|OCZ RevoDrive PCI-Express SandForce SSD|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Wednesday, 22 September 2010|
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OCZ RevoDrive PCI-Express SSD Review
Solid State Drive technology has become the high-performance option for SATA-drive upgrades, yet these ultra-fast NAND components are capable of so much more. Most computers are capable of offering 3.0 GB/s bandwidth via second-generation SATA controllers, which is fast enough for most general power-users. Although the latest desktop motherboards have incorporated third-generation SATA controllers good for up to 6.0 GB/s bandwidth, there's currently only one SSD storage product capable of utilizing this speed (as of September 2010). PCI-Express is an ideal alternative, since it doesn't require an add-on chip to support a new standard and still offers 5.0 GB/s bandwidth.
Storage standards and bandwidth aside, it's understandable why SSDs were developed on a drive profile first: notebook and desktop hard disk drive upgrades offered a tremendous user-base. Unfortunately, SSDs were introduced with premium prices that rendered many consumers numb with sticker shock. As the technology became more prevalent, prices have also become more affordable and power-users have embraced the performance SSDs are known to offer. Now the market is ready for the next step: high-performance PCI-Express SSDs built for hardware enthusiasts. Enter the OCZ RevoDrive PCI-E SSD.
SSDs have the power to transform slow computers into blazing-fast speed machines, and PCI-E SSDs can further amplify these improvements. The SandForce SF-1200 has quickly become the de facto SSD controller for companies seeking recognition, and for good reason. The OCZ RevoDrive embraces a pair of SF-1222TA3-SBH processors to produce up to 75,000 IOPS with only 7% over-provisioning to generate maximum performance with optimal capacity. In this article, Benchmark Reviews tests the 120GB OCZ RevoDrive SSD (model OCZSSDPX-1RVD0120) against the fastest storage solutions on the market.
Just when PCs were starting to seem irrelevant in this fast-paced world of mobile gadgets and smart phones, along comes a new product that changes the entire landscape. SSDs, or more formally Solid State Drives, have finally lifted computers beyond the age of spinning metal magnetic platters. Delivering a boost in speed that no memory upgrade or new processor could ever dream of, solid state drive technology has sent hard disk drives packing. OCZ Technology, an enthusiast memory company and pioneer of consumer SSD products, further commits to their passion for high-speed storage and delivers the PCI-Express RevoDrive SSD. Based on two SandForce SF1200 controllers arranged in RAID-0, the OCZ RevoDrive PCI-E SSD delivers up to 75,000 IOPS with incredible bandwidth speed.
SandForce is clearly the driving force in SSD controller technology for 2010, offering outstanding bandwidth speed and operational performance. OCZ utilizes two SandForce SF-1222TA3-SBH (SF-1200) processors in their PCI-E RevoDrive enthusiast MLC SSD, which features hand-picked high-performance Intel NAND flash memory modules. SandForce RAISE technology provides redundant protection for single SSD computer systems, while data is automatically secured with AES-128 encryption.
The biggest mistake PC hardware enthusiast make with SSDs is grading them by their speed. File transfer speed is important, but only so long as the operational IOPS performance can sustain that bandwidth under load. Benchmark Reviews tests the OCZ Revo SSD against some of the most popular storage devices available and demonstrates that 4K IOPS performance is more important than bandwidth speed. Additionally, Benchmark Reviews has previously tested two similar SSDs to publish our SandForce SF1200 RAID-0 SSD Performance review.
Manufacturer: OCZ Technology Group, Inc.
Full Disclosure: The product sample used in this article has been provided by OCZ Technology Group, Inc.
Bandwidth Speed vs Operational Performance
As we've explained in our SSD Benchmark Tests: SATA IDE vs AHCI Mode guide, Solid State Drive performance revolves around two dynamics: bandwidth speed (MB/s) and operational performance (IOPS). These two metrics work together, but one is more important than the other. Consider this analogy: operational IOPS performance determines how much cargo a ship can transport in one voyage, and the bandwidth speed is to fast the ship moves. By understanding this and applying it to SSD storage, there is a clear importance set on each variable depending on the task at hand.
For casual users, especially those with laptop or desktop computers that have been upgraded to use an SSD, the naturally quick response time is enough to automatically improve the user experience. Bandwidth speed is important, but only to the extent that operational performance meets the minimum needs of the system. If an SSD has a very high bandwidth speed but a low operational performance, it will take longer to load applications and boot the computer into Windows than if the SSD offered a higher IOPS performance.