Fast and Affordable, But Not Leading In Either
So does OCZ's Arc 100 deliver the dream of even cheaper SSDs? In a word, no... but it does provide more competition for Crucial's MX100. At $0.50 per gigabyte for the 240GB and 480GB models, the Arc 100 series isn't setting any new records and the reality is, unless you are prepared to deliver seriously high SATA SSD performance at previously unheard of prices then you might as well give up on delivering a value SSD.
On average, the Arc 100 240GB was 16% slower than the MX100 512GB in our file copy tests and while OCZ's offering is cheaper and faster than Samsung's Evo series, the latter is also more than a year old. Of note, we would have preferred to test the 480GB Arc 100 for fairer results but OCZ didn't have samples. Still, on paper the larger 480GB model can only hope to be about 5% faster, which isn't enough to catch the MX100.
As it stands, the only real competition the Arc 100 faces is from the MX100 and as far as we can tell, OCZ has lost the performance battle and is likely going to lose out when it comes to pricing as well. The MX100 256GB can already be had for $0.45 per gigabyte while the 512GB model for just $0.41 a gig -- almost 20% cheaper than the Arc 100 480GB's MSRP. Hopefully OCZ can afford to be more aggressive with pricing.
Pros: The Arc 100 is relatively affordable, reasonably fast and ships with one of the simplest software utilities around.
Cons: Compared to Crucial's MX100, it's pricier, slower, has less endurance and lacks some encryption features.