Today OCZ added two more capacities to their Agility 3 lineup: 180GB and 360GB. Agility 3 isn't the first SSD series to feature such SSD capacities, but more often we see 120GB, 240GB, and 480GB SandForce based SSDs. However, making a 180GB or 360GB SSD isn't any more difficult. The SF-2281 controller supports up to eight channels but it can also run in 6-channel mode and that's how you make 180GB and 360GB drives.

Remember that SandForce drives use about 7% for over-provisioning by default plus possibly RAISE as well depending on the SSD. Hence these SSDs have 192GiB and 384GiB of actual NAND in them. 2.5" drives usually have 16 NAND packages but to run in 6-channel mode, you only use 12 packages (i.e. two NAND packages per channel). For the 180GB model, that means twelve 16GiB NAND packages with two 8GiB dies per package. 360GB simply doubles the dies per NAND package so you have twelve 32GiB packages with four dies each.

Specifications of New Agility 3 SSDs
Capacity 180GB 360GB
Raw NAND Capacity 192GiB 384GiB
Controller SandForce SF-2281
NAND Type Asynchronous 25nm MLC
Sequential Read 525MB/s 525MB/s
Sequential Write 500MB/s 495MB/s
4KB Random Read 35K IOPS 35K IOPS
4KB Random Write 50K IOPS 25K IOPS
Price 19,000 Yen ($237) 36,000 Yen ($448)

Even though only six channels are used, there is no performance loss according to the specs. Read speed is the same for all Agility 3 drives but write speed is dependent on the capacity: low and high capacity drives have worse write performance than the medium capacities. This is why the 180GB model is faster in writes than the 360GB model.

The new capacities have already been listed by some retailers and the 180GB seems to go for around $225 while the 360GB is listed at $425. The price per GB is about the same as what other Agility 3 drives offer, so these are viable options if you're looking for something in between 120GB and 240GB or 240GB and 480GB models.

Sources: Hermitage Akihabara, OCZ

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  • martyrant - Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - link

    I don't own any of the recent OCZ drives, but all I hear is horror stories. I would imagine focusing on fixing your product rather rushing more to market would be a better strategy when your brand name is getting hurt to the point most people don't even consider OCZ an option for a reliable SSD anymore (some of the original vertex and vertex 2 drives were great).
  • Jaegs - Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - link

    I've had 4 of these drives in RAID-0 as my boot drive on my gaming pc for about a year now with not a single issue or crash related to them.

    There now you've heard *almost* all horror stories about them.
  • Qapa - Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - link

    I would imagine posting random rumours without any real info is... (you choose the ending).

    In other words:
    1 - there were bsods in sandforce (all brands using SF!);
    2 - ocz helped fixing sandforce's problem;
    3 - didn't hear about anything afterwards;

    So, either I didn't hear and you know more than me, in which case not indicating any hint or fact just makes your post rather... Or there wasn't anything else, which makes it even worse!!
  • Demon-Xanth - Monday, March 5, 2012 - link

    My experience with OCZ drives involves having a barefoot and martini drive decide to brick themselves in the firmware. The only recovery option would have been a professional service. This isn't an occasional BSOD. This is "the drive disappears from BIOS". Although I'm still using both, I'm leery about going OCZ again.

    I own two OCZ drives. I've had problems with both. Not a good track record.
  • Proxy711 - Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - link

    I'm using a 120gb version I've never had any issues. I bought mine during the BSOD "outbreak", like always you rarely hear from the people having no issues just the people that are having a hard time.

    I've had the drive for 6 months and never experienced any BSOD even on old firmware that didn't have the sandforce crash fix.
  • JNo - Thursday, March 1, 2012 - link

    Actually I agree with martyrant - all I've read on forums etc is negative reviews on both OCZ drive reliability and OCZ customer service. For a hard drive, reliability is more important than speed and I certainly wouldn't get one - OCZ fix or not, the damage is done. And no I can't be bothered to back it up with a scientific peer reviewed study - it is what it is i.e. anecdotal evidence and impressions. But they tales of users' frustrations resonated.

    Why risk it when there are other vendors? Admittedly with even Intel, Crucial and Samsung having issues at one time or another, it is virtually impossible to find anyone with a clean record (OWC?) however OCZ appears worse than most.
  • josephjpeters - Thursday, March 1, 2012 - link

    "OCZ appears worse than most."

    Only because they sell significantly more SSD's than most. You need to keep that in perspective.

    Failure rate is a percentage. Can't compute a percentage without accounting for sales volume.
  • Filiprino - Thursday, March 1, 2012 - link

    But if the percentage is done over OCZ returned drives on OCZ total drives instead of OCZ returned drives on all drives of any brand, then it's all OK.

    I read somewhere that 3% of OCZ sold drives were returned, while Crucial was at a 2% rate and Intel was at 1% rate, more or less.
  • josephjpeters - Thursday, March 1, 2012 - link

    I think I know which report you're referring to. There was a report that used data from 2010. Data that is 2 years old is irrelevant now. We're approaching Vertex 4 now. This time, OCZ owns the controller.

    I'm just making the point that no one on any message board or forum knows the real failure rate (including myself). Just because you read that X drives failed does not necessarily correlate to Y failure rate. You don't know the size of the population.
  • lyeoh - Sunday, March 4, 2012 - link

    2010 data is not irrelevant when even more 2011 data shows high (or even higher) return rates:

    It shows they're not doing enough to make things better, or that they can't. We don't have to know the exact failure rates (some returns might be customer fault), because when even the mechanical hard drives have half the return rates on average, and the other SSDs are much better, we can be reasonably sure that the SandForce drives have serious quality problems.

    You shouldn't assume other people are ignorant till they prove it. Filiprino said "rate" and used percentages, so I don't know why you're going on about "X drives failed". As for size of population, it's a large french retailer. And the results sure seem to agree with the number of anecdotal complaints out there (a large enough number of anecdotes = data).

    You may know of the report but did you actually read and understand it?

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