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  • MadMan007 - Saturday, September 01, 2012 - link

    Given that performance mode significantly affects HDTach, it might be useful to run some of the other broad tests like AnandTech Storage Bench with a drive that's more full. The results posted for that test may reflect the 'ideal' performance of a drive that isn't very full, and I can imagine most users would at least reach the second performance plateau with a drive that's actually being used to store OS and applications, if not the third tier. If so it could make quite a difference in the results. Reply
  • Alexvrb - Saturday, September 01, 2012 - link

    I second this. Why would I buy a drive with more than twice the capacity I need, when the drives will just be outdated junk in a couple of years? I'd like to see the real-world performance of these SSDs after they've been filled over 50%. Reply
  • rs2 - Sunday, September 02, 2012 - link

    Third.

    'Performance mode' is a hack and a gimmick. The drive suddenly loses 50% of its performance as soon as it 25% full. And then another 60% of what's left if you go past 80%. That's just absurd. While many users may well stay under the 80% capacity mark, very few will stay under 25% long-term.

    Any benchmarks of this drive should be done at a minimum of 25% capacity to better reflect the real-world performance that most users will see.
    Reply
  • semo - Monday, September 03, 2012 - link

    This is your standard bait and switch sale tactic from OCZ but at least they are more upfront about it this time. When they swapped the innards of the Vertex 2 and completely changed the specs (both performance and capacity, for the worse) they never told anyone.

    Anand was even reluctant to report on this shifty marketing practices but eventually caved in, only to have OCZ say sorry and not issue a mass recall...
    Reply
  • Craigster586 - Sunday, November 11, 2012 - link

    My Vertex 3 120gb is around 75% capacity. After reading your post I ran a Disc Benchmark using the latest Pass Mark software. With 8 programs running and 4 downloads My overall result was 2296. with 220MB/s Read and 215 MB/s write. Taking into consideration I'm at about 3/4 capacity running 8 programs with multiple downloads. I think my SSD is Performing quite well. Im not gonna say I'm not lucky. These drives are known to crash I bought it knowingly But I've had mine since they been on the market and havn't had a single issue. However i did update my SSD's firmware to the latest edition again thats at your own risk but it worked for me with no issues. Reply
  • Craigster586 - Sunday, November 11, 2012 - link

    Vertex 3 120Gb PassMark Disc Bench Mark

    Disk Mark
    #1 - Seagate ST3300622AS (300GB) 456.4
    #2 - WDC WD5000AAKS-00V1A0 (500GB) 580
    #3 - Seagate ST31000528AS (1TB) 709
    #4 - SAMSUNG MZ7PC064HADR-000 (64GB) 2846
    #5 - SAMSUNG HD103SJ (1TB) 850
    #6 - INTEL SSDSC2CW240A3 (240GB) 3434
    This Computer 2296

    Disk - Sequential Read
    #1 - Seagate ST3300622AS (300GB) 62.0
    #2 - WDC WD5000AAKS-00V1A0 (500GB) 78.4
    #3 - Seagate ST31000528AS (1TB) 100.4
    #4 - SAMSUNG MZ7PC064HADR-000 (64GB) 461.9
    #5 - SAMSUNG HD103SJ (1TB) 118.5
    #6 - INTEL SSDSC2CW240A3 (240GB) 393.6
    This Computer 220.4

    Disk - Sequential Write
    #1 - Seagate ST3300622AS (300GB) 61.2
    #2 - WDC WD5000AAKS-00V1A0 (500GB) 78.5
    #3 - Seagate ST31000528AS (1TB) 90.9
    #4 - SAMSUNG MZ7PC064HADR-000 (64GB) 155.4
    #5 - SAMSUNG HD103SJ (1TB) 112.3
    #6 - INTEL SSDSC2CW240A3 (240GB) 225.4
    This Computer 216.8

    Disk - Random Seek + RW
    #1 - Seagate ST3300622AS (300GB) 2.94
    #2 - WDC WD5000AAKS-00V1A0 (500GB) 3.58
    #3 - Seagate ST31000528AS (1TB) 4.80
    #4 - SAMSUNG MZ7PC064HADR-000 (64GB) 169.6
    #5 - SAMSUNG HD103SJ (1TB) 4.13
    #6 - INTEL SSDSC2CW240A3 (240GB) 330.6
    This Computer 197.7
    Reply
  • akumaburn - Tuesday, December 11, 2012 - link

    That is true.. however..

    The drive recovers its performance afterwards. What they mean is that if you all the sudden wrote 120GB of data unto their 256GB drive the performance of your drive will drop to about half-this is normal. Give it a few hours of idle time, do a trim and reboot and you're back up to 100%.

    I have a vertex 4 and can vouch for this, it does slow down, but if you give it a few hours for its internal space management to do its thing it will speed up again to near 100% performance.
    Reply
  • LB-ID - Tuesday, September 04, 2012 - link

    A fool and his money are soon parted, and anyone who buys an SSD from OCZ is a fool. They treat their customers like beta testers, and mock them when they have issues. No thanks, I'll stick to far more reliable products from far more reliable companies. Reply
  • ashrafi - Saturday, September 01, 2012 - link

    Nice article ,
    at the end ,
    "agility 4 for significantly less than the Crucial m4 of Samsung SSD 830 "
    little correction
    "agility 4 for significantly less than the Crucial m4 or Samsung SSD 830 "
    Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Saturday, September 01, 2012 - link

    Fixed! Thanks for the heads up :-) Reply
  • Wardrop - Sunday, September 02, 2012 - link

    You guys should work on some kind type reporting method, e.g. when you highlight a portion of text in the article, is shows a button in the top-right (or bottom-right) of your selection with something like "report error". Clicking it yields a little popup form with a textarea and a submit button. On submit, it emails the author with the URL, the selected text containing the error, and the users comments.

    I'm not sure who your web developers is, but I personally wouldn't find this to be a difficult thing to implement in any of my Ruby applications (not Rails by the way), assuming you've already got some kind of popup framework. It'd be a matter of adding a bit of JavaScript into your article template/layout to handle the text selection button, and popup form. After that, it's just a matter of adding an endpoint on the server, e.g. http://www.anandtech.com/report_error/<article_... to handle the POST request and send the email off.

    It would be a two hour job probably, but it depends on the framework you guys are using obviously, and the experience of your developer in doing this kind of thing.

    Would be a worthy time investment considering that for every article, there's usually quite a number of typographic errors reported by users.
    Reply
  • KZ0 - Sunday, September 02, 2012 - link

    If not for any other reason - at least not to bloat the comment section with typo reports. I love how responsive you guys at AT are to comments and critizism, and how fast you respond, but reading about corrected typos isn't that interesting. Reply
  • maximumGPU - Tuesday, September 04, 2012 - link

    Agreed! Reply
  • Impulses - Saturday, September 01, 2012 - link

    I find their performance mode more disturbing than even SF's performance gap with compressible vs incompressible data... Conclusion makes total sense, it'd have to be a rather large discount for me to consider it or recommend it over the m4, 830, or M5S... Add to that all the PR problems OCZ still has due to being the first name a lot of people think of regarding last year's SF fiasco, and OCZ has a long road ahead to grab some positive mind share again. Reply
  • Zoomer - Saturday, September 01, 2012 - link

    For these results to be valid, the drive has to be at most half full. Thus, this 256 GB drive would be effectively only have 128GB of usable capacity...throwing $/GB out the window. Reply
  • jb510 - Saturday, September 01, 2012 - link

    I asked Anand about this drive a month or so ago in comparison to the Crucial m4. In part due to his reply I ended up buying a m4 and have been very happy with it. Still glad to see the full report of the agility4, it was tempting at the time both the m4 & a4 were $400 with the a4 being substantially newer to market. Reply
  • Runamok81 - Saturday, September 01, 2012 - link

    In a move reminiscent of OCZs villainous 32nm / 25nm debacle,
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/4256/the-ocz-vertex-...

    OCZ is shipping TWO flavors of this drive into the retail channel without informing consumers. It seems anandtech received the better performing (more reliable) micron NAND SSD. Why won't OCZ ship THEIR flavor of their drive for Anandtech to test?

    http://images.tweaktown.com/content/4/8/4881_10_oc...

    Along with its rumored increase in failure rates (tweaktown/newegg and amazon reviews), I'd be curious to see if there is a performance difference between the two flavors of the drives.

    Fool me once, shame on you OCZ! Fool us twice, who should be ashamed?
    Reply
  • hybrid2d4x4 - Saturday, September 01, 2012 - link

    Asynchronous NAND drives had lower power consumption in past iterations - to what extent is this still true? How come there is no power consumption graph?

    Also, the A4 is slower overall in the storage bench tests than the Agility 3? What's going on here? This doesn't look like progress to me...
    Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Saturday, September 01, 2012 - link

    Vertex 4 and Agility 4 require special power testing hardware which I don't have (our regular tools don't work with them for some reason).

    As for Agility 3 vs Agility 4, as I said in the article, Agility 3 gets away with async NAND because of real-time compression used by SandForce.
    Reply
  • chris81 - Saturday, September 01, 2012 - link

    Please make the same text which appears in all SSD reviews italic. It would ease skipping these:
    The four corners of SSD performance are as follows...
    Reply
  • Qapa - Sunday, September 02, 2012 - link

    Yes, please do it :)

    Italic / special background color / anything

    (just also indicate that at the start of the article)
    Reply
  • Mr Perfect - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Yes, good idea. I generally assume most of the text on the performance pages of a SSD article is boilerplate and just skip it. I was surprised to find unique bits of information on the performance pages. Reply
  • Death666Angel - Saturday, September 01, 2012 - link

    Thanks for the review! I'm kinda missing the power consumption part though. :D Reply
  • Death666Angel - Saturday, September 01, 2012 - link

    Nevermind, just saw the other comment about it. Hope you can add it in the future though. :) Reply
  • ajp_anton - Sunday, September 02, 2012 - link

    "Pricing is very close to the Vertex 4"
    I'd say. It's identical, except for the 120GB one. With the Ag/Vx 3, the Agility is actually more expensive at that size.
    Are you sure you got that table right?
    Reply
  • CaedenV - Sunday, September 02, 2012 - link

    All the sudden I am not so sad about using the Agility 3's for my system drive. Agility 4 came out shortly after I purchased my first Agility 3 and I was kicking myself, but now it looks like it was not too bad of a move. Reply
  • SanX - Sunday, September 02, 2012 - link

    "But at normal prices, the m4 or 830 for a little more would be a much better purchase..."

    830 consumes 2 times more - hell 5+ Watts - then all others in the market
    Reply
  • claysm - Monday, September 03, 2012 - link

    But is 5 watts really that much? 830 ftw even if it's 15 watts more. Reply
  • erple2 - Monday, September 03, 2012 - link

    In a desktop environment, no, it doesn't make a significant difference. However, the mobile market is where every extra watt will make a significant difference in battery life. I've been considering buying an ssd for my laptop for a while, and the high power usage in the 830 is why I've taken that one out of the running. Reply
  • Wanou - Monday, September 03, 2012 - link

    back in 2000, OCZ was known for their bullshit marketing selling DRAM.
    Then, they sold PSUs.
    I bought one for myself... Guess what ? It was bullshit: Expensive for no more than a cheap crappy PSU in a classy box.

    When OCZ started making SSDs, I thought:" I will never buy one from them".

    But the Vertex 1 and after, the Vertex 2 looks so good, I bought one. And another. And another for my mother, another for my dad...
    They all worked great and are still working !
    So, I decided to get every PC where I'm working with a vertex 2 SSD. We are using huge mailboxes (Several Gb). So it was damn fast.
    May I say that It was just AFTER OCZ switched silently to 25nm ?
    Two friends of mine bought also one VTXE.
    When the first one bricked, it was bad luck
    The second started BSO before dying. Bad karma.
    The third locked Windows and was not detected on reboot.
    As for the 4th, the 5th, the 6th, the 7th...
    Each time, the bricked VERTEX 2E SSDs were replaced by Agility drives.

    I've switched to Samsung 830. So far, with more than 20 SSDs installed during the last 4 month, I've not suffered from ONE defect.
    Today, i'm waiting for the replacement SSDs for my 8th in row FAILED OCZ VERTEX2.

    One product can fail.
    But when you get 8 failed products on 16 products coming from 2 batches and 2 different sizes (90/120Gb), you should take care and stop using the -still working- remaining ones.

    And never buy OCZ Again.
    Reply
  • CaedenV - Tuesday, September 04, 2012 - link

    The entire Agility/Vertex 2 line was pretty bad. The 3's had a rough start with several major firmware updates, but after that they have really upped their quality quite a lot. Not saying that they would hold a candle to the likes of Crucial, Intel, or Samsung, or that they should be trusted in a 'mission critical' role (because they shouldn't). But as budget drives for a home system, they are really not bad.

    I was burnt also with some of the early power supplies, which were absolutely trash. But after OCZ purchased PC Power and Cooling they really turned things around, and my most recent OCZ power supply has some of the most accurate voltages I have seen for anything near it's price range (and that is before rebate). Again, they are not for anything mission critical, but they are also not advertised for it, nor priced for it. The current ones at least work more than well enough for home use.

    At any rate, they are a budget company, and as such they are hit-and-miss. Complaining that a budget oriented company like OCZ does not compare on quality to the likes of a high-end company like Samsung is like comparing a Nissan to a BMW. They both sell cars, but they are not remotely in the same market.
    Reply
  • celestialgrave - Tuesday, September 04, 2012 - link

    Did I miss it or was power not checked this time? Perhaps safe to assume very close to the Vertex 4 for power consumption? Reply
  • hasseb64 - Wednesday, September 05, 2012 - link

    AnandTech, why are you given OCZ a FW variable in your tests?
    I thought that AnandTech was a serious hardware site?
    Do not let OCZ or any other sloppy company get a 2nd chance with a “FW at consumer development strategy”.
    Reply
  • Superneato - Wednesday, September 05, 2012 - link

    I'm assuming the Agility 4 is the boot drive in this test. Exactly what method is used to TRIM the drive manually? I have the same question regarding how the drive was secure erased for this test. Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Wednesday, September 05, 2012 - link

    I just use Windows' Disk Management to format the drive, which will TRIM all user accessible LBAs.

    As for secure erase, I use Linux and its Terminal (basic hdparm commands).
    Reply
  • Superneato - Wednesday, September 05, 2012 - link

    You can format the boot drive from inside the booted OS? I must be missing something or do you have the test SSD installed as a secondary drive?

    Thanks for the fast reply.
    Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    All SSDs are tested as secondary drives. Using it as a boot drive can create more variables (the OS may be reading/writing in the background, which would affect the results). Reply
  • poccsx - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    I still can't figure out who makes the fastest SSD, they all seem to have their strengths and weaknesses. Reply
  • albtocxhtrqm - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    nice review but when I look for a ssd i look for price and reliability and then speed. I don't see the reliability factor tested here.
    Why not a reliability index based on reviews on 20. 50. 100 main websites like amazon, newegg, tigerdirect etc..

    For instance:
    OCZ Agility 512GB newegg.ca, september 06, 2012, 38% 1 star

    The more websites the more reliable this index would be.
    Reply
  • Eryxx - Thursday, October 11, 2012 - link

    I did it, I succumbed to my inner cheapness and saved a few $$ by buying an OCZ Petrol 128G ~7 months ago.

    Sure, it was faster than my WD Cav. Black 640GB, but from Day 1, the SSD gave me issues. I had to back it up weekly, do a secure erase using the OCZ Linux tools, then reimage the drive to keep it running correctly. If I let it go longer than a week without doing this, it would begin randomly locking up the system. Still, when it worked, it was much faster, so I suffered through.

    One day, the Petrol simply could not be detected by the BIOS, like it was just gone. Couldn't do anything with it, even the Linux tools could no longer detect it, so RMAd back to OCZ.

    Roughly 10 days after the Petrol failure, I received a brand-new Agility 4 128GB. Oh, joyous day, right? No.

    Right out of the package, my BIOS cannot see this drive. I've tried every procedure recommended by OCZ and dozens of users on their forums, this thing will not show up in AHCI mode, period. It WILL appear in IDE mode, and even in AHCI it DOES show up in Win Explorer and Device Manager once you boot with another drive.

    Yes, I've updated the BIOS, isolated the drive so it's connected all alone, new SATA cable, different ports, reflashed the SSD firmware, blah, blah, blah, this thing just won't detect in my system in AHCI. Will yet another drive fare any better? I highly doubt it, but I have little recourse but to try, or possibly wait for another firmware revision which might solve this.

    If you check the OCZ forums, there are a lot of other posts with similar issues on the Vx4/Ag4 line, so I don't seem to be alone in my misery.

    OCZ for your next SSD? Caveat emptor, my friend.
    Reply

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