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Written by Olin Coles   
Monday, 15 August 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
OCZ RevoDrive 3 X2 PCI-E Solid State Drive
Closer Look: OCZ RevoDrive 3 X2 SSD
Features and Specifications
SSD Testing Methodology
AS-SSD Benchmark
ATTO Disk Benchmark
CrystalDiskMark 3.0 Tests
Iometer IOPS Performance
EVEREST Disk Benchmark
PCMark Vantage HDD Tests
OCZ RevoDrive 3 X2 Conclusion

OCZ RevoDrive 3 X2 SuperScale PCI-E SSD Review

Manufacturer: OCZ Technology Group, Inc.
Product Name: RevoDrive 3 X2 PCI-E SSD
UPC: 842024027102
Models/Pricing: 240GB: RVD3X2-FHPX4-240G $737 Amazon / $720 Newegg
480GB: RVD3X2-FHPX4-480G $1660 Amazon / $1660 Newegg
960GB: RVD3X2-FHPX4-960G $3300 Amazon / $3300 Newegg

Full Disclosure: The product sample used in this article has been provided by OCZ.

Solid State Drive storage began as a technology best suited for durable computer devices, then slowly evolved into the notebook and desktop space with affordable high-speed SATA-based SSD solutions. Once SSDs became mainstream for power users, the demand for high-performance workstations and servers soon followed. Most personal computers are capable of offering 3.0 GB/s bandwidth via second-generation SATA controllers, which is fast enough for conventional power-users. The latest generation of desktop motherboards incorporate third-generation SATA controllers good for up to 6.0 GB/s bandwidth, ideal for hardware enthusiasts. For high-performance professional workstations, PCI-Express is an ideal alternative because it delivers 5.0 GB/s bandwidth without any add-on chips or upgrades.

Over the past four years, OCZ have transformed themselves from an enthusiast system memory brand into a recognized name for high-performance solid-state storage devices. They have traditionally offered several different options for performance enthusiasts, from economic yet responsive storage to premium high-speed enthusiast solid state drive solutions. They've earned consumer praise for their ability to deliver Solid State Drive technology at a reasonable price, and they push the boundaries with their High Speed Data Link project. There's a solid middle ground between SATA and HSDL, and that's the PCI Express bus, which has been the focus of OCZ Virtualized Controller Architecture technology.

Not long ago Benchmark Reviews tested the SandForce-driven OCZ RevoDrive and OCZ RevoDrive X2, both of which OCZ designate as enthusiast strorage solution. Stepping-up to the professional workstation segment, OCZ offers the RevoDrive 3 X2. In this article, Benchmark Reviews tests the OCZ RevoDrive 3 X2 PCI-E workstation-class solid state drive against several enthusiast options. Available in 240-960GB capacities, the model RVD3X2-FHPX4-480G PCI-Express workstation-class SSD uses OCZ's SuperScale storage controller to produce up to 230,000 IOPS with transfers up to 1500 MB/s.

OCZ-RevoDrive-3-X2-SSD-Angle.jpg

Even after decades of design improvements, the hard disk drive (HDD) is still the slowest component in any personal computer system. Consider that modern desktop processors have a 1 ns response time (nanosecond = one billionth of one second), while system memory responds between 30-90 ns. Traditional hard drive technology utilizes magnetic spinning media, and even the fastest spinning mechanical storage products still exhibit a 9,000,000 ns / 9 ms initial response time (millisecond = one thousandth of one second). In more relevant terms, the processor receives the command and must then wait for system memory to fetch related data from the storage drive. This is why any computer system is only as fast as the slowest component in the data chain; usually the hard drive.

In a perfect world all of the components operate at the same speed. Until that day comes, the real-world goal for achieving optimal performance is for system memory to operate as quickly as the central processor and then for the storage drive to operate as fast as memory. With present-day technology this is an impossible task, so enthusiasts try to close the speed gaps between components as much as possible. Although system memory is up to 90x (9000%) slower than most processors, consider then that the hard drive is an added 1000x (100,000%) slower than that same memory. Essentially, these three components are as different in speed as walking is to driving and flying.

Solid State Drive technology bridges the largest gap in these response times. The difference a SSD makes to operational response times and program speeds is dramatic, and takes the storage drive from a slow 'walking' speed to a much faster 'driving' speed. Solid State Drive technology improves initial response times by more than 450x (45,000%) for applications and Operating System software, when compared to their mechanical HDD counterparts. The biggest mistake PC hardware enthusiasts make with regard to SSD technology is grading them based on bandwidth speed. File transfer speeds are important, but only so long as the operational IOPS performance can sustain that bandwidth under load.

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.



 

Comments 

 
# RE: OCZ RevoDrive3 X2 SuperScale PCI-E SSDAdam 2011-08-16 15:35
Those speeds are absolutely insane, cant wait for this level of SSD to filter down into the more affordable drives.

Not that it's of any real importance but would be interested to know just how quickly this could boot into Win7.
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# presRick 2011-08-23 19:45
hello
@ OCZ They say three min.
Wow
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# RE: presAdam 2011-08-24 10:19
Ehm, do you mean seconds rather then minutes?

In which case, hot # that's fast.
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# it is fastRay 2011-09-04 04:45
i bought the first gen 120GB (x1) last year which is only 1xRAID0
(550MB/sec) ... windows 7 64 boots in around 24seconds
(ASUS Rampage III Extreme & Intel Core I7 980x at 4GHz)
Also bought several X2 series for my workstations at office, they
do almost the same startup times for windows - dont think it will get
any faster than this but hey - getting my fist coffe takes longer
than 24secs so i dont care!
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# RE: OCZ RevoDrive3 X2 SuperScale PCI-E SSDAthlonite 2011-08-22 23:56
240GB: RVD3X2-FHPX4-240G $2,549.95NZD
480GB: RVD3X2-FHPX4-480G $3,304.81NZD

for that sort of money I could buy 4x 120GB SSD's + an x4 PCIe SAS/SATA6Gbps raid controller for $1,866.07 and I'd still have plenty of money left over for a really descent PC to put it in
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# RE: RE: OCZ RevoDrive3 X2 SuperScale PCI-E SSDYokoyhama 2011-08-27 01:32
The 240GB is here around ?580,- that should be around 970NZD.

#tweakers.net/pricewatch/287789/ocz-revodrive-3-x2-pci-express-ssd-240gb-240gb.html#tab:prices

I don't know how much they will charge you for shipping it to New Zealand:P
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# RE: RE: RE: OCZ RevoDrive3 X2 SuperScale PCI-E SSDAthlonite 2011-08-30 00:47
tweakers.net is in German and they show ?590 which = NZD $1,021.68 and that's still stupidly more than I'm willing to spend even without PnP added
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# RE: RE: OCZ RevoDrive3 X2 SuperScale PCI-E SSDDoug Dallam 2011-08-30 00:17
LMAO! That's funny and on point.
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# RE: OCZ RevoDrive3 X2 SuperScale PCI-E SSDAthlonite 2011-08-23 00:14
so this is a plus "+ SandForce SF-2281 processor supports TRIM, SMART, and RAISE"

but this is a minus "- SCSI architecture prohibits TRIM with Windows OS"

why even mention the + if it doesn't work
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# RE: RE: OCZ RevoDrive3 X2 SuperScale PCI-E SSDOlin Coles 2011-08-23 07:23
It works, just not with the current Microsoft Windows driver. There are other operating systems that could be used, and Windows could offer support in the future.
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# RE: RE: RE: OCZ RevoDrive3 X2 SuperScale PCI-E SSDAthlonite 2011-08-24 02:08
So isn't that another minus ie: hopeless for use with Windows as it wont last long without the use of Trim
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# Not really that fastBill 2011-08-23 06:58
In real use, a computer would rarely if ever reach 64 que depth. Usually its just 1 or 2 but mostly 1 with a quick SSD. The quicker the drive the lower the QDepth in real use. So the real number is probably a QDepth of 1, testing with a high QDepth gives irrelevant numbers if your focus is real use. This Revo drive is no faster than my Vertex 2 SSD in "real use".
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# RE: Not really that fastDavid Ramsey 2011-08-23 08:06
It depends on what your "real use" is. Sitting in your desktop machine, probably not much difference. Sitting in a database server being hit by 100 users, yeah, it's going to make a difference.
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# RE: RE: Not really that fastMORINGA 2011-09-08 04:05
Yeah, damn right!
However, in this article, I wonder which SATA controller would throw up 3 or 6 GB/s...it's 3 or 6 Gb/s afaik. On the other hand, the 8 GB/s of an 8x v2.0 PCI-x are more or less enough for those beasts...
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# RE: RE: RE: Not really that fastMORINGA 2011-09-08 04:07
PCI-e, not PCI-x. I'm falling asleep this morning.
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# lofty acquisition indeedrealneil 2011-08-23 08:37
Would really like to own one of these, but it's so far out of the range of my spending that I'll probably not have one until they're old news, replaced by something far larger and much faster.
I do have a few OCZ 'Agility' and 'Solid' SSD's and I'm happy with their performance and prices.
I see OCZ as a good choice in SSD technology.
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# OCZ RevoDrive3 X2Killy 2011-09-18 23:33
Pretty good review on this drive. I've been considering this one for my first SSD based i7 2600 desktop and you guys have sold me one.Costs only about AU $660 (for the 240 GB one). I expect this to be a very good asset for a video editing app. Cheers.
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