OCZ Agility 2 60GB SandForce SF-1200 Solid State Drive (SSD) Review
When just about any product comes out for the first time, there is bound to be some problems in terms how the product will respond to extended usage. This is especially true when the technology being brought out to the market is so new and with very little manufactures making that certain product.
This is exactly what the Solid State Drive (SSD) experienced from the beginning. Some drives were plagued with failures, stutters and poor performance. This is part of the evolution of brining something new to the market, you want to make it better with each revision and learn from past mistakes. Recently things have started to change and now there are more manufactures creating better, faster and more efficient SSD host controllers. One of these companies is named SandForce and their new high-end SandForce based controllers come with a wealth of industrial and enterprise experience and are now being adopted by a number of SSD manufactures.
Today I am going to give my brief experience with the OCZ Agility 2 60GB Solid State Drive and will share with you my findings.
About OCZ Technology
"Founded in 2002, San Jose, California-based OCZ Technology Group, Inc. has built on its expertise in high-speed memory to become a dominant player in the manufacturing and distribution of solid state drives (SSDs), a disruptive, game-changing technology that is replacing traditional rotating magnetic hard disk drives (HDDs). SSDs are faster, more reliable, run cooler, and use significantly less power than the HDDs used in the majority of computers today. In addition to SSD technology, OCZ also offers high performance components for computing devices and systems, including enterprise class power management products as well leading edge computer gaming solutions."
"SandForce, Inc., is transforming data storage by pioneering the use of standard Flash memory in enterprise, client and industrial computing applications with its innovative SSD (Solid State Drive) Processors. By delivering unprecedented reliability, performance and energy efficiency, SSDs based on patent-pending SandForce DuraClass™ technology unleash the full potential for mass-market adoption of SSDs based on NAND Flash media. Founded in 2006, SandForce is funded by leading venture capital investors and first tier storage companies."
OCZ Agility 2 60GB SSD Product Overview
Based on a cutting-edge new architecture, Agility 2 Solid State Drives deliver unprecedented performance while maintaining an affordable storage solution for early adopters looking to update their systems with the latest technology. OCZ designed the Agility 2 to excel in both sequential and random read/write rates to take your PC or notebook productivity to the next level, featuring superb 4k random writes up to 10,000 IOPS to give a performance edge over the previous generation. Using the latest controller technology, Agility 2 not only provides a faster, more responsive PC experience, but promotes cooler, quieter, and more energy efficient conditions compared to traditional mechanical hard drives.
OCZ Agility 2 60GB SSD Product Features
OCZ Agility 2 60GB SSD Product Specifications
50-240GB Max Performance
I came across the OCZ Agility 2 60GB SSD as I was completing a computer build for a customer. So I thought I would put it through its paces and tell all of you about it. The OCZ Agility 2 60GB SSD comes in a very compact box with the design being based on a black and green trim color design. The features that are printed on the front of the box tells us of its high performance design, that the Agility 2 is based on MLC flash based memory, that it has TRIM support and lastly the Agility 2 SSD is capable of being used in a RAID setup.
Another great thing that OCZ picked up, same as the Patriot Memory Torqx, is the inclusion of a 2.5" to 3.5" mounting bracket so that it can be mounted in a desktop case without any issues. This metal bracket feels good to the touch and includes mounting screws. Aside from the manual, OCZ includes a sweet PC case sticker which says "My SSD is faster than your HDD".
Performance and Testing Results
The Agility 2 SSD was placed in a high-end Intel Core i7-950 for the purpose as a boot drive and for running applications on the Windows 7 64-bit operating system. Rounding out the system was an MSI X58 Pro-E motherboard, 8GB of DDR3 RAM, 2x1TB HD and the MSI R5450 graphics card. Windows Experience Index rankings are from 1.0-7.9 (worse to best) and the OCZ Agility 2 60GB SSD ranks at 7.7.
Minus the video card (which is average at best -- the weakest link), this whole system setup is excitingly speedy. I kid you not that once you click on something when browsing the Windows 7 OS, for example double-clicking on Internet Explorer, the application starts up as soon as you let go of the mouse click. The 0.xms access time which is a clear advantage of SSD technology excels Adobe Photoshop CS2 in about 4 seconds. Microsoft Word 2007 and Outlook 2007 starts up almost instantaneously. Overall, the OCZ Agility 2 60GB SSD with the SandForce SF-1200 controller is very capable and should be on your consideration list for an SSD. Once you have experienced SSD's such as the Agility 2, you will never want to go back to conventional mechanical hard drives, I guarantee you. Forget even about those 15,000RPM Cheetah drives, they cannot compare.
Let's have a quick look at the benchmarks which reveals how quick the OCZ Agility 2 60GB SSD really is. Let's also look at one of the selling points on the SandForce SF-1200 controller; sustained read and write speeds. First of results from the OCZ Agility 2 60GB SSD and then we'll do a quick analysis against the Patriot Memory Torqx 128GB SSD, which I reviewed back in June of 2010.
The results show that the OCZ Agility 2 60GB SSD has very solid performance in many aspects and one of those is operations per second performance along with solid 4K performance. CrystalDIskMark reveals the Agility 2 60GB sequential read speed is 203MB/s and sequential write speed is a respectable 99MB/s. The 4K performance is also up there with 21MB/s read and 68MB/s write speeds. 4K multi-threaded performance is even better at 98MB/s read and 91MB/s write.
AS SSD Benchmark reveals blazing quick 0.097ms read and 0.241ms write access time speeds. HD Tune has the read access time down to an even quicker 0.080ms. These are insane numbers!
The random access time test in HD Tune reveals that the OCZ Agility 2 has superior operations per second and a overall higher average speed performance to that of the Patriot Memory Torqx 128GB SSD I reviewed back in June and that just shows you the advantage a SandForce controller has over competing competitors.
The Patriot Memory Torqx was never really outgun by the OCZ Agility 2 SSD. But the Agility 2 SSD wasn't demolished as well, the Agility 2 is almost as quick that you'll probably won't even feel the difference. This says a lot because the Patriot Memory is the best SSD I've tested thus far.
The OCZ Agility 2 60GB SSD can be found on the market for around $140 and for even less when found on sale and through manufacture mail-in-rebate. It comes with a 3-year warranty and offers an attractive total package. If you're in the market for an SSD or a general upgrade, the single component that will offer you the most performance increase is an SSD, and the Agility 2 will not disappoint.