TSullivan

OCZ Agility 3 Review (240GB) Discussion

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The OCZ Agility 3 fills the mid-range gap of OCZ's SSD lineup; but don't let "mid-range" or "mainstream" fool you. The Agility 3 uses a SATA 6Gb/s interface and the SandForce SF-2281 processor to drive 525MB/s read speeds, 500MB/s writes and 45,000 4KB random write IOPS - those are just a hair under the Vertex 3 specs. OCZ offers the Agility 3 in three capacity points, 60GB, 120GB and 240GB - all leveraging Intel/Micron 25nm NAND.

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How do you measure the power consumption in the SSD tests?

Anandtech reports a maximum power consumption figure of 3.41 watts when doing a sequential write of incompressible data. This could be a problem if, like me, you'd like to use the drive in an enclosure.

I believe specifications for external interfaces allow for:

USB2.0 - 2.5W (500mA @ 5V)

USB3.0 - 4.5W (900mA @ 5V)

Power over eSATA(eSATAp) - ?

I've Googled to find the power specifications for eSATAp, but the top hits are all from sites who confuse volts with power (watts) :(

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For the Agility 3 we did the power tests using just repeating data (Vertex 3 and Max IOPS we did both). I can fire it up and pull the watts for random/incompressible data though.

Also one idea that came to mind is I will just run through our incompressible tests with the Agility 3 in an external enclosure powered by a single USB cord.

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For USB2 it largely depends on the motherboard and its USB power supply implementation. I've got a 7.2k rpm HDD in an enclosure with double USB plugs (5 W) which work fine. Using just one USB2, however, works for my Gigabyte P35 board, but not a cheap Asus H67 or my laptop.

Regarding the review: it's nice to see this 240 GB Agility 3. But I hate how they're apparently not sending out 60 GB units for review. That's what many people will probably buy, but thanks to IMFT only producing 8 GB dies at 25 nm these will only have 8 of 16 channels populated, so performance will probably suffer a lot. And I'd really like to know how much.. ;)

MrS

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In the introduction, in your second paragraph, you write:

"In terms of performance, this essentially means that the Agility 3 will hang with the Vertex 3 in tests that use incompressible data, but will fall behind when it comes to handling compressible data."

Surely it's the other way (as benchmarks show)?! i.e. it can hang with the Vertex 3 when using compressible data but *not* when using incompressible??

As I understand it, most data including the Windows operating system is compressible so there is little/no disadvantage unless you're moving highly compressed data like movies, jpgs and encrypted folders etc. For the vast majority interested in this drive, they won't be storing this type of data on this drive but a secondary mechanical. I mean, if you're buying this to save money on the Vertex 3 then you probably ain't buying the 240GB version either, more likely the 60GB or 120GB. The gaming and other real world benchmarks tell it all - you won't notice any difference for most normal use. Am I right?

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For the Agility 3 we did the power tests using just repeating data (Vertex 3 and Max IOPS we did both). I can fire it up and pull the watts for random/incompressible data though.

Also one idea that came to mind is I will just run through our incompressible tests with the Agility 3 in an external enclosure powered by a single USB cord.

Both of those would be really useful, thanks.

I second MrSpadges comments on the review units all being 240GB drives, and not the 60GB versions that most people will be interested in. I've set up a Google alert for Agility 3 and Force Series 3 reviews, but haven't seen a single review of the 60GB versions. The only benchmarks I've seen are from owners on the forums.

I wonder if the 60GB will draw less power than the 120/240G? Less channels may mean less power consumption.

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Well I extended the RW portion of the IOMeter stress test out to 5-6 minutes for each phase with random data and the Agility 2 in a single USB cord powered external enclosure breezed through it. No errors, no blips, nothing. That was over USB2 entirely.

We are trying to get some feedback on some 60GB test models, and should have an answer on that soon. Depending on how the PR division works at certain companies, they might only get a batch of 256GB/240GB drives for reviews to send out.

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Well I extended the RW portion of the IOMeter stress test out to 5-6 minutes for each phase with random data and the Agility 2 in a single USB cord powered external enclosure breezed through it. No errors, no blips, nothing. That was over USB2 entirely.

Good to know, thanks very much for doing that. You guys are way more responsive than Corsair and OCZ are on their forums. Perhaps you should get into the SSD business!

I'll probably grab one of these when I get back from my holidays and give it a go in my StarTech eSATAp/USB enclosure. I guess that the drive can't run flat out over a USB 2.0 interface and so the power consumption is lower and therefore not an issue. It'll be interesting to see what happens in my eSATAp enclosure.

How do you measure hard drive power consumption for your reviews?

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I recently bought an Agility 3 240g and it has the BSOD freeze issue. With operation fully restored after power cycling the PC.

Some people are still posting problems on OCZ forums even after FW 2.11 fix.

This is the first detailed power consumption by supply (12v, 5v, 3.3v) data I have seen.

How much more information can you give me. I may want to try regulating/filtering power to the SSD.

It's simpler to know what supplys are used, and to what capapcity.

I have a hunch, it maybe a totally wrong hunch, but everyone has already looked every where else.

One person did not have the BSOD issue in their old system (old PSU?, shorter/better PSU wires?)

I validate/characterize cell phone chips. Some power management ICs, some 2G/3G/4G transcievers ICs with dozens of internal regulators.

I know my buisness and I know people, cheap people.

I am not going to void a pefectly good warrenty, or bring it into the companys lab.

It is tempting to test it on the N6705-N6781 power analyzer.

Do you have schematic or parts detail on the Agility 3 internal power?

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