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OCZ RevoDrive looks to shake up SDD market

OCZ RevoDrive looks to shake up SDD market

The RevoDrive uses a 4x PCI-E interface to attain its stratospheric claimed read/write sppeds

OCZ has introduced the RevoDrive; a new take on the not so humble SSD. The RevoDrive - due for release sometime in July - is essentially a pair of Sandforce equipped SSDs mounted to a PCB in a RAID array. The PCB uses a 4x PCI-E interface which OCZ claims allows the RevoDrive to "move beyond the bottleneck of SATA II".

Claimed speeds are similarly dramatic with read speeds of up to 540MB/s and write speeds of upto 480MB/s - more than double what we saw in our recent SSD group test.

You'd think all this performance would come with a hefty price tag, but OCZ has done a good job of keeping the price down with the 120GB RevoDrive costing £335 - only £25 more than the same capacity Vertex 2

The drive also comes in a 240GB flavour which is priced at a rather more wallet melting £600, but again is within touching distance of the same size Vertex drive.

OCZ even has the ability to increase performance in the future if needs be as the PCI-E to SATA controller chip used actually has the ability to handle four 3Gbps drives; leading to a 4-way RAID array. This will of course increase the price again as each individual drive still requires its own controller chip but we cant help drooling at the possible speeds available if OCZ ever develops a four drive version.

Granted, you could buy two smaller SSDs and set them up in RAID yourself and end up with largely similar performance but the RevoDrive offers a more simple option and a truck load of bragging rights to boot. It also frees up two internal hard disk bays, which could be a key motivation for anyone looking to mod a case extensively.

Are you looking at an SSD purchase? Are you tempted to hold off and see if the RevoDrive's performance claims pan out? Let us know in the forums.

40 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
[PUNK] crompers 28th June 2010, 14:38 Quote
wow!
mi1ez 28th June 2010, 14:40 Quote
1) TRIM?
2) Forgive me if I'm wrong, but you can't use a PCIe drive as a boot drive...
BlackMage23 28th June 2010, 14:50 Quote
Think of it as a raid controller with 2 drives attached.
Lizard 28th June 2010, 14:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mi1ez
1) TRIM?
2) Forgive me if I'm wrong, but you can't use a PCIe drive as a boot drive...

If it has a boot ROM then yes you should be able to boot from it. I would imagine it would have a boot ROM as all the other PCI-E SSDs we've tested had one.
MSHunter 28th June 2010, 15:00 Quote
correct TRIM is not supported in raid. So it either has to have hard war trim or you are left dry. At overclockrs.co.uk thy say something about "garbage collection" but what that mean I do not know for sure.
Skiddywinks 28th June 2010, 15:13 Quote
Garbage collection is the old solution to performance degradation, before TRIM was finalised. IIRC, it is essentially a manual TRIM command, as it takes data from blocks that are not full and copies them to full blocks. This way, as many blocks as possible are filled, meaning new data being written doesn't have to go through the performance destroying read-copy-write cycle that plagues used SSDs.

For more info, see this.

And it can in fact be booted from. Don't ask me how they do it, but it has been confirmed.
spazmochad 28th June 2010, 15:20 Quote
It uses a fairly ancient SiIicon Image RAID controller (the 3124) which is bootable.
Sim0n 28th June 2010, 15:30 Quote
http://www.ocztechnology.com/images/box_standing.jpg
Box suggests it has trim.

More interesting, is that thing in the middle, it kinda reminds me of the ribbon connector on the dual GPU cards that join 2 PCBs together. Maybe some kind of 2 card raid thing ?

http://www.ocztechnology.com/images/revoside_withlabel.jpg
Jack_Pepsi 28th June 2010, 15:51 Quote
I'm saving for a PCIe SSD, been saving for a while and still nowhere near the cost of the one I want.
MSHunter 28th June 2010, 16:14 Quote
finally a good use for that little socket.
Those are grate pics.
Now I'm thinking of getting 1 for boot drive.....
Thorgal 28th June 2010, 16:19 Quote
Pretty curious, if this turns out to be as fast as claimed, I might get one of these :3 (Which will result in an empty wallet-)
Malfrex 28th June 2010, 17:54 Quote
Perhaps I'm getting the wrong general idea about this, but isn't it essentially the same idea as a FusionIO card? http://www.fusionio.com/products/iodrive/

It seems to be priced a little bit cheaper to penetrate the hardcore consumer market, but it looks like the same, which I hope is the case. Any competition for FusionIO would be great as it means prices will be driven down faster.
technogiant 28th June 2010, 18:05 Quote
^ last I heard the fusionIO was not bootable unless they have fixed that......OCZ's drive is bootable....so big advantage
pimonserry 28th June 2010, 18:17 Quote
You can boot from PCI RAID cards though. Surely the BIOS would just see this as one of those?
A common BIOS boot option is 'Bootable Add-in Cards' after all.
Krayzie_B.o.n.e. 28th June 2010, 19:07 Quote
Nice! but why does it have to cost so much? They got to get the prices down. Or at least have them come with Windows 7 64 bit already installed on them.
l3v1ck 28th June 2010, 19:36 Quote
Hmmm. I guess that answers the letter I emailed in.
I expect we'll see more PCIe SSD's in the future as drives get too fast for SATA.
Isitari 28th June 2010, 20:25 Quote
God Damn it!

I want it so much and I already have 2 OCZ Vertex's in RAID 0 ;D
Xtrafresh 28th June 2010, 21:06 Quote
this is SWEET, i'd love to get one :)
Psytek 28th June 2010, 21:47 Quote
"a good job of keeping the price down with the 120GB RevoDrive costing £335"

when was the last time you ventured outside your room full of free test hardware and looked at the price of a loaf of bread?

£335 for 120GB? For £335 you could have 6TB of traditional storage... FIFTY times more space, and if you RAIDed them you could probably get close to SSD performance.

Fifty.
Elton 28th June 2010, 22:00 Quote
PC Perspective did a review on it.

As to buying 6TB of storage, it's a bit inefficient since once one drive dies, you're done.

Same goes for the SSD but you could potentially RAID them. I wonder if they'll make a CF/SLI like implementation for PCI-E SSDs.
Farfalho 28th June 2010, 22:10 Quote
Jeez In my pants!!!

I will be be back with the money for that because while I absent myself to clean the pants, I'm going to rob a bank =D
l3v1ck 28th June 2010, 22:44 Quote
Quote:
This will of course increase the price again as each individual drive still requires its own controller chip
I though the NAND made up teh majority of the drive cost. Surely a couple of extra controllers wouldn't be that much more expensive. I'd rather have a 128GB four way raid SSD than a large two way raid one. (Assuming the performance scales well).
Mongoose 28th June 2010, 23:32 Quote
I would like to see this compared to a 120GB Crucial SATA III drive as well as two regular SSDs in RAID 0.
Krayzie_B.o.n.e. 29th June 2010, 00:00 Quote
I thought the whole purpose of these darn $300 SSD drives was their already great speed so no need of Raid?

Raid set ups are pretty reliable but they still make me nervous so me personally I wouldn't raid these drive as they are really fast.
The_Beast 29th June 2010, 00:04 Quote
pretty sweet, everything except for the price but that's to be expected with technology on the cutting edge
mrbens 29th June 2010, 00:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Psytek
"a good job of keeping the price down with the 120GB RevoDrive costing £335"

when was the last time you ventured outside your room full of free test hardware and looked at the price of a loaf of bread?

£335 for 120GB? For £335 you could have 6TB of traditional storage... FIFTY times more space, and if you RAIDed them you could probably get close to SSD performance.

Fifty.

lol they are comparing against other SSD drives. I doubt anyone needs 6TB of SSD as all u really need is your OS and apps which'll be about 30GB. Games load fast enough off an F3 to not need to pointlessly fill an SSD. Got loads of space left on my Crucial 128GB. :D

And this RevoDrive sounds awesome!
Kojak 29th June 2010, 00:29 Quote
This is a great idea that could make use of the spare slots you don't use and free up space- maybe a seven slotted motherboard will be more attractive to buy in the future if this takes off and like you say case modders could love this- I've a on going project with an 800d of which I have ripped out all the bays to make way for my loops and rads (which I will be uploading pics soon) so I would defo have been interested in this if it had come out sooner.
greyhavens24 29th June 2010, 00:59 Quote
The idea is great, however I do feel that it is still early days for any SSD whether it's SATA,USB3 or PCIe. I think the technology needs to mature and become more mainstream before it really hits the heights of what it COULD achieve. It's all just a bit too enthusiast. Don't get me wrong I'm an enthusiast but I learnt a long while ago that the tech companies recoup a vast majority of their R&D costs on the intitial take-up from enthusiasts and those who must have the latest and greatest. If this wasn't the case why does the latest technology get cheaper and cheaper?

Just think of the pace of development and reduction in costs in other solid state products such as DDR 3 DIMM's. I remember paying over £200 for a stick of 16MB 72 pin EDO SIMM!! Now look at what it could get you. Probably a CPU, M/B and 4MB DDR3!!

I spent many years and lots of money chasing the edge of performance, my favourite addage is "this years big thing is next years bargain"

But I must admit this Revodrive sounds interesting, it has been tried before using DRAM DIMMS instead of NAND flash, I recall, I'm sure I read about it in Custom PC and it was quick then and credit card melting expensive so hats off to OCZ in making it relatively affordable for a new performance technology. If nothing else it should push down the price of the current speed merchants in order for them to compete and maybe push other manufacturers to bring out competing products.
Ciber 29th June 2010, 02:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mongoose
I would like to see this compared to a 120GB Crucial SATA III drive as well as two regular SSDs in RAID 0.

Me too!

I think I want one of these!
borandi 29th June 2010, 02:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mi1ez
1) TRIM?
2) Forgive me if I'm wrong, but you can't use a PCIe drive as a boot drive...

1) It's two Sandforce in RAID 0, so no TRIM. But no TRIM needed - the Sandforce controllers do a pretty good job anyway.
2) You're wrong, it's bootable. There wouldn't be a consumer market for it if it wasn't, and every OCZ press release on it has been emphasising that point.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Psytek
"a good job of keeping the price down with the 120GB RevoDrive costing £335"

when was the last time you ventured outside your room full of free test hardware and looked at the price of a loaf of bread?

£335 for 120GB? For £335 you could have 6TB of traditional storage... FIFTY times more space, and if you RAIDed them you could probably get close to SSD performance.

Fifty.

Your access times would be in the toilet compared to the SSD. Your failure rate would be massive in comparison. 6 x 70MB/s = 420MB/s, so you're close, but not close enough - you'd need another couple. But wait, you could get one Revo and a 2TB HDD for storage - best of both worlds.
Nikols 29th June 2010, 10:50 Quote
Beautiful bit where does it fit? I'm all choked up with graphics cards
John_T 29th June 2010, 13:47 Quote
That does look amazing.

One question though, (and I appreciate it may be a deeply stupid one) but don't the NAND chips generate any significant heat? I'm just surprised not to see any kind of heatsink / heatspreader on there. It would've given them a chance to plaster their logo on it if nothing else...
leexgx 29th June 2010, 14:31 Quote
very little heat at all (maybe cold to warm)
desertstalker 29th June 2010, 15:44 Quote
Considering the total power draw of a SSD is a few watts, heat is not an issue.
Anfield 29th June 2010, 20:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Psytek

£335 for 120GB? For £335 you could have 6TB of traditional storage... FIFTY times more space, and if you RAIDed them you could probably get close to SSD performance.

While yes, it is expensive like every other SSD, look at it this way, 1x 240GB Revodrive costs 20£ less than 2x 120GB Vertex 2E so it is a improvement if it comes to prices, even if its just a small one.

As for raided mechanical HDDs matching SSDs, while its possible to match sequential Read / Write numbers when testing with large files (like for example a bunch of dvd .iso files) you won't ever be able to get anywhere near the numbers SSD put out in small file random read / write and access times.
John_T 29th June 2010, 23:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by desertstalker
Considering the total power draw of a SSD is a few watts, heat is not an issue.

Yeah, but that's not really true though is it. I mean it may be for these drives perhaps, but not 'standard' SSD's.

Page 120 in issue 81 shows the power draw of SSD's & HDD's, and a 120GB OCZ Vertex draws 93W under load, compared to the 96W of a 300GB VelociRaptor. Now that may not be in the meltingly hot 480 GPU territory, but it seems significant. Heat is rarely an issue in standard HDD's because 99%+ of cases have them at the front, wallowing in the cool breeze of the air intake fans. I was just thinking that, shifted away to the back of the case, (perhaps sandwiched between baking SLI / Crossfire cards) would things start to get a little too toasty for comfort?
Ciber 20th July 2010, 15:02 Quote
When do we get to see a Bit-Tech review of these babies then? Scan's website has them as due in today. I'm either getting a revodrive or a vertex 2E very soon.
Ciber 20th July 2010, 15:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by John_T
Yeah, but that's not really true though is it. I mean it may be for these drives perhaps, but not 'standard' SSD's.

Page 120 in issue 81 shows the power draw of SSD's & HDD's, and a 120GB OCZ Vertex draws 93W under load, compared to the 96W of a 300GB VelociRaptor. Now that may not be in the meltingly hot 480 GPU territory, but it seems significant. Heat is rarely an issue in standard HDD's because 99%+ of cases have them at the front, wallowing in the cool breeze of the air intake fans. I was just thinking that, shifted away to the back of the case, (perhaps sandwiched between baking SLI / Crossfire cards) would things start to get a little too toasty for comfort?

That must be a typo, most drives use around 10w in use IIRC.
whamio 20th August 2010, 23:53 Quote
got one it boots and it......smokes

asusp6tdeluxe 12 gb 1600
i7 930 oc to 4.0
corsair case and water cooled cpu and 850 ps
xfire 5850's
zalman air cooled gpu's and ocz air cool memory
w7 64 bit
game on
whamio 21st August 2010, 00:01 Quote
ot one, it boots and it......smokes
little blue led blinks lets you know it's working

asusp6tdeluxe 12 gb 1600
i7 930 oc to 4.0
corsair case and water cooled cpu and 850 ps
xfire 5850's
zalman air cooled gpu's and ocz air cool memory
w7 64 bit
game on
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