The OCZ Agility 3 is a small step down from its big brother, the OCZ Vertex 3. The new drive is slower and doesn't include a drive bay converter to conveniently fit in a desktop computer. Other than that, it shares the same design and features as the Vertex 3, meaning it can be used in any application where current SATA hard drives would be used.
With speed that's easily twice that of a regular platter-based hard drive, the Agility is best suited for a laptop or a high-performance desktop, especially one that supports SATA 6Gbps. At its street price of around $470 for the 240GB capacity ($240 for 120GB, $140 for 64GB), the Agility 3 is slightly cheaper than other SSDs. That's not much of an advantage, however, as it's noticeably slower than other SATA 6Gbps SSDs.
That said, the OCZ Agility 3 is still very fast, even among SSDs, and will increase a computer's performance significantly compared with a regular hard drive. For more SSD options, however, don't forget to also consider the Vertex 3, the Plextor PX-256M2S, or, if your computer only supports SATA 3Gbps, the Samsung 470.
Design and features
|Drive type||2.5-inch solid state|
|Connector options||SATA 3Gbps, SATA 6Gbps|
|Available capacities||60GB, 120GB, 240GB|
|Product dimensions||9.5 mm, 2.5-inch standard|
|Capacity of test unit||240GB|
|OSes supported||Windows, Mac, Linux|
The OCZ Agility 3 and the OCZ Vertex 3 share the same shape, dimensions, and port design as a standard 9.5mm, 2.5-inch internal hard drive. Unlike the Vertex 3, however, the OCZ Agility 3 doesn't come with a drive bay converter, meaning it will be a little tricky if you want to use it with a desktop computer. As the drive has no moving parts, however, you can probably get away with leaving it inside the computer's chassis without screwing it tightly to a drive bay. The Agility 3 looks good and feels solid with its partly aluminum housing.
Like the latest SSDs we've reviewed, the Agility 3 supports SATA 3 (6Gbps). It also works with SATA 2 (3Gbps) at that standard's slower speeds. To take advantage of the drive's top speed, you'll want to use it with a SATA 3 controller, such as that of a computer powered by Intel's new Sandy Bridge chipset.
We tried the Agility 3 with Mac, Windows, and Linux computers, and it worked well with all of them, just like any regular SATA hard drive. Like the Vertex 3, the Agility 3 took a significantly long time to be formatted. In our trials it took about 5 to 7 minutes to be quick-formatted using Windows 7. Note that other drives, including the Seagate Barracuda XT, take just a few seconds to be quick-formatted.
According to OCZ Technology Group, the Agility has very low power consumption of just 2.5 watts when active (1.5W when idle), offers shock resistance up to 1,500G, and supports RAID configurations.
Cost per gigabyte
Though not proportionally to its slower performance, the OCZ Agility 3 is indeed cheaper than its peers. At about $1.95 per gigabyte, the Agility 3 is the most affordable among SATA 3 SSDs and the second-most affordable among all SSDs we've reviewed. Comparing cost per gigabyte, the Agility 3 is just 1 cent more expensive than the Samsung 470, which doesn't support SATA 3. The drive is still much more expensive than regular hard drives, however. For example, the 3TB Seagate Barracuda XT, which offers the top amount of storage on a single drive to date, costs just 8 cents per gigabyte.
We stacked the OCZ Agility 3 up against a few SATA 3 SSDs and hard drives on the market, including the 3TB Seagate Barracuda XT, the Plextor PX-256M2S, and of course its brother the Vertex 3. Overall, the Agility was very fast in our testing but it was sometimes noticeably slower than the Vertex 3.