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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

EVEREST Disk Benchmark

Many enthusiasts are familiar with the Lavalys EVEREST benchmark suite, but very few are aware of the Disk Benchmark tool available inside the program. The EVEREST Disk Benchmark performs linear read and write bandwidth tests on each drive, and can be configured to use file chunk sizes up to 1MB (which speeds up testing and minimizes jitter in the waveform). Because of the full sector-by-sector nature of linear testing, Benchmark Reviews endorses this method for testing SSD products, as detailed in our Solid State Drive Benchmark Performance Testing article. However, Hard Disk Drive products suffer a lower average bandwidth as the capacity draws linear read/write speed down into the inner-portion of the disk platter. EVEREST Disk Benchmark does not require a partition to be present for testing, so all of our benchmarks are completed prior to drive formatting.

Linear disk benchmarks are superior bandwidth speed tools in my opinion, because they scan from the first physical sector to the last. A side affect of many linear write-performance test tools is that the data is erased as it writes to every sector on the drive. Normally this isn't an issue, but it has been shown that partition table alignment will occasionally play a role in overall SSD performance (HDDs don't suffer this problem).

The high-performance storage products tested with EVEREST Disk Benchmark use a 1MB block size option. Read performance on the 120GB OCZ Revo PCI-E SSD measured an average 510.5 MBps with a similar maximum peak of 511.6 MBps. Linear write-to tests were next...

Everest-Read-OCZ-Revo-OCZSSDPX-1RVD0120.png

The waveform chart below illustrates how well the integrated dual-SandForce SF-1200 DuraWrite buffers on the Revo SSD managed file transfers, and made linear write performance appears relatively even. This 120GB PCI-Express SSD recorded an average linear write-to speed of 422.8 MBps, with a maximum performance of 429.6 MBps.

A set of SandForce-driven SSDs in RAID-0 produced 437.7 MBps read speeds, and 470.5 MBps with larger 128KB RAID-0 stripe sizes. The OCZ Revo PCI-Express SSD was much faster at read transactions, and trailed behind in write transactions.

Everest-Write-OCZ-Revo-OCZSSDPX-1RVD0120.png

The chart below shows the average linear read and write bandwidth speeds for a cross-section of storage devices tested with EVEREST:

EVEREST-Disk-Benchmark_Results.png

Linear tests are an important tool for comparing bandwidth speed between storage products - although HDD products suffer performance degradation over the span of their areal storage capacity. Linear bandwidth certainly benefits the Solid State Drive, since there's very little fluctuation in transfer speed. This is because Hard Disk Drive products decline in performance as the spindle reaches the inner-most sectors on the magnetic platter, away from the fast outer edge.

Drive Hardware

In the next section I share my final thoughts on the struggle between SSD and HDD technology, as well as their new hybrid counterpart, before delivering my conclusion and final product rating.



 

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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