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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

Closer Look: OCZ RevoDrive 3 X2 SSD

In this article, Benchmark Reviews tests the new workstation-class OCZ RevoDrive 3 X2 PCI-Express SSD. As one of OCZ's first SSDs to incorporate Virtualized Controller Architecture 2.0 (VLC 2.0), the RevoDrive 3 X2 is advertised to reach maximum speeds of 1500 MB/s sequential reads and 1250 MB/s sequential writes. Additionally, the OCZ RevoDrive 3 X2 SSD is expected to produce 4KB random writes (QD64, 4K Aligned, 8GB LBA) up to 200,000 IOPS.

The OCZ RevoDrive 3 X2 PCI-E SSD builds up storage capacity by combining four independent SandForce SF-2281 SSD controllers to Micron-Intel NAND flash contained in this SSD are allocated for data use. The OCZ RevoDrive 3 X2 PCI-E SSD comes in three capacities: 240/480/960GB, and all models receive OCZ's three-year product warranty support.

Most all modern desktop motherboards with PCI-Express 2.0 expansion slots will support the OCZ RevoDrive 3 X2 SSD as a boot device, especially Intel's 5x series and AMD's 8xx series, however older motherboards may require a BIOS update. OCZ offers a list of compatible motherboards on their product website.

OCZ-RevoDrive-3-X2-Retail-Package.jpg

SSDs are catching on quickly because they will work equally well in PC, Linux, or Apple Mac computers; but the OCZ RevoDrive-series is different. Instead of packaging the NAND and drive controller into a SATA-connected enclosure, OCZ has built the RevoDrive series to utilize a single 4x PCI-Express 1.1 slot. Because it requires a 4x PCI-Express 1.1 slot to operate, the OCZ RevoDrive 3 X2 SSD is best suited for workstation-class computer systems and performance-orientated application servers where 200,000 IOPS could really make a difference on productivity. SandForce SF-2281 SSD controllers have been designed with a focus on high-performance operational and data transfer speeds, and include encrypted data protection and improved NAND wear-leveling through their proprietary DuraWrite technology.

OCZ-RevoDrive-3-X2-PCIe-SSD-Top.jpg

Present on both the main and daughter boards are Enpirion Corporation EN5364QI 6-Amp low-power switching converters with integrated inductors. A single Lattice Power Manager II ispPAC-POWR1014 sequence controller chip monitors power supply with programmable digital and analog circuitry.

OCZ-SuperScale-Storage-Controller.jpg

OCZ SuperScale Storage Controller ICT-0138

Specific to the OCZ RevoDrive 3 X2 SSD models, the Silicon Image RAID chip and Pericom PI7C9X130 PCIe-to-PCIx reversible bridge chip found on previous RevoDrive-series SSDs has been replaced with the OCZ SuperScale Storage Controller ICT-0138 located under an aluminum heatsink. As of this writing, OCZ Technology has declined to share the specifications or source manufacturer for their SuperScale Storage Controller, so very little technical detail is known about this component.

OCZ-RevoDrive-3-X2-PCIe-SSD-Side.jpg

OCZ's PCB-0151-X02 printed circuit (mother)board contains two SandForce SF-2281 controllers, while allowing an elevated daughter board to connect that houses supplemental NAND flash and two additional storage controllers. The image below illustrates how the OCZ RevoDrive 3 X2 PCI-E SSD has room to spare in a single PCI-Express expansion slot. While a PCI-Express interface excludes notebook consumers, it opens up a market to users in need of Hot-Plug drive support.

OCZ-RevoDrive-3-X2-PCIe-SSD-Bottom.jpg

The new SATA 6Gb/s SandForce SF-2281VB1-SDC processor is part of their SF-2200 family of retail SSD controller chips, although an identical SF-2181 also processor exists for older SATA 3Gb/s connections. Offering eight total flash channels with 8 Byte lanes configured (one lane per channel), the SF-2281 maintains a BGA-256 package whereas the top-end SF-2282 delivers two lanes per channel on a BGA-400 package. More detail is available in our SandForce SF-2000 Series SSD Processor Overview article.

All SandForce SSD controllers offer native TRIM garbage collection in supporting Operating System (such as Microsoft Windows-7), Native Command Queuing (NCQ) with 32 command slots, and basic Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology (SMART) command set. VCA 2.0 also provides a highly intelligent Complex Command Queuing Structure (CCQS) that utilizes both Native and Tagged Command Queuing. This is a unique technology that enables command switching and balancing based on OCZ's proprietary Queue Balancing Algorithm (QBA), which balances drive loading, while maximizing internal bandwidth for nearly linear performance aggregation.

NOTE: While the SandForce controller supports TRIM, the OCZ RevoDrive 3 X2 is based on SCSI architecture which Microsoft Windows StorPort does not currently support with either TRIM or SCSI UNMAP. Since these controller commands are not generated by the OS as a result, OCZ's VCA 2.0 is prevented from executing them. OCZ are working with Microsoft to have this functionality enabled as soon as possible.

SandForce-SF-2281VB1-SDC-SSD-Controller.jpg

SandForce SF-2281VA1-SDC-ES Controller

The SF-2200 SSD processor provides enhanced ECC with BCH data protection, and also includes SandForce's unique RAISE (Redundant Array of Independent Silicon Elements) technology. RAISE provides the protection and reliability of RAID on a single SSD drive, thanks to flash architecture, without the significant write overhead of parity. The SandForce DuraClass technology automatically stores data using Trusted Computing Group (TCG) OPAL security with 256-bit AES encryption and automatic, line-rate double encryption with a drive-level password, preventing data extraction directly from the physical flash memory modules.

Micron-Intel-29F64G08CBAAA-NAND-Flash.jpg

Micron/Intel 29F64G08CBAAA NAND Flash

SandForce enables support for advanced 30nm- and 20nm-class NAND flash from all leading flash vendors with Asynch/ONFi1/ONFi2/Toggle interfaces with data transfer rates up to 166 Mega Transfers per second. Their latest generation of controllers also offers advanced ECC engine correcting up to 55 bits per 512-byte sector to assure high data integrity and support for future generations of flash memory. On the OCZ RevoDrive 3 X2 PCI-Express SSD, sixty-four multi layer cell Micron/Intel 29F64G08CBAAA NAND flash modules are joined to four SandForce SF-2281 controllers.



 

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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