OCZ Tech Agility Series 120GB SSD
We've looked at quite a few 120GB Solid State Drives (SSDs) from OCZ Technology over the last few months (in case anyone's confused, these are actually 128GB drives which OCZ admirably lists as 120GB to avoid misleading consumers as to actual ‘usable' capacity). Back in March there was the Apex Series, followed by the Vertex in June. Now we're looking at the Agility Series 120GB, available for around £288.
Unlike the Vertex, which was a performance drive, the Agility is classed by OCZ as a mainstream SSD. Though you get the same three-year warranty, performance figures are lower, with 230 MB/s read, 135 MB/s write and 80 MB/s sustained write speeds compared to the Vertex's 250, 180 and 100 MB/s. These numbers are still plenty to get excellent performance though, so let's see how this SSD holds up.
What you get in the slim package is minimal - in fact it consists just of the drive and a two-page manual. To be honest we prefer to see some screws and a 2.5in to 3.5in adapter bracket included, like with the Patriot TorqX SSD, which makes installing it into most tower cases less of a hassle. Even better is Kingston's tactic of providing three different configurations of its drives with one just the plain drive, the second containing the above desktop mounting bracket, and the third including a 2.5inch USB drive caddy and drive cloning software that is ideal for notebook upgrades.
The 2.5in, 99.88 x 69.63 x 9.3mm drive is, as usual, protected by a matte black metal upper case and stainless steel base plate, and is quite light at 92 grams. Connectivity consists of SATA power and data ports. The Agility series is available in three capacities: 30GB, 60GB and the 120GB of our review sample, this being the largest size in the range. Quick warning though, don't get the 30GB Agility based on this review, as it has significantly worse performance numbers (common with small capacity SSDs due to the controller being able to write to fewer flash modules simultaneously). We will look to get in the smaller capacity drive soon to verify what sort of a performance difference you can expect.
Speaking of the controller, we have an Indilinx chip in the driving seat, which this SSD shares with its more expensive cousins. Indilinx or Intel are really the only controllers you should consider right now, as all the others appear to suffer significant problems under long term usage. Samsung's controller could theoretically not suffer from these issues but the drives require a firmware update, which can't be applied by end users.