I was quite excited to hear that the Agility name would live on with a SandForce SF-2281 controller at first. Over the years the Agility Series offered great value to mainstream and even enthusiast users. OCZ has always managed to find a way to keep the Agility at near Vertex speeds, but with a reduced MSRP. The truth is, though, that the Agility hasn't always been the best value. OCZ has always been very aggressive with Vertex pricing and at times we've found the Vertex at a lower retail price than the Agility. At this time Newegg has the Agility 3 120GB at just two Dollars less than the Vertex 3 120GB. Given that you don't get a desktop adapter bracket with the Agility 3, the value just isn't there. When looking at the 240GB drives, the Agility 3 is 70 USD less than the Vertex 3 240GB. Over time I think the Agility 3 will see for quite a bit less than the Vertex 3 but right now the 120GB is a no brainer with the Vertex 3 and given the low performance when the Agility 3 240GB is half full of data, the Vertex 3 240GB should be your pick in that capacity size as well.
The real problem, though, is even with an Agility 3 that costs 30, 40 or even 50 Dollars less than a 120GB Vertex 3, would you really want one? The Agility 3 is a damn fast drive, but once you actually start storing data it slows at a much faster rate than the Vertex 3. We think this is a result of the async flash, but will have to wait for more async equipped drives like the Corsair Force 3 to know for sure. It's very possible that the performance profile could be a result of the programming or firmware, but an Agility 3 programmed with the same firmware as our sample isn't much faster than a Vertex 2 when 50% full.
If the pricing and dynamic performance aren't enough to send red flags, then the compressed data performance should. I have a theory on compressed data. When you have a larger drive you keep more movies, pictures, audio files and such on your drive. For most users the first 60GB of space is reserved for your standard programs like the OS, Office, ZIP / RAR programs, a few games and other software odds and ends. If you have a 60GB drive then there isn't much room left over for your media files. If you have a 240GB drive then you have quite a bit of left over space for your media files and that's when compressed data performance really comes into play.
Last year we were all hugs and kisses over the Agility 2, but the Agility 3 changed the recipe too much. The desktop adapter bracket is gone, the performance envelope is too dynamic and the incompressible data performance is not what you need in a large capacity drive. If you want SandForce SF-2000 performance then you need to get a proper SF-2000 drive. To do that you need to avoid the Agility 3 and get a sync flash Vertex 3.
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