OCZ Agility 4 256GB SSD Review
4th Generation Agility, Indilinx Infused Yet Again
When we look at OCZ’s main SSD lineup, we generally think of two product lines – Vertex and Agility. It’s been that way for a couple generations of OCZ SSDs now with the Vertex line being engineered as the top of the line OCZ SATA based product and the Agility line being the budget option for those who aren’t necessarily interested in top of the line performance, but want to get into the SSD game.
With the 3rd generation Vertex and Agility series SSDs, the main difference between the two (other than price of course) was the NAND flash being used onboard. Whereas the Vertex 3 used faster, more expensive 25nm IMFT ONFi 2.x Synchronous NAND (up to 200 MB/s), the Agility 3 used older, less expensive, and consequently slower 25nm IMFT ONFi 1.0 Asynchronous NAND (up to 50 MB/s). Those interested in learning more about ONFi specifications, please visit the ONFi website here.
Of course since then, OCZ has unveiled the new Vertex 4, which is an excellent, high performing drive still based off of IMFT’s 25nm ONFi 2.x Synchronous NAND, but is now carrying OCZ’s in-house Indilinx Everest 2 controller (Marvell hardware, Indilinx firmware) rather than a SandForce based offering, which had been staple in both 2nd and 3rd generation Vertex and Agility series products. It’s only logical then since the Vertex series is receiving a controller update that the Agility series receive an update as well.
This then brings us to our review for today, the new OCZ Agility 4 256GB SSD. As expected, the new Agility 4 will be using OCZ’s in-house Indilinx Everest 2 controller, very much like the Vertex 4, but will be using 25nm IMFT Asynchronous NAND instead, very much like the Agility 3 SSD. With that said then, those interested in learning more about the Indilinx Everest 2 controller, be sure to check out our review of the Vertex 4 128GB and Vertex 4 256GB. Otherwise, let’s move on.
OCZ Agility 4 Specifications
|Manufacturer||OCZ Technology||OCZ Technology||OCZ Technology||OCZ Technology|
|Model||Agility 4||Agility 4||Agility 4||Agility 4|
|Capacity||64 GB||128 GB||256 GB||512 GB|
|Controller||Indilinx Everest 2||Indilinx Everest 2||Indilinx Everest 2||Indilinx Everest 2|
|NAND||25nm IMFT Asynchronous MLC||25nm IMFT Asynchronous MLC||25nm IMFT Asynchronous MLC||25nm IMFT Asynchronous MLC|
|Sequential Reads||300 MB/s||420 MB/s||420 MB/s||420 MB/s|
|Sequential Writes||200 MB/s||300 MB/s||410 MB/s||410 MB/s|
|Interface||SATA 3 6GB/s||SATA 3 6GB/s||SATA 3 6GB/s||SATA 3 6GB/s|
|Warranty||3 Years||3 Years||3 Years||3 Years|
Taking a quick glance at the specifications here, it’s immediately apparent that because the Agility 4 no longer uses a SandForce based controller, maximum rated read and write performance in comparison to the Agility 3 will now take a huge dive of about 100 MB/s in both sequential read and sequential write performance. Now I wouldn’t be too alarmed with these specifications because SandForce controllers are only superior when dealing with compressible data, which is why it’s able to mask the slower Asynchronous NAND’s performance (or lack thereof). However, the Indilinx Everest 2 controller, unlike the SandForce SF-2281, does not discriminate between compressible and incompressible data, which consequently means lower rated performance.