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OCZ Agility 3 SSD review: Unbalanced 'budget' drive

CNET editor Dong Ngo gives his take on OCZ's latest solid-state drive, the Agility 3.

OCZ's new Agility 3 solid-state drive works in any application where a regular SATA hard drive would be used.
OCZ's new Agility 3 solid-state drive works in any application where a regular SATA hard drive would be used. Dong Ngo/CNET

OCZ released its second SATA 6Gbps solid-state drive (SSD), the midperformance Agility 3, a while ago and pitched it as a "budget" drive compared with the company's high-end Vertex 3 SSD.

While the new drive is indeed about 8 cents per gigabyte cheaper than the Vertex 3, its performance unfortunately was disproportionately worse: copy speed was about 25 percent slower. This makes the drive not really a good deal, though somewhat more affordable. On top of that it doesn't come with a drive-bay converter to fit well in a desktop, either.

With that said, the new Agility 3 is still very fast, even among SSDs. The drive is easily twice the speed of fast SATA 3 traditional hard drives. To be fair, in our testing, there was basically no distinguishable difference in terms of general usage or boot and shutdown times between it and the Vertex 3. When it came to dealing with large chunks of data, such as editing hi-definition movies or copying tens of gigabytes of data at a time, the Vertex 3 was indeed clearly faster.

So if you are a gamer or just want to improve the quality of your general computing, you can't go wrong with the Agility 3. On the other hand, if you are a photographer or video editor, the Vertex 3, or the Plextor PX-256M2S, would be a much better way to go.

The Agility 3 is available now at a not-so-budget price of around $470 for the 240GB capacity. It also comes in 120GB and 60GB capacities that cost $240 and $140, respectively. To find out if it's the right drive for you, check out CNET's full review.