shit when they attempted to return them. Care to back your position up?

Re:Full of BS (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45175443)

See almost any forum on the internet. They have a terrible word of mouth (or finger to keyboard) rep

Re:Full of BS (1, Insightful)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 9 months ago | (#45175703)

Jobs himself had to tell the CEO of OCZ to cut out the crap products.

Re:Full of BS (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45176165)

Jobs himself had to tell the CEO of OCZ to cut out the crap products.

A link would help back that statement. It would also make inroads on countering the whole "cult of Steve Jobs's personality" label that Apple users don't understand why they can't shake. Else what you stated comes out as "do you not recall the iScriptures? The LORD commanded the heathens at OCZ, but they did not obey, and thus their business was torn asunder by His divine might, and His followers celebrated the power of their rightful LORD by buying more iPhones and iPads, as is His will. This is the word of Jobs, Sosumi."

Re:Full of BS (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about 9 months ago | (#45175767)

My own experience with OCZ drives is a 100% failure rate and no support to speak of.

Far more significantly, though, my supplier's experience with them was that they saw such a high proportion of returns that they dropped the brand entirely. My anecdotal data point might have been down to bad luck, but the odds of the pattern my supplier told me about being down to luck would be tiny.

Re:Full of BS (2)

CurryCamel (2265886) | about 9 months ago | (#45175859)

My supplier exchanged my broken OCZ drive whithout even testing it to a bigger one, as they were out of stock for the particular model.

But the support from OCZ doesn't seem bad at all in comparison with any other electronics manufacturer, IMHO. Better even, they have a nice informative website. What sort of support do people expect from their SSD vendor, and what sort of support does their competition offer?

Re:Full of BS (1)

rolfwind (528248) | about 9 months ago | (#45176005)

Several years ago, my first SSD drive was OCZ, and I found out some time later that once filled more than half full, the drive started stuttering (data wise), becoming notably much slower than a hdd drive when writing and it was due to OCZ using a cheap and shitty controller. No fixing it, since it was garbage by design. For a little more money, I could have gotten a quality drive from someone else. And that's I did, and I swore off OCZ forever.

Re:Full of BS (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45175993)

No, I had the same exact experience with OCZ RAM. I'm pretty sure you can count "anecdotal" as "a data point" in this case.

I tried 3 sets of DDR3 RAM when I built a PC for my dad a few years ago. The first one was OCZ, and memtest+ showed that it had 1300-ish errors. I returned it for a new package of the same SKU, and memtest+ turned up 11000-ish (yes, that's an extra zero in there!) errors for that set.

The third set was Corsair. No errors, but it was about $30 more for the same amount of RAM. Now, Corsair is down to the old OCZ price on DDR3, but this was a few years ago.

Shortly after that incident, Microcenter stopped carrying OCZ RAM. They didn't do that just because of my experience.

Re:Full of BS (4, Informative)

BrokenSoldier (737420) | about 9 months ago | (#45175883)

As a former service manager to a laptop ODM/Integrator, their RMA process sucks, and our MTBF with their devices in custom laptops was drastically lower on every model. When you are dealing with gamers and power users that want to spend 2000-3000 dollars on a laptop, the last thing you need is faulty hardware weeks out of the box AND a 2-3 week + turnaround with OEM direct RMA's.

Re:Full of BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45176037)

To add another anecdotal data point: I have had three OCZ Vertex drives, and I have had each one of them fail on me.

The only positive is that it only corrupted my bootsector every time, so it was not a catastrophic loss, but it was still incredibly inconvenient.

Re:Full of BS (1)

Bengie (1121981) | about 9 months ago | (#45176091)

At one point in the past few years, one of OCZ's popular SSD lines had a 20% failure rate. Most of their other products have consistently been about double to triple the failure rate of everyone else's.

Re:Full of BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45176159)

Looks like the president of OCZ is posting as AC. :-)

Re:Tiniest violin (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45175415)

True story:

I bought a 240 GB Vertex 3 back in 2011 at a considerable expense... I put it in my laptop and immediately, my laptop would crash (BSOD) every 20 minutes, continuously. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SandForce#Issues

I attempted to contact OCZ but their phone support directed me to an online forum. There, they said it was a known problem with laptops' powersaving mode, and to flash it. I said, ok, where's the flashing program for windows? The tech said (via a post) that there was no flashing utility for windows. I would have to use Linux. I said that I couldn't just wipe my hard drive and install linux, and the guy laughed at me and told me to buy another hard drive.

So I did. I went to a competitor, left a horrible review of my experience on Amazon, and never used OCZ again. http://www.amazon.com/review/R1GYKQFNH227GT/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm

Re:Tiniest violin (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45175423)

That is a consumer drive, not an enterprise SSD.

Re:Tiniest violin (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45175451)

The point was that if that's how their service department and quality of products are, then no wonder they're failing!

Re:Tiniest violin (5, Informative)

jones_supa (887896) | about 9 months ago | (#45175463)

The tech said (via a post) that there was no flashing utility for windows. I would have to use Linux. I said that I couldn't just wipe my hard drive and install linux, and the guy laughed at me and told me to buy another hard drive.

Intel did the right thing and deployed their SSD upgrade software [intel.com] as a bootable CD. In my opinion, this is currently the best way to distribute any kind of PC firmware. You can burn the disc from inside any operating system, and when you boot from that medium, you get a nice clean environment to update the device without a full-blown OS interfering with the process.

Re:Tiniest violin (0)

rolfwind (528248) | about 9 months ago | (#45176035)

Well, until Uefi fucks that option over as well.

Re:Tiniest violin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45175495)

I also have the the 240 GB Vertex 3 in my laptop, running Fedora -- it's still working well.

Re:Tiniest violin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45175603)

I would have to use Linux. I said that I couldn't just wipe my hard drive and install linux, and the guy laughed at me and told me to buy another hard drive.

I'm surprised they didn't just tell you to use a Linux live CD. Most if not all come with everything you need (web browser, DHCP network config, tools). If you're not familiar with Linux, I would suggest burning one and at least playing with it to gain a bit of familiarity with it - it's not going to harm anything on your Windows box.

Of course this doesn't excuse the unacceptable customer service they provided, but at least next time you'll know.

Re:Tiniest violin (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about 9 months ago | (#45175805)

Not that I disagree with your real point about using a Linux live CD, but please be careful telling people to play around with it because it won't harm anything. Your normal Windows drives probably get mounted by default, and one mistaken command with a cryptic two-letter name could easily destroy data without even prompting for confirmation (rm, dd, etc.).

Re:Tiniest violin (-1, Troll)

loufoque (1400831) | about 9 months ago | (#45175761)

If you can't even install Linux (which doesn't require any wiping of a hard drive), then you clearly aren't in their target market.

Re:Tiniest violin (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 9 months ago | (#45175895)

That's clearly beside the point - and untrue.

He obviously bought the product - losing a customer with horrible customer support is always bad.

Re:Tiniest violin (-1, Troll)

loufoque (1400831) | about 9 months ago | (#45175921)

It's not their fault the customer doesn't use software that meets their requirements.

Re:Tiniest violin (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45176097)

It's their fault that as a hardware company they chose to arbitrarily require their customers run specific software.

Re:Tiniest violin (4, Informative)

iserlohn (49556) | about 9 months ago | (#45175777)

A lot of SSDs support SATA Aggessive Link Power Management (ie. SATA powersaving), but has stability issues when it is enabled. To fix this under Linux -

https://access.redhat.com/site/documentation/en-US/Red_Hat_Enterprise_Linux/6/html/Power_Management_Guide/ALPM.html [redhat.com]

I have no idea how to disable this under Windows, but having turned off ALPM, all of my Sandforce SSDs have been rock solid. Even my Crucial M500 has problems with ALPM on max, I had to turn it down to medium to prevent it from crashing regularly and taking the filesystem with it.

Re:Tiniest violin (1)

mynis01 (2448882) | about 9 months ago | (#45175903)

And how would I know if I was having this kind of issue? Would it show up in dmesg? What kind of 'stability issues' are we talking about here? Random kernel panics? I've had 6 or so Sandforce SSDs (all either OCZ or Mushkin) and have never had any issues.

Re:Tiniest violin (2)

iserlohn (49556) | about 9 months ago | (#45176187)

Depends on the drive. Sandforce drives tend to drop out. The drive disappears from the SATA bus. With the M500, the Marvell controller actually corrupts the file system. I had to reinstall my laptop with a 960GB M500 twice before confirming that the issue is due to ALPM.

Re:Tiniest violin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45175417)

While I agree with your overall assertion, I don't give dell that bad wrap. What I mean is I've never been burned by them, something fails I get a new one usually within 2 days if its an emergency. I've ordered over 3000 laptops from dell, have about a 2% failure rate and those are usually hard drive and I've been able to cross ship no problem or even ship weeks later. There customer service isn't bad.

Re:Tiniest violin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45175485)

@Tiniest_Penis: you haven't been burned because you obviously order for a company/organization. Dell burns individuals who buy a small orders and when people complain they get a cold shoulder because it's not worth the company's time.

Also, there is no comparison to Dell's laptop sales and failure rates and OCZ'z SSDs. Why not compair intel, crucial or samsung

Re:Tiniest violin (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45175591)

We switched from HP to Dell for our enterprise desktop systems, which luckily didn't last long before we switched back. Dell is simply awful in the enterprise. Not just for the higher than average failure rate, that just exacerbated the abysmal service. Dell treated us like consumers, which meant going through every single bullshit checklist they had on the phone before finally decided what they were going to send us. HP has an enterprise service support pipeline that doesn't even require you to get on the phone. It's a web portal where you tell them what you diagnosed and what you need and your part is generally overnighted or two day'd. I'm not sure I would care even if HP had double the failure rate of Dell's (they don't, it's lower) since I could easily deal with 2 or even 3 HP machines in the time it takes me to argue with one Dell tech.

Re:Tiniest violin (1, Offtopic)

ekgringo (693136) | about 9 months ago | (#45175717)

For the record, Dell has the same option, although I have never bothered to sign up for it. I've never had a problem with any of their Optiplex desktops or Latitude laptops (all business-class machines) that wasn't solved by a short call to their support department followed by a next-day visit from an onsite technician to replace the bad part. We do pay extra for a 4-year warranty on all equipment plus accidental damage protection for laptops (which covers physical damage caused by the user). I haven't kept track of failure rates, but have had very few hardware problems in over a decade of buying hundreds of computers from Dell. That said, it would be a cold day in hell before I ever bought one of their consumer-class machines.

Re:Tiniest violin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45175891)

I'll look for that web portal, thanks. We still have plenty of Dells in service that won't cascade out for at least a year, maybe two.

Re:Tiniest violin (1)

evilviper (135110) | about 9 months ago | (#45175769)

Though I'd say you're being a bit too hard on them, your experience with Dell is the same nonsense I go through, managing thousands of servers. The time-wasting useless procedure checklist crap needs to stop!

Their technicians also range from below average to bad... I've seen things like a defective DRAC problem being treated by a motherboard being replaced. That was of course followed by us complaining, and the same dummy coming back the next day to fix the actual problem... Or a system with a single defective DIMM that resulted in half a dozen on-site visits, that went from just swapping DIMMs around, to installing new DIMMs (the tech replaced the wrong pair), to a new motherboard, to power supplies, and finally the *correct* DIMM being replaced.

Re:Tiniest violin (1)

jaseuk (217780) | about 9 months ago | (#45175997)

The trouble with Dell is that the support service isn't permitted to do a full replacement. You have to go part by part until you have a working system. The trouble is to go through all the parts on a typical server or PC can take weeks. This isn't quite what you expect when you have a 4 hour on site contract, you sort of expect to be back up and running in at the most a day or two.

Of course they don't really commit anything till you've gone through full diagnostics. Which can seem a bit of an irritation when you are struggling to recover a down service and you have a call centre insisting on dset, bios updates etc.

On the whole though I've been happy with Dell. If you are aware of these quirks then you can work with them.

Jason.

Re: Tiniest violin (3, Interesting)

r_jensen11 (598210) | about 9 months ago | (#45176081)

My favorite Dell customer support experience had to do with the floppy disk drive getting jammed. We tried pushing the eject button, but couldn't depress the button to release the floppy. Despite the fact that this was clearly a mechanical issue that should still be able to work when the drive is unplugged from the computer (and hence not have any power), the rep still insisted that we:
1) Restart the computer & report what errors were showing up in the Add/Remove Hardware window (hint: there was no reported error)
2) Uninstall & reinstall the drivers for said floppy drive
3) Unplug the computer from the wall, wait n seconds, plug computer back into the wall, then repeat #1 & #2

After going through this process, the rep concluded "Well, I don't have a clue what could possibly be wrong! I suggest you mail the drive back to us so our specialists can take a look at it and give you a replacement (which is what we immediately asked for when we finally got in contact with a person.) here is your RMA number...."

And this was when we called their customer support for enterprises!

Re:Tiniest violin (0)

sjames (1099) | about 9 months ago | (#45175635)

I wrote Dell off when they produced machines with physically standard bur re-wired ATX plugs. If you dare to use a non-dell power supply the mainboard will go poof.

Re:Tiniest violin (5, Informative)

dc29A (636871) | about 9 months ago | (#45175449)

They also replaced the 34nm Vertex 2 drives with 25nm drives [tomshardware.com] , lowering speed and space without changing the model number. They are scum.

Re:Tiniest violin (3, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 9 months ago | (#45175625)

They also replaced the 34nm Vertex 2 drives with 25nm drives, lowering speed and space without changing the model number. They are scum.

Worse than scum. I hope they die in a fire. My OCZ drive has started locking up and showing bad sectors and they won't RMA it. They just say "Oh, unplug it, wait an hour, then wipe it." ... Yeah. The bad sectors disappear... until the first time the OS tries to write to those sectors. Their warranties can't even be used as toilet paper.

They didn't "bet on higher performance", they bet on shit construction, no quality control... hell, you can't even update the firmware using the tools they provide on the website unless you plug a second drive in and install an OS on it. Now yes, many of us geeky types can install a mini-XP or Windows 7 on a flash drive and be on our merry, but really... how can you expect Joe Power Gamer to do something like that? Simple: You can't.

It's not just the poor quality and construction of the drives that fucked them, but a complete and utter disregard for any level of customer service. No, I recant on my last statement... death by fire is too good for them. Let us create a new 'ocz' internet meme to immortalize this level of fail. >.

Re:Tiniest violin (1)

saleenS281 (859657) | about 9 months ago | (#45175453)

This is the status quo for OCZ. I still don't understand why people are surprised. They were scamming people on memory back in 2001 - lying about the size of the company, lying about their storefront, etc. etc. etc. I was burned by them back then when they sold me faulty memory sticks, then refused to warranty them. The sad part is most of that saga was lost when hardforums broke off from hardocp.com.

Re:Tiniest violin (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 9 months ago | (#45175719)

Can you explain why hardOCP and hardforums are separate? The way they do linking is incredibly annoying. THe article title always links to hardforum instead of the source.

Re:Tiniest violin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45175533)

I still have one of their old Neural Impulse Actuators collecting dust. It was a ripoff - a piece of junk - I imagine I might use it for spare electronics parts one of these days. The aluminum case probably has more value than the hardware.

Goodbye, OCZ. You ripped off too many people with half-baked, unreliable products.

Re:Tiniest violin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45175589)

Remember when they were just a RAM scamming storefront that HardOCP took on in the 90s?

Re:Tiniest violin (1)

echusarcana (832151) | about 9 months ago | (#45175845)

Agreed. I've had two OCZ products fail immediately - the one I bought and the replacement they sent me. That was a few years ago, when USB drives were still new and expensive, but I remember that buying experience and have avoided the brand ever since.

Re:Tiniest violin (1)

mcrbids (148650) | about 9 months ago | (#45176109)

Agreed on OCZ, we tried their products and it has become a running gag to NEVER trust an OCZ product.

But as a happy Dell laptop user, I take exception to your dig at Dell. We've tried HP, had an utterly miserable experience compared to Dell. We buy Dells with the 3-year full warranty. Problems are relatively uncommon, and get taken care of quickly. Not sure what you would object to?

Easy. (5, Informative)

Dzimas (547818) | about 9 months ago | (#45175205)

Rightly or wrongly, they earned a reputation for selling unreliable drives. Last winter I saw quite a few deals on mass market websites that featured refurbished OCZ drives at cut-rate prices -- I suspect they had a return rate that was significantly higher than the industry average.

Re:Easy. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45175245)

You suspect correctly, the last stats I saw said:

OCZ: 6%
Industry average: 2%
Samsung: 0.5%
Intel: 0.3%

Re:Easy. (4, Insightful)

cyberjock1980 (1131059) | about 9 months ago | (#45175387)

If you could provide a source(even if your numbers aren't completely accurate) you would make me very happy. I have been unable to find anything that discusses reliability of different manufacturers like you just described.

I have always sworn by Intel while friends have bought OCZ(because they were cheaper per GB) and several have had nothing but problems but others have sworn their OCZ was rock solid. On the other hand, I bought only Intels since the day the G2 series hit the market. Every single one is still in use and none of them have had any problems. In fact, I haven't had to reinstall windows as often as I've had to in the past. Not sure if its because Win7 is better than WinXP, the SSDs are more reliable than platter based disks, or both.

But even then, I still swear by Intel every time a friend makes a recommendation, regardless of the benchmarks and the (often) slightly higher price per GB.

Re:Easy. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45175429)

Re:Easy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45175445)

Thank you anon!

Re:Easy. (3, Insightful)

zidium (2550286) | about 9 months ago | (#45175555)

Oh my God! The money quote:

With retuns of between 30 and 40%, the OCZ Petrol and Octane SATA II (the SATA IIIs are more reliable with, for example, 3.78% for the 128 GB) have unfortunately broken the record of the highest rates recorded since we started reporting on these stats. With such rates, we can justly classify such models as defective and it is shameful that such products have remained on sale in stores!

Re:Easy. (1)

Solandri (704621) | about 9 months ago | (#45175739)

On the other hand, I bought only Intels since the day the G2 series hit the market. Every single one is still in use and none of them have had any problems.

Intel has released their own turkey SSDs [pcworld.com] too. And the thing about anecdotal evidence is, every OCZ, Kingston, Intel, Samsung, and Sandisk SSD I've bought and put into systems I've built are still in use and none of them have had any problems.

While I do believe OCZ had a higher failure rate, I also think their poor return figures were mostly a self-fulfilling prophecy. Note that return rates are returns to the store of purchase - they reflect product dissatisfaction within a few days/weeks of purchase, not due to a failure months down the road (which was the common complaint in forums about OCZ drives). People have problems getting the SSD installed, check online for help, see lots of reports of problems with OCZ drives, and elect to return it. With other brand drives, they stick with it until they get the drive sorted out and working. If the manufacture of the SSDs is anything like other electronics, they're all actually made by the same ODMs in Taiwan/China, and the "manufacturer" just slaps their name on it. The problems with OCZ drives failing after a few months of use actually seemed to affect all Sandforce-based drives. (Ironically, I bought the Intel 320s in an effort to avoid the Sandforce drives.)

In fact, I haven't had to reinstall windows as often as I've had to in the past. Not sure if its because Win7 is better than WinXP, the SSDs are more reliable than platter based disks, or both.

If you have both an SSD and a HDD, reliability absolutely should not be an issue. Just clone the SSD to the HDD, then create a data partition in the remaining space on the HDD for regular use. Update the clone every day or two as your backup. If the SSD ever fails, you can just remove it and boot off the HDD while you send the SSD back for a warranty replacement.

(I should note that this works fine under Windows 7. I've had problems getting it to work with Windows 8 and secure boot.)

Re:Easy. (1)

ArbitraryName (3391191) | about 9 months ago | (#45175941)

. Note that return rates are returns to the store of purchase - they reflect product dissatisfaction within a few days/weeks of purchase, not due to a failure months down the road (which was the common complaint in forums about OCZ drives).

No that's not true [behardware.com] . The rates in the link come a specific large online retailer and are defective returns after six months to a year.

Re:Easy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45175353)

Rightly. I had THREE drives of theirs die in a row. Moved to Micron and haven't looked back.

Re:Easy. (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | about 9 months ago | (#45175379)

Yep, I think that's right. I had an early OCZ drive blow up on me quite a few years ago and never bought another since. I have bought several SSDs from Corsair and most recently Samsung instead.

First impressions often matter, especially when the industry itself (SSDs) is new.

Re:Easy. (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 9 months ago | (#45175537)

What has the reliability of the Corsair drives been? I don't currently have a clear picture whether it's a good or bad brand when it comes to SSDs.

Re:Easy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45175469)

Might as well change their name to orz. :) (man pounding his head on the floor.)

Re:Easy. (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 9 months ago | (#45175475)

The reputation for unreliability is deserved. I even had one drive that would return different data on reads (about 10% of the time for the affected area) and never reported a checksum violation. That is only possible if disk checksums are not implemented, which is gross engineering negligence. Never had any funny business with several Samsung SSDs and they are neither slower nor more expensive. OCZ was a player that tried to make it with speed as its main argument but completely overlooked what people use these devices for, namely storing data and that every failure means one really angry customer, and that hence reliability must not be worse than that of the competition. Unreliable disks killed Quantum, IBM's drive division, and it will now deservedly kill OCZ.

Of course (4, Insightful)

djupedal (584558) | about 9 months ago | (#45175215)

All niche market products suffer the same fate when expectations for broad market type growth are assumed.

Crap drives (1, Funny)

koan (80826) | about 9 months ago | (#45175251)

End of discussion.

You have to ask what happened? (2)

BitZtream (692029) | about 9 months ago | (#45175261)

Shitty unreliable drives that are way over priced and they treat there customers like shit ... this was easily predictable

Re:You have to ask what happened? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45175401)

Our south has been invaded, by a trashy lookin' crew.
They'll change our ways and take our schools away from me and you.

Re:You have to ask what happened? (1)

billcarson (2438218) | about 9 months ago | (#45175923)

Can you rephrase that without referring to feces?

When you build unreliable shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45175283)

.... you have to expect this to happen.

Every product I've ever bought from them (AND the replacements!) has been either DOA or died in infancy. That's an SSD, and 2 separate memory purchases.

Granted, it's a small sample, but it fits with the overall market trend that is described.

They got on the SSD map for making the first marginally affordable SSDs, and they seemed to have gotten there by cutting more corners than was remotely reasonable.

Ocz drives had high failure rate for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45175291)

I started upgrading all computers with ocz drives years ago because the speed difference despite the cost was unreal, and they had the highest benchmarks and great price points. I soon had to replace the all within a year due to failures or incompadability with some motherboards. I never went back to Ocz again and instead went for slower intel drives but they were much more reliable and comparable.

It's obvious (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45175375)

Every single NAND manufacturer now has an in-house team building SSDs that frankly are good enough for most users across the board.

Why would any of them sell NAND to OCZ when they can build that same NAND into their own SSDs for 40% or more profit?

Small NAND controller technology companies without long-term supply agreements are dying, and OCZ won't be the first.

Re:It's obvious (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45175399)

...or the last

Same old story. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45175389)

OCZ sacrificed long-term profit and potential for higher short-term profit. Lower the cost of production by using cheap/crappy parts. Spend money on marketing to increase sales. Increase the cost of the product to offset marketing costs. You get a crappy product with a larger profit margin and hope no one notices. That's not the business plan for long-term success. The problem is that that's the business plan share holders and CEOs like. It makes them look good now. Nobody wants to buy and hold a stock anymore. Make me a big profit now! It's one of the reasons our economy is stuttering. You can't sell shareholders the idea that your goal is a stable and modest growth. You gotta be explosive with growth every quarter!

Re:Same old story. (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 9 months ago | (#45175521)

I'm wondering what is their burn going to though.

if they have no production due to shortages how are they still burning through money as if they had produced stock but failed to sell it.

Re:Same old story. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45175577)

Probably paying management staff. Their strategy gets them big short-term profit making the company look great so they reward themselves for being awesome. Then when it crashes, too bad, we've already been paid. So what are they burning through? Benefits, bonuses, perks, etc. for the folks who are ruining the company. Though, if they make the money they earned every cent of it so they were worth it. I guess. That's how the logic goes anyway.

Re:Same old story. (1)

evilviper (135110) | about 9 months ago | (#45175687)

It's one of the reasons our economy is stuttering. You can't sell shareholders the idea that your goal is a stable and modest growth. You gotta be explosive with growth every quarter!

That's basically the difference between capital gains, and dividend stocks... There are fewer dividends than there used-to be, but all indicators show companies that pay dividends are healthier and more stable, long-term. And the investors buying the dividend-paying stocks are in it for the long-term, and vote accordingly.

Luck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45175391)

I purchased their stock, that is all.

Rebates (5, Interesting)

apcullen (2504324) | about 9 months ago | (#45175413)

They also used rebates to make their products seem $20 less expensive. There's a new rebate every week, and the rebate expires after a week. So you must file for your rebate the day you purchase, or by the time to go to collect the rebate yours will have expired.Got burned by this once. Didn't turn me into a repeat customer.

Re:Rebates (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45175515)

sounds like it's your fault for not reading the fine print. But this happens to many people who won't be repeat customers.

They aren't just going to pass on savings. Some people don't send the rebate because they don't think the rebate is worth their time as they can afford to not send it in.

Re:Rebates (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45175549)

The only kind of rebates companies should ever offer are instant rebates, those that lower the final price at checkout without any action on the customer's part. Every other kind are shitty little tricks from the minds of MBA managers trying to punch up their company's quarterly earnings, and will result in loss of their best customers.

Re:Rebates (3, Insightful)

evilviper (135110) | about 9 months ago | (#45175661)

by the time to go to collect the rebate yours will have expired.Got burned by this once. Didn't turn me into a repeat customer.

Funny... Similar experience didn't convinced me to avoid company XYZ, but instead to completely avoid any and all mail-in rebates... The whole idea is a complete scam that is easily and frequently abused.

Vertex 2 (5, Interesting)

Rob Hostetter (2908585) | about 9 months ago | (#45175419)

I bought a vertex 2 when it first came out due to its incredible speed for use in a server. After a year the server slowed down to way slower than hard drives. I researched it to find out, that they built in a limiter, if you exceed the IO that will burn through the drive before the warranty ended they slowed down the drive so that it would last. This made the drive useless to me. I had to replace it with an intel drive. I will never buy another OCZ SSD.

Re:Vertex 2 (3, Interesting)

edmudama (155475) | about 9 months ago | (#45175683)

In fairness, most vendors have this option.

You can either choose a 3/5 year warranty, and the drive will slow itself down to guarantee it lasts.

Or, you can choose to go by the "gas gauge" and your warranty may expire after 8 months or whatever of full-speed IO.

When you buy server-grade drives, they usually sell you a gas gauge model.

Reputation killing them (4, Interesting)

abigsmurf (919188) | about 9 months ago | (#45175437)

Their failure rates were abysmal. A drive failing after 6 months is appalling. A drive failing suddenly after 6 months, suddenly with zero warning is completely unacceptable. Even if you have a backup routine, that's probably going to result in days of lost work, plus the need to re-install everything on another drive whilst you RMA it.

To add financial injury to insult, in the UK, RMA'ing an OCZ drive requires you to send it insured and recorded to the Netherlands. It cost me around £20 to send it off. I'm certainly never going to buy OCZ again. The 15% return rate for OCZ drives that failed after 1 year is unacceptable and frankly, should've been grounds for a recall.

Re:Reputation killing them (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 9 months ago | (#45175919)

..uk doesn't have laws that the place that sold you the drive is responsible for dealing with the rma (that is, you "rma" the drive to the company that sold it you since it's defective and broke under 2 years..)? that's how you deal with it in most of europe.

Re:Reputation killing them (1)

abigsmurf (919188) | about 9 months ago | (#45176201)

They're only responsibility for the minimum, vaguely defined, time period (typically six months), past that you'll be referred back to the manufacturer for the term of the warranty.

Anecdotal evidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45175459)

Anecdotal evidence of course. But I had OCZ SSD fail on me twice during 2 year warranty. Second time they didn't have comparable drive to give me. So they offered to refund me 50$ for a drive that did cost me $200 2 years back. Managed to get back my original $200
While with old drives there was always a chance for repair. With SSD they said - ok, dead, we'll give you one, your data is gone. That might be another factor.

Their SSD's worked fine for me. (1)

kodabmx (2473710) | about 9 months ago | (#45175473)

I have an OCZ Revodrive first gen 120GB and its never had a problem. I also have a Vertex 4 256GB thats been running solid since I got it. The only SSD I've ever had fail was a Patriot. That drive was a total slice of crap though. Maybe the popularity decline has sonething to do with them ditching Sandforce for inhouse designs...

Re:Their SSD's worked fine for me. (1)

Stealthey (587986) | about 9 months ago | (#45175583)

I have an OCZ Revodrive first gen 120GB and its never had a problem. I also have a Vertex 4 256GB thats been running solid since I got it. The only SSD I've ever had fail was a Patriot. That drive was a total slice of crap though. Maybe the popularity decline has sonething to do with them ditching Sandforce for inhouse designs...

Ok then, word of advice, make sure you have daily backups of all your critical stuff. Image the drive, so that it is easy to restore when the drive fails. Right now if it is perfect and you haven't had a problem, the likelihood of you having a catastrophic failure in near future is rather high. This is purely based on numbers/averages available at large on Internet.

Re:Their SSD's worked fine for me. (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 9 months ago | (#45175657)

Ok then, word of advice, make sure you have daily backups of all your critical stuff. Image the drive, so that it is easy to restore when the drive fails.

Which is true for any type of drive, anywhere, anytime.

Murphy was an optimist.

Re:Their SSD's worked fine for me. (1)

nogginthenog (582552) | about 9 months ago | (#45176121)

Also have a Vertex 4 256GB. Works great (touch wood)

Good riddance (4, Informative)

jettoblack (683831) | about 9 months ago | (#45175487)

I had terrible experiences with their drives and tech support. In one instance, to solve a Windows blue screen problem, their support told us to update the firmware on the drive, which bricked it. They then refused to return/repair the drive because "firmware updates void your warranty." In another case, we needed a quick replacement on a failed drive so we requested advance replacement. They immediately charged our card MSRP (double the actual retail price), but then it took them over 30 days to actually ship the replacement.

Re:Good riddance (1)

trackedvehicle (1972844) | about 9 months ago | (#45175929)

In one instance, to solve a Windows blue screen problem, their support told us to update the firmware on the drive, which bricked it. They then refused to return/repair the drive because "firmware updates void your warranty." In another case, we needed a quick replacement on a failed drive so we requested advance replacement. They immediately charged our card MSRP (double the actual retail price), but then it took them over 30 days to actually ship the replacement.

Holy shit - that is terrible customer support! I don't usually comment on tech support anecdotes, but this one is so high up on the scale, I couldn't resist.

capital constraints, not supply (4, Informative)

Bite The Pillow (3087109) | about 9 months ago | (#45175497)

The quote in the article blames capital constraints, and difficulty acquiring, not a shortage. They are likely buying cheaper supply with higher failure rates, creating a death spiral.
If that is not the case, the author should kick himself in the balls repeatedly for using unrelated quotes to support a point, as I can't be arsed to dig past that stupidity.
Non story, failing company cuts corners and fails faster.

OCZ - Never (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45175507)

When you make your living selling out of spec parts it will, sooner or later, come back and bite you in the ass.

Bad products, bad customer service (1)

Theovon (109752) | about 9 months ago | (#45175571)

I don't know about other people, but I had nothing but bad experiences with their DRAM products. I would call their tech support and usually get a voicemail. They would never return those calls. If I called anothe department (sales always answered), they would just forward me to the same voicemail. If I was persistent enough, calling enoug times per day, I might get someone on the phone with technical support.

Their "performance" DRAM products seemed to deteriorate over time. I would configure my system with the exact voltage and timing numbers they specified and run a burn-in test. It would work great for the first couple of days. Perfect stabillity, good performance. Memory tests, kernel compiles, everything was great. But after the first few DAYS, it would all go to hell. There were no hard memory errors, but the system would start crashing during compiles. With a lot of effort, I managed two exchanges with OCZ (so that's three pairs of DIMMs I tried in sequence), and each set went through the same pattern -- worked great then started failing. After the third set, I paid the restocking fee with Newegg and bought form Crucial. I have no idea what the problem was, but OCZ was not interested in figuring it out.

so much for earlier mover advantage (1)

haus (129916) | about 9 months ago | (#45175599)

Can we finally put the to bed the idea that being the first (or near first) mover into a specific market is important in carving out a long-term leadership role in that space, and perhaps have people focus instead on making a superior product instead?

Marketing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45175693)

I've avoided OCZ since I first heard of the vertex 4. Everyone, including them used 2 and 3 for the Sata version, but they had to jump up to 4 just to sound better. It seemed so dishonest I haven't given them a penny since.

Linked article is clueless (2)

Just Brew It! (636086) | about 9 months ago | (#45175799)

The article quotes the CEO as saying the company is struggling due to "capital constraints". Then right below that, "This has been a common refrain. OCZ reports lower sales, it blames a shortage of NAND." Does the author truly not understand the difference between a shortage of cash to fund ongoing operations, and a shortage of parts?

Regardless, I don't see their departure from the scene as a great loss. Their spotty reputation for quality and customer service has caused me to avoid their products in general, and has apparently come back to bite them in the ass. The only sad part is that they might take PC Power and Cooling (one of the premier PSU manufacturers from back in the day, which OCZ acquired a few years ago) down with the ship.

OCZ hurt the entire SSD industry (5, Insightful)

Miamicanes (730264) | about 9 months ago | (#45175947)

There's an even better reason why nobody wants to sell flash to OCZ -- they've tainted the entire SSD industry so badly with their crap drives, no reputable manufacturer of flash wants to have its good name tarnished by association with them.

A lot of OCZ's problems were self-inflicted, with Sandforce's active complicity.

For example, Sandforce's engineers came up with an ugly, performance-killing hack that allowed the drive to avoid corruption if it were powered-down mid-write so they could officially claim that the ultracapacitor was "optional" in "cost-sensitive applications". OCZ built drives without the ultracap, then had Sandforce furnish them with firmware that DISABLED THAT SAFETY MEASURE to avoid killing their drives' write performance in benchmarks.

Mark my words. If OCZ doesn't go bankrupt on its own accord, they're eventually going to get put out of business by a class-action lawsuit like the one that nailed HP almost 20 years ago. I'm talking about the one where HP's management intentionally ignored their engineers, and sold CD burners that didn't have enough RAM to buffer a complete track & instead depended upon Windows to feed them a steady stream of data with a degree of lockstep precision that Windows could neither promise nor reliably sustain even though their own engineers told them it couldn't work reliably, and was GUARANTEED to turn at least 5-20% of discs burned into coasters (back when a blank CD cost SEVERAL DOLLARS).

HP's engineers DID have a way to allow the drives to be reliably used without the buffer... write the .iso file to a FAT16 volume, then boot directly into DOS from a floppy to do the burning. However, like OCZ's management (who wanted the performance of an ultracap-protected drive, without the cost of the ultracap itself), HP's management wanted a cheap drive that could burn CDs under Windows, even if it meant they had to knowingly LIE about its ability to actually DO it.

Re:OCZ hurt the entire SSD industry (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 9 months ago | (#45176051)

sold CD burners that didn't have enough RAM to buffer a complete track & instead depended upon Windows to feed them a steady stream of data with a degree of lockstep precision that Windows could neither promise nor reliably sustain even though their own engineers told them it couldn't work reliably, and was GUARANTEED to turn at least 5-20% of discs burned into coasters (back when a blank CD cost SEVERAL DOLLARS).

..but that's how I remember every cd burner to have been back in the day. would have been absurd to stuff 600mb of ram(one data track) into the burner when your pc had 4-8mbytes... only after 4x speed drives or so the drives(no matter which manufacturer) started to come with some tech which made buffer underflows non-fatal for burning..

2 words (1)

smash (1351) | about 9 months ago | (#45175971)

warranty claims :D

Fast, reliable, Name brand SSDs arrived (1)

MasterOfGoingFaster (922862) | about 9 months ago | (#45176205)

I think this is the SSD market maturing. For a while, Intel had good, but expensive drives. Then Intel stagnated for a while, as OCZ aimed to be the performance leader, but firmware issues and failed drives burned a bunch of us. Fast forward to today, and we see Samsung being very price aggressive with fast drives that are reliable. That's a perfect storm for OCZ.

Customer service was so bad, that I couldn't hear a word of their marketing.

High failure rate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45176227)

I've never owned one of their SSDs, but I purchased OCZ RAM twice and did an RMA both times.

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