If you're looking for the best SSD with fast performance but you're on a tight budget, the OCZ Solid 3 120GB is a wise choice. After the success of his big brother Vertex 3 and shortly became the fastest SSD out there, now giving you another fast SSD but this time targeting those budget conscious enthusiasts. Even at the lower price point it can deliver a maximum rated speed of 500MB/s read and 450MB/s write.
This Solid State Drive is a bit similar to Agility 3 with only few differences that separate the two. It's a bit on the lower price end at the same time it has a slower firmware and a cost effective MLC NAND is applied. This is available only in two different sizes at 60GB and 120GB while the Agility 3 is up to 240GB.
They both used an Asynchronous MLC NAND flash but the Solid 3 depend on its availability of the chips. This is quite different with his big brother Vertex 3 that uses Synchronous NAND, it's on the high end side and faster than Asynchronous NAND.
What makes this SSD on the fast track? They all used the fastest controller on earth, the famous SandForce SF-2281. It uses the SATA III interface that runs at 600GB/s, enough to sustain the rated 500MBps/450MBps read/write speed. If you have an older SATA II, you can also use it here however, we need to take into consideration that it may degrade its performance.
The Drive is made of Hynix, Toshiba or any other brands of Flash NAND depend on the availability of the chips. It is made of 25nm form factor same as his big brother Vertex 3 but like what I mentioned before, in a form of a cost effective Asynchronous Chip. It composed of sixteen memory chips of 8MB each with eight in per side of the board, thus giving you a total of 120GB with only 111.79GB remaining usable space when formatted.
It looks very attractive as it's always in their previous line of SSD's design but differs in their color scheme. It is made of plastic cover with metal plate that comes in black and red color combinations. The same share arts and letterings applied as the Agility 3 in green while the Vertex 3 in silver.
This drive was tested against his big brother Vertex 3 and Agility 3 to discover what we can expect from this drive. On the 2MB Sequential Transfer Speed Read /Write 4K, we can clearly see it's positioned on the lower speed mark but the results are quite impressive, it comes close enough to its rated 500MB/s Read speed at 465MB/s and perfectly hit the 450MB/s Write speed.
The next test is 2MB Random Transfer Speed Read / Write 4K, on the read part it remains on the lower side but, continuously giving a good numbers of 200MB/s close to Agility 3 at 207MB/s but far from the high end Vertex 3 with 489MB/s. On the Write performance, it drops to only 133MB/s while the Agility 3 at 235MB/s and the Vertex 3 at 217MB/s.
The OCZ Solid 3 120GB shows good performance on the test although, lower than his two big brothers but having a slight margin with the Agility 3. Hitting the rated write speed at 450MB/s and close to 500MB/s at 465MB/s, this is by far a solid performing drive considering its price. If we try to compare it to other budget priced SSD's, this drive is definitely faster.
At the mainstream price level, surprisingly the controller being used isn't cheap, the famous SandForce SF-2281. This is the one responsible for making it on the fast drives categories. However, the Asynchronous NAND and the limitations in firmware is what the Solid 3 keeps it on the sideline. If you're thinking of upgrading your hard drive and the budget would be a main concern, this dive is definitely an excellent choice.