OCZ Agility 4 256GB Reviewccokeman -
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When you look at the testing overall the Agility 4 is not the fastest drive on the market but one that functions well when used with workloads that exploit its strengths. Overall read performance is lower than most of the drives I have tested while the write performance in most tests is almost on par with the enthusiast level Vertex 4. That being said the drive is worlds apart from a pure mechanical or even Hybrid drive in just about every test. This gets to the crux of the matter as OCZ is positioning the Agility 4 as an entry level drive. As such the Agility 4 is going to offer that significant increase in how the system feels when compared to a system equipped with a spindle-based drive for users looking to upgrade, but don't want to spend a significant portion of their budget on a single storage drive. OCZ is able to keep costs in check by using its own in-house Everest 2 controller and 2Xnm asynchronous MLC NAND. Priced at $189, the 256GB Agility 4 is available for less than 80 cents per GB; a game changer in terms of cost in an entry level 256GB solid state drive.
Performance wise the Agility 4 was able to over deliver its rated sequential write speeds of 410MB/s and come close to the read specification of 420MB/s in the ATTO testing. Access speeds are low throughout the testing as you might expect with a solid state drive and on par with the rest of the comparison drives. The Agility 4, much like the Vertex 4, shows significant gains in write performance without a performance hit when working with compressed workloads, illustrated in the Crystal Disk Mark and AS SSD testing, so much so that the Agility 4 and Vertex 4 are the fasted drives in these workloads.
As an entry level drive the warranty for the Agility 4 is three years, down from the five on the Vertex 4. Not to worry though, because should something go wrong within the typical three year upgrade cycle OCZ has an excellent support system in its support forums where you can get all the information needed to take care of a defective disk or get general tips for maximizing performance. OCZ's Toolbox can be used to update the firmware as well as perform a secure erase of the drive. This drive came with the latest firmware of 1.5 already installed and was tested in this state. Additional updates should be available more for compatibility than for raw performance increases.
Offered at an attractive price point, the Agility 4 is available in capacities from 64GB to 512GB. Each of the drives comes equipped with all of the tools to deliver an excellent user experience. Much of what you see in a disk drive review is just pure data that shows the capabilities of a drive, but the subjective feel is something that is more difficult to get across. As an everyday drive the Agility 4 feels much faster than a traditional drive and gives back those things that stick out most; faster boot times and improved access to data at a great price for the capacity.
- Write performance
- Low cost
- Low access times
- TRIM support
- 2Xnm MLC NAND
- OCZ support
- Read performance