OCZ have been creating Solid State Drives for as long as we can remember. They produced a massive amount of drives years ago featuring the Sandforce 2281 controller and sadly they ran into their fair share of issues. They were then bought over by Toshiba and have been recently focusing on their excellent Barefoot controller. OCZ are aware of negative public feeling and contacted us recently with a rather interesting proposal. They would send us some Arc 100 drives and we would stress test them over a short period of time, until they died – and all with full public disclosure.
While this seemed like a rather radical proposition, I had to make sure that OCZ were not under the impression they could be involved in this process, or to stop us publishing the cold hard facts. They assured me on the phone that this was not the case. They said they had complete confidence in their drives and that they would long outclass their warranty claims. The Arc 100 is not one of their flagship drives either, it is a mainstream unit designed for the mass enthusiast audience.
Their apparent confidence perked my interest.
Watch this video via our VIMEO channel (below) or over on YOUTUBE.
We decided to accept the challenge from OCZ and we will be putting these drives through intensive ANVIL stress tests, designed to hammer the drives way beyond the level any consumer ever will. OCZ rate the drives under warranty at up to 20GB a day.
Now, most people will not place an ARC 100 drive through a data load of 20GB a day however I was concerned that OCZ might hand pick a single drive, and for accuracy of the results I asked them for at least three drives. The more data we have, the more accurate these results will be after all.
They sent us 5 drives all sealed and shrink wrapped.
The OCZ Arc 100 was an SSD I reviewed way back in August this year – it was a very capable drive, although we never get time to test them long term. The warranty terms state up to 20GB of data transfer a day, across three years. A quick calculation on this equals 7.3TB of data transfer a year. If you multiply that by 3 under the warranty terms, then we end up with 21.9TB of data. Lets round it up to 22TB in total.
We will keep you posted regularly on how the drives are doing. When one fails we will update you all and create a new video while sharing our findings. When all 5 have failed, we will have plenty of data to share with you. OCZ will not be involved in any of this going forward and have agreed to let us post our findings verbatim, live on KitGuru. It really could go horribly wrong for OCZ but they have agreed not to be involved in this going forward. It is in KitGuru's hands now.
As a closing point it is worth pointing out that OCZ have introduced a ‘ShieldPlus Warranty system' which eliminates the requirement for ‘proof of purchase' … if a drive fails. A brand new SSD is shipped to the OCZ customer of the same capacity, in advance. When the replacement is received by the customer they then can then send their old faulty drive back with a prepaid envelope. Yes it all does seem too good to be true, but we can't find any catch.
Anyway, be sure to check KitGuru regularly for updates on this OCZ ‘death test'. This is the first time any SSD company have proposed this idea with us and while OCZ may end up getting burned with our results we do like risk takers.
-Allan ‘Zardon' Campbell, KitGuru Editor In Chief.
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Kitguru says: Will OCZ be able to prove to our readers that their drives can seriously outclass their warranty system or will they end up with egg on their face? Check back soon for an update.