OCZ Agility 3 240 GB SSD Review

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OCZ Agility 3 – A Look Inside

AGILITY 3 OPENED

As you would expect, taking apart the OCZ Agility 3 drive is just like a Vertex 3 drive with four screws holding the case together and four more holding the PCB in its place. Just like the Vertex 3, removing the sticker voids the warranty so don’t do it. Contact OCZ’s helpful customer service if you run into problems.

AGILITY 3 PCB

On one side of the PCB we find eight of the sixteen total NAND flash modules stacked neatly on one end with the other end being rather austere.

AGILITY 3 NAND

The 25nm MLC NAND is Micron in manufacture which is a key difference from the Vertex 3 drives which have Intel NAND. The former is of the ONFI 1.0 variety and the latter ONFI 2.0. What does this mean? Essentially ONFI 1.0 is asynchronous and the rate of transfer is 50 megatransfers/second (MT/s) whereas synchronous ONFI 2.0 jumps to 133MT/s. Like the Vertex 3, the Agility 3 has two channels per die on its 240 GB drives. Each module is 16 GB in density rounding out to 256 GB on board.

AGILITY 3 PCB

On the flip side of the PCB, we find the remaining NAND modules along with the controller.

AGILITY 3 CONTROLLER

The now familiar SandForce SF-2200 controller is the same as found on the Vertex 3 and soon to be found in a drive made by just about any manufacturer because of its popularity (ok, that’s a bit of an exaggeration). This is the heart and soul of the drive and is responsible for just about everything the drive does from program/erase, to wear-leveling, to real-time data compression. It also supports the all important TRIM function. The firmware is generally tweaked from drive to drive which may have some impact on performance both apparent to and hidden from the user.

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