OCZ Agility Series 120GB SSD Reviewccokeman -
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The Agility series from OCZ are the mainstream drives in its extensive line up of solid state drives. These drives are offered in capacities ranging from 30GB all the way up to 250GB, so at that point, space is most likely not an issue. The drive specifications differ on the 30GB model, with read speeds of up to 185MB/s, writes of up to 100MB/s, and sustained writes of up to 60MB/s. While those speeds are not bad, the rest of the Agility lineup soars to reads of up to 230MB/s and writes of 135MB/s, with sustained writes of up to 80MB/s - a substantial increase over the smaller drive's abilities. The NAND flash memory for this drive is housed in a sturdy aluminum case and comes in a 2.5" form factor - perfect for use in both portable PCs, as well as desktops. The front of the Agility carries the same graphic as the packaging, while the back side lists the serial number and data on the proper disposal methods, as well as stating that it is ROHS compliant. To mount the drive, you can use either the threaded bosses on the side or bottom of the drive.
Connecting the Agility 120GB drive to the system is as simple as installing a standard mechanical drive with connectivity in the form of SATA power and data connections. The 2-pin jumper can be used when updating the firmware on this drive. Many of Agility drives will not need to use the jumper, but based on the drive's internal components, you may have to use the jumper. When updating to the latest firmware for this drive, revision 1.5, I needed to use the jumper and easy-to-follow instructions for updating the firmware. The back of the drive is featureless.
Now it's time to start poking around on the inside of the Agility 120GB drive. You could do the same, but then there goes your 3 year warranty - so instead, I can look inside and spare you the time and trouble. When you open the Agility up, you can see the controller, 64MB cache, and the 8 NAND flash modules per side of the PCB that make up the 120GB of storage space.
This Agility drive from OCZ is equipped with the INDILINX "barefoot" controller - a much needed improvement over the earlier Jmicron based drives for increased small file write performance. Along side the controller is the ELPIDA 64MB cache, which, when combined with the barefoot controller, gives the end user a drive that does not stutter or provide a less than satisfactory experience. The NAND in this particular drive is supplied by Toshiba, although the NAND flash memory used in the drive will vary depending on availability. I have seen Samsung, Intel and now Toshiba in Agility series drives.
Let's see how well this drive from OCZ performs when compared to some of the other popular drives on the market.