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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  • HisDivineOrder - Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - link

    "The Barefoot 3 platform does provide excellent performance consistency and it has proven to be reliable over the last two years"

    "The Barefoot 3 platform does provide excellent performance consistency...has proven to be reliable over the last two..."

    "...excellent performance consistency...has proven to be reliable..."

    "...consistency...reliable..."

    Wut? You can't be serious. Go read the reviews by actual users. OCZ products have far higher one-star reviews and failures than any other serious equivalent. Or do you guys really think the rest of the world is wrong about their reliability and you're right? ;)
    Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - link

    Here is some actual data from NewEgg and Amazon for you:

    OCZ Vector 150 & Vertex 460 combined: 89.2% are 5 or 4-star reviews - 7.8% 1-star
    Crucial M500: 91.1% are 5 or 4-star - 4.6% 1-star
    Samsung 840 EVO: 94.1% 5 or 4-star - 2.3% 1-star

    OCZ's sample size was much smaller and there were only 13 one-star reviews in total, so the results are not really scientifically accurate. There were several one-star review due to the fact that OCZ denies warranty if bought from an uncertified reseller, so the number of failures is smaller in reality.

    Either way, your claim that OCZ has "far higher one-star reviews" isn't true. It used to be true and I don't deny that, but the OCZ today is totally different company with new management and owner. Things are only going to get better with Toshiba helping OCZ with validation.
    Reply
  • Per Hansson - Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - link

    Yea, but OCZ still shows up in hardware.fr reliability survey as the black sheep.
    No matter how much they say they want to improve their reputation the numbers don't lie:
    http://www.hardware.fr/articles/920-7/ssd.html

    Sure it's better than the 50% RMA rates for the Petrol & Octane series, but then again those where never even recalled by OCZ so in my mind they can just go MIA!
    http://www.hardware.fr/articles/893-7/ssd.html
    Reply
  • mapesdhs - Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - link


    Ah yes and no other manufacturer ever screwed things up?... In reality they've all
    chucked out bad fw, but people forgave the likes of Intel and Samsung when they
    did that. OCZ changed its policies, started producing excellent models, yet people
    still post the same old guff about Octane/Petrol models.

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

    Nonsense. All that stuff was about much older models. The later OCZ SSDs are very good,
    everything from the Vertex4 onwards. Heck, with the early fw issues sorted out, the previous
    models are fine too, I have loads of them.

    Ian.

    PS. Buyer feedback on a seller site suffers from enormous -ve bias. People who don't
    have any issues almost never state the fact. Sats: garbage in = garbage out.
    Reply
  • kaesden - Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - link

    You couldn't pay me enough to ever trust another OCZ product. I dont care how well they perform, or how cheap they might be, they are the most unreliable memory products i've EVER used. Reply
  • hojnikb - Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - link

    They were. Now that sandforce is gone and toshiba is owning them, this is a completly different OCZ as it was a few years ago. Reply
  • hosps - Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - link

    Management is still the same and by the CEO's own admission, they have been left largely alone for day-to-day operations. This product is yet another horrible idea just like Octane, Petrol, and Agility. They are undercutting their own product lines with inferior products and dumbfounded why their higher end products don’t sell. They need to follow what Samsung has done and release two product lines and keep it straight. Higher number product numbers = higher expected performance. Stop mixing and matching product lines and tagging them with meaningless numbers that have no sense of order or scale. They keep repeating the same mistakes that led them to bankruptcy and it’s why they won’t survive as a company. Reply
  • hojnikb - Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - link

    What toshiba needs to do is rebrand the whole thing; they could just continue using toshiba brandname as they did before ocz acq. but instead use oczs controller and firmware. And as you've said; two models. One highend with MLC flash and one mainstream with A19 tlc (sandisk already has one).

    That way, product stack will be less of a mess and cost savings when using TLC could also translate to lower MSRP. Which is always good, when competition is stiff.
    Reply
  • patssle - Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - link

    Once you lose trust it's hard to gain it back. Hard drives are crucial for reliability with all your important data stored on it (and hopefully backed up) - living with the thought of just MAYBE my hard drive isn't good enough is more than enough to not buy that brand. And I was quick to jump on the OCZ bandwagon back when they were the first to bring reliable SSDs mainstream without write delays with the Vertex. Reply

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