OCZ Agility 4 256GB Solid State Drive Review

Final Thoughts
When a product gets released it is never perfect, even though it goes through many different types of tests and procedures there are always things that can be improved or simply looked over.  This is why you see software or firmware updates for many products.  Or even at times products are recalled.  Products are often rushed out to meet demand or to jump on an opportunity in the marketplace.  It takes a while for many products to actually become a reliable product.  If you look on Newegg many of the reviews of the drive have say the drive was DOA or died soon after use.  Obviously reviews from a shopping site are not a true way to rate a product, but there is already an overwhelming reputation of this being a bad drive.  We did our typical burn-in test for 2 days with the Agility 4 and we had no issues at all, so in terms of DOA or drive failure we did not experience anything like that.  Our drive came with firmware version 1.5.

Using asynchronous NAND was an obvious choice to make the drive less expensive, but was it the right choice given the controller OCZ is using?  We have only ever seen asynchronous NAND in SandForcce-based drives and there is a reason for it.  The SandForce controller does real-time compression so as long as you are dealing with compressible data you will not see that NAND speed difference.  Since the Everest 2 does not do real-time compression you can easily see the NAND bottleneck in many of the tests.  Single request speed of this drive is extremely low (148MB/s).  Many of the real-word tasks you perform on a daily basis are single requests so that is something you need to keep in mind.  In our other tests the Agility 4 performed around 375-400MB/s for both read and write, which is not bad, but considering most other SATA 6GB/s drives average around 500MB/s for read and write the Agility 4’s performance is nothing to write home about, although it is going to be a big improvement over a mechanical hard drive.

The thing that saves the Agility 4 and still puts it on many people’s radar is the price.  As of writing this review the Agility 4 256GB drive is selling for $189.99 on Newegg.  At that price and based on the formatted storage space of 238GB that puts the drive at roughly $0.79 a GB.  At this price it is very competitive compared to other solid state drives out there.  Although OCZ’s Vertex 4 is only $20 more and would be the better choice.  Overall ThinkComputers gives the OCZ Agility 4 256GB Solid State Drive a 7 out of 10 score.

– Price
– 3 year warranty
– TRIM support

– Poor performance compared to other SATA 6GB/s drives
– Single request speed is very low
– No drive adapter or mounting hardware included

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