|OCZ Agility 3 SSD AGT3-25SAT3|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Tuesday, 21 June 2011|
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OCZ Agility 3 SSD Conclusion
IMPORTANT: Although the rating and final score mentioned in this conclusion are made to be as objective as possible, please be advised that every author perceives these factors differently at various points in time. While we each do our best to ensure that all aspects of the product are considered, there are often times unforeseen market conditions and manufacturer changes which occur after publication that could render our rating obsolete. Please do not base any purchase solely on our conclusion, as it represents our product rating specifically for the product tested which may differ from future versions. Benchmark Reviews begins our conclusion with a short summary for each of the areas that we rate.
NOTE: Solid state drive owners experiencing stability issues with their product are encouraged to use the latest OCZ SSD firmware available.
SandForce SSDs have taken the market by storm, which has helped companies like OCZ to expand their reach deep into the high-performance storage hardware segment. Not only are these SandForce-driven solid state drives extremely fast, but more importantly they're capable of SLC-level operational performance I/O and NAND durability. The OCZ Agility 3 SSD builds from the powerful SandForce SF-2281 solid state processor, which brings innovation to the SSD industry by prolonging MLC NAND flash module lifetime and delivering RAID-like data redundancy. When one SandForce product is physically identical to another, the overall value depends on price, warranty, and customer support. If you're price shopping, a quick stroll through our Storage Section reviews will reveal how other SSD options compare.
Our performance rating considers how effective the OCZ Agility 3 solid state drive performs in operations against direct competitor storage solutions. For reference, SandForce specifies the SF-2281 with 500 MB/s read and write, which OCZ increases this to 525 MB/s read and 500 write maximum speeds for this SSD model. In our storage benchmark tests, the 240GB OCZ Agility 3 SSD performed at or above this speed, and many other SATA-based SSD's. Our test results proved the OCZ Agility 3 was good for delivering 557/524 MBps peak read and writes speeds using ATTO Disk Benchmark SSD speed tests. Everest Disk Benchmark produced 495/466 MB/s, confirming the Agility 3 among the fastest MLC SSD's Benchmark Reviews has tested to date.
The 240GB retail kit AGT3-25SAT3-240G that OCZ sent us for testing is advertised to deliver 80,000 maximum combined IOPS. Using a SandForce-provided configuration for our own Iometer operational performance tests, we used a queue depth of 32 outstanding I/O's per target that measured 70,861 combined IOPS performance. In this test, the formatted OCZ Vertex 3 MI SSD leads all other SATA-based storage devices benchmarked with this configuration, and positions itself between the SandForce-driven PCI-Express options. In the 4K 32QD tests with AS-SSD and CrystalDiskMark, the OCZ Agility 3 SSD nearly topped our charts and leads among the best high-performance consumer storage devices. With the results we've received in our tests, hardware enthusiasts can expect extremely high operational performance and storage functionality for demanding applications and extreme I/O environments.
Solid State Drives are low-visibility products: you see them just long enough to install and then they're forgotten. Like their Hard Disk Drive counterparts, Solid State Drives are meant to place function before fashion. Anything above and beyond a simple metal shell is already more than what's expected in terms of the appearance. OCZ has created a back-to-basics look with the black textured finish and green branding on their Agility-series SSDs. As solid state storage controllers become faster and more advanced, heat dissipation through the enclosure walls may demand that chassis designs become more beneficial than they previously needed to be. This isn't the case yet, and a metal chassis suits SandForce SSDs nicely.
SSDs are not prone to mechanical failure, but if any Agility 3-series solid state storage product does happen to fail during the 3-year warranty period end-users may contact OCZ Technology via their company website or extensive support forums. Fortunately, there's also a toll-free telephone number (800-459-1816) for free technical support and customer service questions. OCZ has been proven to be one of the best companies in the business when it comes to customer service, and replacement parts are often sent with priority delivery.
As of late June 2011, the following models and prices were available:
On paper, the OCZ Agility 3 SSD looks a lot like the Vertex 3 series. The Agility 3 uses asynchronous NAND flash components, while Vertex 3 uses synchronous parts and comes with a drive adapter tray. All of our benchmark test results kept them both very close, and synthetic performance was similar between 240GB SSDs. Statistics and specifications have an interesting way of making things seem competitive, but price is usually the determining factor. At the time of this writing, the OCZ Agility 3 series was not far off from premium Vertex 3 pricing, which makes it difficult to consider the Agility series as OCZ's mainstream product line. It's also important to keep in mind that the 240GB Agility 3/Vertex 3 models yield the very best performance of their series, and lower-capacity models don't compare respectively.
Based on the SandForce SF-2281 SSD processor, the OCZ Agility 3 solid state drive delivers native TRIM garbage collection and basic SMART support with impressive 557 MB/s transfer speeds. More importantly, SandForce DuraClass technology adds their proprietary RAISE and DuraWrite features not available to other SSDs, and the end result is a product that could last up to five times longer with less wear on NAND flash modules. Considering the level of performance we've experienced with the OCZ Agility 3 SSD, it's easy recommend this solid state drive to high-performance computer hardware enthusiasts and hardcore power-users. The blazing fast transfer speeds and outstanding operational performance earn the OCZ Agility 3 SSD our Silver Tachometer Award.
+ Delivers nearly 71K IOMeter IOPS performance
- Some manufacturers offer five-year warranty
Final Score: 8.8 out of 10.
Quality Recognition: Benchmark Reviews Silver Tachometer Award.
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