OCZ RevoDrive 350 PCI Express SSD Review

OCZ RevoDrive 350 Design And Architecture

OCZ delivers the RevoDrive 350 in a conductive plastic casing that hints at the power within. Notice the new logo hash marks on the top signifying this is a product of OCZ Storage Solutions, a Toshiba Group company.

One of the early issues we discovered with the previous generation of RevoDrive 3 product was a thermal sensitivity condition. OCZ eventually revamped the passive cooling solution on the VCA 2.0 ASIC of the RevoDrive 3 and resolved that. However, the new RevoDrive 350 now employs an even more robust integrated aluminum sink that's a component of an all-aluminum casing that protects the drive a bit more and channels air out of the card's ventilated rear IO plate.

Since time was of the essences with this performance review, we didn't tear the card down and remove its casing, though with only 4 screws standing in your way, it's not hard to do. Here you can see the rear of the card sports all four LSI Sandforce SF-2282 storage processors that offer a NAND interface on one end and a 6Gbps SATA interface on the other side. These processors then connect to OCZ's SuperScale Storage Accelerator, which offers RAID processing across all NAND processors, as well as command queuing and load balancing. You can read more about the OCZ's VCA architecture here in our original RevoDrive 3 review if you like; the base technology is the same.

However, OCZ's SuperScale Accelerator is also a SATA to PCIe bridge, and this time OCZ decided to bring those PCIe lanes out over a Gen2 X8 connection for technically twice the bandwidth over the previous generation's X4 link and physical card edge connector.

The final notable is that the RevoDrive 350 is now outfitted with higher-density 19nm Toshiba MLC NAND Flash memory.  In the chart detail above, full bandwidth is achieved with four SF-2282 controllers at play on the higher-density 480GB and 960GB cards with max read IOPS throughput achieved at the highest density.

Though the previous generation RevoDrive 3 X2 was a well-designed card, the new RevoDrive 350 is a bit more of an elegant solution with its lower chip count, a single PCB, and more robust cooling solution with a larger thermal dissipation area. In addition, less complexity, less PCB real estate, and few chips at play--theoretically anyway--means fewer points of failure and possibly increased reliability as a result.

Indeed, OCZ has evolved and optimized the design nicely. Let's take a look at the new RevoDrive 350's performance next...

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