OCZ Core Series V2 120GB SSD (OCZSSD2-2C120G)

My first SSD was a Patriot WARP V.2 32GB SSD. It not quite the bleeding edge, that “V.2” signified a revision that solved some issues in the first wave. Early experience with my first SSD was amazing enough for me to look for a larger 120GB unit to gain a little more elbow room in day-to-day use. They both represented early technology with flaws that needed solving before SSD became long-term reliable. I didn’t know that when I bought them, but it was certainly made clear as their performance degraded over a few years and then dying entirely when they no longer showed up as SATA drives when plugged them in. I took apart the first Patriot drive, now it’s time for the second OCZ drive.

Since they were both built around the JMF602 controller and arrived on market around the same time, I expected them to both utilize a JMF602 reference design. Before I opened up this SSD, I expected the circuit board to look identical to the smaller Patriot, just with higher capacity flash memory chips.

I found I was wrong when I opened up the case, this drive used a very different circuit board layout. This design placed the JMF602 at the center, and I don’t see an obvious debug header. There is still a connector adjacent to the SATA data port and it is populated on this drive: a USB mini-B socket that lets this SSD act as a USB flash drive.

Four more flash chips live on the other side of this board, again in a different layout compared to the Patriot drive. They seem to have the same production information sticker, but that might be some sort of industry standard sticker.

Thanks to the USB port, I could still access this drive even though the SATA port no longer enumerates. It is only an USB 2.0 connection, but I don’t think that is a constraint. Write performance has degraded to an atrocious level on this drive. Here I’m copying a single large ISO file to the drive. 25MB/sec throughput and a response time of nearly 500ms are well below limits of USB2.

Read throughput is only slightly better at nearly 40MB/sec and a 20ms read response time is significantly faster but still not great. Since this drive still works via USB, for now I’ll spare it the hot air treatment I performed to the Patriot. But given this level of performance I’m not sure if I can do anything useful with it.

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