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OCZ Technology Agility 4 256GB Solid State Drive Review (Page 2)

By Chris Ramseyer on Aug 9, 2012 08:54 am CDT - 2 mins, 36 secs reading time for this page
Rating: 79%Manufacturer: OCZ Technology

Specifications, Pricing and Availability


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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ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Chris Ramseyer

Chris Ramseyer started his career as a LAN Party organizer in Midwest USA. After working with several computer companies he was asked to join the team at The Adrenaline Vault by fellow Midwest LAN Party legend Sean Aikins. After a series of shake ups at AVault, Chris eventually took over as Editor-in-Chief before leaving to start Real World Entertainment. Look for Chris to bring his unique methods of testing Hard Disk Drives, Solid State Drives as well as RAID controller and NAS boxes to TweakTown as he looks to provide an accurate test bed to make your purchasing decisions easier.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

OCZ strives to offer the industry's best SSD products, delivering high performance, reliability and increased value for all our customers. The Agility 4 SSD Series was designed specifically for mainstream applications and all AG4 drives utilize high quality Micron NAND, which consists of either Micron branded NAND or Micron Wafer that has been packaged by OCZ. We have not experienced an increased return rate with this product, and as with all of our solutions should customers experience any issues, require any support during setup or operation, or simply have any concerns whatsoever, they are encouraged to please contact our customer service team which will be more than happy to provide support and/or replacement. We highly value our customers and appreciate their business and always will do whatever we can to ensure a positive experience with both our products and service.

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