OCZ Summit 250GB SATA2 SSD

Introduction

Introduction
 
OCZ have long been known as premier manufacturers for some of the finest enthusiast memory modules money can buy.
Not only that but they have also branched out into the PSU market and most recently, they are perhaps the premium brand to look for when deciding on an SSD.
 
We reviewed the all conquering Vertex drive a while back which was a vast improvement over the previous Core series, eradicating the poor write speeds the OCZ drives suffered. The new Summit drive we have for review today aims to improve those write speeds further by using a Samsung controller along with Samsung NAND flash memory (MLC) which, if OCZ claims are to be believed push the envelope even further with read speeds a little below that of the Vertex (up to 220MB/s) but write speeds, traditionally a weakness for Solid State Drives, increased up to 200MB/s.
 
OCZ have achieved this by incorporating the Samsung S3C29RBB01 controller along with Samsung's own NAND flash memory. Sadly this memory is still based on MLC technology as opposed to the flagship (and extremely expensive) Vertex EX's SLC tech. The jewel in the Summit's crown though is the massive 128MB of on-board cache which will smooth the drives performance when writing and totally remove the stuttering previous drives have been known to suffer in the past.
 
With so many SSD's now beginning to hit the market, the choice is becoming a little confusing so here's a quick breakdown of what OCZ offer the consumer with speeds rated in regard to the popular format of 120GB:
 
Name Read (MB/s)* Write (MB/s)* Cache Memory Type
Vertex EX 260 210 64MB SLC NAND
Summit 220 200 128MB MLC NAND
Vertex 250 180 64MB MLC NAND
Agility 230 135 64MB MLC NAND
Apex 230 160 16KB MLC NAND
Solid
155 90 - MLC NAND
Core v2 170 98 - MLC NAND
*Speeds advertised are 'upto' rather than guaranteed.
 
As you can see, the Summit class forfeits a little read speed for write that, along with double the amount of on-board cache should make the Summit drive the ideal choice for those looking to utilise an SSD for the main operating system drive which move small amounts of data around on a regular basis. Without this cache, data transfers will inevitably encounter stalling at one point of another and as such I would stay clear of drives that do not have some on board cache, preferably 64MB as a minimum. Luckily for us, the Summit has a full fat 128MB so this will hopefully be a none issue come testing.
 
Here's what OCZ had to say about their product:
 
Summit Series 2.5” Solid State Drives are tailored to meet the stringent demands of business professionals, enthusiasts, and entry-level enterprise applications. Summit Series strives to bridge the gap between the needs of high-end gaming and professional desktops and notebooks to small scale server PCs that require amplified criteria for maintaining a solid and stable work environment.

OCZ Summit Series SSDs provide the best of both worlds —the performance of cutting-edge technology paired with unmatched reliability, offering the ideal balance to store and transfer your most essential data. The Summit Series is the new wave in SSD solutions for users seeking an enhanced experience from their notebook or desktop, such as snappier speeds and access time, longer battery life, and shorter boot-ups. Ideal for even mission-critical systems, the Summit Series delivers best-in-class stability and dependability along with faster access times, lower power consumption, and superior durability compared to conventional hard drives.
 
 
Specification
 
The following specification was taken directly from the OCZ product page and are based around the 250GB model:
 
128MB Onboard Cache
Seek Time: <.1ms
Slim 2.5" Design
99.8 x 69.63 x 9.3mm
Lightweight 77g
Operating Temp: 0C ~ 70C
Storage Temp: -45C ~ +85C
Low Power Consumption: 2W in operation, .5W in stand by
Shock Resistant 1500G
RAID Support
MTBF 1.5 million hours***
Read: Up to 220 MB/s
Write: Up to 200MB/s
Sustained Write: Up to 200MB/s
3 year warranty
Available in 60GB (64), 120GB (128), 250GB (256) capacities*
 
Nothing too extra ordinary stands out from the specification that we haven't already mentioned other than OCZ now offer 3 years warranty on their drives as opposed to the 2 year warranty served up previously.
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Most Recent Comments

29-06-2009, 11:16:37

w3bbo
The OCZ Vertex set a very high standard two months ago but suffered mediocre write speeds. Can the Summit SSD make up the deficit? Find out in our latest in-depth review...

http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...121401203l.jpg

Review HERE

29-06-2009, 12:33:52

rapidman17
Great review mate....shame about the price though... is twice as much as the bloody pc i am usin...

29-06-2009, 12:39:55

w3bbo
Yeah I hear ya on the price. Still when people are paying 100 for 30GB I guess it's not so bad lol especially when you consider this is no 'run of the mill' drive.

29-06-2009, 12:40:39

nathan
intel or was it samsung are releasing some cheaper SSDs in the next couple of weeks. Wonder what they'll be like.

29-06-2009, 12:43:52

rapidman17
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='w3bbo'
Yeah I hear ya on the price. Still when people are paying 100 for 30GB I guess it's not so bad lol especially when you consider this is no 'run of the mill' drive.
Fair point i guess.... hopefully if nathan is correct,the introduction of cheaper ssd's will drive down the price of other more expensive ones. These will def be lower performance drives in comparison to the summit and vertex though

29-06-2009, 14:03:35

w3bbo
It greatly depends on the amount of cache the drives carry. Cheap drives usually mean less cache and I would be very hesitant before buying a drive with little/no cache as you will get stutter problems.

29-06-2009, 14:05:32

rapidman17
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='w3bbo'
It greatly depends on the amount of cache the drives carry. Cheap drives usually mean less cache and I would be very hesitant before buying a drive with little/no cache as you will get stutter problems.
Yh thts exactly what i was thinking when i said they would offer lower performance

29-06-2009, 16:57:13

VonBlade
Yipes!!

That's blisteringly fast. Pant-wettingly expensive, but wow such speed.

/green with envy.

29-06-2009, 17:06:44

Ghosthud1
what are ocz thinking! 500 for abit of pcb and chips, i dont think they know the world is in debt

30-06-2009, 14:37:08

Rastalovich
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='w3bbo'
It greatly depends on the amount of cache the drives carry. Cheap drives usually mean less cache and I would be very hesitant before buying a drive with little/no cache as you will get stutter problems.
In the main the SSDs are rated, or quoted, on their ability to empty and fill cache. Being as they're all chips any1, I don't know why they don't just call them cache drives - 250g cache

Pricing is ultimately outrageous, I didn't see anything significant that seperated it from it's vertex partner.

More or less agree with the Mediocre sum-up, u would expect a cheap 3.5 adaptor to be in there as standard.

Packaging wize, I think they're very nervous about making it a good one - criticism then may be that 552, they should charge 499 and keep it very oem.

Good luck to them milking users tbh. They feel the 250g drive is worth more than 2x GTX 285.

30-06-2009, 18:19:47

Toxcity
Once data is in the RAM the harddrive is hardly touched. At that price there is no need for it. Are they stupid?

01-07-2009, 07:26:57

Rastalovich
I have a suspicion also that they're looking at Ultra320 prices, controllers and drives, and thinking "if they can charge that much, so can we".
Reply
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