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OCZ releases Vertex, Agility, Solid2 firmware update

OCZ releases Vertex, Agility, Solid2 firmware update

OCZ's Arowana 3.55 update brings performance improvements to Vertex, Agility and Solid2 drives - but isn't compatible with all models.

OCZ has released another update for its 34nm solid-state drives (SSDs) based on the Indilinx Barefoot controller, boosting write speeds significantly.

Designed for Vertex, Agility and Solid2 drives made after December 2009, the update brings the firmware version to 3.55 and adds additional over-provisioning to the drives in order to boost performance and increase longevity. The result is a loss in usable capacity from 119.24GB on firmware 1.7 to 111.79GB with 3.55, but a boost in sequential write speeds from 187.44MB/s to 216MB/s.

Random write speeds are also greatly improved, with 4K write benchmarks jumping from 9.9MB/s to 46.14MB/s. The news isn't all good, however: read speeds drop from 228.28MB/s on the original 1.7 firmware to 219.27MB/s on the new, although this can be boosted to 260.13MB by enabling AHCI in the BIOS.

Sadly, the update isn't compatible with all Vertex, Agility and Solid 2 SSDs. Drives manufactured before December 2009 are not eligible for the upgrade, while only selected NAND flash configurations are supported on drives manufactured after this date. According to OCZ, 'anything made after December 2009 has a chance, but not a 100 per cent chance.'

To find out if your drive is eligible for the upgrade, download the OCZ Drive Identity Tool and check the returned code. If it's 661502, 641502, 661302, 661402, 641402, 661102, 641102, 651102 or 661202, you're in luck. If any other number is returned, the update is incompatible.

To upgrade a compatible drive, follow the instructions in this forum post. Before doing so, back your data up: the upgrade process is destructive, wiping all data currently stored on the SSD. The update software is also only available for Windows, so users of other operating systems will need to borrow access to a Windows box to perform the upgrade.

9 Comments

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greypilgers 28th March 2012, 17:30 Quote
What a ridiculous update. Some performance boost on some models but with a guaranteed loss of capacity? Just another reason to buy an M4.
Edwards 28th March 2012, 18:15 Quote
Well, that's what over provisioning is: extra space in reserve on the disk to reduce write amplification.

In fact, if you did the same on an M4 it would speed it up too. What a ridiculous comment.
greypilgers 28th March 2012, 21:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edwards
Well, that's what over provisioning is: extra space in reserve on the disk to reduce write amplification.

In fact, if you did the same on an M4 it would speed it up too. What a ridiculous comment.

Not a ridiculous comment - a ridiculous update, and for the following reasons:

Destructive
Only applicable to a restricted number of a particular model
Reduces the capacity on an already reduced capacity drive due to overprovisioning.

Why don't they use 90% of the drive space for overprovisioning, and sell people a 256Gb SSD with 8Gb of free space? That'll be really fast!

The M4 doesn't need overprovisioning to be fast. At least when you buy a 128Gb M4 you basically get 128Gb (near enough anyway). Also the updates are not destructive, they apply to all M4s and there is no reduction on your capcity to boot!

:p
fdbh96 28th March 2012, 22:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by greypilgers
Not a ridiculous comment - a ridiculous update, and for the following reasons:

Destructive
Only applicable to a restricted number of a particular model
Reduces the capacity on an already reduced capacity drive due to overprovisioning.

Why don't they use 90% of the drive space for overprovisioning, and sell people a 256Gb SSD with 8Gb of free space? That'll be really fast!

The M4 doesn't need overprovisioning to be fast. At least when you buy a 128Gb M4 you basically get 128Gb (near enough anyway). Also the updates are not destructive, they apply to all M4s and there is no reduction on your capcity to boot!

:p

What about the people who have an ocz drive at the moment? Surely they will want the higher speed?

Edit: just read the article fully :) and that is actually rather a lot of over provisioning for not a lot of gain :/
west 28th March 2012, 22:30 Quote
Bad update?
you lose about 5.3% of space and gain 28% sequential write speed!
Doesn't sound like a bad deal to me - especially since I got my SSD because it's FAST, not big.
greypilgers 29th March 2012, 08:48 Quote
I suppose it all depends upon your point of view - with this type of drive, expecially with this update, there is quite a large reduction in capacity over the M4 et al (total space loss approx 17% of the drive for 128Gb), meaning that the realistic Gb per £ ratio is much reduced, and I don't believe the increase in speed averaged out across all situations is worth sacrificing all that capacity.
west 29th March 2012, 11:38 Quote
well you've payed for your drive already, if you don't think the upgrade is a good idea then you don't have to use it. if you think it would be a good idea then great news, there it is!
seems like a not-lose, win situation to me. whats so bad about that?
docodine 31st March 2012, 04:13 Quote
Cool, this might apply to me.
west 3rd April 2012, 22:46 Quote
PS: you can get the same random write performance boost by formatting your drive with this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HDDerase

It resets all flash cells so they don't have to be erased before a write operation (making random write slow at times - slowing your SSD significantly over time, even with TRIM enabled).
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