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OCZ ARC 100 SSD Review Discussion

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For those considering moving from an HDD, the ARC 100 will still offer night and day performance gains to go with power savings and the other classic SSD benefits. The drive also comes with the new no-nonsense ShieldPlus Warranty plan, making it easy to own as well.

OCZ ARC 100 SSD Review

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It's a direct competitor it seems to the Micron MX100. Very similarly priced.

Does this thing come with the MX100's power loss and end to end data protection features? Come to think of it, is there any reason to buy the 480 GB ARC compared to a 512 GB MX100?

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After the terrible reliability and even worse firmware on the old OCZ drives, why would anyone who suffered those buy these new OCZ SSDs?

I had 5 Agility3 units before I got one that worked for more than a month.

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It's a direct competitor it seems to the Micron MX100. Very similarly priced.

Does this thing come with the MX100's power loss and end to end data protection features? Come to think of it, is there any reason to buy the 480 GB ARC compared to a 512 GB MX100?

No, it doesn't have those, the MX100 is pretty unique there. The ARC 100 will more or less win out mostly when it's cheaper via sale/rebate, etc.

After the terrible reliability and even worse firmware on the old OCZ drives, why would anyone who suffered those buy these new OCZ SSDs?

I had 5 Agility3 units before I got one that worked for more than a month.

It's not fair to compare OCZ early/mid days to today. The benefits of being a Toshiba company are immense. One of those benefits is better engineering and management I'm sure.

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I think we've reached the point where well, features like power loss protection set the MX100 apart. I mean in real world performance, we are not going to see the advantages of faster performance by much, save in write-intensive applications maybe. Actually, I don't really think this SSD is much faster than the 512GB MX100, but we're compaing apples to oranges here - the 480GB Arc 100 is probably a better match for the 512GB MX100. From where I'm standing, I don't see the value in this over the MX100, unless as you note, this drive offers deals. But of course, MX100 could also go on sale down the line.

I think for most people, the real world difference between this and say, the SSD 850 Pro is very small. The big step up was going from HDD to SSD. We probably will not see another big step up unless we get a huge jump in performance. I guess maybe NVMe PCI-E 3.0 SSDs could do that. M.2 SSDs are already a lot faster.

Subjectively, a friend of mine told me that even RAM disks (and he has 64GB of RAM) did not "feel" that much faster in day to day use. Apps did however load much faster than compared to an SSD.

Edit:

We also seem to be heading to a world where SSDs are more segmented than before.

Edited by CrazyElf

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It's not fair to compare OCZ early/mid days to today. The benefits of being a Toshiba company are immense. One of those benefits is better engineering and management I'm sure.

It's totally fair, because I've seen nothing that shows OCZ have changed. A terrible product owned by a different company is still a terrible product. It just has a different label on it.

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I think we've reached the point where well, features like power loss protection set the MX100 apart. I mean in real world performance, we are not going to see the advantages of faster performance by much, save in write-intensive applications maybe. Actually, I don't really think this SSD is much faster than the 512GB MX100, but we're compaing apples to oranges here - the 480GB Arc 100 is probably a better match for the 512GB MX100. From where I'm standing, I don't see the value in this over the MX100, unless as you note, this drive offers deals. But of course, MX100 could also go on sale down the line.

I think for most people, the real world difference between this and say, the SSD 850 Pro is very small. The big step up was going from HDD to SSD. We probably will not see another big step up unless we get a huge jump in performance. I guess maybe NVMe PCI-E 3.0 SSDs could do that. M.2 SSDs are already a lot faster.

Subjectively, a friend of mine told me that even RAM disks (and he has 64GB of RAM) did not "feel" that much faster in day to day use. Apps did however load much faster than compared to an SSD.

Edit:

We also seem to be heading to a world where SSDs are more segmented than before.

You're right about everything here. The ARC only wins on price and it'd going to have to beat the EVO and MX100 on that front. There is a large segment of the upgrade market where this drive will when, when it's cheap. Looking longer term though, most systems are going to be sold with an SSD if that's what the buyer wants. I think the entire upgrade market is going to fade.

It's totally fair, because I've seen nothing that shows OCZ have changed. A terrible product owned by a different company is still a terrible product. It just has a different label on it.

What's the evidence to support this though? Most of the early problems were around the SF drives. I've seen fewer people complaining about the newer barefoot gear, but again that's somewhat anecdotal. Sadly there's still not a good source of failure data. At least the new warranty is good.

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You're right about everything here. The ARC only wins on price and it'd going to have to beat the EVO and MX100 on that front. There is a large segment of the upgrade market where this drive will when, when it's cheap. Looking longer term though, most systems are going to be sold with an SSD if that's what the buyer wants. I think the entire upgrade market is going to fade.

What's the evidence to support this though? Most of the early problems were around the SF drives. I've seen fewer people complaining about the newer barefoot gear, but again that's somewhat anecdotal. Sadly there's still not a good source of failure data. At least the new warranty is good.

I think that prices will fall once we start seeing V-NAND shrink down to perhaps under 30nm and come with TLC. Who knows, maybe we will see 4LC or QLC (4 Level Cells)? I suppose with some degree of overprovisioning, perhaps it would represent a net savings over TLC? I think that we are looking at a future where for consumers:

Low end: Kind of like the "Green" series of WD hard drives; where drives like this ARC 100 reside

Performance end: Kind of like the "Blue" series of WD hard drives: Drives like the SSD 850 Pro would end up here. I suppose OCZ's Vector series would be the approximate peer.

Very high end: The equal to WD's "Black" hard drives: PCI-E and M.2 SSDs The OCZ Revodrive series is an example.

Most of the problems OCZ had related to the SF 2281 but, the Petrol and Octane too were considered unreliable drives with high failure rates. Since the newer Vector series came out though, it's been relatively smooth sailing. But as the Valleyforge indicates, they still are going to have to work to get their reputation back. Many of the computer enthusiast forums generally don't recommend OCZ products I've noticed.

The biggest problem though is, what does OCZ have to offer? Serious question. At the moment, Micron and Samsung offer as we've noted, very good SSDs at all segments, for both consumer and enterprise. There are other players, like SanDisk, Hynix, and a few others. Presumably, Toshiba will provide its best NAND to OCZ for the forseeable future. The question is, what can OCZ offer that the others don't have?

Edited by CrazyElf

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Valleyforge, it's totally OK for you to mistrust OCZ until proven otherwise, and it's totally OK for you not to buy and recommend their products. But claiming this SSD would be a terrible product just because it's from OCZ is not OK - unguilty until proven otherwise. BTW: the controller and basic firmware of this drive have been in service for quite some time in other product(s?) now, so it's not something completely new and unknown.

CrazyElf, I'd say that OCZ failures were even more severe with Sandforce 1 rather than 2. But that doesn't matter any more. And regarding your outlook: I see no reason why "budget" drives wouldn't transition over to M.2 as well, once the controller and mainboards are established. They may not need it for write performance, but reads could certainly make use of the additional bandwidth. They even save money on the PCB and case (none for M.2).

Regarding QLC: there would be dimishing gains (at best 33% more capacity than TLC, in practice less than that) at amplified cost (16 states to distinguish instead of 8 for TLC). If it's even going to happen it probably needs 3D-NAND and would be used in SD cards etc. at first. We might see phase change memory (PCM) take over before this becomes reality... it's been promised since a few yeras, but recently Hitachi actually showed a very high performing prototype. Forget about that nonsense of PCM replacing DRAM, but replacing NAND is something it could do very well.

Oh and what the ARC offers over MX100 and Evo? If it's not price I still consider the exceptionally high write performance at 128 GB as an outstanding feature.

MrS

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I still think they're wasting their time. With OCZ's past history (relabeling and overclocking RAM, the terrible SSDs, and pretty dire PSUs), they still have a lot to prove that they're not the same company.

If things have changed so much, Toshiba should have dumped the OCZ name and got rid of all that past history.

The only way they'll sell OCZ branded drives is to newbies who are sucked in by big discounts, or by the drives hanging in blister packs in the local electronics store (Radio Shack, Maplin, etc).

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The reason Toshiba kept the brand is they felt it was stronger in many/most geographies than their own.

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