Apex SATA II SSD
OCZ's high-capacity solid-state disk 'a solid choice'
- Attractive price, decent performance, light
- Faster drives available
Overall, the drive is a pretty good performer at a very attractive price. If you're not looking to break I/O barriers, but still want the many benefits of SSD — such as improved read/write performance, lower power consumption and greater durability — this drive is a solid choice.
In my quest to test all of the latest high-capacity consumer solid-state disk (SSD) drives, I came upon OCZ Technology's Apex SATA II SSD and was impressed not so much with its performance — though you will see a boost when using it — as with its price.
OCZ describes the Apex laptop SSD series drive as a "midrange offering for system builders and mainstream computer users". It's available in 60GB, 120GB and 250GB capacities. I tested the 2.5-in., 120GB version, since drives of that capacity and larger tend to be faster when writing data than 60GB models.
You can buy the 120GB version — the one I tested — for $US295 at Newegg.com and the 250GB model for $675. For those of you who are bad at math, that's between $2.46 and $2.70 a gigabyte, which is pretty good for SSD. For comparison purposes, the 256GB Samsung SATA II SSD that I recently reviewed has a retail price of $500.
Using a Dell Latitude D830 laptop with a 2.4-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor running Windows XP Professional SP2, I connected the drive using an adapter in my laptop's optical drive bay. I then tested it using ATTO Technology's ATTO Disk Benchmark v2.34, and Simpli Software's HD Tach v3.0.4 benchmarking utilities. While I was able to successfully test both read and write performance with the ATTO app, HD Tach had problems properly measuring write performance. So, I only have read performance measurements from that utility.
ATTO indicated the OCZ drive had a 233MB/sec. average read speed and a 153MB/sec. average write speed — not far from OCZ's claims of 230MB/sec. read and 160MB/sec. write speeds.
Next, I tested the drive using HD Tach. Normally, the results are similar to those reported by ATTO; in this case, they were way off. I tested and retested and got virtually the same results every time. The average read time was around 156MB/sec., the burst speed was around 230MB/sec. and random access time was an excellent 2 milliseconds. CPU utilization was a respectable 7 per cent.
Boot time for Windows XP was excellent: From a cold start, it took just 22 seconds; with a restart, it took 25 seconds. (Normal boot time with a 7,200-rpm laptop drive is 70 seconds.) And for Mac users, the same drive boots Mac OS X 10.5.6 on a late model MacBook in 23 seconds from start-up chime to desktop.
When comparing 2.5-in. consumer SSDs, I consider Intel's fast X25-M SSD to be the gold standard. The 80GB X25-M has so far beaten the competition when it comes to performance because its more sophisticated, 10-channel architecture and firmware that takes advantage of Native Command Queuing (NCQ). That allows the controller to prefetch data in order to access it more quickly from inactive NAND flash chips. (It's analogous to having a grocery list before going to shop.) The drawback to the X25-M is its much higher price — $595 retail, $365 on sites such as Pricegrabber.com -- despite the comparatively lower 80GB capacity.
Like Intel, OCZ's SSD is based on multi-level cell NAND flash memory, which means it packs two or more bits per cell vs. the more efficient, but lower-capacity, single-level cell memory, which only lays down one bit per cell. The drive also has a dual 8-channel achitecture, which offers 16 channel for high througput.
I also compared SSDs with one of the fastest hard disk drives going: Western Digital's 10,000-rpm Velociraptor, which has a 250.2MB/sec. burst speed and 105.6MB/sec. average read through HD Tach.
Like most SSDs, OCZ's drive is lightweight. It weighs just 2.7 ounces, and the factory-stated meantime between failure is 1.5 million hours. OCZs Apex comes with a two-year warranty.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- 2 Oppo A77 smartphone: Full in-depth review
- 3 Huawei GR5 phone: Full, in-depth review
- 4 Ring Video Doorbell review
- 5 Sony Bravia 2017 TVs: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Traditional Aussie PC market defies global downward trend again
- Logitech say new mouse features the best optical sensor ever designed for wireless gaming
- Razer unveil new Basilisk mouse built for FPS gaming
- HyperX Unveil Heavy-Duty Gaming Keyboard
- NVIDIA Supercharges Rendering Performance with AI
PCW Evaluation Team
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.
The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.
- LG G6 Plus: Full, in-depth review
- First Look: The Evil Within 2
- Huawei Y5 (2017)
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - Online PokerNSW
- CCBusiness Project ManagerNSW
- CCSenior DevOps EngineerVIC
- FTNetwork Data EngineerOther
- CCNetwork Data AdminVIC
- TPBusiness Process AnalystNSW
- FTData ScientistOther
- CCDigital Project ManagerNSW
- CCSenior Project OfficerNSW
- FTProject Manager- Cloud -Federal GovernmentOther
- TPSenior Business AnalystQLD
- FTTechnical ConsultantACT
- FTNetwork Infrastructure Development EngineerNSW
- FTSenior Master Data Officer- SAP , VLookup, Pivot, FinanceOther
- FTSolution Architect - Enterprise VoiceWA
- CCDatabase Administrator - BrisbaneNSW
- TPOrganisational Change ManagerQLD
- FTSalesforce - MarketingOther
- FTProfessional Services Consultant - UCMOther
- CCSenior Tech Business AnalystNSW
- FTInfrastructure Project ManagerOther
- TPSenior Full-Stack DeveloperSA
- FTSenior Java DeveloperWA
- FTJunior Applications Support AnalystOther