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Available in 32GB and 64GB capacities and respectively demanding prices of £354.04 and £704.33, these new drives don't come cheap. However, when you look at their statistics you soon realise what all the fuss is about. Their 100MB/s and 80MB/s read and write speeds are on a par with the fastest HDD and the access time of 0.2ms is 20 times faster than the fastest consumer hard drives. Shock resistance is also first rate as the drive can still operate, even when a force of 1500G is applied to it. Compare this to hard drives that generally fail when exposed to a shock of more than 50Gs. Finally, the Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) is a whopping 2,000,000 hours, which is higher than any spinning disk drive in the industry. It also puts paid to any worries about the other common concern about SSDs, that of the inherently limited number of times data can be written to each bit.
OCZ 64GB SATA II SSD Features:
* - Read up to 100MB / sec
* - Write up to 80MB / sec
* - Slim 2.5" Design
* - 100.2 x 70 x 9.5mm
* - Lightweight 77g
* - Low Power Consumption
* - Shock Resistant 1500G
* - High-Capacity 32GB and 64GB
* - RAID Support
* - MTBF 2 million hours
* - 1 year warranty
Physically, there's not much to say about the drive - it's a circuit board stacked with flash memory chips, mounted inside a standard 2.5inch hard drive chassis with a SATA II (3Gbit/sec) interface. Sure, it looks quite nice in its brushed aluminium livery but essentially this is a functional bit of kit. One thing that did catch my eye was how the chips are all mounted on one side of the PCB, rather than on both sides like the MCAQE32G5APP-0XA, and they are stacked two chips on top of another. However, these sort of details are of interest to true geeks only.
For testing we set up a test system using our usual CPU test bed that consists of an ASUS P5E3 motherboard kitted out with an Intel Core 2 Duo E6700, 2GBs of Corsair TWIN3X2048-1333C9 DDR3, a BFGTech 8800 GTS 640MB graphics card, and an Ultra X3 1000W power supply.
As well as the OCZ drive, we tested three other drives that represent a broad cross section of the current consumer hard drive market. The first and most obvious candidate is the Western Digital Raptor X 150GB, which up until the release of its greatly anticipated successor, the VelociRaptor, was widely regarded as the fastest consumer hard drive available. Its disks spin at 10,000rpm, as opposed to the usual 7,200rpm, and its average access time of 4.6ms is half that of most hard drives. Next we went for sheer capacity with the Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 1,000GB. This is a more conventional drive that spins at 7,200rpm and its average access time is 8.5ms but the density of data stored on it also makes it a solid contender in terms of performance. The last drive we used was an 80GB Seagate Momentus 5400.3, 2.5in notebook model. Ok, this isn't the fastest or largest notebook drive you can get but it will at least give us a clue as to the performance differences between the OCZ and a conventional laptop drive.
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