OCZ Agility 3 240 GB SSD ReviewThu, Jun 16, 2011 - 12:00 AM
Capacity, Final Thoughts & Conclusions
The OCZ Agility 3 has 256 GB of NAND on board which translates to 223 GiB of user available capacity once overprovisioning takes its share and Windows takes a bit as well. That’s more than ample for just about any user if they can store their media files on a separate hard drive.
Let’s recap a little for those that skipped ahead to the last page (shame on you!). Like most of the new drives coming out, the Agility 3 uses a SATA 6Gbps interface which barely contains the blistering speeds of up to 525MB/s reads and 500MB/s writes. Of course, with the SandForce SF-200 controller and the real-time data compression it uses to boost performance, these numbers depend heavily on the type of data being transferred with the more compressible data deriving the best results. The continuation of the green and black color scheme give it a very distinctive look for those that give consideration to such a thing (Green Hornet themed PC anyone?). As always, OCZ backs their workmanship with a three year warranty and have a very good reputation for great support through their customer service reps as well as having Tony, Ryder, Praz, and crew always present on their support forums. They have one of the most robust and active forum communities for SSDs on the web. Don’t forget that OCZ also offers a toolbox application for updating firmware, performing a secure erase and viewing information about the connected drive(s). This is super handy to have and as far as I know, only Intel offers something similar.
Pricing is still settling right now as is usual with new products but the Agility 3 is currently priced slightly lower than that of the Vertex 3 with the 60 GB, 120 GB and the 240 GB being priced $139.99, $239.99 and $469.99 and rounding out to roughly $2.11 per usable GB. I wouldn’t expect this narrow margin of pricing between the two lines to remain static for long as the economics of supply and demand balance things out. The big difference for consumers may be the fact that the smallest Vertex 3 drive is 120 GB while the Agility offers a 60 GB drive. This is plenty big to hold the OS and a fairly large list of apps so many users are keeping their build costs down by sticking with a small SSD for the OS and a traditional platter drive for their multimedia files. The Vertex 3 does come with a 2.5″ to 3.5″ adapter plate so bear that in mind if that is something you could make use of.
On the first page we referred to the Agility 3 240 GB SSD as the ‘almost’ Vertex
because in many ways performance is very similar although not across the
board and from a hardware perspective, they are very close in design. Like the Vertex 3, its performance on highly compressible data is the among the best we’ve seen for a single drive configuration. Even with incompressible data, it keeps pace on the writes but it’s simply not as strong in the reads which is likely attributable to the difference in architecture with the Agility 3 using the ONFI 1.0 NAND offering less bandwidth. The 240 GB version of the Agility 3 also carries two channels per die which is not the case with the 120 GB version so performance will differ between the two. While there’s a definitive difference in performance observable through benchmarks between the Vertex 3 and Agility 3, users simply will not be able to discern the difference in practical use. Really, we’re talking differences of a few seconds here and there. So if you are benchmark obsessed and really have to have the fastest drive then you may opt for the Vertex 3 but for the rest of us, the Agility 3 will serve us well. Now if we can the pricing back in line, that’s really be the cherry on our SSD sundae.
Legit Bottom Line: While technically not as fast as the Vertex 3 drives, the Agility 3 240 GB SSD certainly holds its own and shouldn’t be overlooked. It will represent a much better value if the pricing situation rights itself.