OCZ Agility Series 120GB SATA2 SSD Review

 

The introduction ...

Who like to upgrade or build a new PC, will think about buying an SSD, at least during the first purchase consideration.
However in the price comparison one realizes that the price of a Solid State Drive is much higher than the price of a conventional Hard Disk Drive with the same capacity.
Nevertheless, the prices of SSDs are getting lower, and who like to get an overclocked PC much faster, will already find some interesting drives in the lower price segment.
This review is about the OCZ Agility 120GB SATA2 SSD.

 

 

 

Thanks for the support ...

Many thanks for the support with the OCZ Agility 120GB 2.5" SSD by the manufacturer OCZ.

The OCZ Agility 128GB SATA2 Solid State Drive OCZSSD2-1AGT120G has at present a price of approx. 300 Euro (Stand 06/2010).

The OCZ Agility series contains at present the following types:
30GB OCZSSD2-1AGT30G approx. 110 Euro (06/2010)
60GB OCZSSD2-1AGT60G approx. 160 Euro (06/2010)
120GB OCZSSD2-1AGT120G approx. 300 Euro (06/2010)
250GB OCZSSD2-1AGT250G approx. 650 Euro (06/2010)
SSDs and other hardware is available at our sponsors.

Here you can buy the OCZ SSD.

 

 

The supply of the OCZ Agility 128GB SATA2 SSD ...

The OCZ Solid State Drive was supplied well protected in this small cardboard box:

 

 

That is contained ...

OCZ supplies the Agility SSD well padded in a hinged box as well as to short installation guide.

Here is a picture of the packed OCZ Agility SSD with installation guide:

 

And here is a picture of the new SSD storage medium, which should make the PC noticeably faster ...

 

In the following picture one sees the back of the small 2.5" OCZ Agility 120GB SSD, where one can see down the SATA2 connections for data and power, which are by the way identical to conventional SATA2 hard disks:

 

That is contained ...

Manufacturer OCZ
Article number OCZSSD2-1AGT120G
Capacity 128GB
Interface SATA2 3GB/s
Cache 64MB
Controller Indilinx
Flash Type MLC - Multi-Level-Cell
Size 2,5" (99,8 x 69,63 x 9,3mm)
Weight 77 gramm
Speed Lesen bis zu 230 MB/s / Schreiben bis zu 135 MB/s
Seek Time < 0.1ms
Power Consumption 0,5W in stand by / 2Watt in operation
MTBF 1.5 million hours
Other TRIM support, RAID support, Garbage Collection software

 

Here is a Snipping screenshot of the CrystalDiskInfo 3.5.3 SSD and HDD information software:

 

 

SSD firmware update ...

Before starting the tests, it's time to make sure, that the firmware of the SSD is up to date and update it to the latest version.
At the review date, the company OCZ offered the firmware version 1.5 for Indilinx based SSDs.
Of course a test with the previous version was made, which was even faster, but unfortunately not so safe.
The update of the OCZ firmware is very easy:
Download the firmware from OCZ, unpack the contained ISO file, burn it on a CD, boot with this CD, select the SSD in the firmware update utility and confirm the firmware update.

Here is a screenshot of the OCZ firmware update from version 1.4 to version 1.5:

 

 

Benchmark values and test results ...

Let us continue with the benchmark results.
SATA2 drives are currently tested with an ASRock M3A790GXH/128M motherboard and SATA3 drives are currently tested with an ASRock 890GX Extreme3 motherboard.
At present, Microsoft Windows 7 RC Ultimate Edition is used as the operating system.

The SSD drive speed was examined and compared with the following benchmark software:

AS SSD Benchmark 1.4.3704.27281 - Download
ATTO Disk Benchmark v2.46 - Download
CrystalDiskMark 3.00 - Download
HD Tach 3.040 - Download
SiSoftware Sandra 2010c - Download

 

AS SSD benchmark result ...

The SSD benchmark values offers a very good reference point of the maximal possible reading and writing performance, the speed with smaller files and the respective access time.
The 120GB OCZ drive achieved above all an amazing high sequential reading rate.
With approximately 200 MB/s the maximum transfer rate of the Serial ATA interface was not reached yet completely, but the result is nice for this price segment.
The write performance was approximately 130 MB/s and the total core reached thereby 138 points.

Here is a Snipping screenshot of the AS SSD benchmark results:

 

And here is a Snipping screenshot of the AS SSD iops results to measure the input/output speed:

 

The comparison of the AS SSD benchmark results is extended with each new HDD/SSD test.
With the first SSD test on ocinside.de, the comparison is of course not very interesting, but the diagram is updated shortly.

Here is a comparison of the AS SSD benchmark values, which are getting updated with soon coming drives:

 

ATTO Disk benchmark result ...

The ATTO disk benchmark values gives a very good overview about the write and read rate on different file sizes.
More than 160 MB/s write speed with larger transfer sizes are pleasingly high and the result of the reading speed is with 220 MB/s starting from 64 KB transfer size also well.
Smaller transfer sizes below approx. 16 KB should be a little bit faster regarding the reading speed.

Here is a Snipping screenshot of the ATTO Disk benchmark values:

 

The ATTO disk of benchmark values are compared with a small transfer size of 32KB and a large transfer size of 8192KB.
The bar chart already shows a first comparison to a 1TB hard disk drive of the next review.

Here is a comparison of the ATTO disk benchmark values, which are getting updated with soon coming drives:

 

CrystalDiskMark result

With CrystalDiskMark one receives a balanced measurement of the performance with different transfer sizes.

Here is a Snipping screenshot of the CrystalDiskMark values:

 

The following diagram shows the CrystalDiskMark results once again compared with other SSDs and platter drives, which are extended step by step.
In the CrystalDiskMark comparison one can already see the differences to a usual disk drive, since the reading and writing performance is clearly faster in all results.

Here is a comparison of the CrystalDiskMark values, which are getting updated with soon coming drives:

 

HD Tach result

With the HD Tach benchmark values one can recognize the gradient of the performance.
In the coming test one will be able to see again a good comparison to platter disk drive, which will drop from the beginning to the end.
The OCZ Agility 120GB SSD shows two performance break-downs at the beginning and in the center.
Also the Garbage Collection Wiper software didn't help in this case and didn't change these two fluctuations.
The rest is like usual with other SSDs: A constant speed and extremely low access times.

Here is a Snipping screenhot of the HD Tach benchmark values:

 

The comparison of the HD Tach benchmark results shows already very impressive, how fast the reading speed and the average access time of the OCZ Agility 120GB is.
Upcoming tests will show, how this result looks compared to other SSDs.

Here is a comparison of the HD Tach benchmark values, which are getting updated with soon coming drives:

 

SiSoftware Sandra benchmark result

Of course, SiSoftware Sandra benchmark should not be missing in this test series.
SiSoftware offers with their SiSoft Sandra program a very comprehensive tool for some years, which contains a lot of tools to get very reliable test results of all hardware components.
The average access time of the OCZ Agility 128GB SSD was in SiSoftware Sandra with 50us also very low and underscores once again the previous tests.

Here is a Snipping screenshot of the SiSoftware Sandra benchmark values:

 

Here is a comparison of the SiSoftware Sandra benchmark values, which are getting updated with soon coming drives:

 

 

Result and general impression ...

The OCZ Agility 120GB SATA2 SSD OCZSSD2-1AGT120G has good transfer rates and low access times with all tested programs.

This Indilinx controller based MLC Solid State Drive had only little weaknesses with smaller transfer sizes in the ATTO Disk Benchmark software and in two read ranges of the HD Tach software.
The fluctuations were relatively small and could not degrade the good performance values of the agile SATA2 SSD.
Agility showed the SSD also with everyday tasks at the PC, because a Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate boot took approx. 27 seconds, whereby the pure Win7 loading time was approx. 12 seconds.
And in the MS Windows 7 Experience Index Score, the 128GB OCZ Agility transfer rate score reached already 6.9 of 7.9 points.

All in all OCZ Technology offers with the Agility 120GB SSD a good cost-performance ratio, which makes it possible to enter the SSD market and upgrade the PC or Mac in an affordable way.

 

Read on in the hardware test area with several hardware reviews ...

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