So, the goal when reading any review is to determine if the product is right for you, and it's a bit cloudy with the Agility 3. The Agility 3 performed marvelously in most task and benchmarks, and is generally just plain fast in normal usage. Due to its asynchronous NAND, we see performance attenuation in heavy loads (high queue depths) and when data transfers contain incompressible files. What it really comes down to is price/performance, and this is where it gets more complicated. Today, major retailers carry many drives, and the Agility 3 is about $20 cheaper than a Vertex 3, but $75-90 cheaper than the two drives we tested, the Patriot Wildfire and the Vertex 3 Max IOPS. Depending on how strict your budget is, the $20 might be well spent upping to the Vertex 3, which will lead to better performance when various incompressible file transfers are used, such as loading programs or rendering images. If you're looking for something in the performance sector, a drive with synchronous NAND, Vertex 3 or Pyro SE would be a better choice, for a relatively low premium. However, the price difference is less with current rebates, which creates a $30 price gap, but these often fluctuate, so how you feel about rebates (and the current rebate special) is up to you, but as of the time of writing, leans in the favor of the Agility 3.
If you're looking for something to give you a boost in games, our PCMark7 results show that, really, it doesn't matter which drive, or drive type you choose, so the best-priced one likely wins out in that regard. In general, the Agility 3 will provide you with an enormous upgrade over a mechanical drive, as we showed earlier here. The typical user won't notice much a difference between the drives, and the extra cash might best be left in your pocket, and the Agility 3 would be a great way to go, as it is one of the cheapest 120GB SSDs, and it really did do very well in most of our benchmarks. If you're a more intensive user working with rendering, image editing, etc, if the price gaps remain the same, the Vertex 3 for $20 more might be well worth you while.
- Lower cost than the Vertex 3
- Performed well in many sequential and random benchmarks
- Excellent peak performance, on par with Patriot Wildfire/Vertex 3 Max IOPS
- Tried and true SF-2200 series controller
- Asynchronous NAND struggles with incompressible transfers
- MLC NAND has lower lifetime than SLC (~10 years usable life for normal usage)
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