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OCZ Summit MLC SSD OCZSSD2-1SUM120G E-mail
Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage
Written by Olin Coles   
Wednesday, 03 June 2009
Table of Contents: Page Index
Features and Specifications
First Look: Summit SSD
Summit Internal Components
SSD Testing Methodology
Random Access Time Benchmark
Basic IO Bandwidth
Random Access IOPS Tests
I/O Response Time
Linear Bandwidth Speed
Sequential Performance Tests
Buffered Transaction Speed
Windows XP Startup Times
The Truth Behind Heat Output
Solid State Drive Final Thoughts
OCZ Summit Conclusion

OCZ Summit Conclusion

Benchmark Reviews begins each conclusion with a short summary for each of the areas we rate. The first is presentation, which takes product packaging into consideration to the extent that it provides adequate packing material and delivers consumer information for an informed purchase. Since the American economy in the midst of an economic recession, many manufacturers are having to pull out some very creative ideas to help market their products. Add onto this the fact that SSD technology already carries a premium price tag over the alternative, and you can understand why product presentation becomes so important. OCZ takes the Summit series packaging back to basics with a simple-yet-catchy black and white appearance, while at the same time delivering critical product information and specifications for the untrained consumer.

Solid State Drives are a lot like spark plugs: you see them just long enough to install, and then they're forgotten. OCZ keeps production costs down on the Summit SSD Series with a uniform black painted enclosure identical to all of their other SSD products, and uses an adhesive label for each product series with underside specifications. There isn't very much to expect from the appearance of Solid State Drives, because like their Hard Disk Drive counterpart they are meant to place function before fashion. To this end, I still wish manufacturers would begin using sealed plastic enclosures to prevent moisture or electrical shock damage.OCZ_Summit_Series_SSD.jpg

Construction is probably the strongest feature credited to the entire SSD product line, and OCZ products have never been an exception. Solid State Drives are by nature immune to most abuses, but add to this a hard metal shell and you have to wonder what it would take to make this drive fail. If a Summit Series product does happen to fail during the 2-year warranty period, end-users can contact OCZ via the company website or extensive support forums. Fortunately, there's also a toll-free telephone number for support or customer service questions (800-459-1816).

Performance places the Summit SSD behind the Vertex, and ahead of the Apex. Based on our large collection of benchmark performance tests conducted, the OCZ Summit offers bandwidth performance on-par with Samsung S3C29RBB01 controller specifications. While the Summit SSD usually trailed noticeably behind the OCZ Vertex SSD, it performed much better than the dual-JMicron architecture of the Apex. The MLC Samsung flash modules paired to a 128MB cache buffer on this 128GB model OCZSSD2-1SUM120G SSD help yield a 0.10 ms response time and showed no sign of stuttering. ATTO Disk Benchmark tool reported an impressive 230 MBps maximum read bandwidth in our tests, and 192 MBps maximum write. EVEREST's linear full-sector bandwidth performance was a steady 239 MBps read-from, and an impressive 186 MBps write-to speed. While all of these benchmarks indicate the general bandwidth 'speed' was among the best SSDs available, input/output performance results were surprisingly high for a MLC SSD. Iometer indicated a random read and write IOPS in the low 730's, which is well above most MLC products tested.

As of July 2009, the OCZ Summit series of Solid State Drives has three models available at NewEgg. The 60GB Summit SSD (OCZSSD2-1SUM60G) is sold for $234, while the 120GB version Benchmark Reviews has tested sells for $389. The jumbo-capacity 250GB version of the OCZ Summit SSD is also listed for $729.

In conclusion, the OCZ Summit Solid State Drive offers excellent read and write bandwidth speeds and an exceptional 0.10 ms response time with very good MLC IOPS performance. The Samsung S3C29RBB01 controller is a formidable opponent to the competition, but it's not the best on the block. Another drawback is price, which keeps the ratio just under $4 per gigabyte or storage space. The price is also slightly higher than OCZ's higher-level Vertex, which won't help the Summit sell units. The OCZ Summit is best suited for cutting-edge super-users and performance enthusiasts who want unmatched response time and bandwidth speed from their computer system. Even though the Summit SSD isn't quite as good as the OCZ Vertex (or nearly-identical Super Talent UltraDrive ME and Patriot Torqx) in terms of performance, if the price is right this could be the SSD for consumers wanting to avoid the JMicron blues.

EDITORS NOTE: Because of an extremely low failure rate for this product series, OCZ has extended the warranty to three years of coverage.

EDITORS NOTE 21 DEC 2009: OCZ Now offers a TRIM/Garbage Collection firmware update for the Summit Solid State drive.

Pros:Quality Recognition: Benchmark Reviews Silver Tachometer Award

+ Impressive 239 MBps read and 192 write bandwidth with EVEREST
+ 128MB Cache buffer permanently solves 'stuttering' problem
+ Very low 0.10 ms random access time
+ Lightweight compact storage solution
+ Resistant to extreme shock impact
+ Up to 256GB of SSD capacity (advertised)
+ 2-Year OCZ product warranty with free forum support
+ Low power consumption may extend battery life


- Metal case is heavier and less durable than plastic
- Lacks integrated USB 2.0 Mini-B data connection
- Expensive premium-level product
- Firmware updates are not publicly available
- Higher price tag than competing products


  • Presentation: 8.75
  • Appearance: 8.75
  • Construction: 9.75
  • Functionality: 9.50
  • Value: 7.00

Final Score: 8.75 out of 10.

Quality Recognition: Benchmark Reviews Silver Tachometer Award.

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