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Wednesday, May 20, 2009
OCZ Apex 120GB SSD

4. Final words

The OCZ Apex 120GB solid stage drive is an entry level product for users who need an SSD drive without spending a fortune. Aggressively priced at $274 and offering twice the capacity of the fastest SSD on the planet - the Intel X25m - OCZ's solution deserves some attention.

The 2.5" drive is also extremely lightweight (77gr) and is backed by a 2-year warranty. It's specifications indicate 230MB/sec reading and 160MB/sec writing, which turned out to be quite optimistic at least. The highest performance we got from our tests was 200MB/sec for reading and 40~80MB/sec for writing. While those numbers are far from the specs, the reading part is adequate.

The drive is based on the MLC technology with a RAID0 setup of two JMicron YMF602 controllers in order to deliver better performance than the single JMicron-based drives. While the average/maximum response I/O time was less than the PatriotMemory Warp v2 128GB SSD, it is much higher than what you will get with a normal hard disk drive. Although we did not experience any problems and the SSD worked just fine during our tests, there are cases where shuttering (pause) could occur so you'd better avoid it by following the instructions for optimization.

We cannot imagine why someone would not pay some extra money and grab the newest member in OCZ 's family of SSDs, the OCZ Vertex series, which deliver outstanding performance as the most reviewers and users tend to agree.

In our opinion, the OCZ Apex 120GB SSD drive is a good product if reading is important for you. For example for backing up your files and using it as an external drive connected to your notebook/PC, or just for boosting the reading performance for specific tasks. You may also use the SSD drive for installing Windows but still, you should disable several services/move page file, etc in order to reduce the writing load on the drive and avoid any unwanted shutter as you work.

- Positive

  • Fast reading and boot times for windows
  • Less chance to witness shuttering or slowdowns compared with other designs
  • No moving parts
  • Properly priced ($274) for this capacity (125GB formatted)

- Negative

  • JMicron controller could cause shutter issues
  • Optimizations required in order to get the best possible performance

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