OCZ Agility 4 256GB Solid State Drive

Posted by on Tuesday, February 5, 2013 - 10:15pm

Today, we have one of their latest drives on hand which is the Agility 4. The Agility is the second edition of an Indilinx controller after being purchased by OCZ. The controller is now called Everest or Everest 2 in case of the Agility. This is an attempt to bring reliable speed and performance to the masses but at a fair price.

OCZ Agility 4 256GB Solid State Drive

 

Introduction

Now that everyone knows what a solid state drive is, they are pretty much a common fixture into today's computers. But even with the success companies are having with them, it goes stop manufacturers like OCZ from further advancing the technology. Over the past few years we have see OCZ take the lead in the production of solid state drives as well as become one of the foremost leaders in taking the technology to the next level.

Today, we have one of their latest drives on hand which is the Agility 4. The Agility is the second edition of an Indilinx controller after being purchased by OCZ. The controller is now called Everest or Everest 2 in case of the Agility. This is an attempt to bring reliable speed and performance to the masses but at a fair price.

OCZ’s take on the Agility

The Agility 4 Series provides leading performance over a broad spectrum of applications, making use of asynchronous MLC NAND to offer an excellent cost per gigabyte. Agility 4 SSDs are innovatively engineered to deliver excellent file transfer rates and superior system responsiveness, all while providing a more durable, reliable, and energy efficient storage solution compared to traditional hard drives. Designed to take full advantage of the SATA III interface, the Agility 4 unleashes ultimate productivity, gaming, and multimedia applications for users seeking both stand-out speeds and exceptional value.

Mirroring real-world performance scenarios over a broad spectrum of consumer desktop and mobile applications, Agility 4 SSDs are designed to provide a superior user experience and extreme performance over the other current solutions available on the market. With the cutting-edge Indilinx Everest 2 platform, Agility 4 is optimized for consistent, high speeds with the complete spectrum of file types and sizes including both compressible and incompressible data for balanced performance like no other drive you've experienced.


Specifications

Performance

64 GB

128 GB

256 GB

512 GB

Sequential Reads1

300 MB/s

420 MB/s

420 MB/s

420 MB/s

Sequential Writes1

200 MB/s

300 MB/s

410 MB/s

410 MB/s

Random 4k Read IOPS2

46,000 IOPS

58,000 IOPS

48,000 IOPS

48,000 IOPS

Random 4k Write IOPS2

47,000 IOPS

72,000 IOPS

85,000 IOPS

85,000 IOPS


Closer look

First of all, the Agility 4 is available in four different storage sizes including 64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB and 512 GB. Of the four the two larger models are the faster ones at 420 MB/s and 410 MB/s Read and Write performance. The 64 GB unit is 300 MB/s and 200 MB/s while the 128 GB is 420 MB/s and 300 MB/s.

The Input/output Operations per Second or IOPS also differ between the four drives. The smaller 64 GB drive is advertised 46k and 47k, Read and Write while the 128 GB is 58k/72k, the 256 GB is 48k and 85k and lastly the 512 GB 48k/85k equaling that of the 256 GB model.

From the outside the Agility doesn’t really stand out much from other drives on the market. As it too is encased in a plastic and aluminum shell and has the same measurements of a standard 2.5" HDD.

On top of a product label with the Agility 4 name towering over any other information. Of course OCZ is imprinted on the label as they are the manufacturer. Then there is the 'Indilinx Infused' logo hinted to who is the maker of the controller.

On the reverse side covering a silver aluminum back plate is the P/N label. The standard information is here like warranty is seal is broken, product name and size and how to handle the drive.

The drive is connected to the faster SATA III ports on the motherboard but is backwards compatible to the slower SATA II.

Here we have the standard green PCB.

The Indilinx controller is labeled IDX400M00-BC.

The 25nm NAND modules are labeled 26F128G08CFAAA. This leads us to Micron being the manufacturer. There are a total of sixteen of these, eight on each eight.

To get the 512 MB of cache the drive uses two Hynix chips which are labeled H5TQ2G63BFR.


Test Hardware:

1. ASUS X79 Deluxe Motherboard
2. Intel Core i7 3930K Processor
3.Kingston HyperX 1866 DDR3 16GB
4.Kingston V+ 200 120GB Solid State Drive
5.ASUS BC12B1LT BD-Rom Drive
6. Thermaltake Frio Extreme CPU Cooler
7. MicrocoolBanchetto 101 Open Air Test Bench
8.Silverstone Strider Gold Evolution 850W Power Supply
9. ASUS Nvidia GTX 560Ti 448 Graphic Card

Results

HD Tune Pro 3.50
HD Tune Pro is an extended version of HD Tune which includes many new features such as: write benchmark, secure erasing, AAM setting, folder usage view, disk monitor, command line parameters and file benchmark.

CrystalDiskMark 3.0
CrystalDiskMark is designed to quickly test the performance of your hard drives. Currently, the program allows to measure sequential and random read/write speeds.

Anvil's Storage Utilities
The Standard Storage Benchmark performs a series of tests, you can run the full test or just the read or the write test or you can run a single test like i.e. 4K QD16.

AS SSD
The synthetic tests to determine the sequential and random read and write performance of the SSD. These tests are carried out without using the operating system caches. In Seq-test measures the program how long it takes to read a full 1 GB of file to write respectively. In the 4K test the read and write performance for random 4K blocks is determined. The 4K-64-THRD-test corresponds to the 4K procedure except that here distributes the read and write operations on 64 threads. This test should be SSDs with Native Command Queuing (NCQ) differences between the IDE operation mode where NCQ is not supported, and represent the AHCI mode. The additional compression test can measure the performance of the SSD as a function of compressibility of the data. This is especially the controllers that are used to increase the performance and life of the cell compression is important.

SiSoftware Sandra
We are pleased to announce the launch of SiSoftware Sandra 2011, the latest version of our award-winning utility, which includes remote analysis, benchmarking and diagnostic features for PCs, servers, mobile devices and networks. A year ago, SiSoftware released Sandra 2010 with full support for Windows 7; in the 18 months since the launch of Windows 7, more than ever before we have seen the line blur between PC and entertainment hubs. Two months ago we released a Blu-Ray benchmark, now we have added a brand-new Media Transcoding benchmark using the new Media Foundation of Windows 7. We have also added yet another benchmark (GP Cryptography) which allows direct comparison of CPU performance (using crypto instruction sets) and GPGPU/GPCPU/GPAPU performance.


Conclusion

The performance numbers (for the price) we saw in the new OCZ Agility 4 are one of the reasons they remain at the top of the solid state drive business. The performance is there dues to a few different advancements in technology. The first and most important would be the implementation of Marvel controller that is "Indilinx Infused". To sum up the last sentence the controller is enhanced via an OCZ made firmware.

If you are looking to replace an older mechanical drive or a failed SATA I/II solid state drive and on a budget, but ideally want a larger drive than the Agility 4 is not a bad route to go. Non-sale prices are just above the $170 mark for the 256 GB model.

If the numbers you seen within our reviews are not up to your liking, OCZ other mainstream models with better performance like the Vertex series.

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