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 |
|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.