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Written by Olin Coles   
Tuesday, 21 June 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
OCZ Agility 3 SSD AGT3-25SAT3
Closer Look: OCZ Agility 3 SSD
SandForce SF-2281 SSD Controller
Features and Specifications
SSD Testing Methodology
AS-SSD Benchmark
ATTO Disk Benchmark
CrystalDiskMark 3.0 Tests
Iometer IOPS Performance
EVEREST Disk Benchmark
PCMark Vantage HDD Tests
OCZ Agility 3 SSD Conclusion

SandForce SF-2200 Features

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-2200 series has built in AES-256 bit double 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-2200 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.

SF-2281/Agility 3 Specifications

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 3.0 Compliant, 6.0 Gb/s support
  • Native Command Queuing (up to 32 commands)
  • SMART Command Transport (basic)

Capacity Supported:

  • $135 60GB: AGT3-25SAT3-60G
  • $230 120GB: AGT3-25SAT3-120G
  • $480 240GB: AGT3-25SAT3-240G

Performance (sustained):

  • Sequential Read Transfer: Up to 525 MB/s (240GB model)
  • Sequential Write Transfer: Up to 500 MB/s (240GB model)
  • Random Read IOPS: 35,000 (4K aligned)
  • Random Write IOPS: 45,000 (4K aligned)

Flash Memory Support:

  • 30/20 nm SLC, MLC
  • Asynch/Toggle/ONFi2 interfaces
  • Up to 166MT
  • Binary user capacity points (RAISE off mode)

Power Consumption:

  • Typical: 2W Operational
  • Sleep/Slumber: 50mW

Security:

  • Data Encryption: TCG OPAL with AES-256/128 and double encryption
  • Optional disk password

Protection:

  • Enhanced ECC with BCH and 55 bits/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 55°C ambient

Package:

256-pin BGA in 14x14mm @ 0.80mm pitch

Compliance:

RoHS, Halogen-Free, Green

Source: OCZ and SandForce



 

Comments 

 
# RE: OCZ Agility 3 SSD AGT3-25SAT3Robert17 2011-06-22 14:12
Good review Olin.
I note in your rating under "cons" that you say "some manufacturers offer 5 yr warranty"; in the section for specifications OCZ lists "5 yr consumer life cycle". Is there something I don't understand? Is there or is there not a 5 yr warranty?
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# Only 3-Year WarrantyOlin Coles 2011-06-22 14:18
ocztechnology.com/ocz-agility-3-sata-iii-2-5-ssd.html
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# Fix the imagecubebomb 2011-06-23 11:16
The title and the image are different

#i.imgur.com/2qaBU.png
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# RE: Fix the imageOlin Coles 2011-06-23 11:19
Sure enough, they are. I'll fix that right now.
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# conssadegh 2011-07-27 09:45
why dont you mention to the weak firmware & frequently hang & freeze of this bad new ssd & just advertising this!!!!!!!!!!
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# RE: consOlin Coles 2011-07-27 09:53
Did my benchmark result give you the impression that this SSD had weak firmware? Did I ever mention freezing or crashing?

I can't just make things up out of thin air; I only report what I experience first-hand.
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# RE: RE: consReza 2011-08-03 11:20
I agree with @cons!
I had a Corsair Force 3 series (120Gig) that uses this controller and for one week i tested this and re-installed windows thinking it was a driver problem or mobo or something else. I realized it was the Disk.
It didnt last more then 1-2 day or sometimes 1h before Windows froze. Also the installation refused to create the System partition on it for some reason when i had a second disk connected.
so yes this controller is very bad and i recommend people staying away from it until its confirmed its fixed.

I now use an Intel 510. It worked right away. System partition no problem, stability = rock solid.

You can find more info about my nightmare and what i tested here:
##tomshardware.co.uk/forum/294888-12-corsair-system-freeze#t2002139

Tomshardware (@jaquith) was extremely helpful and gave lots of useful tips on the matter but sadly this is a hardware issue rather then software.
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# Makes Me CryGrrr Power 2011-08-01 23:09
Loved the speed and convenience of my Agility 3.... until it crashed, and wouldn't be detected on boot. A cold power-out reboot fixed this, but this happened at least once every 24 hours.
I sent it back. Within 48 hours of my second one, the same thing. OCZ recommended upgrading the firmware. Tried it. Wouldn't work. They recommended another whole bunch of steps, but frankly, I'd just like to buy something and have it work. I already built my own system, I don't want to spend hours or days messing with this stuff.
Tried system with a different drive, worked fine. Ran my SSD in a friend's system- same result. Sent it back to my supplier.
Received a replacement. Installed it on Sunday, crashed last night. I will never buy an OCZ product again.. sorry guys.. :(
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# RE: Makes Me CryOlin Coles 2011-08-02 08:00
Thank you for reporting your experiences with this product!
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# RE: Makes Me CryReza 2011-08-03 11:21
Read what i said above and

##tomshardware.co.uk/forum/294888-12-corsair-system-freeze#t2002139

The problem is the Disk and not your pc sadly :(
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# RE: OCZ Agility 3 SSD AGT3-25SAT3David Ramsey 2011-08-02 08:05
Gee, mine's working great. So far.
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# Machine dependent freezing....Neil 2011-09-09 01:08
Installed Ubuntu on a 60gb OCZ agility ssd installed in a Compaq mini cq10 netbook, then transferred the drive to an Acer Aspire L350. Worked fine for a day but had one or two unexpected reboots, not specifically related to playing a movie that I noticed. I don't recall if a video had been running at the time, but I was just highlighting files to copy from an external WD Passport drive at the time it first rebooted. Seemed to work excellent for several hours after that, without any other signs of problems.


Put the ssd into my netbook. Worked fine for the entire duration of visiting a friend and copying about 30 gb of files to it. Put the ssd into my Acer .... Worked fine for a few minutes, but crashed about thirty seconds to a minute into watching a video. Reboots, then same again each time. Seems to work fine until I start watching a movie. Tested whether it was just that video that caused the reboot, but it wasn't the case. Other videos did the same. So I installed a different video player. I still hung after about thirty seconds or so with a different player. Took it out of the Acer and connected it to a sata to usb adapter, with external power source..... Worked long enough to copy off the movies to the other drive. Still seems to be working as an external drive, and for the netbook, but the real # is that I bought it specifically for the acer....


I think I'm going to use it where it seems to want to work properly, namely in the netbook, and start pricing an Intel 510. I've seen other similar good reviews of the 510 to what Reza mentioned above, but I didn't bother to look into it before taking the ssd leap of faith with OCZ. I was hoping the bad press OCZ has been getting was just a vocal minority. I might be joining them.....


Something about the Ubuntu installation just doesn't like the ssd running in my Acer, but has no problems with the netbook. Next thing to try would be to reinstall with the drive in the acer, but a live usb of Ubuntu won't boot on the acer, and I don't have a cd drive at the moment, nor an install disk.

I'm going to have to get an external CD drive, and a burnt copy of Ubuntu Live before I can try that.....
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# Machine dependent freezing....Neil 2011-09-09 01:34
Ignore, or delete that last comment....

The acer just rebooted while playing 30 seconds of a video from a regular hdd. Different copy of Ubuntu, different drive... leaves only the Acer itself to blame.

Guess that I'm not going to be shopping for an Intel 510 until after I get a new machine.....

The process of elimination solved that mystery. The ssd is still working fine.

You'd think that would be good news....
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# RE: OCZ Agility 3 SSD AGT3-25SAT3David 2011-10-14 09:53
I have an Agility 3 60GB. I've had it in my acer slim desktop for the past 12 hours and I've not had a problem. I'm currently running Windows 8 Developer's Preview build 8102 (official pre beta release) I'm pretty happy with the performance of even faster booting due to the OS and the SSD. I'll eventually get around to installing win 7.
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# RE: OCZ Agility 3 SSD AGT3-25SAT3Howard 2012-02-13 02:54
Just pulled the trigger on buying the 120GB version of this drive. I was waiting to get my first SSD when the price went to $1.00 per MB. After reading the thorough review, (thanks Colin) and the posted feedback, I hope I'll be one of the satisfied ones. I will be doing a fresh, Windows 7, install on older hardware and will check and update the firmware immediately. I had read something on another site about the SATA driver on the motherboard and plan to get the latest BIOS and drivers as well. Thanks for the review and feedback.
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# RE: RE: OCZ Agility 3 SSD AGT3-25SAT3Howard 2012-02-13 02:58
Sorry, Olin, for the misspelling of your name!
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# RE: RE: RE: OCZ Agility 3 SSD AGT3-25SAT3Olin Coles 2012-02-13 07:24
It happens a lot, Howard... I curse my parents. OCZ recently published a firmware update, so it could be the last update we see for this drive for quite a while (which is a good thing). I really think you'll enjoy the SSD!
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: OCZ Agility 3 SSD AGT3-25SAT3Howard 2012-02-13 09:07
Olin,
Thanks for the reply! I am really looking forward to the drive. I have a question, if you don't mind. I am currently running XP and am planning to install the new SSD to my systemas a second drive, temporarily, to perform the firmware update before installing Windows 7 on it. From what I read on the OCZ website it states that you can't perform the update running XP. I created an Ubuntu Linux CD and tried it out. When I downloaded the Linux firmware update instructions it looks like it is not very user friendly, (no GUI,) and may be beyond my comfort level. As a firmware update is not supposed to lose data, should I install Windows 7 on the SSD first and then upgrade the firmware? Any downside that you can think of? Thanks again for your great review of the drive and any assistance you can provide.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: OCZ Agility 3 SSD AGT3-25SAT3Olin Coles 2012-02-13 09:16
As much as I love and miss Windows XP, I admit that it's not the best fit for a SSD. I highly suggest Windows 7, if not for the added TRIM garbage collection and improved AHCI support, at least have it for DirectX 11 graphics support in games. As for the firmware update, the Linux version is actually pretty easy if you follow the instructions. Please visit the OCZ forum for more details and firmware update guides.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: OCZ Agility 3 SSD AGT3-25SAT3Howard 2012-02-13 09:23
I don't plan to use the SSD on XP, only to upgrade the firmware and then load 7. If it's important to upgrade the firmware before loading 7, I will follow your advice and try to muddle through the Linux steps and see what happens. I had read about trim, etc, and know that it is not supported in XP. Defrag turned off as well! Thanks again!
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# Easier if SSD is not the boot driveBruce Bruce 2012-02-13 09:22
Are you hooking the OCZ Agility up as a secondary drive in a running system? I've had the best luck doing it that way....
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# RE: Easier if SSD is not the boot driveHoward 2012-02-13 09:26
Bruce Bruce, Yes, but only to upgrade the firmware. Then I am planning to do a fresh install of Windows 7 with a standard drive to hold programs and data.
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