OCZ’s vertex 4 was released earlier this year and won just about every benchmark you could throw at it. With an additional firmware update, incompressible read and write speeds shot up by as much as 110%, bringing the customised Marvell controller using Indilinx firmware up to the number two spot for enthusiast drives. With the Agility 4, OCZ hopes to capture the market of system builders who want good performance, but can’t afford the bigger price points of the Vertex series.
Using the same controller found in the Vertex 4, the Everest 2 Indilinx-based controller is artificially capped at speeds of 400MB/s read and write for the 256GB and 512GB models respectively. IOPs are measures at 85,000 which means the Agility series provides the same throughput as its Vertex 4 brother, even though its the slower of the two. While OCZ chose to use Synchronous MLC NAND, the Everest 2 controller in the Vertex 4 256GB allowed the drive to match and even beat faster drives with Toggle-mode NAND. In the Agility, that should count for an even better price/performance ratio in the low-end market.
General availability is expected worldwide in about two months and we could expect the Agility 4 on our shores within that time as well. OCZ warranties the drive for three years and it is valid world-wide. The Everest controller brings new ECC measures, features similar garbage collection measures to mitigate the long-term performance drop with SSDs in RAID and with updates could prove to be a lot faster with time.
For those of you looking for a bargain though, head on over to Rebeltech and have a look through their SSD section. Vertex 3 drives are being sold at discounted prices as the Vertex 4 becomes more popular. Get one while you can, its a great bargain. Or shove out some more cash for a Vertex 4, on average its only R400 more expensive and is probably your best possible purchase for extending the life and performance of your rig.