Final Words

OCZ's Agility 3 is a mixed bag of performance. For typical desktop workloads and light usage, the Agility 3 looks a lot like a Vertex 3. It's only when you start mixing in data that's not easily compressed/deduped that the Agility misbehaves. As a general boot/application drive I'm pretty confident in the Agility 3's abilities, however those of you who work with (more than just play back) a lot of photos, video, music and file archives will want to spend the extra on the Vertex 3.

The Agility 3's viability in the market really boils down to its street pricing. The Vertex 3 is selling for considerably more than its original MSRP, assuming the Agility 3 does the same then I'm not sure I see a ton of value in the drive. However if the Agility 3 can keep to its MSRP, it may be a good alternative for those users interested in the Vertex 3 but put off by its price premium vs. the Vertex 2. Theoretically the Agility line should be able to hit Vertex 2 pricing (assuming the SF-2200 isn't much more expensive than the SF-1200) given that both drives use asynchronous NAND.

Drives just started shipping so unfortunately it's too early to tell how the Agility 3 will price in the market. If history is any indication the Agility 3 and Vertex 3 will be moving targets with the best buy depending on NAND pricing at any given point. Hopefully you understand the performance tradeoffs enough to know when to pull the trigger on the Agility 3 and when the Vertex 3 is a better deal. In short, if the prices are close go Vertex 3, otherwise the Agility 3 should be fine for most light/typical desktop usage.

I have to add that choosing a SF-2200 drive isn't particularly easy. Different configurations result in different performance levels even down to the number of chip enables per NAND device (not just the number of die). Now adding asynchronous NAND back into the mix definitely makes this harder.

TRIM Performance & Power Consumption


View All Comments

  • DanNeely - Tuesday, May 24, 2011 - link

    The devices shown in the table need to be kept small to keep the tables reasonably sized.

    Fortunately for you however, the bench section of the site allows you to setup your own comparisons. Anandtech doesn't appear to have ever benched the 240gb Vertex 2, but you can compare eg the 100GB vertex 2 to the 120GB vertex 3:
  • Oxford Guy - Tuesday, May 24, 2011 - link

    The 100 GB is pretty useless for comparison.

    The chart can certainly be larger, and the 240 GB Vertex 2 makes good sense for this review!
  • sequoia464 - Tuesday, May 24, 2011 - link

    Agreed on the Force 3, be nice to see them reviewed early. Still looking for that review on the Samsung 470's also. Reply
  • Stargrazer - Tuesday, May 24, 2011 - link

    It's a shame that most reviewers ("everywhere") still tend to only review the ~256GB versions, skipping the far more affordable (and thus far more realistic options for most users) ~128GB versions. I understand that you don't always have control over which versions you're sent, but there's *still* no review of the 120GB Intel 510, which means that there's also still no real comparisons to the Vertex 3 120GB's competitors.

    It becomes even more ludicrous when you look around the web for reviews of the Vertex 3 Max IOPS, and everyone is reviewing the 240GB version, concluding that "well, the Max IOPS version is a bit faster in some cases, but generally rather similar to the normal version". Well, *duh*! Given that the Max IOPS version uses 3xnm Flash instead of 2xnm Flash, you'd think that people would be interested in looking closer at the 120GB version, since that's the one where you'd expect the most significant differences. There's a potentially very interesting product out there, and all the "big" reviewers are ignoring it because they're too busy looking at the version that ("regular") people aren't going to buy (to the same degree) anyway!

    I understand that companies prefer that reviewers look at the bigger versions because they tend to be "better", but this is getting ridiculous. Have you tried looking for review sites that have reviews of all the "current" ~128GB SSDs? They're not exactly common.
    Seeing as there are lots of people out there that are far more interested in ~128GB SSDs than ~256GB SSDs, don't you think it'd be interesting if *someone* would actually show them what the playing field looks like?

    You're pretty much the most respected SSD reviewer out there. Is there any chance that you could make a stand and *demand* to also be given ~128GB versions if they want you to review the ~256GB versions? If they don't comply, just buy the ~128GB version for yourself, and refuse to review the ~256GB version.

    This lack of ~128GB reviews is getting rather frustrating...
  • jensend - Tuesday, May 24, 2011 - link

    I wholeheartedly agree with this, and would add that other capacities at least down to 64GB need reviews as well. Everybody wants to send the reviewers their top-of-the-line stuff, but most folks in the real world aren't in a position to shell out $300 or more per SSD. I imagine different controllers have different scaling patterns- making a purchase decision based on reviews of high-capacity SSDs seems to me to make no more sense than making a decision about which low-end video card to get based on reviews of the single-PCB dual-GPU monsters.

    Please, Anand, make a concerted effort to include more lower-capacity SSD reviews.
  • JasonInofuentes - Tuesday, May 24, 2011 - link

    To a certain extent tech sites are beholden to what they receive. When a new product is released, companies do want to show their best foot forward, so they send the best looking product. Add to that the time that it takes to run through a full test suite on each drive and you can imagine what it would take to review every iteration of every drive.

    Stay tuned though, AT's always trying to do as much as it can. Keep the comments coming.
  • Stargrazer - Wednesday, May 25, 2011 - link

    I fully understand that it is in the manufacturers' best interest to show their products in the best possible light. However, this is not in the best interest of the *consumers* that want to buy ~128GB SSDs. As jensend says, it's quite possible (even probable) that different controllers scale differently, so since "everyone" reviews the ~256GB versions, there's simply no data available for comparisons (aside from the numbers posted by the manufacturers themselves). To make things worse, tests from different sites are often not directly comparable, so even if Site A reviews the ~128GB version of Drive 1, and Site B reviews the ~128GB version of Drive 2, you often can't even compare the test results. This means that it's often really hard to get comparisons of the drives you're interested in.

    A few weeks ago, I was looking for reviews of the ~128GB versions of the Vertex 3, the Intel 520, and the Crucial C300 (and possibly one more, I can't remember at the moment). I found *one* site that covered all of them. In French. And those were "big name" SSDs. In my eyes, that means that there was *one* review site at the time that had even an *adequate* (it was actually quite good too, even though I needed translation) coverage of ~128GB SSDs. The state of the consumer-focused SSD reviews is simply abysmal (the extreme case must be the sites that review only the 240GB version of the Vertex 3 Max IOPS. That's just... pitiful. In that case, the interesting shift in performance is for the 120GB version).

    Yes, that means that I consider AT's coverage of ~128GB SSDs to be *less than adequate* (to be adequate, you need to at least participate!). AT has an absolutely fantastic coverage of the theory behind SSDs, and it is *great* that they covered the 120GB Vertex 3, but without being able to compare it to its competitors, what good is that? All we can do is make educated guesses, and there's not even enough data to make a *good* one.

    That's sad, given that far more people seem to be interested in buying ~128GB SSDs than ~256GB SSDs (unless I'm mistaken in that assumption).

    And yes, running benchmarks on extra drives obviously takes time, but while SSDs have far more manufacturers out there than for instance the GPU business, sites tend to have no issues with covering lots and lots of different models from each GPU manufacturer. It seems like the workload should pretty much even out when you consider the actual number of products reviewed.

    Also, what do you think the reaction would be if review sites suddenly only covered the very high end GPU products out there? Unthinkable, right? So why is it apparently ok for SSDs?

    Bah. It's disgusting.

    You'd think that at least someone would attempt to have a good coverage of the smaller SSDs, just in order to get the page hits from the people who are interested in them. That should be quite a few people...

    Come to think about it, how sad is it that I feel the need to say that it's "great" that a site covers a 120GB model of a drive? Shouldn't that just be "normal"?
  • Stargrazer - Thursday, May 26, 2011 - link

    I found the french article I mentioned:

    They compare:
    The ~128GB versions of: the OCZ Vertex 3, Crucial M4, Intel 510, Intel 320 (that's the one I forgot), Crucial C300, Corsair F120, Intel X25-M and G.Skill Falcon2,
    As well as the 256GB versions of: the OCZ Vertex 3, Crucial M4, Intel 510, Crucial C300,
    and the 300GB version of the Intel 320.

    That's the only comparison I've seen of current-gen ~128GB SSDs.
    Other sites (including AT) just show small parts of the puzzle, if even that.
  • antcasq - Tuesday, May 24, 2011 - link

    What happen to OCZ Onyx 2? It supposed to be cheap (http://www.tomshardware.c...Force-MLC-TRIM,11390.h... however it was almost impossible to find it in the market and it was canceled (http://www.ocztechnology....s/end_of_life/flash_me...

    Now they want to sell us Agility 3? I rather buy the cheaper Onyx 2 if it really existed at all!
  • JasonInofuentes - Tuesday, May 24, 2011 - link

    You might be interested, then, in the Solid 3 series. This seems to be the successor to the Onyx series, and is targeted at smaller sizes and costs. Reply

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