OCZ Agility EX SSD 60GB review
Posted by Hilbert Hagedoorn on: 10/29/2009 02:00 PM [ 0 comment(s) ]
OCZ Agility EX Series SATA II 2.5" SSD - 60GB
Roughly three maybe four weeks ago OCZ added a new product in its EX (Extreme) performance Series SSD family: the Agility EX high-performance solid-state drive, one model is available .. the 60 GB version.
Check out the features
- Available in 60GB (64) capacities*
- 64MB Onboard Cache
- SLC NAND
- Seek Time: <.1ms
- Slim 2.5" Design
- 99.8 x 69.63 x 9.3mm
- Lightweight 77g
- Operating Temp: 0C ~ 70C
- Storage Temp: -45C ~ +85C
- Low Power Consumption: 2W operation, .5W standby
- Shock Resistant 1500G
- RAID Support
- MTBF 1.5 million hours
- 3-Year Warranty
Let's focus at some of the more important aspects and features of the drive. As there definitely are some things you guys needs to be aware of.
Starting with this SLC based 60GB SSD you'll notice that these OCZ series SSDs are specced horribly fast for an 'Agility' based product.
The read and write speed. We spot a sturdy advertised up-to 255 MB/sec read and 195MB/sec write performance, which ensures a firm and rigid e-peen. The Agility EX series SSDs are equipped with an Indilinx Barefoot controller and are paired with 64MB of Elpida cache memory, this SSD series just oozes and drips performance.
Why is that so important you ask -- that 'cache memory?'. Well, we have seen that most budget SSDs have a JMicron controller with very little cache (8KB / 16KB), and the issue there is that if they need to write a lot of really small files simultaneously these drives started to choke up every now and then, your a-typical data bottleneck within a storage unit. Large data-caches solve that issue very well.
So a big help totally bypassing the small files issue for SSD drives is using a nice big mamma SDRAM buffer, for the 64MB cache to be precise. Have a look at the innards of the SSD.
In the above photo we see the SSD. To the right we spot Intel based SLC flash NAND memory chips, the Agility EX is paired with Intel 29F32G08FANC1 (SLC) flash memory chips. Included a count on the backside we spot 16 chips, each with a 4GB capacity for a total drive size of 64GB. That's correct, OCZ markets it as a 60GB drive.
To the upper left the Indilinx Barefoot controller chip and just below it 64MB cache memory from Elpida. All combined they form the heart and soul of the SSD.
64MB Elpida cache memory
We stated it many times and explained this a lot. But the seek time on SSD drives are insane, short from amazing; at less than 1ms -- 0.1ms as we actually can measure. The average seek time for a traditional HDD is roughly 9ms. Do the math, hey no more moving and spinning mechanical components are key here.
Typically a SSD with cache and Indilinx controller will cost you roughly 75 to 100 EUR per 32GB depending on volume size and memory type. I just checked a couple of prices and here in the Netherlands this is what pricing looks like:
- MLC / Indilinx Agility 60GB costs roughly 175 EUR = 2.73 EUR per GB
- SLC / Indilinx Agility EX 64GB costs roughly 335 EUR = 5.23 EUR per GB
- SLC / Intel X25-E 64GB costs roughly 625 EUR = 9.77 EUR per GB
SLC Flash memory is expensive yes, but if you compare it to Intel's' offering. OCZ is paving the way real hard and keeping the prices down by offering the best price performance ration,
So then, long lasting blazing fast SLC memory -- 255MB/sec read performance and a write performance of nearly 195 MB/sec, that speed will certainly increase your overall PC experience, as the vertebrae of overall system speed and performance is your boot drive.
The traditional HDD is a limiting factor on the overall PC experience you guys. Also, storage performance like this would, for example, greatly enhance load times of games and even simply stuff like browsing the web.
OCZ is about to inject an SSD into the market that is labeled Agility 3 SSD. What's the difference in-between Agility 2 and now 3 you might ask ? Well, two primary things really, controller and NAND flash memory type. Labeled with advertised speeds of of 525 MB/sec with write speeds of 500 MB/sec this product should be really interesting for many of you.
OCZ Agility EX SSD 60GB review
Today we test the OCZ Agility EX SSD. If 100% reliability is your thing then this is the cheapest SLC based SSD with an Indilinx controller that you can think of. The OCZ Agility EX offers top notch performance and reliability, we honestly believe in the theory that the SSD could probably outlive you.
OCZ Agility SSD 120GB review
The OCZ Agility series SSD is an accumulation of all the latest breakthroughs in SSD technology, including controller design, spiffy read/write speeds, and 64MB of onboard cache, yet with this series, at a somewhat better price. See, by doing so OCZ shaves another 20 to 25% off the sales price.