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OCZ Technology Agility 4 256GB Solid State Drive Review - Specifications, Pricing and Availability

At less than $1 per GB right out of the gate, this OCZ SSD is already a making waves, but can it still float after Chris gets finished with it?

| SSDs in Storage | Posted: Aug 9, 2012 1:54 pm
TweakTown Rating: 79%      Manufacturer: OCZ Technology

Specifications, Pricing and Availability

 

TweakTown image content/4/8/4881_02_ocz_technology_agility_4_256gb_solid_state_drive_review.png

 

OCZ is churning the Agility 4 out in four capacity sizes - 64GB, 128GB, 256GB and 512GB. Both the read and write performance scale with the capacity, but eventually top out at 420MB/s sequential read and 410MB/s sequential write speed for the two largest capacity sizes, 256GB and 512GB. The 64GB model achieves 300MB/s sequential read and 200MB/s sequential write speeds. The 128GB capacity size achieves the top level 420MB/s sequential read, but just 300MB/s sequential write speed. IOPS performance differs as well.

 

The NAND controller is the same Indilinx Everest 2 used in the flagship Vertex 4. Both the Vertex 4 and the Agility 4 use the same firmware which is now up to version 1.5. In our review today we've updated both the Vertex 4 and the Agility 4 with the latest 1.5 release.

 

The difference between the Vertex 4 and the Agility 4 is the flash. The Vertex 4 uses 25nm synchronous flash from Intel in most cases (OCZ is now producing a special Micron version with lower performance). The Agility 4 uses "2Xnm Asynchronous MLC Flash", quoted directly from the official product specifications. It's the 2X that has us scratching our head, but at the same time the light bulb is going off. The reason why is that Hynix manufacturers 26nm flash. We've yet see any in a SSD state side with labeled 26nm Hynix flash (but we do have a Hynix branded SSD on the way from Japan and it has 26nm Hynix flash). Another option might be SpecTek, a division of Micron. SpecTek is kind of like low budget Micron flash, think Dollar Store. The thing is, with the Vertex 4 doing so well in user reviews and Agility 4 doing so poorly, the issue has to be with the flash... but then again it could be something in the programming as well. If it is a programming issue, the underlying code that resides under the firmware, it can be fixed in customer drives with a firmware flash.

 

Since I started writing this article I learned that OCZ is also shipping Agility 4 drives with Micron branded flash. A few pictures have tipped up online with Micron 25nm asynchronous flash. The images are from other 256GB capacity drives so it isn't like OCZ is just using Micron flash on other capacity sizes. It seems we just pulled the short straw with our sample. What we'd really like to know is what is shipping to customers and what the ratio is, more Micron or more OCZ rebranded flash.

 

A much nicer topic to discuss is the price; hopefully OCZ gets the issues taken care of so the price can move back to the spotlight. At the time of writing Newegg had the following prices, $64.99 (64GB), $99.99 (128GB), $189.99 (256GB) and finally $379.99 (512GB). Both the 256GB and the 512GB receive the additional 15% off with the coupon code HARDOCPX8X1A.

 

OCZ backs the Agility 4 with a three year warranty that includes toll-free tech support and 24 hour forum support. The Agility 4 does not ship with a desktop adapter bracket or mounting screws, which are accessories included with the flagship Vertex 4.

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