OCZ AMD Radeon R7 SSD Review (240GB)

With CPUs, graphics cards and memory, solid state drive were only a matter of time for a company such as AMD.  The AMD Radeon R7 SSD adds yet another AMD part to those who like to have matching components in their systems, but it also goes one step further. It takes advantage of a controller that has long been regarded as the best by enthusiasts.  The Barefoot controller, in fact, was talked about in forums  long before Indy’s acquisition by OCZ.   The benefit of AMD partnering with OCZ for this SSD is the fact that, with OCZ now being the property of Toshiba, the end product also includes what many consider to be the best NAND flash memory in the business.

 AMD Radeon R7 256GB SSD Angled

The AMD Radeon R7 SSD will be available shortly after the posting of this report and available in capacities of 120, 240 and 480GB.  Performance is listed as 550MB/s read for all capacities, along with 530MB/s write for the 240 and 480GB sizes, and 470MB/s for the 120GB capacity.  This high write performance for lower capacity drives seems to be becoming the norm these days and is very refreshing. IOPS are listed at 100K read and 90K write for the 480GB, 95K read and 90K write for the 240GB, and 85K read and 90K write for the 120 GB capacity.  The AMD Radeon R7 comes with a 4 year warranty, and if we were to place this in line with OCZ SSDs, it would fall between the vector 150 and Vertex 460.

AMD OCZ Comparison2

Other features of the AMD Radeon R7 include such things as 256-bit AES compliant encryption, SMART monitoring, rated endurance of 30GB a day for 4 years, an industry high 2.5 million hours MTBF, as well as a complete migration package to include a desktop adapter and  copy of Acronis HD cloning software that may be downloaded.

AMD Radeon 256GB SSD Exterior FrontAMD Radeon 256GB SSD Exterior BackAMD RADEON R7 BUILD

As with all OCZ SSDs, the exterior consstruction is of a heavy solid metal shell, this SSD being an ultrathin 7mm thick and having a very attractive design.  It can be disassembled through the removal of four screws on its base, however, one of the screws is covered with security tape, visible damage of which would void the drive warranty. MSRP is listed at $99 (120GB), $163 (240GB) and $298 (480GB) and availability should be a few weeks down the road.

AMD Radeon 256GB SSD FrontAMD Radeon 256GB SSD BackOnce the bottom plate is removed, we find a green printed circuit board (PCB) that contains the Indilinx Barefoot 3 controller, 16 pieces of Toshiba A19 19nm NAND flash memory, as well as a 256MB Micron DRAM cache chip on each side of the board.

  AMD Radeon 256GB SSD PCB Front

Each memory chip is 16GB on this SSD, for a RAW value of 256GB, however 7% is utilized for overprovisioning which brings it down to its advertised capacity of 240GB.  Once formatted, there is 223GB of available storage space at the users hands.

AMD Radeon 256GB SSD PCB Back