OCZ Agility 4 256GB SSD Review – Workhorse Performance and Top Value

REPORT ANALYSIS AND FINAL THOUGHTS

In just a few years, solid state technology has made such a large impact on our lives that it can almost be described as unmeasurable.  Without thinking, we are intertwined with flash technology and the speed of SSDs in just about everything we do, whether it be speaking on a cell phone, surfing the net, watching television, taking pictures, or listening to our IPOD.  It is just there.

Seeing the evolution of solid state in computers has also brought change, much of which is observed through the consumers need to understand performance much more than they every did with a hard drive.  With the hard drive, if it worked that was fine and we understood that eventually it might crash and we would lose everything.  With the SSD, we want to understand how it achieves the speed that it does and, more importantly, why it is not reaching it’s peak performance in some cases.  There is an entirely new level of knowledge being introduced with SSDs and, with complete modesty, the success of our website is the direct result of this.

As much as we have understood that there were differences between LSI SandForce SSD performance and that of others such as Samsung and Crucial, there is now a change with the introduction of the OCZ Indilinx ‘Everest 2’ platform.  Where before we could simply rely on PCMark Vantage results for any of the above SSDs, this is not the case with ‘Indilinx Infused’ SSDs that haven’t quite found there comfort zone with PCMark Vantage, whereas, in all other testing they display very strong results when testing with incompressible data.

In the case of the new OCZ Agility 4 SSD we examined today, it’s compressible performance was not as good as we expected yet, no visible performance difference was observed and it’s write performance with incompressible data was enviable, and perhaps some of the best we have seen to date.  When we reviewed the Vertex 4, we put forward the belief that we thought it was game changing and this is no different with the Agility 4.  This is definitely a SSD that we could recommend to professionals that work in the video, music and photography fields so how could we not recommend it to the typical consumer?

OCZ introduced a new flagship in SSDs using asynchronous NAND flash memory and then scored a home run in pricing it as we can find our sample 256GB SSD at $179.99 which is only seventy cents a gigabyte.  I remember a point when the masts were yelling that they wanted to see SSDs under $2/GB and then came $1/GB and OCZ has surpassed even that.

Quite frankly, I NEVER thought I would see any SSD reaching over 400MB/s sequential write performance and also having over 100MB/s random 4k write performance going for anything near this price!  The Agility 4 is deserving of our Top Value Award.

Check out the Agility 4 at Amazon!

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Les@TheSSDReviewJRSteve Anderson?ào M?nh Tu?nFutureMedia Recent comment authors
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taitun
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i just installed the Agility4 in my early 2010 Macbook Pro 13inch which is only SATA II but the difference is magic. I only use for normal word and spreadsheet, some video and picture editing, i also run a virtual machine [VM Ware] with windows, but so far its just been great. I would def recommend this SSD.

But then again, its my first SSD….

Les@TheSSDReview
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Enjoy as you are experiencing the same as we all did on our first transition! Tx for the comment!

FutureMedia
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FutureMedia

Thanks Les. I just ordered the 512 version of this model for $323 from Amazon.com for my old early 2008 Harpertown 3.2GHz 32GB Mountain Lion OS X 10.8 Mac Pro. The goal is simply to be able to edit tags and crush dance music in iTunes which is an incredible dog of a tag editor. Hope this model SSD will make all the waiting a thing of the past. I’m canceling my $337 order for a “used like new” 480GB Sandisk SSD. Did I do the right thing Les?

Les@TheSSDReview
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I have to say I am very impressed with, not only the drive and performance but also, the price…win win I think!

FutureMedia
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FutureMedia

Les, I can’t tell the difference between a $323 512 Agility 4 and a $550 512 Vertex 4. Their overview pages on the OCZ Tech website look identical except for the additional charts and video on the Vertex overview page. Could you give us the executive summary on the $227 difference between the same size two models please? Do you really get $227 worth of better performance – especially on SATA II computers?

?ào M?nh Tu?n
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The different is that the Vertex 4 use synchronous NAND and the Agility 4 use asynchronous NAND. theoretically the Vertex 4 should be better. but the difference wouldn’t be worth $227, especially on a SATA 2 computer IMHO

?ào M?nh Tu?n
Guest

Hey Les can you give me some advice on this SSD vs. Samsung 830? they can be found for around the same price on NewEgg. the Agility seems to be faster but the Samsung more reliable (OCZ SSDs have had quite a lot of error in the past). what do you think? also since I’m a computer musician so which one of these 2 drives will offer me better performance with incompressible files? thank you!

Les@TheSSDReview
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AS a computer musician, I might be looking for the best incompressible performance I can find which goes along with the Indy controller in the OCZ.

Steve Anderson
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I am about to RMA my SECOND Vertex 2 120GB SATA II SSD… LOTS of wasted time re-creating my environment! What is the more recent “reliability” experience with OCZ drives? I do LOTS of video (screencapture) production (professor)

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