Review: OCZ RevoDrive PCI-Express Solid State Drive

Discussion in 'Hardware Reviews' started by Demigod, Dec 27, 2010.

  1. Demigod

    Demigod これはバタスです Staff Member Moderator

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    I've been meaning to write this review for a while, just never been able to get around to it (work is such a bummer:rolleyes:).

    Anyways, a few months ago I got the itch for adventure and, after much thought and research, I finally decided to take the plunge into the esoteric world of solid state drives. However, I didn't get just any SSD, but one of the fastest drives available on the market: the OCZ RevoDrive PCI-Express SSD (I figured if I was going to spend gobs of money on a SSD I might as well get a really good one). Instead of SATA this drive uses the PCI-Express bus for transferring data, resulting in blazing fast performance.

    Specifications

    First of all, here are the official specs for the drive:

    - PCI-Express interface (x4)
    - Internal RAID 0
    - Shock Resistance: 1500g
    - Seek Time: 0.1 ms
    - Power Consumption: 3W Idle, 8W active
    - MTBF: 2,000,000 hours
    - Read: Up to 540 MB/s
    - Write: Up to 480 MB/s
    - Sustained Write: Up to 400 MB/s
    - Randon Write 4KB (Aligned): 75,000 IOPS

    For more info you can go to the official OCZ product page.

    Pictures

    Now for some pictures. Here is a shot of the box.

    Note: some of the images might look curved due to the cheap camera that I used, which was the only thing I had available at the time.

    [​IMG]

    Here's a shot of the box opened. Note the sticker.

    [​IMG]

    A shot of the front of the drive. The center chip (the one with the 'R' sticker) is a Silicon Image PCI-X SATA controller (4 port). The chip at the bottom converts PCI-X to PCI-E while the two Sandforce chips control the NAND chips for each drive (the drive is actually two 55 GB drives in RAID 0).

    [​IMG]

    A shot of the back of the drive.

    [​IMG]

    A close-up shot of the memory chips.

    [​IMG]

    A close-up shot of the front of the drive.

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    A shot of the drive after being installed.

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    A shot of the drive actually working (sorry for the bad picture quality). Note the blue light on the front of the drive, which indicates drive activity.

    [​IMG]

    I also took this picture of the system start-up. You can clearly see the two 55 GB drives listed.

    [​IMG]

    Installation

    The physical installation of the drive was pretty simple, like any other PCI/PCI-E device. The drive required no physical configuration or any connectors so there wasn't much to go wrong. Windows installation was also pretty simple; it was quickly able to identify the drive after being pointed to the drivers. There were only a couple of hiccups, neither of which proved to be a long-term problem. First, the system failed to boot when the drive was first installed (black screen, no beeps or errors). Subsequent boots were okay though. Second, the Windows installation failed to complete the first time (it stopped after copying the files to the drive). I had to restart the installation, which then completed successfully. Beyond that, the drive has performed perfectly.

    Benchmarks

    Now for the moment that everyone's been waiting for. I used Performance Test and SiSoft Sandra to measure the performance of the drive. This first shot shows Performance Test, comparing the drive (green) to a typical system (red). As can be seen, the SSD drive is capable of stunning speeds, reaching up to 439 MB/s sequential read.

    [​IMG]

    The next is SiSoft Sandra, which again shows a huge difference in both speed and access time (the red line is the RevoDrive). Sandra records a drive score of 363.8 MB/s with 100 microsecond access time.

    [​IMG]

    The last shot is the details of the Sandra results. The SSD drive seems to show a lot of variability but it soars well above the competition.

    [​IMG]

    Conclusions

    As this review show, the OCZ RevoDrive is one incredibly fast drive. In my experience the difference can be most felt when starting Windows and running/installing programs. Putting the Windows page file on the drive also eliminates any and all hard drive thrashing, making the system a lot more responsive. The OCZ RevoDrive is also one of the more affordable SSD drives on the market that can still deliver top-of-the-line performance (I paid a little less than $400 CAD for it). Finally, the drive runs silently, consumes only minimal power, and produces very little heat. It is ideal for anyone looking for a silent yet fast/powerful system.

    Of course, this drive will only improve performance where the hard drive is the limiting factor. 3D gamers won't derive much value from this drive (except for loading times). Size is also an issue, since costs go up prohibitively with a larger drive size. For storing large amounts of data HDDs are still the way to go.

    Overall, my first experience with a SSD has been a positive one and I will be using this drive as my main drive from now on (it seems to complement my more-or-less silent water-cooled system pretty well). The RevoDrive is an excellent product from one of the best technology companies out there and, if the RevoDrive is any indication, SSDs have a bright future ahead of them.

    That's it for the review, thank you for reading.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2011
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  3. makotech222

    makotech222 The one and only

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    :drool: I think ill be getting a G3 intel ssd when they supposedly come out in feb. or perhaps a new sandforce thats also coming soon. Ill probably get whatever gets released first, since ive been dying for an SSD for ever
  4. Spyhop

    Spyhop New Member

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    FYI, you're not supposed to put page files on flash drives unless you want your flash drive to die very quickly. # of reads and writes on flash is finite, and you will kill it with a page file.

    Most people I know with SSDs just go with no page file at all.
  5. Demigod

    Demigod これはバタスです Staff Member Moderator

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    Yeah, I know. I have my page file on my HDD, as well as all my save game files and temporary internet files. I did perform some experiments on the SSD drive though.
  6. Beatrix

    Beatrix Simply Amazing! :3

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    This is the one big factor stopping me from going the SSD route. Almost all of them are to fragile for daily use. Unless your raiding them, id stick with HDD's fdor another year or so until the technology matures.
  7. n_w95482

    n_w95482 Gone Contributors

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    If anything, it's going to get worse, at least per NAND chip. As the process is shrunk, the maximum number of writes per cell decreases. Decreased write amplification and wear leveling are becoming more and more important.
  8. SCHUMI_4EVER

    SCHUMI_4EVER Hackin 'n Slashin Staff Member Award Winner!

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    am I the only one that sees no pics?
  9. Bill_gates

    Bill_gates Linux's worst nightmare..

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    I only see red x's
  10. Mad

    Mad AKA snkmad

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    I don't even see the red x´s...
  11. Lasnap

    Lasnap Elven-Dragon Mage

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    I am getting zero pics as well
  12. rui-no-onna

    rui-no-onna New Member

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    Theoretically, it's only the number of writes that are finite. You should be able to read the SSD even after you've used up all the write cycles. As for killing it with a page file, that depends on how heavy your PC usage is and how low you are on RAM. If you've got enough RAM on your system, chances are you won't be writing much to the page file anyway. Mind you, I do have majority of my page files stored on HDD. I have one system that stores the page file on SSD (OCZ Agility 2), unfortunately, it doesn't seem to let me monitor the writes like my Intel SSD does.

    It's a good thing progress is being made on that front (write amplification). Intel estimates a 7.5~15TB lifespan for their current G2 (34nm) 80GB & 160GB drives (likely depending on capacity). Intel G3 (25nm) SSD's are expected to have a lifespan of 30TB~60TB.
  13. Silenus

    Silenus Pilgrim Junior Contributor

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    Nice review on an interesting part.
  14. DarkSamus

    DarkSamus PC game modder Award Winner!

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    Really wanted to read this, but without the pics showing I am limited to what i can find out
  15. Demigod

    Demigod これはバタスです Staff Member Moderator

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    I decided to host the pictures online and re-link them. They should show up now.
  16. SCHUMI_4EVER

    SCHUMI_4EVER Hackin 'n Slashin Staff Member Award Winner!

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    Yup they show up now. Thanks for doing that :)

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