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OCZ Technology Agility 3 240GB SSD Review - PCMark Vantage - Drives with Data Testing

On the surface the OCZ Agility 3 has everything you want in an SSD, but a deeper look reveals a darker side.

By: | SSDs in Storage | Posted: Jun 8, 2011 9:43 am
TweakTown Rating: 73%Manufacturer: OCZ Technology

PCMark Vantage - Drives with Data Testing


For a complete breakdown on the Drives with Data Testing, please read this article. You will be able to perform this test at home with the files provided in the article - full instructions are included.


Brief Methodology


SSDs perform differently when used for a period of time and when data is already present on the drive. The purpose of the Drives with Data testing is to show how a drive performs in these 'dirty' states. SSDs also need time to recover, either with TRIM or onboard garbage collection methods.


Drives with Data Testing - 25%, 50%, 75% Full States and Dirty / Empty Test
Files needed for 60 (64GB), 120 (128GB), 240 (256GB)
60GB Fill - 15GB, 30GB, 45GB
120GB Fill - 30GB, 60GB, 90GB
240GB Fill - 60GB, 120GB, 160GB
Empty but Dirty - a test run just after the fill tests and shows if a drive needs time to recover or if performance is instantly restored.




HDD1 - Windows Defender
HDD2 - Gaming
HDD3 - Windows Photo Gallery
HDD4 - Vista Startup
HDD5 - Windows Movie Maker
HDD6 - Windows Media Center
HDD7 - Windows Media Player
HDD8 - Application Loading


A few months ago I spent a considerable amount of time developing the Fill Test that places data on the drive and then a set of real world tests are ran. This test has been a nightmare for several companies, but allows us to see how a drive performs when the drive has data on it, just like it would in your PC.


This was the OMG moment for the Agility 3 240GB. With the drive empty the Agility 3 kicks all kinds of ass. It's just super fast and delivers a steady flow of data to your system. When the Agility 3 240GB has data on the drive, the performance is reduced significantly.


To put this into perspective, let's look at the 50% fill test. In our testing we found that the Agility 3 240GB performed at nearly the same level as the Silicon Power V20 120GB drive when both were half full. The problem is that the Silicon Power V20 is a SandForce SF-1200 based drive, the same as the OCZ Technology Vertex 2.


What this means is, if you keep 120GB of data on your Agility 3 240GB then you might as well buy a SF-1200 controlled drive and pocket the savings. At this time the Agility 3 is the only SF-2281 controlled drive paired with async flash, so we can't tell if all async drives will have the same issue.


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