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Written by Olin Coles   
Wednesday, 22 September 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
OCZ RevoDrive PCI-Express SandForce SSD
Features and Specifications
Closer Look: OCZ RevoDrive PCI-E SSD
SandForce PCI-E SSD Anatomy
SSD Testing Methodology
AS-SSD Benchmark
ATTO Disk Benchmark
CrystalDiskMark 3.0 Tests
Iometer IOPS Performance
EVEREST Disk Benchmark
HDD vs Hybrid Drive vs SSD
OCZ RevoDrive Conclusion

OCZ RevoDrive Conclusion

IMPORTANT: Although the rating and final score mentioned in this conclusion are made to be as objective as possible, please be advised that every author perceives these factors differently at various points in time. While we each do our best to ensure that all aspects of the product are considered, there are often times unforeseen market conditions and manufacturer changes which occur after publication that could render our rating obsolete. Please do not base any purchase solely on our conclusion, as it represents our product rating specifically for the product tested which may differ from future versions. Benchmark Reviews begins our conclusion with a short summary for each of the areas that we rate.

Our performance rating considers how effective the 120GB OCZ RevoDrive performs in operations against direct competing SSD storage solutions. In our benchmark tests, the Revo PCI-E SSD delivered 539/453 MBps peak read and writes speeds using ATTO Disk Benchmark. SSD speed tests with Everest Disk Benchmark produced 511/423 MBps, making this one of the fastest storage solutions Benchmark Reviews has ever tested. The retail OCZSSDPX-1RVD0120 kit that OCZ sent for testing can be configured with 4-128KB RAID-0 stripes, and operational performance measured 69,925 IOPS when tested with 64KB stripes using Iometer. Enthusiasts can expect extremely fast operational speeds and functionality for demanding applications with the OCZ RevoDrive PCI-Express SSD.

Benchmark Reviews has tested the OCZ Revo SSD against many of its closest competitors, including a SandForce RAID-0 set, and the performance results were impressive by their own merits. In fact, the OCZ Revo offered faster speeds than most other SSDs, including the RAID-0 set of separate SandForce SSDs. Operational performance tests place the RevoDrive at the top of our charts, well ahead of other SSDs and a RAID-0 pair. High-performance computer enthusiasts will enjoy the near-immediate response time, which assures instant reactions when called upon. Based on the SandForce SF-1222TA3-SBH processor, DuraClass technology adds proprietary RAISE and DuraWrite features not available to other SSDs. The end result is a product that could last up to five times longer with less wear on NAND flash modules due to 7% over-provisioning.

OCZ-Revo-Drive-SSD-Splash.jpg

SSDs are not prone to mechanical failure, but if any Revo-series product does happen to fail during the 3-year warranty period end-users may contact OCZ via the company website or extensive support forums. Fortunately, there's also a toll-free telephone number (800-459-1816) for free technical support and customer service questions. OCZ has been proven to be one of the best companies in the business when it comes to customer service, and replacement parts are often sent with priority delivery.

The OCZ Revo PCI-E SSD series builds from the powerful SandForce SF-1222 solid state processor, which has innovated the SSD industry by prolonging MLC NAND flash lifetime and delivering RAID-like data redundancy. PCI-Express form factor or otherwise, SandForce SSDs have taken the storage market by storm. This has helped the OCZ Vertex 2 dominate the high-performance PC hardware segment, and will likely lend support to the OCZ RevoDrive for ultra-performance enthusiasts. SandForce-driven Solid State Drives are already extremely fast and offer SLC-level NAND durability at MLC cost, but combining two SF-1200 controllers onto a single-platform in RAID-0 delivers unprecedented operational I/O performance.

As of 06 December 2010, OCZ's 120GB RevoDrive PCI-Express SSD series sells for $299.99 at NewEgg, with several other capacities available. Considering that users get roughly twice the performance, there definitely a competitive argument to be made with regard to value. List below is the current OCZ product line of SandForce-driven SSDs:

OCZ RevoDrive OCZ Agility 2 Extended

OCZ Vertex 2 Extended

$219 - 50GB - OCZSSDPX-1RVD0050
$295 - 80GB - OCZSSDPX-1RVD0080
$359 - 120GB - OCZSSDPX-1RVD0120
$525 - 180GB - OCZSSDPX-1RVD0180
$665 - 240GB - OCZSSDPX-1RVD0240
$1019 - 360GB - OCZSSDPX-1RVD0360
$1299 - 480GB - OCZSSDPX-1RVD0480
$148 - 60GB - OCZSSD2-2AGTE60G
$219 - 90GB - OCZSSD2-2AGTE90G
$256 - 120GB - OCZSSD2-2AGTE120G
$413 - 180GB - OCZSSD2-2AGTE180G
$539 - 240GB - OCZSSD2-2AGTE240G
$155 - 60GB - OCZSSD2-2VTXE60G
$220 - 90GB - OCZSSD2-2VTXE90G
$240 - 120GB - OCZSSD2-2VTXE120G
$424 - 180GB - OCZSSD2-2VTXE180G
$565 - 240GB - OCZSSD2-2VTXE240G

In conclusion, OCZ's RevoDrive PCI-Express SSD offers two things to performance enthusiasts that other SSDs do not: bandwidth speeds beyond SATA-3.0 GB/s capabilities, and absolutely incredible operational IOPS performance. Unfortunately, these things come at the expense of several coveted storage utilities: TRIM garbage collection, Native Command Queuing (NCQ), and Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology (SMART). Until Silicon Image is able to incorporate these features into their driver so they'll pass through to the SSD, users will depend on SandForce's otherwise noteworthy NAND management.

The RevoDrive SSD will be a good fit for extreme-performance hardware enthusiasts who desire the fastest speeds and best operational performance, with some limited sever use. While I will always maintain that RAID-0 is not fit for business environments (even with routine backups), there are still a few very good situations where a PCI-Express SSD like the RevoDrive could be a good fit: virtual machine server, remote-access application server, high-transaction database server, and extreme-traffic web server... none of which should be production level without redundant safe guards.

Pros:Benchmark Reviews Silver Tachometer Award for Quality Recognition

+ Delivers approximately 70,000 4K IOPS in Iometer
+ Better IOPS than two separate SandForce SSDs in RAID-0
+ Blazing fast 539/453 MBps read/write speed with ATTO
+ DuraWrite technology extends NAND lifetime
+ Top-level operational I/O performance for application servers
+ 3-Year OCZ product warranty
+ Several high-speed SSD storage capacities available
+ AES-128 Automatic encryption and password data protection
+ Less expensive than two separate SandForce-driven SSDs

Cons:

- SiI3124 RAID controller lacks NCQ, SMART, and TRIM pass-through
- Not as fast as two separate SandForce-driven SSDs in RAID-0

Ratings:

  • Performance: 9.75
  • Appearance: 8.75
  • Construction: 9.00
  • Functionality: 8.50
  • Value: 7.75

Final Score: 8.75 out of 10.

Quality Recognition: Benchmark Reviews Silver Tachometer Award.

Benchmark Reviews invites you to leave constructive feedback below, or ask questions in our Discussion Forum.


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Comments 

 
# RE: OCZ RevoDrive PCI-Express SandForce SSDfunkz 2010-09-22 01:52
Page 4 incorrectly states "Silicon Image defines their SiI3124 chip as a PCI-Express to SATA-3GB/s controller" when it's PCI-X as listed elsewhere in the review. The SiI3124 is ancient, strange that OCZ would choose to use it since the PCI-E has to be bridged to PCI-X first with the Pericom, when there are native PCI-E RAID controllers readily available, such as the SiI3132 for example. But why even bother using SATA on a card? Instead of this convoluted process of PCI-E to PCI-X to SATA RAID to NAND, how about a simple PCI-E NAND controller?
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# Platform dependant?RealNeil 2010-09-22 02:45
I wonder if the drive would perform as well on a P55 mainboard?
They have certain bandwidth restrictions on the PCI-E bus with multiple PCI-E slots occupied concurrently. (X16 is divided into X8 times two)
I just wonder if this architecture would effect the output of the drive, and if the drive would effect the output of the Video Card?
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# DESEMPENHO DOS DRIVES SSDSandro 2010-09-22 03:27
VEJA SO, SANDRO, QUE A INDUSTRIA TENTOU COLOCAR UM PREÇO ALTO NESTE TIPO DE "STORAGE DEVICE" MAS... NAO COLOU.
PARECE QUE VAO MUDAR A TATICA!
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# RE: DESEMPENHO DOS DRIVES SSDRealNeil 2010-09-22 03:54
Did he say?: SO SEE, SANDRO, THAT TRIED TO PUT AN INDUSTRY'S HIGH PRE THIS KIND OF "STORAGE DEVICE" BUT ... Not getting through. IT SEEMS THAT WILL CHANGE THE TACTIC!
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# TranslationGustavo 2010-09-22 22:50
What he said can roughly be translated as( not translated work by word, but a little better translation): "You see, Sandro,the industry tried to put a high price in this type of Storage device...but it didnt worked out. Now it look like they are going to change tatics."

Aside from the tranlation, can someone tell me if this type of storage( via Pci-e)is bootable??
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# RE: TranslationRealNeil 2010-09-23 04:25
Ha-Ha! I used Google Translate on it and that's the best it would do for me. I don't understand Portuguese at all. You've made it much clearer to me what he meant. Thank You.
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# RE: TranslationRealNeil 2010-09-23 04:30
As to the bootable, check OZC's site for more info on this device. It's bootable with some motherboards and is not with others.
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# RE: TranslationAdam 2010-09-23 04:33
It is, although it's fairly dependant on the motherboard.

I'd guess quite a lot will need bios updates.
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# RE: RE: TranslationOlin Coles 2010-09-23 06:55
Most current-generation motherboards will support Revo as a boot device, such as Intel's 5x series and AMD's 8xx series, but older motherboards may require a BIOS update.
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# RE: OCZ RevoDrive PCI-Express SandForce SSDRobert17 2010-09-22 04:26
Nice review. Couple of questions: this drive is very reminiscent of the ANS-9010 product which I felt at the time was very forward-looking. Any chance that this could be THE direction SSD products will be headed by all manufacturers? (I'm guessing that you are provided a bit more insight on an average day)

I notice the idle power consumption on the data sheet provided by OCZ is 7W. Although still small, it seems to be much higher than other SSDs. Is this correct? If so, is it an artifact of having two controllers on the card or of being a PCI-E footprint? Any idea?
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# AnswersOlin Coles 2010-09-22 07:50
@ funkz: Page 4 is actually correct, as I re-state Silicon Image's product description: siliconimage.com/products/product.aspx?pid=27
I agree with you about the controller; it works, but better options exist. Perhaps it was a cost benefit issue.

@ Neil: OCZ doesn't recommend motherboards with restrictive bandwidth on the PCI-Express bus, and the P55 motherboard would be a concern if SLI or CFX were used. If it's a single VGA with Revo on P55, I don't see a problem.

@ Robert: A standard SSD has a controller and NAND, while the Revo has twice the amount of NAND ICs, a RAID processor, and PCI-E bridge. This is where the extra power consumption comes from.
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# Beware Crosshair IV ownersJethro 2010-09-22 08:31
Be careful about purchasing the Revodrive before checking compatibility on OCZ's site. The Crosshair IV and I think the EVGA X758 SLI board does not work with the Revodrive. ASUS has yet to fix their BIOS to enable the drive to work and I don't know about the EVGA.
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# RE: Beware Crosshair IV ownersOlin Coles 2010-09-22 08:37
To be more specific, Jethro is referring to the OCZ RevoDrive as the computer's boot drive. It will still work as a secondary drive.
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# liveonc.weebly.comJay 2010-09-23 08:52
Would have preferred if they offered a PCIe 2.0 x16 SSD with 4-8 SiI3124 in 16 RAID 0 or 8 RAID 1+0 even if it's "only" a 120GB SSD, to make most of the cheap PCI-X controller & most of the MLC-NAND memory using all 16 PCIe lanes.
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