SSD of the Week – AMD Radeon R7 Just $0.29/GB!

This week we were looking around for the best deal at the ~250GB capacity range of SSDs. Hands down, it turned out to be the AMD Radeon R7. At a low price of just $69.99 it is even cheaper than many of its competitors and delivers great performance!

radeonr7_lrg_sp

The Radeon R7 is a 2.5″ 7mm form factor, SATA 6GB/s SSD. It is also available in two other capacities, 120GB ($49.99) and 480GB ($149.99). While it utilizes an older architecture (Barefoot 3), it still delivers awesome real world performance, especially when under sustained workloads. Reads are rated for up to 550MB/s and writes for up to 530MB/s. In terms of IOPS it is rated for up to 100K/90K read/write, but not only are the peak numbers listed, so are steady-state random 4K write results, which are rated from 12-23K depending on capacity. Also, the endurance figure on this drive is 30GB/day, so there should be plenty of life expectancy out of this SSD, even with moderate use.

Furthermore, the Radeon R7 features 256-bit AES encryption support and has data path protection. It is also covered by OCZ’s hassle free ShieldPlus Warranty service that covers it for up to 4 years in case you ever need to RMA.  It is even bundled with a 3.5-inch desktop adapter bracket and Acronis True Image HD cloning software to easily transfer games, programs, and data from your old drive.

Radeon R7 Features

While it is a year old product we believe that the Radeon R7 is still truly a great value. Looking specifically at the 240GB model, it is under $0.30 per GB, which makes this a pretty hard deal to pass up if you are currently in the market for a new sub-$100 SSD. If you would like to learn more about this drive, please feel free to check out our review on it here. Otherwise…

Check out the AMD Radeon R7 on Amazon Today!

18 comments

  1. Wow. The prices on SSDs seem to be really dropping.

    Jim

  2. Damn, too bad here in EU deals like this don’t exist.

  3. I can personally vouch for this drive. I first bought it for my main OS drive back when it first came out for more than double the price it is now. And while I have since switched to 2 256GB 850 Pros in a raid 0 for my main OS drive, I still use the 240GB R7 for my recording drive, daily! I’m an audio engineer who uses Pro Tools for my mixing, and so I needed instanaeous response when dealing with high powered plugins, and to be honest the R7 did a pretty damn good keeping up on its own, but I ended up getting a good deal on 2 850 pros that I couldnt pass up so I switched the OS over to those, but set my record drive (which used to be 4 10,000 RPM Raptors in a raid 0) to the R7 and when I finish with my project I then transfer it to the Raptors which automatically backs up to my NAS for redundancy.

    Using that drive to record straight to has improved my performance 10 fold. Even with 120 tracks and 15 plugins per track, my experience is still lightening fast.

    By far, my R7 has seen more written to it in the past 3 months then most average workstation users write to their SSD in a few years, and it is STILL GOING STRONG.

    Even though the OS automatically trims it, and it has great garbage collection, because of the level of wear I put it through, I usually use the Radeon Toolbox (which you can get for free on OCZs website) to do a security wipe after a few big projects, and that also has been keeping the drive at top performance.

    Just so you get an idea, When Transfering to my external USB3 SSD, I still consistently get real world travel speeds of about 510MBPS, and that is pretty impressive when you think about the limit of USB3s interface, it literally maxes it out, so yeah. What I am trying to say is, now that this drive is less than half the price that it entered the market at, it is COMPLETELY WORTH IT, Especially when you consider the no hassle OCZ 4 year warranty.

    I hope more people enjoy this drive!

    Great Review!

    • Matt-

      It seems like you are doing a lot of manual upkeep on the drive using the Radeon Toolbox. The type of maintenance you are doing is outside the realm of practicality for most users. What made you think that you needed “…to do a security wipe after a few big projects, and that also has been keeping the drive at top performance.”? What degradation do you see if you don’t do the “security wipe”?

      Jim

      • Sorry, after I wrote this, I never checked back to see if anyone responded. I actually didn’t notice any degredation. I am just anal like that with my SSD’s out of habit. Back when they weren’t so polished, it was good practice to run security wipes on them to keep them at top performance. I honestly haven’t noticed any performace drop on my R7 at all, but since I am writing a ton of data too it, and eventually move it off, since I have the data moved off and have no use for it any more, its easy for me to click on the toolbox (it runs in the backround in the system tray on my pc, its only like 450KB, so it doesn’t cost any significant resources) and then click secure wipe, it takes literally 30 seconds for the entire process. But thats just my habit. This drive is actually supposed to have better Maitenance and Garbage Collection then most from its generation, and I haven’t noticed ANY problems, just habit. But I’m sure this thing would keep up with the great performance without me doing that, I definitely encourage everyone to try this drive if they get a chance. It honestly gives my Samsung 850 Pro’s a run for their money, and its significantly cheaper in price now (They used to be at almost the same $ per GB when it first entered the market.)

        Also FYI, the Radeon Toolbox has a little health Gauge In it, that gives a percentage on the health of the drive 100% being Best Obviously, I know I have written AT LEAST 35TB to It since I bought it about a year ago, probably MUCH MORE (My NAS/Server that I built at the same time I got the R7 just reached over 35TB’s in Projects, and almost all of it was Originally written to the R7 so I know its had at least that much), and the R7 reports at 98% health, so I think that’s pretty impressive considering the amount of data that has been written to it…

        Sorry I talk to much, in short, its an impressive little drive…

      • Matt-

        I kind of figured that force of habit might be the reason, unless security entered into the picture.

        I’ve had one in service for over a year as a boot drive. Wiping it would be disastrous for me. The Radeon Toolbox has been supplanted by Guru, by the way.

        I like the fact that the R7 has MLC NAND. It is working fine, but I have gotten away from Toolbox and Guru.

        I keep Toolbox and Guru on my computer but would use them now only for firmware updates, which I have only had to do once. Otherwise, they are too buggy.

        Jim

      • Yeah, I don’t like Guru as Much. I have it installed on my PC as well. And while it gives much more information, at least in my case, it ALWAYS FAILS when doing the security wipe. It gets to 20 percent and says the drive is frozen. And no matter what i do, even booting up to the guru boot disk, the damn security wipe NEVER works! But, even after using GURU and it failing the security wipe, I fire up the Toolbox without even restarting, literally seconds later, and the Toolbox wipes the drive just fine! So I use Guru for everything else, including adding the Over Provisioning to the drive after freshly formatting it, but I keep Toolbox around just for easy Security Wipes.

        But yeah, I do love the drives, and no security concerns in my case, and no problems. Although Find it funny because I just said in my last comment that the drive was at 98% health, I just noticed today after my last security wipe that it dropped to 97%. Thats still good I believe for the amount of data that I have written to it, but its Ironic that it chose that moment to drop. Any ways, I do hope this information is useful, although I talked my self into buying one after writing my last comment in this thread, and saw that the prices shot back up. The one place that has the 240GB’s at the same price is NewEgg, and they are (or were at the time at least) currently out of stock, so that kind of sucked; but hopefully they’ll go back down again.

      • Matt-

        The initial Acronis version I got with the R7 worked fine for the HDD to SSD transfer. I left it on my computer but set it so it would not run in the background.

        Guru does not sense the data distribution on my drive so I do not have the confidence to send a TRIM command using it. Guru does not consistently sense the correct state of the SATA connection, either. I just keep it turned off.

        I kept Toolbox around for TRIM. Now I use other programs that keep the drive running tippy-top. I just keep Toolbox turned off, too.

        It is interesting that you have noticed a need to do a manual TRIM after 90 days or so even on your RAID 0 setup.

        Hmm. It seems like you are seeing performance degradations on all of your SSDs. I call this “choking”.

        Jim

      • Also I am sure you know this, you definitely seem to be well informed Jim, but Acronis 2014 or any Image Program that you trust really, is perfect for imaging your boot drive off to a spare drive, booting up under the Toolbox boot disc and running a security wipe, and then dumping the image right back too it.

        That is if you notice any performance loss. Obviously if you don’t there is no reason too. But I think I mentioned in my first post that I run my OS on 2 850 Pro’s now, and because I am on an AMD chipset, no TRIM. So I routinely, about once every 3 months or so, image raid 0 with Acronis 2014 (I have too many problems with 2015) and security wipe both drives, then dump the image back. Otherwise I do start to notice a slight performance drop. It is a hassle, but not a major one.

        Because I am running Raid 0 which has no parity, I backup every other day just in case of a failure (Not 1 Yet By the way), and I found about 90 days to be the time 2 256GB drives without trim can go before a noticeable performance drop.

        Any ways, I am sure you are aware of this option, and its probably just too inconvenient for you, but I figured I would share it just in case.

        FYI, screw the version that OCZ gives you, its too limited and doesn’t let you create a boot disc, the paid Full 2014 Version (only install it to create the USB Boot Disk and then delete it if you hate un needed processes starting with your computer as much as I do) is in my opinion, the only way to go for a reliable image of an SSD. (I’ve had alignment issues with Ghost and the few Linux tools I’ve tried, 2014 has yet to fail me once)

      • It is great having detailed contribution like this; thank you sincerely.

  4. Does this have the same “halts every 20 seconds during sustained writes” issue that the Vector 180 has?

    • It shouldn’t as that was caused by a featured that was added only to the Vector 180.

      • I’m surprised since my Google scan just indicated that it comes with the same NAND, controller and v1.01 firmware version number that exhibited the problem.

      • The firmware revision number doesn’t mean anything. The Vector 180 has a different hardware design and firmware design.

    • It definitely doesn’t. I have the Vector 180s as well. I now use them for recording my TV in my HTPC Box. They Perform that task without a hitch, but that problem your talking about is SOMEWHAT noticeable when performing HEAVY and Complex computing. You really would only notice it if you were using them for a Complex SQL Database, that is constantly being updated from different users, or doing video/audio editing. They keep up with the recording part quite nicely, just every now and again they can hiccup for just a second when doing some heavy editing. Otherwise this problem is WIDELY OVERSTATED! When I used the 180s for my OS Drive in my media center pc for gaming, playing and hosting media, and websurfing, it wasn’t noticeable at ALL!

      However, the R7 doesn’t use that data saving feature (OCZ Calls it PFM+) that caused the slight hiccup in the 180. It is almost exactly the same drive in terms of hardware, but the firmware is slightly different in that it doesn’t use the on board feature that takes a snapshot of the data every 20 seconds or so. The R7 while actually cheaper than the 180s, actually outperforms them in every test I have run(only by a few IOPS/MBPS), just because of this PFM+ feature, but the difference is only noticeable when heavy computing comes into play. (However some may decide to take the 180s anyway, because the feature keeps your data better protected in case of a power outage {The Number 1 Killer Of SSD’s}, most Consumer SSD’s on the Market still lack a “data protected in case of power outage / Protection Against ‘Brick Drive Syndrom'” feature, and that’s where the 180s earn their keep.)

      However, I definitely can vouch for the R7, and if you can find them at the price that they are listed at in this article, you shouldn’t hesitate to pick them up!

  5. Although the price on the 120GB version is still the same, the price of the other two has jumped (using your link to Amazon). Was this intended to be a temporary deal or a permanent price drop?

    Jim

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