OCZ Agility EX 60GB SLC SSD Overview

OCZ shows a strong commitment to be at the forefront of SSD technology. Over the past year, the company has released nearly a dozen different series geared towards all sorts of markets, from affordable netbook-centric products to solid-state drives for servers and enterprise data warehouses.

They have had great success with Multi-Level Cell (MLC) drives like the Vertex we tested a few months ago. Priced at $ 230 for a 60GB device and $ 380 for the 120GB version, these drives strike a great balance between performance and capacity at their respective prices.

On the other side of the spectrum, single-level cell solid-state drives (SLC) tend to be sold at more outrageous prices. For example, if you choose the SLC-based Vertex EX, you should be prepared to spend well over $ 1,000 on 120 GB of storage. Even the smaller 60GB Vertex EX costs an astronomical $ 660, meaning consumers are paying a staggering $ 11 per gigabyte.

That's hard to swallow when you consider that the MLC counterpart costs a more reasonable $ 3.80 per gigabyte and today's traditional 1TB hard drives are only $ 0.08 per gigabyte.

As you may have learned from our previous SSD coverage and comparisons, you cannot simply compare SSDs and traditional hard drives at the cost per gigabyte because they are two very different beasts.

When it comes to SLC and MLC, SLC storage offers some notable advantages, particularly the performance and lifespan benefits that come from the way each storage type stores data (here a quick introductory video, but in short, if You don't want anything But top-notch transfer speeds and a willingness to pay the premium, SLC-based drives promise to meet the bill.

OCZ has been working on making this technology a little friendlier on your bank account. The latest 2.5-inch consumer drive is known as the Agility EX and is touted as the most affordable SSD based on single-level cell storage. The cost per gigabyte is about $ 6.65 – or 40% less than the Vertex EX.

The Agility EX series offers read and write speeds of up to 255 MB / s or 195 MB / s, 64 MB onboard cache and various optimizations to keep the drive at maximum performance. Additionally, OCZ claims that the Agility EX offers improved total cost of ownership due to its superior write / erase cycle life. But at $ 400 for just 60GB of storage, is the Agility EX worth your hard-earned money? Read on to find out.

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