OCZ Technology was kind enough to send us two of their latest solid state drives for review. The MLC based 120GB Apex series. The Apex series of drives have a 2.5 inch form factor, SATA2 connection and SATA power connector. The Apex series can be fitted to a laptop with SATA hard drive support, or as we have done for this review, the Apex series can also be fitted to a desktop PC which supports SATA hard disk drives.
The OCZ Technology Apex series are pretty unique, in that they have dual flash memory controllers configured as onboard RAID 0.
In this review we will test the performance and usability of the OCZ Technology Apex series (MLC) SSD. Since we were sent two of the drives, we will test them in single mode (a single drive) on the Intel ICH9R onboard SATA controller and also as twins in RAID 0 on a commercial grade hardware RAID card.
OCZ Technology Company Information
I’m sure most CD Freaks members will be familiar with the OCZ Technology brand name. OCZ Technology has been manufacturing high performance, high quality PC memory and flash memory for many years.
More recently, OCZ Technology ventured into the SSD market and has done more than most manufactures to bring affordable and high performance SSD drives to the mainstream PC user.
If you would like to find out more about OCZ Technology, you can visit the OCZ Technology website.
The OCZ Technology Apex series drives are packaged in an eye catching mainly orange coloured box. Inside the main box is a further box and more robust packaging. The inner box is made from tough cardboard with foam protection. The drive itself is housed in an anti static bag. There should be no problem with the way the drive is packaged.
What’s inside the box
Now it’s time to take a look at the drive itself and what the drive came shipped with.
As said in the first chapter of this review. We received two OCZ Technology Apex series drives. The package contained the drives themselves and instruction booklet.
Now let’s take a look at the drive itself.
On the bottom of the drive we can see two labels, one of the labels states the drive’s model number and capacity and, that the drive was manufactured in Taiwan. The other label carries the drive’s model number and serial number. We can also see the drive’s SATA power and data connectors.
The casing of the drive itself is made of aluminium and has a tough and high quality feel to it.
Specifications and features
We found the specifications of the drive at the OCZ Technology website.
For this review we will be using a computer with the following configuration:
- Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X48-DS4 (Intel X48 chipset)
- Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550
- RAM: 8 GB Crucial Balistix Tracer (red) dual channel kit DDR2 800
- GFX: ATI HD 4870 (512 Megabytes GDDR5 HDCP compliant)
- Sound: Onboard Realtek ALC889 HD audio controller
- Hard disk OS: 2x OCZ Core series V2 60GB SSD on Adaptec hardware RAID 0
- Hard disk storage: 2X 500GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 (SATA 2) – 1x 1TB WD green.
- Case: Antec 900
- PSU: Enermax Liberty 620W
- Display: Samsung Syncmaster 245B 24” widescreen LCD (HDCP compliant)
- Operating System: Windows Vista Home Premium (64 bit) with Service Pack 1
The OCZ Technology Apex 120GB SSD was connected to an SATA 2 port (ICH9R) on the motherboard of our review PC and all tests on the single drive were carried out with the drive connected to this connector.
To test the performance of the OCZ Technology Apex series 120GB SSD, we will be using the following test applications in this review.
Now let’s head to the next page where we will test out single drive performance…