OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid PCI Express SSD Review

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Our Summary and Conclusion

Performance Summary: The OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid's performance is difficult to characterize. On some levels, the RevoDrive Hybrid offers exceptional performance, as we saw in the ATTO benchmark. Although not part of any specific benchmark, the RevoDrive Hybrid also performed well in real-world boot-time tests. Below is a graph that shows the improvement to boot times after initially enabling the SSD cache and restarting the system a number of times.

As you can see, once the RevoDrive Hybrid's SSD cache is utilized, boot times are essentially cut in half (please note, we measured the time it took for our test system to boot from the moment the "Starting Windows" splash screen appeared until a usuable desktop was available). In some other tests, however, the RevoDrive Hybrid produced mixed results. Its transfer speeds were among the best in CrystalDiskMark, easily surpassing all other hybrid solutions. But in the pseudo-real-world workloads of PCMark Vantage, the RevoDrive Hybrid offered mostly middling performance, with two of the tests reporting performance well ahead of other hybrid solutions.

  

The OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid is not for everyone. At about $470, its price is high enough that some enthusiasts will likely wonder why anyone would consider a hybrid solution when a fast standalone SSD and larger, faster hard drive can be purchases separately for a fraction of the price. The answer lies in the type of workload being placed on the storage subsystem.

If you're the type of user who can get by with all of his or her commonly used apps installed on a mid-sized SSD, still have room to spare, along with a modern system with SATA III support, a standalone SSD paired to a hard drive for bulk storage would most likely be the ideal set up for peak performance. But for users who need more capacity and work with large files (video for example) regularly that will benefit from the RevoDrive Hybrid's extremely fast peak transfer speeds, a hybrid solution like this one would also be beneficial. Another example would be users who have large Outlook PST files or Steam gaming directories. My Steam folder as I write this is 122GB and my Outlook PST is approaching 2GB. With the RevoDrive Hybrid, all of that data can be stored on the device and as the most frequently accessed bits were cached to the SSD, it would offer SSD-like performance with plenty of capacity to spare on the HD. With a standalone SSD in the 100-128GB range, that Steam folder simply wouldn't fit on the drive along with an OS, etc, so it would be stuck completely on the HD. Of course you could always spring for a larger SSD, but then we get into the same price range as the RevoDrive Hybrid. And keep in mind, this thing can push upwards of a GB per second under ideal conditions and work in any system with a PCIe x4 slot. It would take two, fast SATA III SSDs running in RAID 0 to even approach those speeds.

Ultimately, the RevoDrive Hyrbid serves a smaller group of users that would benefit from the drive's unique capabilities. There are currently no other consumer-class hybdrid solutions that can offer the kind of peak transfers that the RevoDrive Hybrid can and work in virtually any hardware platform.

 

  • Super Fast Under Ideal Conditions
  • Tiny and no power connectors required
  • Cache algo works very quickly
  • Somewhat pricey
  • Slow HD speeds with uncached data
  • Must be installed as the boot volume (currently)


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