OCZ Agility 3 240GB SATA 6Gbps SSD Review – PCMark Vantage and Final Thoughts

The SSD Review uses benchmark software called PCMark Vantage x64 HDD Suite to create testing scenarios that might be used in the typical user experience. There are eight tests in all and the tests performed record the speed of data movement in MB/s to which they are then given a numerical score after all of the tests are complete. The simulations are as follows:

  • Windows Defender In Use
  • Streaming Data from storage in games such as Alan Wake which allows for massive worlds and riveting non-stop action
  • Importing digital photos into Windows Photo Gallery
  • Starting the Vista Operating System
  • Home Video editing with Movie Maker which can be very time consuming
  • Media Center which can handle video recording, time shifting and streaming from Windows media center to an extender such as XBox
  • Cataloging a music library
  • Starting applications

If you are new to testing and considering benchmark software, this is the best you can get because the program goes well beyond the results of simulated testing as we have already done. In comparing SATA 2.0 SSDs, we have reached the bandwidth limit and the performance of most new SATA 2 SSDs is as high as it can get with typical high sequential access speeds in the area of 270MB/s read and 270MB/s write.

We needed a way to differentiate these drives and to find a method that can actually put one drive above another and this is exactly what Vantage testing does. Its tests combined can provide an accurate comparison between drives and its tests individually can assist a smart shopper in finding the best SSD for their needs.

Although we have yet to reach SATA 3 bandwidth max, there will be a number of manufacturers introducing SATA 3 drives in the next few months. Next to actual true to life testing which can take an insurmountable length of time, PCMark Vantage is the only program that can compare any SSD, side by side, regardless of SATA interface or controller in use.


The OCZ Agility 3 240GB SATA 3 SSD gained a PCMark Total Point Score of 53534 which is excellent considering that, not even a year ago, there wasn’t an SSD even close to this unless it was a RAID configuration.  In fact, the Agility 3 even surpassed one of our RAID configurations.  Lets have a look at this SSD compared to the Intel 510:

Now lets see how it fits into our SATA 3 roundup:


OCZ introduced the Agility 3 family once again to be a value oriented solid state drive which has the performance and capacity that the consumer is asking for.  Add the fact that this is a ‘SandForce Driven’ SSD and the SF-2200 series processor within is receiving accolades all over the world and OCZ just may have found the right combination here.  Quite frankly, its really a ‘no brainer’ for anyone looking for the 120GB version of this drive and the introduction of the 60GB will have its own place in the SSD arena as well.

OCZ has done a great job introducing their new line of SATA 3 products and it leaves us waiting to see what we will see at Computex in Taipei, Taiwan only 3 days from now.  Their recent acquisition of Indilinx appears to have already succeeded as they have mentioned announcement of a Indilinx controller at Computex.

The SSD Review will be the first to sit down with OCZ and we fully intend on publishing the result from their suite right then and there.  STAY TUNED!!!


This review is the first of what we hope to be many by Derek Tokar who has agreed to join us as an independent contributor.  The SSD Review has built its success on family values and the belief that ones word and a handshake are as valuable as it gets.  From our family, we hope to continue striking the right chord in the SSD community and putting forward our articles and reviews through your input and recommendations.

Thank you!

Pg1 – Introduction, Price and Characteristics

Pg2 – Test Bench and Testing Protocol

Pg3 – Preliminary Benchmarks (ATTO, Crystal Diskmark and AS SSD)

Pg4 – HDTunePro Benchmarks

Pg5 – PCMark Vantage and Final Thoughts



  1. blank

    I just installed the Agility 120GB 3 in my Lenovo T420. All went pretty well but quickly I noticed the drive freezing up for several minutes at a time under firmware 2.06. I thought I would update the firmware to the latest at this time 2.09. OCZ provides the firmware as and executable toolbox. I downloaded it rebooted my system from the original hard drive and ran the application, the toolbox could not find the Agility drive. I tried a few different things but nothing worked. I then checked the OCZ forums and the OCZ support members (admin from what I can tell) gave really bad responses to this problem as posted by other users. I finally came across a user post that had said they resolved the problem by running the toolbox in Windows compatibility mode. This solved the problem but it show how poor the OCZ support is that they don’t 1) have a toolbox that runs properly under a 64bit OS and that they don’t know to tell users how to run the app.

  2. blank

    Dont buy this drive (or Vertex 3). I have Agility 3 and still have problem with freezing system, not discovering after reboot. I upgraded firmwared 3 times but still without any improvement.
    They should stop selling these drives. Friends of mine have the same problem – all (but OCZ claims that it is only 1% of users – strange).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *