OCZ launches PCI-E SSD RAID cards

OCZ launches PCI-E SSD RAID cards

OCZ's 1TB Z-Card boasts an impressive maximum write speed of 470MB/sec, but is it worth £2,640.34?

Just a few weeks after Super Talent unveiled its 2TB PCI-E SSD card, OCZ has revealed that it can also play the PCI-E storage game by announcing a new line of PCI-E SSD cards with capacities of up to 1TB.

Called the Z-Cards feature, the SSDs feature a 4x PCI-E interface, and will be available in 250GB, 500GB and 1 TB capacities. OCZ claims that all three drives can manage a sustained write speed of 200MB/sec, but the maximum read and write speeds vary between the drives.

For example, OCZ quotes a maximum read speed of 450MB/sec for the 250GB drive, along with a 300MB/sec write speed. Meanwhile, the company quotes a faster 510MB/sec read speed for the 500GB drive, along with a 480MB/sec write speed. However, the 1TB drive is slightly slower than the 500GB drive, with a quoted read speed of 500MB/sec and a write speed of 470MB/sec.

As well as the NAND flash chips, OCZ says that the drives feature 256MB of local cache, as well as four Vertex controllers in RAID 0 configuration, to boost performance. OCZ reportedly made the decision to use an Indilinx controller in its latest Vertex SSD drives, which we assume is the same controller used in the Z-Drive.

OCZ’s vice president of product management in its Technology Group, Eugene Chang, boasted that the Z-Drive’s cache and RAID configuration, along with the PCI-E interface “takes the SATA bottleneck out of the equation” , and OCZ describes the Z-Drive as “a truly enthusiast grade storage upgrade from traditional hard disk drives.”

The Z-Drive made its first appearance in a tech demo at the CeBIT show earlier this year, but OCZ says that drives are now officially in production. A number of retailers already have the drives available for pre-order. They’re not cheap, however. While the quoted read and write speeds are impressive enough, and the capacities genuinely rival those of traditional hard drives, we’re talking thousands of pounds for all the drives.

In the UK, Aria has the 250GB drive available for pre-order for £1,092.44 inc VAT, while the 500GB drive costs £1,701.94 inc VAT and the 1TB drive will set you back a whopping £2,640.34 inc VAT. Interestingly, Aria also lists a 120GB Z-Drive for £804.94 inc VAT, which doesn’t appear to have been announced by OCZ yet. Aria expects to have stock of the Z-Drives within the next 14 days.

Solid state disks are now seriously rivalling traditional hard drives in terms of capacity and speed, but they clearly have a long way to go in terms of value for money. Let us know your thoughts about OCZ’s new PCI-E SSDs in the forums.


Discuss in the forums Reply
pistol_pete 24th April 2009, 17:09 Quote
Oooo, PCI-E interface. Cool.
Arkanrais 24th April 2009, 17:30 Quote
If they made these in low profile PCI sizes, they would be perfect for small HTPC cases and people with a few hundred £ to blow.
Besides that, it's great to see SSD's catching up to mechanical HDD's in capacity. Now we just have to wait until they start matching the price or at least get within a reasonable grasp for us suckers without thousands to spend on new gadgets.
Denis_iii 24th April 2009, 17:42 Quote
can you boot from them? These look to be the future and I forsee a faster price drop then SSD's
Turbotab 24th April 2009, 17:42 Quote
The days of hard drives disturbing the peace are now truly numbered. Spend rich people, spend!
Yemerich 24th April 2009, 20:00 Quote
I am sure those prices are a bad taste joke...
naokaji 24th April 2009, 21:55 Quote
Originally Posted by Yemerich
I am sure those prices are a bad taste joke...

4x250GB SSD from the same manufacturer cost pretty much the same as the 1TB model, so it's in line with other ssds.
Gryphon 24th April 2009, 22:15 Quote
you cant boot from it iirc :( and that price has to be a joke. i know its on par with SATA SSDs, but still... they're £/Gb is vomit-inducing

still want it though :)
j_jay4 24th April 2009, 22:49 Quote
U could get a pretty decent PC for those prices, I don't think silence and a few seconds off your load times are worth that much, it's a bit crazy
Hamish 25th April 2009, 02:05 Quote
its just a pci-e raid controller and 4 SSDs pre-packaged in a shiny box for you :P
aron311 25th April 2009, 02:56 Quote
Why do you have to draw the specs out and make them all muddled in several paragraphs? Table please :)
leexgx 25th April 2009, 04:15 Quote
Originally Posted by Gryphon
you cant boot from it iirc :( and that price has to be a joke. i know its on par with SATA SSDs, but still... they're £/Gb is vomit-inducing

still want it though :)

its an raid card and so can be used as an boot device

the price of it is far out there, its still impressive performance thought

the vertex drive is still best drive to get for cost v space/performance, need to weed out the poor drives (what other company's sell the ssd with Indilinx in them)
dec 25th April 2009, 15:40 Quote
how would someone use RAID with these things?
Jenny_Y8S 25th April 2009, 16:27 Quote
Wow! That's 3,125 times cheaper than my first ever hard drive (byte for byte)

But then 40meg hard drives were a lot of money back then :)
Farting Bob 26th April 2009, 00:00 Quote
The cheapest storage is still single layer DVDR's. Buy in bulk, about 3p per GB!
leexgx 26th April 2009, 18:15 Quote
it come up as an hard disk like any RAID card norm does, with XP id expect some driver to come with it (F5 install) vista very likey just detect it (but could likey need use of an driver unless its useing RAID card that is supported by vista)
Timmy_the_tortoise 26th April 2009, 19:18 Quote
If only I was already a self made millionaire... Or a spoiled child. Either would do, as long as I got one of these.
phuzz 27th April 2009, 16:21 Quote
Cor! Want one of these!
I suspect they're intended for database servers and the like, but I'm sure the BT team can come up with some justification for needing one, perhaps they could be used to remove i/o bottlenecks while benchmarking? ;)
Slizza 27th April 2009, 21:25 Quote
Were can i shoplift one of those puppys?
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