OCZ's new Agility SSD is true to its name

The economy solid-state disk strikes the right balance between performance and price

(For comparison purposes, OCZ's older Apex SSD drive had a 153MB/sec. average write speed and a 233MB/sec. average read speed using the ATTO benchmarking software.)

I then transferred a 1GB file made up of videos and digital photos from the desktop to the hard drive, which took about 7 seconds. Again, that's very fast.

I also used battery-testing software from BapCo to see whether the SSD had an effect on the Dell's battery power. It revealed 138 minutes of power, not vastly different from other high-end hard disk drives and consumer SSDs. The same battery benchmarking tests on a Seagate Momentus 7200.4 500GB hard disk drive showed that the battery lasted 132 minutes. And when using an OCZ Vertex Series SATA II SSD, it lasted 137 minutes. So the Agility offers an additional minute of uptime -- a negligible difference, in my view.

Durability

OCZ claims that its SSD is shock resistant up to 1,500Gs. In comparison, a Seagate Momentus 7200.4 500GB HDD can withstand up to 350Gs while operating -- and 600Gs when powered off -- before sustaining damage or a drop in performance. Given that these drives are meant for laptops, that's important to keep in mind.

For what it's worth, the Agility drive comes with a claim of a 1.5-million-hour mean time between failure rating (I don't yet trust MTBF ratings for SSDs) and a two-year warranty.

Conclusion

Given the choice, I'd definitely pass up the slightly less expensive Apex drive for the Agility. This is partly due to personal experience: I recommended an OCZ Apex SSD to a co-worker earlier this year. He installed it in a 13-in. MacBook, only to have the Apex die within a couple of weeks. He got a replacement, which worked fine -- until he tried to install it in a new 17-in. MacBook Pro, which didn't recognize the drive. OCZ finally sent him an Agility SSD as a replacement, and everything went swimmingly.

Overall, I think that OCZ has gotten the combination of price, performance and reliability just right with the Agility SSD. With a better controller, added cache and affordable price, this should be a very strong contender for anyone looking to get their first laptop flash drive.

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Lucas Mearian

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