OCZ ARC 100 240GB SSD Review

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The ARC Of Value

Ever since OCZ decided to solely focus on their SSD products, their drive offerings have leaned towards workstation and enthusiast level drives which has left somewhat of a gap in their entry-level or value oriented product line. Given the lower margins for such products and OCZ’s financial struggles (prior to the Toshiba buyout), it’s not very surprising. Their competitors have aggressively pursued this market segment however, and we’ve seen some very economically priced drives from Crucial/Micron, Samsung, SanDisk and others.  This is an important demographic as it can be the gateway to building brand loyalty and win over customers who will potentially upgrade to a more performance oriented drive later on. To plug that hole, OCZ is releasing the ARC 100 drive which is aimed squarely at the entry level SSD market, although this doesn’t mean they’ve compromised on performance for the sake of price. They’ve equipped it with their Indilinx Barefoot M10 controller which we know to be a very solid part.

OCZ ARC 100 240GB
Along with the controller, they’ve paired it with Toshiba 19nm MLC NAND which is a first for an OCZ drive. OCZ rates read and write performance reaching speeds up to 490MB/s and 450MB/s respectively with IOPS hitting 75,000 for reads and 80,000 for writes. While these aren’t world-beating numbers, they are still very good in the realm of entry-level drives. All of this is fine and dandy but how about the pricing you say? That’s solid as well with the 120GB, 240GB and 480GB drives carrying an MSRP of $74.99, $119.99 & $239.99 respectively. This is extremely competitive in pricing alone and we’ll look at the overall value proposition when paired with performance in our conclusion.

OCZ ARC 100 240GB

OCZ ARC 100 Features and Specifications:

PERFORMANCE: 120GB 240GB 480GB
Part Number: ARC100-25SAT3-120G ARC100-25SAT3-240G ARC100-25SAT3-480G
MSRP: $74.99 $119.99 $239.99
Max Read: 475 MB/s 480 MB/s 490 MB/s
Max Write: 395 MB/s 430 MB/s 450 MB/s
Max Random Read IOPS (4K QD32): 75,000 75,000 75,000
Max Random Write IOPS (4K QD32): 80,000 80,000 80,000
Steady-State Random Write IOPS (4K QD32): 12,000 18,000 20,000
PHYSICAL SPECIFICATIONS:
Controller: OCZ Barefoot 3 M10
NAND Components: A19nm Toshiba Multi-Level Cell (MLC) Flash
Interface: SATA III 6Gb/s
Form Factor: 2.5-inch (100.2 x 69.75 x 6.7 mm)
RELIABILITY SPECIFICATIONS:
Encryption: 256-bit AES-compliant
Data Path Protection: BCH ECC corrects up to 44 random bits/1KB
Product Health Monitoring: Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology (SMART)
Endurance: Rated for 20GB/day of host writes for 3 yrs under typical client workloads
ENVIRONMENTAL SPECIFICATIONS:
Power Consumption: Idle: 0.6W Active: 3.45W
Operating Temperature: 0°C ~ 70°C
Shock Resistance: 1000G/0.5ms
Vibration (Operational): 2.17Grms (7-800Hz)
Vibration (Non-operational): 3.13Grms (5-800Hz)

OCZ ARC 100 240GB

The color scheme is similar to that of the Vector drives but in terms of physical build, there isn’t anything unusual. As you would expect from a value oriented drive, it doesn’t come with any frills. The warranty is among the most basic in the industry at three years and there are no 2.5″ to 3.5″ adapter plates, shims, or bundled software. Not even a sticker – at least in the box we received. Just the drive and supporting warranty and documentation brochures is all you’ll find. Of course, OCZ does have a downloadable toolbox for observing drive S.M.A.R.T. information and utilities for updating firmware and secure erasing the drive.

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