Friday, February 18, 2011

OCZ RevoDrive x2 240GB, You Get What You Pay For

OCZ has emerged as one of the clear innovators in the SSD world. Its initial foray into PCI-Express based SSDs wasn't great, but the recent RevoDrive – a PCI-Express card that sports two raided SSDs – impressed with speeds above and beyond that found on Serial ATA connections. We did worry that the drive lacked TRIM support, and showed a drop in speed once filled, but speeds were still in excess of those seen in SATA based SSDs.

The RevoDrive X2 follows hot on the heels of the RevoDrive, and uses the same basic x4 PCI-Express card design, but adds a small daughterboard that contains two more SSDs, bringing the total number of drives in the RevoDrive’s RAID 0 array to four.  Each drive features a Sandforce 1200 controller chip and 60GB of MLC flash memory, all running via a Silicon Image controller.

We tested the RevoDrive x2 using the AS SSD benchmark. This gives more granularity than other I/O benchmarks, and shows more than just burst reads and writes. The RevoDrive x2 managed sequential read speeds of 661MB/s (the first RevoDrive scored 499MB/s) and writes of 342MB/sec, while the threaded tests showed reads of 427MB/sec and writes of 304MB/s. These are by far the fastest speeds we have seen, and while the increase over the original RevoDrive isn’t enormous, it’s still significant enough to show the advantages of the Quad raid implementation.

We followed up this testing by filling the drive with junk data and then deleting and retesting. The results barely changed, and we didn’t see the performance hit experienced with the first RevoDrive seri. Instead it seems that the Sandforce controllers are now properly managing empty space and garbage collection duties.

The RevoDrive x2 is certainly the fastest consumer SSD out there, but it comes with a price tag to match. While the pricing of the dual channel RevoDrive makes it a very tempting alternative to SATA based SSDs, the extra premium for this quad offering makes it a harder value proposition. That said, only this and OCZ’s proprietary-cabled IBIS drives are capable of these speeds, and this is a much saner option than the IBIS.

Computer Techspot

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