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Written by Olin Coles   
Friday, 30 July 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
OCZ Agility-2 SandForce Solid State Drive
Features and Specifications
Closer Look: OCZ Agility 2 Extended
SandForce SF-1200 SSD Controller
SSD Testing Methodology
AS-SSD Benchmark
ATTO Disk Benchmark
CrystalDiskMark 3.0 Tests
Iometer IOPS Performance
EVEREST Disk Benchmark
HDD vs Hybrid Drive vs SSD
OCZ Agility 2 SSD Conclusion

SandForce SF-1200 Features

SandForce SF-1200 SSD Processors enable commodity flash memory to reliably operate in cost and power sensitive client computing environments. The SF-1200 is a true single-chip SSD Processor designed for volume manufacturing and outstanding performance. Innovative DuraClass technology delivers world class reliability, endurance, performance and power consumption.

Endurance and Longevity
As each generation of flash memory evolves and the silicon geometries shrink - performance, reliability, endurance, and data retention are negatively impacted. DuraWrite technology extends the life of the SSD over conventional controllers, by optimizing writes to the flash memory and delivering a write amplification below 1, without complex DRAM caching requirements.

Performance and Power Optimization
SSDs are capable of significantly outperforming traditional HDDs, but typical controllers haven't delivered the compelling value necessary for mainstream adoption. SandForce DuraClass technology enables the SSD to maximize both the endurance and performance for the life of the drive fulfilling the promise of high speed flash memory in client computing applications and improving system performance by up to 50% as measured by the SYSmark Benchmark.

Mobile Computing Security
The SF-1200 has built in AES-128 bit encryption controllable by a configurable user password. This feature prevents would-be thieves from extracting data directly from the flash memory should they ever have access to the drive.

Data Protection and Reliability
SF-1200 SSD Processors provide up to 100x greater data protection than today's SSDs, and leading enterprise HDDs. This is a result of superior ECC protection and unique RAISE (Redundant Array of Independent Silicon Elements) technology. RAISE provides the protection and reliability of RAID on a single drive without the significant write overhead.

Source: SandForce, Inc.

OCZ Agility 2 Specifications

Based on a cutting-edge new architecture, Agility 2 Solid State Drives deliver unprecedented performance while maintaining an affordable storage solution for early adopters looking to update their systems with the latest technology. OCZ designed the Agility 2 to excel in both sequential and random read/write rates to take your PC or notebook productivity to the next level, featuring superb 4k random writes up to 10,000 IOPS to give a performance edge over the previous generation. Using the latest controller technology, Agility 2 not only provides a faster, more responsive PC experience, but promotes cooler, quieter, and more energy efficient conditions compared to traditional mechanical hard drives.

With solid performance coupled with supreme reliability, the Agility 2 is designed to push the envelope in storage technology for those who place a premium on speed, reliability and efficiency, but demand the affordability of MLC flash memory. Built with SATA 3Gb/s, the Agility 2 Series easily integrates into today's mobile and desktop platforms and features TRIM support to optimize performance over the drive's lifespan as the ultimate Windows 7 notebook or desktop upgrade. Agility 2 is available in 40GB to 480GB capacities and comes backed by a 3-year warranty and 2 million hour MTBF for ultimate peace of mind.

Source: OCZ Technology Group, Inc.

DuraClass Technology:

  • DuraWrite extends the endurance of SSDs
  • Intelligent Block Management and Wear Leveling
  • Intelligent Read Disturb Management
  • Intelligent "Recycling" for advanced free space management
  • RAISE (Redundant Array of Independent Silicon Elements)
  • Intelligent Data Retention optimization
  • Best-in-Class ECC protection for longest data retention and drive life
  • Power/Performance Balancing

Host Interface:

  • SATA 2.6 Compliant, 3Gb/s and 1.5Gb/s support
  • Native Command Queuing (up to 32 commands)
  • SMART Command Transport (basic)

Capacity Supported:

Standard Capacities:

  • 40GB - OCZSSD2-2AGT40G
  • 50GB - OCZSSD2-2AGT50G
  • 100GB - OCZSSD2-2AGT100G
  • 200GB - OCZSSD2-2AGT200G
  • 400GB - OCZSSD2-2AGT400G

Extended Capacities:

  • 60GB - OCZSSD2-2AGTE60G
  • 90GB - OCZSSD2-2AGTE90G
  • 120GB - OCZSSD2-2AGTE120G
  • 180GB - OCZSSD2-2AGTE180G
  • 240GB - OCZSSD2-2AGTE240G
  • 480GB - OCZSSD2-2AGTE480G

Performance (sustained):

  • Sequential Read Transfer: Up to 280MB/s (120GB @128K blocks)
  • Sequential Write Transfer: Up to 270MB/s (120GB @128K blocks)
  • Random Read IOPS: 10,000 (120GB @4K blocks)
  • Random Write IOPS: 10,000 (120GB @4K blocks)

Flash Memory Support:

Specially selected MLC NAND flash memory

Power Consumption:

  • Typical: 550mW
  • Sleep/Slumber: 50mW

Security:

  • Data Encryption: 128-bit AES
  • Optional disk password

Protection:

  • ECC Recovery: Up to 24 bytes correctable per 512-byte sector
  • Unrecoverable Read Errors: Less than 1 sector per 1016 bits read

Reliability:

  • MTTF: 2,000,000 operating hours
  • Supports 5-year consumer life cycle

Operating Temperature:

0°C to 70°C ambient

Package:

361-Pin TFBGA - 13x13mm, 0.65mm pitch

Compliance:

RoHS, Halogen-Free, Green



 

Comments 

 
# Great ReviewRobert Johnson 2010-07-29 22:56
A really good thorough review of this product and a testimonial to the speed of the Sandforce processor
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# RE: OCZ Agility-2 SandForce Solid State Drivetuleggi 2010-07-29 23:06
Nice!! Now we are just waiting for the Vertex LE performance test, that many websites claims as the best SSD on the market...but I only trust benchmarkreviews! :-)
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# Vertex LE = Limited EditionOlin Coles 2010-08-01 11:19
Sorry, but there are no plans to review the Vertex LE. This is because the Vertex LE is essentially the Vertex 2, released at a time when the 50K IOPS firmware was licensed for premium. Now there are at least a dozen different companies with 50K SandForce SSDs.
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# RE: OCZ Agility-2 SandForce Solid State DriveRobert17 2010-07-30 16:43
I've just upgraded yet again from my first SSD a little over a year ago, to a larger, newer, more refined model, twice the 32Gb I started with, and have added Trim support as well (my first was a JMicron controlled, hair of stutter, 32Gb Patriot; now a Kingston 64Gb V-series). I caught both on "sale" as they were older models at the time of purchase, Sandforce no doubt forcing the liquidation of inventories. The Patriot purchase was for $99 for 32Gb, the Kingston at $99 for 64Gb, basically $1.34/Gb. Although this is just me staying a generation or two behind the bleeding edge, I find it a very adoptable price point and it affords me the upgrade path for multiple home systems simultaneously. All in all, I think your extrapolation of the future pricing of SSDs is coming sooner rather than later and any enthusiast can make the jump into SSDs before the next year is out. As you've stated several times in several ways, it is the single most satisfying upgrade one may do to a PC.
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# Lagging Edge....BruceBruce 2010-07-30 16:56
I'm with you on your acquisition strategy... The $100-$150 price point has been very fertile ground if you are willing to wait for Newegg ShellShocker deals and tech that is ~ 6 months old. Once I had my first taste of SSD performance, I knew there was no way I was going back to mechanical drives.
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# Finally!Olin Coles 2010-07-30 17:19
"As you've stated several times in several ways, it is the single most satisfying upgrade one may do to a PC."

I'm so glad that people are finally coming to understand where speed comes from for most computer-related tasks.
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# MeOlddog 2010-08-01 15:34
I have one of these in the 60GB size and it was a real shot in the arm for the system's performance. I install everything else to the data drives, but run the 64 bit win-7 system on the SSD. I'm very satisfied with it's performance characteristics. As the prices do come down, I'll buy them for all of the other PC's in the house.
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# wondering somethingpit 2010-08-09 11:22
do you test these drives with them as the operating system drive? or are they separate data drives?
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# RE: wondering somethingOlin Coles 2010-08-09 12:07
All storage devices are tested as a secondary drive. It would be impossible to test them with the O/S or any partition, because some tests erase data or require no partition.
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# TRIM support... confused!Frammel 2010-08-23 21:22
I have been looking ALL over for a straight-forward answer to this question and I can't find one, can only find info hinting towards this. The OCZ Agi II drives with their 1.11 firmware say they support TRIM. I see people write that it's 'native' and it's 'included' and it's 'available', etc... but is it an automatic function or should I be scrambling for a tool that allows me to manually run TRIM? I'm currently running Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit. Absolutely worth-it drive, I don't want to miss out on an ounce of performance because of this!
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# RE: TRIM support... confused!Olin Coles 2010-08-23 21:30
You haven't found an answer because it's a relatively common-sense question that people don't spend time writing about. All SandForce-driven SSDs include TRIM support, similar to the previous generation of Indilinx SSDs. This is like saying your car is capable of running on water... all you have to do is supply the water. The Windows 7 O/S is that water, and activates TRIM commands automatically in the background.
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# Trim Built In to W7BruceBruce 2010-08-23 21:28
It's the default setup for Win 7. It works in the background. I know...I'd rather "see" it working, too. But it IS working.
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