OCZ Agility 3 240GB SSD Review

Author: AkG
Date: September 13, 2011
Product Name: OCZ Agility 3 240GB
Part Number: AGT3-25SAT3-240G
Warranty: 3 Years
Purchase at NCIX: | UK
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Ever since the introduction of 25nm NAND and SandForce’s SF2281 SATA 6Gbps controllers, the market has seen a tidal wave of drives all competing in the same categories. The end result is some companies like OCZ have strategically placed SSDs at every conceivable price point, from the entry level all the way up to ultra expensive flagship drives. The Agility 3 240GB is currently considered the lowest rung on OCZ’s “high performance, high capacity”, ladder but it still retails for a hefty $390 at most retailers.

For many consumers, 120GB of space isn’t enough yet their budget just can’t accommodate an enthusiast grade drive like the Vertex 3 or Vertex 3 MAXIOPS. OCZ has catered to this particular niche by simply including cost effective ONFi 1.0 NAND alongside the ever popular SF2281 controller. Naturally, the use of this less expensive will have a negative effect upon performance when compared to the ONFI 2.x modules used by the flagship drives. But will a consumer really notice the difference in their day to day usage patterns?

$500. Throughout this review, remember that number because it represents the going price of the very popular Vertex 3 240GB. It is also the reason why the Agility 3 will likely tickly the fancy of many first time SSD users who are afraid of the capacity limitations of other drives. We also have to remember that the popular Crucial M4 256GB is priced only slightly higher than this model, yet relies on a slightly different design: a Marvel 9174 controller and ONFi 2 NAND. Unfortunately, this could make the Agility 3 a tough sell.

While this drive’s enclosure has been designed with a classic OCZ color scheme, there is one major difference between this and other models we have looked at: it materials. In what looks like an attempt to save a few bucks, only the case’s bottom is metal while the top half is plastic. Luckily we’re talking about an SSD here so the use of plastic isn’t too concerning but let’s hope this isn’t an omen of things to come like it was with the plastic clad AData S592.

As expected, the interior architecture is very similar to that of nearly every SandForce SF2281-based drive we have looked at recently. There are 16 NAND populating the PCB’s 16 Integrated Circuit slots and a SandForce 2281 controller.

Interestingly, we’re seeing an advent of OCZ branded NAND chips but while the label may say “OCZ” they are actually 25nm ONFi 1 Asynchronous dual die NAND modules made by Micron.

Also noteworthy – and much like the Patriot Pyro 120GB we reviewed recently, the Agility 3 does not come with a 2.5” to 3.5” adapter. Many of OCZ’s competitors have seen fit to include this inexpensive accessory and this potential limitation should be taken into consideration before buying this SSD.

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