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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  • mapesdhs - Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - link

    So when Intel had its 8MB bricked-SSD problem, why weren't they villified by everyone and
    hence all trust lost?

    The concept of trust for a technical product is bizarre. Either it works within a set range of
    specs & requirements, or it doesn't. OCZ makes a bunch of models that work very well
    indeed (Vertex4, Vector, etc.), yet people act and post comments as if that's not true,
    which is just dumb IMO.

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

    Not to mention all the issues sandforce based drives had. Reply
  • LB-ID - Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - link

    (checks the manufacturer)
    Yup, still OCZ. If I want to be a beta-tester for an unreliable and unscrupulous company, I'd go volunteer to be a guinea pig for someone contracting for the NSA. No thank you, never again.

    Caveat emptor.
    Reply
  • mapesdhs - Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - link

    QED, more pointless FUD.

    Ian.
    Reply
  • jsntech - Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - link

    There are probably 'good' reasons for it, but I really chuckle every time I think about Toshiba buying a brand name with a history of unreliable products and bad customer support, and then rebranding brand new tech with that tainted name.

    For the love of pete, why why why?

    Oh well. Best of luck to Toshiba, but I personally will never again buy anything on earth with 'OCZ' in the name.
    Reply
  • kyuu - Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - link

    This logic is silly. You explicitly acknowledge that it is merely the same label on what is largely a different company, but you refuse to buy anything with the label because... reasons?

    Granted, it was a poor choice by Toshiba to keep the OCZ branding, but I wager Toshiba management was unaware of how that brand was perceived when the decision was made. They probably thought they were appealing to an existing consumer-base who were loyal to the OCZ name or something.

    But still, refusing to judge the product by its own merits (of which it seems to have a great deal, as long as you're not looking to use it in a laptop) but instead by the (now largely meaningless) label? Just seems silly to me.
    Reply
  • melgross - Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - link

    If Toshiba was unaware of the problems with OCZ's realizability and bad reputation, then Toshiba is incompetent. There is no way that a company would buy one that going bankrupt without doing the due diligence first. If they did, they would have seen all the problems. So what you are saying is no excuse.

    But then, toshiba's reputation for SSD's isn't that great to begin with, so maybe they don't care.
    Reply
  • mapesdhs - Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - link


    And exactly what reliability/reputation issues are you referring to? Because they apply
    to the later products at all, hence all this sort of posting does is perpetuate what is now
    a thoroughly out of date attitude. Hardly surprising OCZ went bust when self-sustaining
    FUD posting keeps putting people buying what are actually really good products. I'd
    happily buy more Vertex4s if they were still available at a sensible price. The only thing
    that puts me off certain models much of the time, from any manufacturer, is price. In the
    past 2 years, prices fluctuated wildly in a manner that left the Vector series costing far
    too much vs. the competition, which is a shame given the good quality of the product.

    What blows my mind is the way people who moan on and on about quality, reliability,
    etc., are the same zoids who are so quick to recommend today's budget models like
    the MX100 to someone for whom reliability is a priority - total contradiction.

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

    (typo in 1st sentence, I meant to write, "...they don't apply to the later products at all, ..."
    Still unable to edit posts on this site??)
    Reply
  • seapeople - Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - link

    If you've been burned by a Ford Pinto before, then it makes sense that you wouldn't want to buy a new Pinto, even if they tell you it's a complete redesign. Whether it makes sense or not, that's why Ford was smart enough to get rid of the Pinto name... Reply

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