Ever since Ryan Petersen, the founder and former CEO of OCZ, resigned almost exactly two years ago, the company has had a new direction. Starting with the launch of the Barefoot 3 platform and the Vector SSDs in late 2012, OCZ has been trying to rebrand itself as a premium manufacturer of high performance SSDs instead of being a budget brand. The old OCZ would have taken the Barefoot 3 controller and stuffed it inside several other models to cater to more price points, but the new OCZ played their cards right. The Vector remained as the only Barefoot 3 based product for months until OCZ introduced the Vertex 450, which was not exactly cheap but a more mainstream version of the Vector with a shorter three-year warranty.

Now, almost two years later after the introduction of the Barefoot 3, OCZ is back in the mainstream SSD game with the ARC 100. The asynchronous NAND from the Agility days is long gone and the ARC 100 uses Toshiba's latest 64Gbit A19nm MLC NAND. In theory the performance will drop a bit but the ARC 100 should hit lower price points. Here's the quick overview:

OCZ Consumer SSD Lineup
  ARC 100 Vertex 460 Vector 150
Controller Barefoot 3 M10 Barefoot 3 M10 Barefoot 3 M00
NAND 64Gbit A19nm 64Gbit 19nm 64Gbit 19nm
Sequential Speed Up to 490MB/s Up to 545MB/s Up to 550MB/s
Random Speed Up to 80K IOPS Up to 95K IOPS Up to 100K IOPS
Accessories - Cloning Software & Desktop Adapter
Endurance 20GB per day 20GB per day 50GB per day
Warranty 3 Years 3 Years 5 Years

The smaller process node NAND and the lack of accessories is the secret behind ARC 100's lower cost. Performance takes a slight hit from the newer NAND compared to the Vertex 460, though that is expected since NAND performance decreases as the lithography shrinks. Fortunately endurance is still rated at the same 20GB per day for three years, which is more than enough for typical client workloads.

OCZ ARC 100 Specifications
Capacity 120GB 240GB 480GB
Controller OCZ Barefoot 3 M10
NAND Toshiba 64Gbit A19nm MLC
Sequential Read 475MB/s 480MB/s 490MB/s
Sequential Write 395MB/s 430MB/s 450MB/s
4KB Random Read 75K IOPS 75K IOPS 75K IOPS
4KB Random Write 80K IOPS 80K IOPS 80K IOPS
Steady-State 4KB Random Write 12K IOPS 18K IOPS 20K IOPS
Idle Power 0.6W 0.6W 0.6W
Max Power 3.45W 3.45W 3.45W
Encryption AES-256
Endurance 20GB/day for 3 years
Warranty Three years
MSRP $75 $120 $240

Sadly there is still no support for low power states (slumber and DevSleep), so idle power consumption remains high compared to the competition. The same goes for encryption support as the ARC 100 only supports ATA passwords, whereas the industry is moving towards more secure and easily manageable TCG Opal encryption. OCZ's PCIe controller, the JetExpress, will support both, but in the meantime OCZ's SSDs remain limited to the desktop crowd.

The ARC 100 uses the slower bin of the Barefoot 3, which is clocked at 352MHz. The faster version, M00, that is found inside the Vector 150 runs at 397MHz instead, but the two are otherwise the same. Our 240GB sample (256GiB of raw NAND) has sixteen dual-die packages with each die being 8GB (64Gb) in capacity.

Test Systems

For AnandTech Storage Benches, performance consistency, random and sequential performance, performance vs transfer size and load power consumption we use the following system:

CPU Intel Core i5-2500K running at 3.3GHz (Turbo & EIST enabled)
Motherboard AsRock Z68 Pro3
Chipset Intel Z68
Chipset Drivers Intel 9.1.1.1015 + Intel RST 10.2
Memory G.Skill RipjawsX DDR3-1600 4 x 8GB (9-9-9-24)
Video Card Palit GeForce GTX 770 JetStream 2GB GDDR5 (1150MHz core clock; 3505MHz GDDR5 effective)
Video Drivers NVIDIA GeForce 332.21 WHQL
Desktop Resolution 1920 x 1080
OS Windows 7 x64

Thanks to G.Skill for the RipjawsX 32GB DDR3 DRAM kit

For slumber power testing we use a different system:

CPU Intel Core i7-4770K running at 3.3GHz (Turbo & EIST enabled, C-states disabled)
Motherboard ASUS Z87 Deluxe (BIOS 1707)
Chipset Intel Z87
Chipset Drivers Intel 9.4.0.1026 + Intel RST 12.9
Memory Corsair Vengeance DDR3-1866 2x8GB (9-10-9-27 2T)
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 4600
Graphics Drivers 15.33.8.64.3345
Desktop Resolution 1920 x 1080
OS Windows 7 x64
Performance Consistency
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  • Kristian Vättö - Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - link

    The prices were accurate yesterday as the title of the table shows. Obviously everyone should use their own judgement when making a buying decision since prices fluctuate all the time. Reply
  • Prodromaki - Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - link

    Ok mate. It seemed a little bit weird to me, because I read all the reviews/ssd recommendations here and the EVO 256 has been consistently priced @140$ in your tables for the past few months, so I went ahead and checked, hence the comment. It must have been an odd newegg one-day-fluctuation-thing yesterday then. Reply
  • KAlmquist - Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - link

    $165 is the current Newegg price for the desktop bundle. The extra $25 gets you an adaptor that lets you plug the SSD into a USB port, the Magician software that Kristian praises below, and some other miscellany. Reply
  • Prodromaki - Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - link

    Btw if I offered to sell you the EVO 256 and the MX100 256 at 140$/130$ respectively, which one would you have chosen?

    P.S. Thanks for the swift reply.
    Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - link

    I would go with the EVO because of Samsung's SSD Magician. Nothing in Magician is really necessary but some of the features can be handy and it is easier to use than many third party tools.

    As for the NewEgg pricing, there seems to be something wrong with the 250GB link because it is constantly changing (leads to NewEgg front page now). I saw this happening yesterday already, so not sure if there is a way to fix it.
    Reply
  • Prodromaki - Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - link

    Ok, thanks for your time Kris, much appreciated. Reply
  • mapesdhs - Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - link


    The one thing I don't like about Magician is the fact that it can't do a secure erase
    much of the time (always says the SSD is locked) - one must do a separate boot
    and erase using a dedicated boot device, CD, USB, etc. By contrast, I've never
    seen this happen with OCZ's Toolbox, it's always able to s/e an SSD.

    Other than the above though, I happily use both brands of SSD (I have many
    of each).

    Ian.
    Reply
  • mapesdhs - Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - link

    (re Toolbox, I did of course mean an OCZ SSD, not any SSD in general) Reply
  • dj christian - Monday, November 24, 2014 - link

    doesn't Magician do triming in the background and garbage collection? Reply
  • barleyguy - Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - link

    I trust my data a lot more to Samsung SSDs than OCZ ones. From that perspective it's worth the extra $10. Intel is maybe worth another $20, at least.

    I can earn another $10 or $30 in less time that it will take me to deal with a crash. And even if that never happens, peace of mind is worth something...
    Reply

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