OCZ ARC 100 240GB Review (Page 1 of 10)

By: Aaron Lai
October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween! I remember back when I was in elementary school, all my friends would dress up on the last day of the tenth month. They would don the mask from superheroes like Batman or Spiderman, or put on the furry paws of animals like cats or dogs. I even remember my friend making a Blastoise (The final evolution of the first generation water starter Pokemon, Squirtle) costume. I always remember Halloween as a good day of treats, and a day of dropping everything school related to do things Halloween related. As I have grown up from those times, the days of free candy and dressing up are mostly gone. Now the best part of Halloween is the day after, or November 1st, because of the cheap candy on sale after Halloween. Most stores are trying to get rid of their stock, especially with Christmas around the corner, so they hack and slash prices to empty their valuable shelf space. And that, my friends, is the best day to actually do your Trick or Treating. Within twenty four hours of the event, boxes and boxes of candy drop by fifty, sixty and even eighty percent in price. This only seems natural as no one will be purchasing large amounts of candy until the next October 31. The only way that stores can clear through stock is to reduce the price. Thus poor students like myself love to take advantage of these clearance deals. When we turn our heads to the solid state drive market, however, we see a different situation. There is no lack of demand for solid state drives, as people are reaping the benefits of speed increases, but the prices continue to steadily decline. Rather than trying to counter a decreasing demand, manufacturers have been releasing new lines of solid state drives at lower prices to increase the scope of their audience. Nowadays, SSDs can be found below the $1/GB mark. But when OCZ released the ARC 100 series, it took this decline to a completely different level with a MSRP of only $0.43/GB, which begs me to wonder if there are any performance trade-offs. We have seen past OCZ drives with generally good results, so where does the ARC 100 fit in? Let's read on to find out!

Today's review unit of the OCZ ARC 100 240GB arrived in a very small, standard brown corrugated cardboard box. The sides were taped with bright red and white tape, which makes it obvious if someone had tampered with our shipment. With the help of UPS Saver, our parcel traveled all the way from Taiwan to our APH Networks Calgary location. Amazingly though, there are no dents or holes in the box, which is a good thing considering it traveled well OVER 9000 kilometers! Luckily it does not take a Kamehameha to open this box, and I instead grabbed my nearest utility knife to crack this package open.

On an aside, whoever invented bubble wrap is a genius. With one invention, they not only made sending goods a worry-free experience, but also gave the world a source of stress-relief. Thankfully for me today, the OCZ ARC 100 240GB arrived with two side cushions made up of large bubble wrap, which I will use while waiting for test results, haha. Besides the two bubble wrap packs, we pulled out the retail packaging of the OCZ ARC 100 240GB. The retail package is shrink wrapped to prevent surface scratches. Much like the last two SATA OCZ solid state drives we received, the OCZ Vector 150 and Vertex 460, the OCZ ARC 100 240GB is placed in a small cardboard box, with the front displaying the product itself. The box is simple in design, with less words than the previous two SSDs. Rather, only the product name and a sticker with the capacity is found on the front. The flip side is where all the words can be found, with lists of features and specifications in various languages. Before we continue on, let's take a look at these specifications, as obtained from the manufacturer's website:

Sequential Read Speed: 480MB/s
Sequential Write Speed: 430MB/s
Random Read Speed (4K, QD32): 75,000 IOPS
Random Write Speed (4K, QD32): 80,000 IOPS
Steady State Random Write (4K QD32): 18,000 IOPS
NAND Components: Toshiba A19nm Multi-Level Cell (MLC)
Interface: Serial ATA (SATA) 6Gb/s (SATA III)
NAND Controller: OCZ Barefoot 3 M10
Form Factor: 2.5 inch, 7mm height
Dimension (L x W x H): 100.20 x 69.75 x 6.70 mm
Weight: 110g
Data Path Protection: BCH ECC corrects up to 44 random bits/1KB
MTBF: 2 million hours
Encryption: 256-bit AES-compliant
Product Health Monitoring: Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology (SMART) Support
Endurance: Rated for 20GB/day of host writes for 3 years under typical client workloads
Power Consumption: Idle: 0.60W, Active: 3.450W

Inside the retail container of the OCZ ARC 100 240GB is unlike any of the past OCZ SSDs we have received before. Rather than a standard black container, there is actually a clear plastic shell that holds the SSD. There are some reading material about RMA information and installation instructions too. Otherwise, that is it. There are no CDs or stickers about speed or love of solid state drives. There is not even an a 3.5" adapter bracket, 9mm adapter, or even a set of screws. While the underwhelming amount of accessories is understandable considering the price point of the ARC 100, it is slightly disappointing they could not include cheap things like a plastic frame to fit larger slots. With the lack of any extras, let's take a closer look at the drive itself.

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. A Closer Look, Test System
3. Benchmark: AIDA64 Disk Benchmark
4. Benchmark: ATTO Disk Benchmark
5. Benchmark: Crystal Disk Mark 3.0
6. Benchmark: HD Tach
7. Benchmark: HD Tune Pro 4.60
8. Benchmark: PassMark PerformanceTest 8.0
9. Benchmark: PCMark Vantage
10. Conclusion