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OCZ Agility-2 SandForce Solid State Drive E-mail
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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

Closer Look: OCZ Agility 2 Extended

SSDs are catching on quickly because they work equally well in PC, Linux, or Apple Mac computers. For this article Benchmark Reviews is testing the OCZ Agility 2 'Extended' capacity SSD, which is expected to reach speeds of 280 MB/s for sequential reads and 270 MB/s sequential writes. The OCZSSD2-2AGTE120G kit is built using the SandForce SF-1222 controller with 7% over-provisioning, which means that 120GB out of 128GB NAND flash contained in this SSD are allocated for data use. The standard OCZ Agility 2 is available with the exact same performance specifications, but utilizes 28% over-provisioning and comes in 50/100/200/400GB capacities. On the outside OCZ displays a green and silver Agility 2 label atop a black metal casing, which is identical to the 'standard capacity' 28% over-provisioned Agility 2 product line.

OCZ-Agility2-Extended-SSD-Upright.jpg

The OCZ Agility 2 SSD is best suited for performance-orientated notebook, and works extremely well for enthusiast-level desktop computer systems. Additionally, the OCZ Agility 2 Extended could also be utilized for mission-critical backups or high-abuse data server systems. SandForce SF-1200 series SSDs have been designed with a focus on high-performance operational and data transfer speeds, and includes encrypted data protection and improved NAND wear-leveling through their proprietary DuraWrite technology. Although OCZ Agility 2 SSDs do not offer an integrated USB Mini-B port, which appeared on some early-generation SSDs, the retail market offers several 2.5" SATA enclosures that utilize the SuperSpeed USB-3.0 standard for high-performance portable file transfers.

OCZ-Agility2-Extended-SSD-Tilt.jpg

Standard 2.5" drive bay mounting points are pre-drilled and threaded into the OCZ Agility 2 SSD chassis, which allows for quick upgrade or addition into any existing notebook and other compact computer system. Packaged with a 3.5" into 2.5" tray adapter, the Agility 2 SSD easily installs into desktop computers as well. The mounting positions matched up to the drive bracket on my notebook computer, and after only a few minutes I was booting from a restored Windows 7 System Image without a hitch.

OCZ Solid State Drive Chassis Bottom

Unlike most Hard Disk Drive (HDD) storage products, SSDs are nearly impervious to impact damage and do not require (or benefit from) any kind of special vibration dampening or shock-proof enclosures OCZ utilizes a standard two-piece metal enclosure for their Agility 2 SSD series, which reveals the internal components after removing four small counter-sunk Phillips-head screws located at the bottom of this SSD. One of these scews are covered with a 'Warranty Void' label, which OCZ attaches to the chassis on all of their SSDs, and by removing the enclosure cover it will also remove your consumer protection with it. Benchmark Reviews will reveal all of the internal components on our next section anyway, so just be patient and save your product warranty.

OCZ-Vertex-2-SSD-Adapter-Tray.jpg

Thanks to hand-picked NAND flash memory modules paired to the SandForce SF-1222 SSD controller, the OCZ Agility 2 Solid State Drive suggests transfer speeds of 280/270 MBps read/write for high-performance enthusiasts. Now that you're acquainted with the basic exterior features of this SSD, it's time to peek inside the metal enclosure and inspect the internal components...



 

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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