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OCZ introduces 480GB solid-state drive

The SSD manufacturer has bumped up the capacity of its Vertex and Agility products, aiming for buyers who want want fast boot-times and high storage capacity

OCZ Technology has introduced 400GB and 480GB versions of its Vertex 2 and Agility 2 solid-state drives, doubling the capacity compared with previous products.

The Silicon Valley-headquartered manufacturer introduced the higher-capacity versions of the 2.5-inch Sata II solid-state drives (SSDs) on Monday. It is targeting them at users who want fast access to a large number of applications and files without being constrained by storage limits — video and audio editors, for example.

The products have boot times around half those of a typical hard disk drive, OCZ said, while read and write speeds are 250MB/s and 240MB/s, respectively. As well as replacing high-capacity hard disk drives in workstations, the SSDs can also be used in desktops and laptops.

"This is a brand new market for a new product," Chris Gibson, sales manager for OCZ in the UK, said on Tuesday. "There is a demand for very fast higher-capacity products. This will be able to meet the demand for this type of product."

The 480GB capacity offered by the Vertex 2 and Agility 2 is a big step up from other SSDs on the market. The Corsair Performance Series SSD comes in a 512GB model with 240MB/s transfer, but in general, SSDs are sold with 256GB of storage.

Gibson suggested enterprises might choose a lower-capacity SSD because extremely heavy usage could slow down high-capacity products in the long term.

The extra capacity for the Vertex and Agility drives became possible by reducing the overprovisioning of spare capacity on the drives, according to Gibson. "We found that with new firmware, we could maintain the same performance but use more memory for the purpose of the SSD," he said. "We didn't need all those spare cells."

Support for Trim commands also helped to provide the extra capacity, he said. Trim permits an operating system to tell an SSD which data blocks are no longer required, so they can be cleared.

The new high-capacity Vertex 2 and Agility 2 drives will offer the same read/write and boot time performance as previous versions, he added.

The new products will be available in the middle of June in the UK, Gibson said. Prices are likely to be around £1,400 for the Vertex, and around £1330 to £1340 for the Agility.

Agility 2 SSD photo

The Agility 2 range of SSDs now has a top capacity of 480GB. Photo credit: OCZ Technology