Agility 2 was the first Solid State Drive to that according to controller manufacturer SandForce was shipped with a fully developed and commercial firmware. This means SandForce had strangled performance with SF-1200 controllers when writing small files, but this also enabled them to reduce prices compared to SF-1500 units, and OCZ’s own Vertex 2 series used a SF-1200 controller but with better performance at random writes of small files.

SandForce has some of the most impressive specifications to show for its SSD controllers and the key has been file compression. SandForce flash memory controllers compress data before writing to memory cells, which severely reduces the number of writes and increase the amount of data that can be moved in a given time.

The problem is random and already compressed data can’t take advantage of this. Something Anandtech looked closer at in its review of Agility 2.

With random and already compressed data the write performance drops by 50% and is lower than more or less all competing products, beside the Intel X25-M series.

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The positive is that these circumstances rarely appear during regular use, where SandForce SSD controller will work very well and together with Crucial RealSSD C300 it’s the fastest around.

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