|OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid PCI-E SSD RVDHY-FH-1T|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Monday, 24 October 2011|
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OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid 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.
NOTE: Solid state drive owners experiencing stability issues with their product are encouraged to use the latest OCZ SSD firmware available.
SandForce SSDs have taken the market by storm, which has helped companies like OCZ to expand their reach deep into the high-performance storage hardware segment. The OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid firmly places test-proven SandForce solid state drive technology onto an extremely fast PCI-Express interface, capable of delivering unmatched operational performance and flash component durability, and joins it to a 1TB hard disk drive. The OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid PCI-Express SSD combines two powerful SandForce SF-2281 controllers to 100GB of 25nm Micron-Intel NAND flash 'cache' SSD with their proprietary SuperScale technology. It's all tied together with Dataplex software, which manages the usage algorithms.
Our performance rating considers how effective the OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid drive performs in benchmark operations directly against competing storage solutions, especially the Seagate Momentus XT hybrid and original RevoDrive SSD. In our benchmark performance tests, the OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid delivered 984/839 MBps peak read and write speeds using ATTO Disk Benchmark - surpassing the manufacturer's specified maximum speeds of 910/810 MBps. PCMark Vantage produced 40692 in the HDD tests, positioning the OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid between the Vertex 2 and Vertex 3 SSDs.
The 1TB retail kit (model RVDHY-FH-1T) that OCZ sent to us for testing is advertised to deliver 65,000 random write IOPS, but unfortunately our test results did not reach this specification. Using a SandForce-provided configuration for our own Iometer operational performance tests, we used a queue depth of 32 outstanding I/O's per target to produce a modest 37,956 combined read/write IOPS performance. In this test, the OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid produced operational performance similar to the OCZ Vertex 2, a first-generation SandForce SSD. In the 4K 32QD tests with AS-SSD and CrystalDiskMark, the OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid trailed behind the newest 2nd-generation SandForce storage devices. With the results we've received in our tests, power users can expect very good operational performance and storage functionality for demanding applications, far ahead of the competitions hybrid drive, but still trailing the latest SSDs.
While the latest SandForce SF2281 SSD controller fully supports TRIM commands, the OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid is based on SCSI architecture which Microsoft Windows StorPort does not currently support with either TRIM or SCSI UNMAP. Since these controller commands are therefore not generated by the Microsoft Windows OS as a result, OCZ's VCA 2.0 is prevented from executing them. OCZ is working with Microsoft to have this functionality enabled as soon as possible, however the older RevoDrive enthusiast series shares a similar issue and still lacks support.
Because the OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid is a PCI-Express storage device, it automatically cuts out notebook/laptop users from its user base. Casual users might not need the boost in application response times, but power users certainly do. It's my opinion that the RevoDrive Hybrid would best fit the performance profile of demanding computer users with high-performance systems, especially those needing the large capacity of a 1TB drive. OCZ's RevoDrive Hybrid can (and must) be assigned as the primary boot drive for the operating system, because at the time of this writing Dataplex caching software does not function properly if RevoDrive Hybrid is configured as a secondary storage drive.
If any RevoDrive-series products 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.
As of late October 2011, the OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid PCI-Express Solid Stat Drive (1TB model SSD RVDHY-FH-1T) costs $499.99 at Newegg or as low as $467 elsewhere online. Even with the occasional discount or rebate promotion, RevoDrive Hybrid can seem expensive to those not familiar with premium PCI-E SSD storage solutions. You're getting a 100GB SSD with two SandForce controllers and a 1TB hard drive all on a bootable PCI-Express card, so there's clearly some level of cost involved with delivering the product. I can see that there's a fair value in the OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid, but those on a tight budget may not agree.
In summary, OCZ has truly revolutionized hybrid storage options for the consumer, and RevoDrive Hybrid dramatically outperforms competing hybrid HDD/SSD storage solutions. The Dataplex caching software works well once an initial ramp-up period has completed, and quickly learns to prioritize applications based on user needs. Most all data transfers up to about 90GB begin at SSD level speeds, but in the rare event you're moving something larger it will transfer at traditional hard drive speed. Overall I see the OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid as a success, and a hybrid storage product that is actually ready for prime time.
+ Delivers 38,000 combined IOPS in Iometer tests
- SCSI architecture prohibits TRIM with Windows OS
Final Score: 8.6 out of 10.
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