OCZ’s Arc 100 solid-state drive reviewed

The steady decline in SSD prices has been one of the most fascinating trends of the past few years. Shrinking flash fabrication technologies deserve the bulk of the credit for lowering the cost per gigabyte. However, OCZ also played a role by aggressively discounting its SSDs, which fueled a price war that hasn’t fully subsided since.

Those discounts surely contributed to OCZ’s former financial difficulties. The company filed for bankruptcy last year, and it was subsequently acquired by Toshiba. All things considered, that’s probably the best thing that could have happened. Toshiba is one of the biggest flash manufacturers in the world, and OCZ now has preferred access to the latest and greatest NAND—probably with family discount.

OCZ is making the most of that access with its new Arc 100 SSD. This drive, based on the Barefoot controller, uses the most recent “A19” revision of Toshiba’s 19-nm NAND. It’s also eminently affordable, with the 240GB and 480GB flavors priced at just $0.50 per gig.

Despite its budget focus, the Arc 100 is supposed to deliver especially strong performance with more demanding and sustained workloads. More importantly, perhaps, there’s evidence that OCZ’s reliability track record has improved since the firm was purchased by Toshiba. This thing deserves a closer look.

Another Barefoot remix

OCZ’s proprietary Barefoot 3 controller sits inside the Arc 100. That chip has dual cores; one is an off-the-shelf ARM Cortex unit, while the other is an “Aragon” co-processor designed by OCZ. The controller is fairly conventional otherwise, with eight parallel NAND channels and a 6Gbps Serial ATA host interface.

We first saw the Barefoot 3 in OCZ’s Vector SSD way back in 2012. A slower “M10” revision of the controller powered last year’s Vertex 450 and its successor, the Vertex 460. The Arc 100 also uses the M10 chip, but the clock frequency has been dialed back 15% versus the implementation in the Vertex 460.

On the encryption front, the controller can scramble data in hardware using a 256-bit AES algorithm. However, support for the related IEEE and TCG Opal specifications is missing from the Arc 100’s feature list, which rules out compliance with Microsoft’s eDrive standard and third-party encryption management software. That’s a bummer for corporate users, but the omission probably won’t bother typical consumers.

The NAND is two-bit MLC stock built on the second generation of Toshiba’s 19-nm fabrication process. These A19 chips have narrower dies than their predecessors, allowing more of them to be packed onto each silicon wafer. Toshiba has been using A19 NAND in its own SSDs since earlier this year, and now OCZ is getting in on the action.

All the members of the Arc 100 family employ 8GB flash dies. Most controllers require at least 32 dies to hit top speed, so the 120GB version of the Arc has slightly lower performance specifications than its larger siblings. Here’s how the line stacks up:

Capacity Die config Max sequential (MB/s) Max 4KB random (IOps) Sustained

4KB write IOps

Price $/GB
Read Write Read Write
120GB 16 x 8GB 475 395 75,000 80,000 12,000 $74.99 $0.63
240GB 32 x 8GB 480 430 75,000 80,000 18,000 $119.99 $0.50
480GB 64 x 8GB 490 450 75,000 80,000 20,000 $239.99 $0.50

The runt of the family doesn’t suffer as much as one might expect. There’s only a slight reduction in sequential speeds, and the peak random I/O rates are the same regardless of the capacity. However, the 120GB unit takes a big hit in sustained random write performance. That metric may be influenced more by the amount of overprovisioned spare area than by the number of parallel NAND dies. All the drives allocate the same percentage of their total flash capacity to overprovisioned area that can be used by the controller to accelerate write performance. Since the higher-capacity variants have more capacity to start, the end up with more “spare area” for the controller.

In any case, the 120GB version has a higher cost per gig than the others. You may want to avoid it on that basis alone.

Like a lot of consumer-grade SSDs, the Arc 100 is rated for 20GB of writes per day for the length of its three-year warranty. That works out to 22TB in total, which should be plenty of headroom for most client workloads. You can probably write a lot more to the drive, too. The results of our ongoing endurance experiment suggest that modern SSDs can write hundreds of terabytes without issue.

In an interesting twist, the Arc 100 comes with a new ShieldPlus warranty that’s supposed to simplify the return process. If users encounter problems with their drives, they need only provide the serial number—no proof of purchase is necessary. OCZ’s support reps will try to rectify the problem remotely, and if they can’t, they’ll ship out an advance replacement unit with a pre-paid return label in the box. The ShieldPlus warranty will initially be offered only in North America and the EMEA region (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa), but its scope will expand to other regions in the future.

We can’t discuss warranty coverage without mentioning OCZ’s somewhat checkered reliability track record. Much of that is well in the past, but even the user reviews for some of the company’s earlier Barefoot 3-based drives are filled with complaints about DOA units and premature failures. Happily, though, the tide appears to be turning. The Amazon and Newegg user reviews for OCZ’s more recent Vector 150 and Vertex 460 have fewer reports of problems than we’ve seen in the past. The percentages of one-star and otherwise negative ratings are also lower than for some of OCZ’s older SSDs.

Online user reviews need to be taken with a grain of salt, of course, and OCZ’s more recent drives aren’t rated as highly as some of their competition. Still, the anecdotal evidence suggests progress is being made on the reliability front. The internal data OCZ shared with us also shows a reduction in failure rates:

Source: OCZ

According to OCZ, the Vertex 150 and Vertex 460 have much lower return and failure rates than previous generations. The firm credits its switch to in-house controller technology for some of the improvement, and it says getting early access to Toshiba NAND has also helped “to further improve performance and reliability.” If these numbers are accurate, the failure rates for OCZ’s most recent SSDs are lower than for Intel’s business-oriented drives. Seems almost too good to be true.

Unfortunately, reliability isn’t something we can easily evaluate independently. But we can quantify the Arc 100’s performance in a varied collection of tests—and against a wide range of alternatives. Our performance analysis starts on the next page.

CrystalDiskMark — transfer rates

TR regulars will notice that we’ve trimmed a few tests from our usual suite of storage results. The drives were all benchmarked in the same way, but we’ve excluded the results for tests that have grown problematic or less relevant over time. This abbreviated format should be a little easier to digest until our next-gen storage suite is ready.

First, we’ll tackle sequential performance with CrystalDiskMark. This test runs on partitioned drives with the benchmark’s default 1GB transfer size and randomized data.

We’ve color-coded the results to make the OCZ drives—and the Arc 100—easier to pick out of the fray. OCZ sent us the 240GB version of the Arc, which sells for only about five bucks more than Crucial’s MX100 256GB. Since the MX100 is our favorite budget SSD, we’ve also colored the results for that drive. We’ll be watching the battle between it and the Arc 100 closely.

Not counting the mechanical drives, which represent a whole other class of PC storage, the Arc 100 has the slowest sequential read speed of the bunch. There’s apparently no need to worry about it bumping into the limits of the Serial ATA interface.

The Arc 100 is more competitive in the sequential write speed test, where it beats the equivalent MX100 and a bunch of other SSDs. However, OCZ’s latest budget contender is still behind the bulk of the field, including drives based on the same Barefoot silicon.

HD Tune — random access times

Next, we’ll turn our attention to random access times. We used HD Tune to measure access times across multiple transfer sizes. SSDs have near-instantaneous seek times, so it’s hard to graph the results on the same scale as mechanical drives. The WD Black and Seagate SSHD will sit out this round to focus our attention on the SSDs.

In most of these tests, the differences amount to tiny fractions of a millisecond. You’re probably not going to notice.

The field spreads out a bit more in the 1MB random write test, though, and the Arc 100 takes full advantage. It’s quicker than both the MX100 256GB and the other OCZ offerings. Didn’t see that one coming. Perhaps the Arc’s A19 NAND is responsible.

TR FileBench — Real-world copy speeds

FileBench, which was concocted by TR’s resident developer Bruno “morphine” Ferreira, runs through a series of file copy operations using Windows 7’s xcopy command. Using xcopy produces nearly identical copy speeds to dragging and dropping files using the Windows GUI, so our results should be representative of typical real-world performance. We tested using the following five file sets—note the differences in average file sizes and their compressibility. We evaluated the compressibility of each file set by comparing its size before and after being run through 7-Zip’s “ultra” compression scheme.

Number of files Average file size Total size Compressibility
Movie 6 701MB 4.1GB 0.5%
RAW 101 23.6MB 2.32GB 3.2%
MP3 549 6.48MB 3.47GB 0.5%
TR 26,767 64.6KB 1.7GB 53%
Mozilla 22,696 39.4KB 923MB 91%

The names of most of the file sets are self-explanatory. The Mozilla set is made up of all the files necessary to compile the browser, while the TR set includes years worth of the images, HTML files, and spreadsheets behind my reviews. Those two sets contain much larger numbers of smaller files than the other three. They’re also the most amenable to compression.

To get a sense of how aggressively each SSD reclaims flash pages tagged by the TRIM command, the SSDs are tested in a simulated used state after crunching IOMeter’s workstation access pattern for 30 minutes. The drives are also tested in a factory fresh state, right after a secure erase, to see if there is any discrepancy between the two states. There wasn’t much of one with the Arc 100, so we’re only presenting the used-state scores.

This is why I like using multiple sets with different kinds of files. The Arc 100 has higher copy speeds than the competing MX100 with larger video, music, and image files. However, the Crucial drive comes out ahead with the smaller and more numerous files in the Mozilla and TR sets.

Plenty of other affordable SSDs are faster than the Arc 100 overall, including the Samsung 840 EVO. The EVO is notably more expensive, though. Among the drives we’ve assembled, only the MX100 matches the Arc’s bargain pricing.

TR DriveBench 2.0 — Disk-intensive multitasking

DriveBench 2.0 is a trace-based test comprised of nearly two weeks of typical desktop activity peppered with intense multitasking loads. More details on are available on this page of our last major SSD round-up.

We measure DriveBench performance by analyzing service times—the amount of time it takes drives to complete I/O requests. Those results are split into reads and writes.

The Arc 100 performs very well in what’s arguably our most important benchmark. Its mean read service time is good enough to place it in the middle of the pack, and its mean write service time is the third-quickest overall.

Most of the SSDs are closely matched in the read results, so I wouldn’t pay too much attention to the fact that the Arc 100 comes out ahead of its MX100 rival. The Arc’s mean write service time is 4X quicker than the MX100’s, though. Its write service times are also much more consistent. The OCZ drive’s standard deviation for writes, which describes the degree of variance, is less than one-seventh that of the Crucial alternative.

All the SSDs execute the vast majority of DriveBench requests in one millisecond or less—too little time for end users to perceive. We can also sort out the number of service times longer than 100 milliseconds, which is far more interesting data. These extremely long service times make up only a fraction of the overall total, but they’re much more likely to be noticeable.

Again, the Arc 100 lays a beating on the equivalent MX100. The OCZ SSD has about a third fewer extremely long read service times. It also logs just 24 sluggish writes, compared to over 46,000 for the MX100 256GB.

OCZ often boasts about its SSDs being tuned for consistent performance over the long haul, and our DriveBench results show that the swagger is warranted. The Arc 100 beats a lot of much pricier alternatives.

IOMeter

Our IOMeter workload features a ramping number of concurrent I/O requests. Most desktop systems will only have a few requests in flight at any given time (87% of DriveBench 2.0 requests have a queue depth of four or less). We’ve extended our scaling up to 32 concurrent requests to reach the depth of the Native Command Queuing pipeline associated with the Serial ATA specification. Ramping up the number of requests also gives us a sense of how the drives might perform in more demanding enterprise environments.

We run our IOMeter test using the fully randomized data pattern, which presents a particular challenge for SandForce’s write compression scheme. We’d rather measure SSD performance in this worst-case scenario than using easily compressible data.

There’s too much data to show clearly on a single graph, so we’ve split the results. You can compare the performance of the Arc 100 to that of the competition by clicking the buttons below each graph.

Instead of presenting the results of multiple access patterns, we’re concentrating on IOMeter’s database test. This access pattern has a mix of read and write requests, and it’s similar to the file server and workstation tests. The results for these three access patterns are usually pretty similar. We also run IOMeter’s web server access pattern as part of our standard suite of tests, but it’s made up exclusively of read requests, so the results aren’t as applicable to real-world scenarios. Our own web servers log a fair amount of writes, for example.


OCZ’s latest Barefoot 3 SSDs hit higher peak I/O rates than even Intel’s datacenter-derived 730 Series. Well, the 240GB ones do, anyway. The Vertex 450 256GB has much lower throughput, likely because its higher user-accessible capacity leaves less overprovisioned area for the controller.

The Arc 100 doesn’t really hit its stride until the number of concurrent requests climbs above four, but it’s still faster than most of the competition until that point. Other budget contenders, like the Crucial MX100 256GB and Samsung 840 EVO 250GB, are simply outclassed.

Boot duration

Before timing a couple of real-world applications, we first have to load the OS. We can measure how long that takes by checking the Windows 7 boot duration using the operating system’s performance-monitoring tools. This is actually the first test in which we’re booting Windows off each drive; up until this point, our testing has been hosted by an OS housed on a separate system drive.

Level load times

Modern games lack built-in timing tests to measure level loads, so we busted out a stopwatch with a couple of titles.

Zzzzz.

Sorry, I nodded off for a second there. The SSDs are all within about a second of each other, making the differences between them difficult to discern in practice.

We’re working on an updated batch of load-time tests for our next-gen storage suite. Shoot me an email if you have any suggestions. (And thanks to those who have already chimed in.)

Power consumption

We tested power consumption under load with IOMeter’s workstation access pattern chewing through 32 concurrent I/O requests. Idle power consumption was probed one minute after processing Windows 7’s idle tasks on an empty desktop.

The Arc 100 has reasonably low power consumption at idle and under load. The 0.1-0.2W gaps between it and the MX100 aren’t likely to result in substantial differences in notebook battery life.

That’s it for performance. If you’re curious about the other SSDs in this review or about how we conduct our testing, hit up the methods section on the next page. Otherwise, feel free to skip ahead to the conclusion.

Test notes and methods

Here’s a full rundown of the SSDs we tested, along with their essential characteristics.

Cache Flash controller NAND
Adata SP920 512GB 512MB Marvell 88SS9189 20nm Micron sync MLC
Corsair Force Series GT 240GB NA SandForce SF-2281 25nm Intel sync MLC
Corsair Neutron 240GB 256MB LAMD LM87800 25nm Micron sync MLC
Corsair Neutron GTX 240GB 256MB LAMD LM87800 26nm Toshiba Toggle MLC
Crucial M500 240GB 256MB Marvell 88SS9187 20nm Micron sync MLC
Crucial M500 480GB 512MB Marvell 88SS9187 20nm Micron sync MLC
Crucial M500 960GB 1GB Marvell 88SS9187 20nm Micron sync MLC
Crucial M550 256GB 256MB Marvell 88SS9189 20nm Micron sync MLC
Crucial M550 512GB 512MB Marvell 88SS9189 20nm Micron sync MLC
Crucial M550 1TB 1GB Marvell 88SS9189 20nm Micron sync MLC
Crucial MX100 256GB 256MB Marvell 88SS9189 16nm Micron sync MLC
Crucial MX100 512GB 512MB Marvell 88SS9189 16nm Micron sync MLC
Intel 335 Series 240GB NA SandForce SF-2281 20nm Intel sync MLC
Intel 520 Series 240GB NA SandForce SF-2281 25nm Intel sync MLC
Intel 730 Series 480GB 1GB Intel PC29AS21CA0 20nm Intel sync MLC
OCZ Vertex 4 256GB 512MB Indilinx Everest 2 25nm Micron sync MLC
OCZ Vertex 450 256GB 512MB Indilinx Barefoot 3 M10 20nm Micron sync MLC
OCZ Vertex 460 240GB 512MB Indilinx Barefoot 3 M10 19nm Toshiba Toggle MLC
OCZ Arc 240GB 512MB Indilinx Barefoot 3 M10 A19nm Toshiba Toggle MLC
SanDisk Extreme II 240GB 256MB Marvell 88SS9187 19nm SanDisk Toggle SLC/MLC
Samsung 840 Series 250GB 512MB Samsung MDX 21nm Samsung Toggle TLC
Samsung 840 EVO 250GB 256MB Samsung MEX 19nm Samsung Toggle TLC
Samsung 840 EVO 500GB 512MB Samsung MEX 19nm Samsung Toggle TLC
Samsung 840 EVO 1TB 1GB Samsung MEX 19nm Samsung Toggle TLC
Samsung 840 Pro 256GB 512MB Samsung MDX 21nm Samsung Toggle MLC
Samsung 850 Pro 512GB 512MB Samsung MEX 32-layer Samsung V-NAND
Seagate 600 SSD 240GB 256MB LAMD LM87800 19nm Toshiba Toggle MLC
Seagate Desktop SSHD 2TB 64MB NA 24nm Toshiba Toggle SLC/MLC
WD Caviar Black 1TB 64MB NA NA

Our main body of results contains some of the most popular SSDs around. The bulk of the field is in the 240-256GB range, and most of those drives have 32-die configurations with no performance handicaps. For the Crucial M500, M550, MX100, and Samsung 840 EVO, whose lower-capacity flavors are tagged with slower specs, we have results for multiple capacities, including the fastest models. You can find full reviews of most of the drives in our storage section.

The solid-state crowd is augmented by a couple of mechanical drives. WD’s Caviar Black 1TB represents the old-school hard drive camp. Seagate’s Desktop SSHD 2TB is along for the ride, as well. The SSHD combines mechanical platters with 8GB of flash cache, but like the Caviar Black, it’s really not a direct competitor to the SSDs. The mechanical and hybrid drives are meant to provide additional context for our SSD results.

If you made it this far, you might enjoy a close-up of the Arc 100’s naked circuit board.

Oooh, sexy.

We used the following system configuration for testing:

Processor Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz
CPU cooler Thermaltake Frio
Motherboard Asus P8P67 Deluxe
Bios revision 1850
Platform hub Intel P67 Express
Platform drivers INF update 9.2.0.1030

RST 10.6.0.1022

Memory size 8GB (2 DIMMs)
Memory type Corsair Vengeance DDR3 SDRAM at 1333MHz
Memory timings 9-9-9-24-1T
Audio Realtek ALC892 with 2.62 drivers
Graphics Asus EAH6670/DIS/1GD5 1GB with Catalyst 11.7 drivers
Hard drives Seagate Desktop SSHD 2TB with CC43 firmware

WD Caviar Black 1TB with 05.01D05 firmware

Corsair Force Series GT 240GB with 1.3.2 firmware

Corsair Neutron 240GB with M206 firmware

Corsair Neutron GTX 240GB with M206 firmware

Crucial MX100 256GB with MU01 firmware

Crucial MX100 512GB with MU01 firmware

Crucial M500 240GB with MU03 firmware

Crucial M500 480GB with MU03 firmware

Crucial M500 960GB with MU03 firmware

Crucial M550 256GB with MU01 firmware

Crucial M550 1TB with MU01 firmware

Intel 335 Series 240GB with 335s firmware

Intel 520 Series 240GB with 400i firmware

Intel 730 Series 480GB with XXX firmware

OCZ Vector 150 256GB with 1.1 firmware

OCZ Vertex 450 256GB with 1.0 firmware

OCZ Vertex 460 240GB with 1.0 firmware

OCZ Arc 100 240GB with 1.0 firmware

SanDisk Extreme II 240GB with R1131

Samsung 830 Series 256GB with CXM03B1Q firmware

Samsung 840 Series 250GB with DXT07B0Q firmware

Samsung 840 EVO 250GB with EXT0AB0Q firmware

Samsung 840 EVO 500GB with EXT0AB0Q firmware

Samsung 840 EVO 1TB with EXT0AB0Q firmware

Samsung 840 Pro Series 256GB with DXM04B0Q firmware

Samsung 850 Pro 512GB with EXM01B6Q firmware

Seagate 600 SSD 240GB with B660 firmware

Power supply Corsair Professional Series Gold AX650W
OS Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Thanks to Asus for providing the systems’ motherboards and graphics cards, Intel for the CPUs, Corsair for the memory and PSUs, Thermaltake for the CPU coolers, and Western Digital for the Caviar Black 1TB system drives.

We used the following versions of our test applications:

Some further notes on our test methods:

  • To ensure consistent and repeatable results, the SSDs were secure-erased before almost every component of our test suite. Some of our tests then put the SSDs into a used state before the workload begins, which better exposes each drive’s long-term performance characteristics. In other tests, like DriveBench and FileBench, we induce a used state before testing. In all cases, the SSDs were in the same state before each test, ensuring an even playing field. The performance of mechanical hard drives is much more consistent between factory fresh and used states, so we skipped wiping the HDDs before each test—mechanical drives take forever to secure erase.

  • We run all our tests at least three times and report the median of the results. We’ve found IOMeter performance can fall off with SSDs after the first couple of runs, so we use five runs for solid-state drives and throw out the first two.

  • Steps have been taken to ensure that Sandy Bridge’s power-saving features don’t taint any of our results. All of the CPU’s low-power states have been disabled, effectively pegging the 2500K at 3.3GHz. Transitioning in and out of different power states can affect the performance of storage benchmarks, especially when dealing with short burst transfers.

The test systems’ Windows desktop was set at 1280×1024 in 32-bit color at a 75Hz screen refresh rate. Most of the tests and methods we employed are publicly available and reproducible. If you have questions about our methods, hit our forums to talk with us about them.

Conclusions

Before we weigh in with our final verdict, we’ll bust out a few of our famous value scatter plots. These plots use an overall performance score compared against a common baseline. This score is based on a subset of the performance data from our full suite, with CrystalDiskMark’s sequential transfer rates substituted for older HD Tune scores. (More details about how we calculate overall performance are available here.)

We’ve mashed up the overall scores with per-gigabyte prices from Newegg. (OCZ’s suggested retail price was used for the Arc 100, since it’s not selling online as I write this.) The best solutions will gravitate toward the upper left corner of the plot, which signifies high performance and low prices.

Solid-state and mechanical storage have vastly different performance and prices, and those disparities make the main plot a little busy. Click the buttons below the plot to switch between all the drives and a cropped look at just the SSDs—and keep in mind that we’ve trimmed the axes for the SSD-only plot. Unfortunately, the plot with all the SSDs is just too crowded to have individual labels for each one.


Despite its status as an entry-level product, the Arc 100 240GB keeps up with plenty of mid-range and high-end SSDs. It scores much higher than the Crucial MX100 256GB, and it barely costs more. The Arc 100 also looks more appealing than the Samsung 840 EVO 250GB, which has lower all-around performance but a higher price.

What the scatter doesn’t show is that the Arc 100 performs particularly well under heavier and sustained loads, including our long-term simulation of real-world desktop work. Other budget SSDs tend to struggle in those tests, but the Arc is well-equipped to handle them, perhaps in part because its 240GB capacity sacrifices some user-accessible storage to provide more overprovisioned area to the controller.

Even though it’s very fast overall, the Arc 100 is definitely a bare-bones product. The encryption support is limited, there are no mounting accessories in the box, and you don’t get any cloning or data migration software. At least OCZ provides an SSD utility that reads SMART data, downloads firmware updates, and executes TRIM and secure-erase commands. The ShieldPlus warranty’s advance replacement policy is also a nice touch, even if the three-year term is otherwise pedestrian.

Whether the Arc 100 is as reliable as other SSDs remains to be seen. The anecdotal evidence and OCZ’s own internal numbers suggest there’s room for optimism, so I’m hesitant to penalize the drive based on the flaws of its predecessors. That’s why I’m giving the Arc 100 240GB a provisional TR Recommended award. The Arc 100 seems like a great budget SSD for a range of different applications. We’ll be watching those user reviews closely.

Comments closed
    • DarkMikaru
    • 5 years ago

    You know, I think I’m finally ready to give OCZ a shot. I still remember from years ago seeing the 50% failure rates on Newegg from back in the day. Now that Toshiba owns them, and even on there own things were getting better.

    This has always been one of my favorites from back in the day with OCZ fails. 🙂 Yes, I bookmarked this years ago. 🙂

    [url<]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227780[/url<] 70% failure rate... yikes! lol But like I said, ready to give them a shot. 🙂

      • MadManOriginal
      • 5 years ago

      Yeah, the cheap OCZ SSDs were pretty crap, there’s no arguing against that.

    • Chrispy_
    • 5 years ago

    Toshiba Q-series are turning out to be seriously capable drives at the lower (<500GB) capacities.

    We must have about 50 of them now and the performance difference is [i<]actually noticeable[/i<] compared to some of the budget drives from Kingston, Sandisk, Crucial. The difference isn't hard to spot either, IOPS and write speeds on 128GB models are often 2-3x higher than the paltry rates from the other big players.

      • ColeLT1
      • 5 years ago

      On my main rig: Kingston SSDnow V+100 96GB -> OCZ Vertex3 120GB (got it once the the firmware was fixed, no issue at all, sold it and the person is still using it) -> Samsung 830 256GB (now in my old alt-rig)-> Toshiba Q-Pro 256GB.

      Each step up was a noticeable improvement in speed except the sammy to toshiba, but they were really close on paper anyway.

      I never see anything about the toshiba drives unless I do some deep digging or the random “how come you guys don’t review this drive” comment.

      • DarkMikaru
      • 5 years ago

      Totally agree with you Chrispy! Put one in a new build for a friend of mine a few months back and its performance was impressive for what we paid. Think we picked it up at the time for 69 on sale on the egg.

      The price has gone back up a bit since then but still worthy of consideration.

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 5 years ago

    [quote<]Whether the Arc 100 is as reliable as other SSDs remains to be seen. The anecdotal evidence and OCZ's own internal numbers suggest there's room for optimism, [b<]so I'm hesitant to penalize the drive based on the flaws of its predecessors.[/b<] That's why I'm giving the Arc 100 240GB a provisional TR Recommended award. The Arc 100 seems like a great budget SSD for a range of different applications. We'll be watching those user reviews closely.[/quote<] Every honest review of an OCZ product has always included this proviso. By now, it's not a question mark of whether they have reliability issues. The question is why do reviewers keep giving them a pass with, "Hai, maybe they're better now!" instead of erring on the side of caution? Seriously? People err on the side of data loss and bad drives these days? If we're talking data storage, we should be erring on the side of, "Hey, we'll give them a recommend the second they go one generation without having huge numbers of one-star reviews that say something along the lines of, 'DONT BUY! DRIVE FAILS!' when compared to any other drive with actual reliability." I just don't get what makes hardware reviewers keep saying the same old refrain of, "Well, we're cautiously optimistic" and then during the next review they state the last generation was a catastrophe, but hey maybe THIS ONE will be the one to right the ship. Each and every subsequent review then repeats the same refrain, which means that in spite of those same reviewers NOT going back to update the review to reference that horrible reliability, they're aware that yes those drives they reviewed wound up having bad reliability, but they can't be ABSOLUTELY sure the next ones will in spite of the fact the current ones are based off derivative hardware of the previous generations. All of which also had problems. It's like OCZ inspires magical thinking. At a certain point, OCZ inspires only one recommendation in me: Friends don't let friends OCZ. This will be true as long as the monkeys that WERE in charge of OCZ are still in charge of OCZ and as far as I know the same people who made the choices that made OCZ what they were are still there working at Toshiba now. Moreover, if you look at the reviews of Toshiba hard drives, you wouldn't be reassured that Toshiba quality control is really a thing they worry about. So I say again, friends don't let friends OCZ.

      • Chrispy_
      • 5 years ago

      Oh, get off your soapbox and stop living in the past! Intel and Samsung SSD’s fail too.
      Do you have any hard evidence or are you just ranting?

      FWIW, Toshiba’s mechanical hard drives are made by HGST, which are among the more reliable. Certainly the Backblaze survey proved that they were an [i<]order of magnitude[/i<] better than Seagate/WD which we know from Newegg reviews to have plenty of disgruntled customers. Your personal experiences with a few drives are moot and anecdotal. Even my corporate experience with several hundred SSD's isn't worth much. True reliability comes from surveys using tens of thousands of drives or more.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 5 years ago

      Someone lost their non-backed up data to an OCZ drive failure and will forever hold a grudge?

      • ludi
      • 5 years ago

      [quote<]The question is why do reviewers keep giving them a pass with, "Hai, maybe they're better now!" instead of erring on the side of caution?[/quote<] When the fundamentals change, the recommendation can also change. And TR noted three positive things: 1) The vendor is now owned by a premium brand with in-house flash manufacturing 2) Outside evidence suggests the vendor's reliability has improved 3) The vendor provided their own evidence claiming reliability has improved Take any of those factors individually and yeah, no sale, until a second or third factor shows up to confirm it. But that's not a bad start.

      • Freon
      • 5 years ago

      Completely agree. Their reputation is so bad (perhaps the worst since IBM Deathstars) they still have a long ways to go besides their own internal reliability tests before I’d give them my hard-earned money again. They played the “oh, it’s fixed” song several times and it never seemed to be true beyond initial short-term testing. I really don’t give a damn if my SSD lasts the first three months. There are plenty of other options out there to even bother with them.

    • davolfman
    • 5 years ago

    It’s worth mentioning to commenters that Barefoot 3 firmware seems to be getting stable over time. My Vector just failed again and a secure erase, update, and re-image got me back running again with no return this time. Supposedly version 3 firmware fixes the drive reacting poorly to power loss so hopefully it will stay stable now. Earlier firmware on the vector was not stable in the long term.

    • barich
    • 5 years ago

    My problem with OCZ is less their reliability and more their support. Their forums suggested byzantine fixes such as disabling the page file and other things that shouldn’t be necessary on properly functioning hardware. Instead of admitting and working on firmware bugs, they made it appear as though people weren’t using their SSDs correctly, as though there’s something special you should have to do to make your system not BSOD.

      • Waco
      • 5 years ago

      This. The same is true of Corsair and many other SSD manufacturers. It’s seriously a sad state of affairs when something breaks and the first response on many of these forums is “what did you do wrong?” and not “here’s how to fix it”.

        • Chrispy_
        • 5 years ago

        User error; forums are [b<]not[/b<] the RMA department. Ignorance like this really frustrates me because people don't ever seem to RTFM anymore. I had to RMA dozens of Sandforce drives from various vendors (mainly OCZ). Never once did I use forums, I went straight to the support page and opened an RMA request by clicking on the most obvious links. What caused people to flock to the forums for Corsair, OCZ etc was the fact that they didn't have backups of their data and were trying all kinds of Voodoo and hocus-pocus to try and recover their drives. Of course the suggestions of "what did you do" were flying around, and half of them not even from representatives of the companies involved!

      • Airmantharp
      • 5 years ago

      With what Chrispy_ said above about forums not being the RMA department, I have to say that my RMA of a Vertex 2 (that’s old!) a few years back went great. The old one straight up died without warning, the new one they sent as a replacement is still in use.

    • DPete27
    • 5 years ago

    Despite OCZ’s past, I find myself rooting for their SSD division to make a comeback.

      • willmore
      • 5 years ago

      Don’t call it a…… oh, nevermind….

      • HisDivineOrder
      • 5 years ago

      I find myself rooting for OCZ to purge itself of every trace of OCZ up to and including the name, the staff, and anything that made them the joke of storage device buyers everywhere.

      Do that and perhaps I’d trust something even remotely derived off their technology.

    • davolfman
    • 5 years ago

    Congratulations on the new Mean Service Time and 100+ms Mean Service Time graphs. This may be the first time I don’t have to wait for an SSD to get reviewed by Anandtech to know about it’s worst-case behavior using their performance consistency graphs. It makes a nice companion to the “Time spent in frames below 20 30 and 60 fps” figures from your graphics card reviews. In fact if you should probably do the same thing and sum the service times so we get a nice “hang time” figure.

      • Dissonance
      • 5 years ago

      New? We’ve been using DriveBench 2.0 for years 😉

        • davolfman
        • 5 years ago

        So you have. I just didn’t know what to look for before and drowned in the overabundance of numbers.

    • bfar
    • 5 years ago

    There’s great value to be had atm. I picked up an mx100 512 from crucial recently and I’m delighted with it. Makes a great game drive.

      • albundy
      • 5 years ago

      agreed. i think the mx100 price/performance fits the bill. will be looking out for one later this year. there are alot of good drives to choose from at many price points to consider ocz again.

    • ronch
    • 5 years ago

    I’m planning to get an SSD and I’m having some trouble deciding whether to buy Kingston or OCZ. PNY is my third option.

      • Neutronbeam
      • 5 years ago

      Look at Crucial. The newer 550 series has seen prices lower than the 500 series. Picked up a MX550 512GB for $214 delivered two weeks ago. Dealzon.com is great at tracking deals; that’s how I found mine.

      • Deanjo
      • 5 years ago

      Sarcasm detected.

      • UnfriendlyFire
      • 5 years ago

      Well, two of those have pulled bait-and-switch…

        • nanoflower
        • 5 years ago

        If you mean changing out parts I suspect they’ve all done it at some point. It’s just a natural thing to do to either save money or to fill in a short fall in supply. You can only hope that the company is making an effort to make sure the replacement parts are truly equivalent to the original.

          • swaaye
          • 5 years ago

          Kingston did more than a little bait-and-switch. They dramatically gimped the V300 some months after release (after reviews had been done). They switched to async NAND, IIRC. Anandtech and TR did a little updated look-see at it after forums made it apparent something was up.

        • Duck
        • 5 years ago

        that’s the joke.jpg

    • Freon
    • 5 years ago

    Older drives that have been used longer report higher failure rates!

    My gen1 OCZ drive lasted over a year (granted quite a bit of that under very light HTPC duty). It’s not clear to me given the data here they’ve really fixed their engineering problems. I’d have a hard time buying a drive even at half the price of an MX100 or 840 EVO and with a 3 year warranty.

    I’m very much not impressed with their “impressive” internal reliability data. Really, Geoff?

      • ptsant
      • 5 years ago

      Serious companies report annualized failure rate (ΑFR).

      • Duck
      • 5 years ago

      I don’t like it when TR reposts that sort of propaganda like ‘data’ or marketing spiel in a review. It’s almost like reposting the rated performance and using it to build the scatter plot.

    • UnfriendlyFire
    • 5 years ago

    I want Tech Report to put 4 of these in an endurance run, just in case if one of them fails due to firmware/controller failure.

      • Farting Bob
      • 5 years ago

      I want them to put 1000 of every SSD through the endurance rig, just in case one of them fails due to firmware/controller failure.

        • Ninjitsu
        • 5 years ago

        I want them to send 1000 rockets to Jupiter, just in case one of them fails due to firmware/controller failure.

      • davolfman
      • 5 years ago

      With the Vector at least it seemed particular things like early shutdowns did much of the worst of getting the firmware into a failure state. A straight endurance test might not turn up the kind of errors that would occur in much more varied daily use.

    • EzioAs
    • 5 years ago

    EDIT: Nevermind

    • ClickClick5
    • 5 years ago

    Every time I read “OCZ”, I read “Toshiba”.

    For generic “all purpose” SSD use, $120 for a 240GB is not bad, considering this is the base msrp.

      • Airmantharp
      • 5 years ago

      Controller and firmware are OCZ- both of which have had time to mature. The flash, and probably the board and the validation process are Toshiba.

      And yeah, $120 for 240GB and near top-end performance is hard to ignore!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This