OCZ Solid Series SSD Drive
Author: Zahn Funk
Editor: Shawn Knight
Date: 02-27-2009
Provided by: OCZ Technology
Pages:
Specifications


The OCZ Solid Series drive ships in an anti-static bag and comes boxed in a retail package with a small amount of foam surrounding the drive. A small compartment attached to the insert contains a brief installation guide containing some tips for using the drive in your system. It's still strange to me to see hard drives shipped in this way, but SSD drives are much less susceptible to vibration and shock than traditional hard drives.


The Solid Series drive has an alloy housing in the standard 2" slim notebook size, with a metal backing plate. Unlike the Transcend drive I reviewed previously which used a plastic housing, the weight of the OCZ SSD is nearly comparable to a traditional platter-style hard drive of equivalent size, 77g according to OCZ compared to around 100g for a conventional laptop drive. Undoubtedly this makes the OCZ drive more durable and perhaps aids in cooling as well. OCZ rates the Solid Series shock resistant up to 1500G whereas the typical conventional drive can only withstand up to 500G in operation and about twice that when powered off. Inside we find Samsung K9GAG08U0M NAND flash memory chips. These are MLC based 51nm chips at 2Gb each, with eight on the top and eight more mounted below for a total of 32Gb, 2Gb of which is reserved for formatting and redundancy for wear leveling. The controller is a JMicron JMF602 with a bridge chip on the under side to handle the USB translation.


Despite using MLC chips, which have slower access speeds than the SLC variety, OCZ claims up to 155Mb/s read and 90Mb/s writes. Unlike conventional hard drives, SSDs require no on-board cache, and data is written directly to the drive. In addition to the standard SATA II 3.0Gbps connectors, the Solid Series feature a mini USB 2.0 port for easy external connectivity. While this obviously doesn't benefit those using the drive mounted inside a laptop or desktop machine, it does make it very convenient to use the drive for mobile storage without the need for a separate external enclosure. Now if they could just fit an eSATA port on there as well!


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