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Written by Olin Coles   
Friday, 19 November 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
OCZ RevoDrive X2 PCI-Express SSD
Closer Look: OCZ RevoDrive X2 SSD
SandForce PCI-E SSD Anatomy
Features and Specifications
SSD Testing Methodology
AS-SSD Benchmark
ATTO Disk Benchmark
CrystalDiskMark 3.0 Tests
Iometer IOPS Performance
AIDA64 Disk Benchmark
HDD vs Hybrid Drive vs SSD
OCZ RevoDrive Conclusion

SSD Testing Methodology

Solid State Drives have traveled a long winding course to finally get where they are today. Up to this point in technology, there have been several key differences separating Solid State Drives from magnetic rotational Hard Disk Drives. While the DRAM-based buffer size on desktop HDDs has recently reached 32 MB and is ever-increasing, there is still a hefty delay in the initial response time. This is one key area in which flash-based Solid State Drives continually dominates because they lack moving parts to "get up to speed".

However the benefits inherent to SSDs have traditionally fallen off once the throughput begins, even though data reads or writes are executed at a high constant rate whereas the HDD tapers off in performance. This makes the average transaction speed of a SSD comparable to the data burst rate mentioned in HDD tests, albeit usually lower than the HDD's speed.

Comparing a Solid State Disk to a standard Hard Disk Drives is always relative; even if you're comparing the fastest rotational spindle speeds. One is going to be many times faster in response (SSDs), while the other is usually going to have higher throughput bandwidth (HDDs). Additionally, there are certain factors which can affect the results of a test which we do our best to avoid.

SSD Testing Disclaimer

Early on in our SSD coverage, Benchmark Reviews published an article which detailed Solid State Drive Benchmark Performance Testing. The research and discussion that went into producing that article changed the way we now test SSD products. Our previous perceptions of this technology were lost on one particular difference: the wear leveling algorithm that makes data a moving target. Without conclusive linear bandwidth testing or some other method of total-capacity testing, our previous performance results were rough estimates at best.

Our test results were obtained after each SSD had been prepared using DISKPART or Sanitary Erase tools. As a word of caution, applications such as these offer immediate but temporary restoration of original 'pristine' performance levels. In our tests, we discovered that the maximum performance results (charted) would decay as subsequent tests were performed. SSDs attached to TRIM enabled Operating Systems will benefit from continuously refreshed performance, whereas older O/S's will require a garbage collection (GC) tool to avoid 'dirty NAND' performance degradation.

It's critically important to understand that no software for the Microsoft Windows platform can accurately measure SSD performance in a comparable fashion. Synthetic benchmark tools such as HD Tach and PCMark are helpful indicators, but should not be considered the ultimate determining factor. That factor should be measured in actual user experience of real-world applications. Benchmark Reviews includes both bandwidth benchmarks and application speed tests to present a conclusive measurement of product performance.

Test System

  • Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD7 (Intel X58-Express)
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-920 BX80601920 @ 2.667 GHz
  • System Memory: 6GB Triple-Channel DDR3 1600MHz CL6-6-6-18
  • SATA 3Gb/s Storage HBA: Integrated Intel ICH10R Controller
    • AHCI mode - Intel Rapid Storage Technology Driver 9.6.0.1014
  • SATA 6Gb/s Storage HBA: Integrated Marvell SE9128 Controller
    • AHCI mode - Marvell Magni Driver Marvell Magni Driver 1.0.0.1036
  • Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate Edition 64-Bit

Drive Hardware Tested

The following storage hardware has been used in our benchmark performance testing, and may be included in portions of this article:

Test Tools

  • AS SSD Benchmark 1.5.3784.37609: Multi-purpose speed and operational performance test
  • ATTO Disk Benchmark 2.46: Spot-tests static file size chunks for basic I/O bandwidth
  • Iometer 2008.06.28 by Intel Corporation: Tests IOPS performance and I/O response time
  • AIDA64: Disk Benchmark component tests linear read and write bandwidth speeds
  • CrystalDiskMark 3.0.0 by Crystal Dew World: Sequential speed benchmark spot-tests various file size chunks

Test Results Disclaimer

This article utilizes benchmark software tools to produce operational IOPS performance and bandwidth speed results. Each test was conducted in a specific fashion, and repeated for all products. These test results are not comparable to any other benchmark application, neither on this website or another, regardless of similar IOPS or MB/s terminology in the scores. The test results in this project are only intended to be compared to the other test results conducted in identical fashion for this article.



 

Comments 

 
# ThumperRealNeil 2010-11-19 05:05
This thing really rocks. The 'real world' experience using a computer with one of these things inside of it must be sweet indeed. Can't afford one of them and may never be able to. But it's good to see that they're out there.
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# RE: ThumperServando Silva 2010-11-19 06:28
Any SSD will make you notice a super-boost in real world experience against HDDs. I'm sure you'll not notice a difference between controllers, but I'm not sure if the RevoDrive X2 could make THE difference.
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# RE: OCZ RevoDrive X2 PCI-Express SSDAdam 2010-11-19 07:28
Bloody hell that's fast, you sure as hell pay for it though...

I'm yet to upgrade to any SSD yet unfortunately, still waiting for the technology to move on a bit / become more affordable.
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# C300 in raid or this?aberkae 2010-11-19 09:03
This by far is the best performers on the market.
I'm debating weather to get an extra c300 (256 gig) for raid 0,(total 500gigs >700 mb/sec read/500 rights) extra $525
Vs Revodrive x2 256gig one, extra $699.
(aren't the Sandforce 2500, 2600 controllers out soon as well?)
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# RE: C300 in raid or this?Olin Coles 2010-11-19 12:03
You can expect the next generation of SandForce products in Q1 2011, but not sooner. This particular product, while being extremely fast, lacks TRIM support because of the RAID controller. In my opinion, you shouldn't buy an SSD without TRIM support. In this case however, there recovery time wouldn't be an issue unless you did constant fills.
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# RE: RE: C300 in raid or this?Khaosus 2011-02-21 21:44
Although this is an old post, I felt the need to clarify.
TRIM is not needed for Revodrive X2 due to the garbage collecting algorithms built into SandForce. TRIM is a sloppy patch job on a problem that should of never existed and on any good drive will not be needed.
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# RE: OCZ RevoDrive X2 PCI-Express SSDDaryl Greene 2010-11-19 17:26
WOW! Those things are ridiculously expensive!
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