OCZ RevoDrive Review: SSD RAID + PCI-Express

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Conclusion



Performance Summary: It's just this simple: the RevoDrive rocks. Taken in aggregate, the drive's price/performance ratio is virtually identical to its competitors—it costs ~33 percent more than Corsair's F100 but offers performance roughly 30 percent higher, depending on the benchmark. Be aware that this ratio will swing a bit depending on your personal usage patterns--in some cases the RevoDrive offers a better price/performance ratio than any of the drive's we tested--and in a few tests it's just 10-20% faster. The former occurs considerably more than the latter, which is part of why we like the drive.

 

When we reviewed the PCIe X4 Fusion-io Xtreme/Xtreme Pro nine months ago we took particular notice of the card's price—the XDrive cost $11.18 per GB while the XDrive Pro was a steep $9.36 per GB. In less than a year, OCZ slashed more than half off the price premium on PCI-Express storage, brought the RevoDrive almost in line with standard SSD drives, offers a three-year warranty, and it's bootable. That, ladies and gentlemen, is as good as it gets.  That said, if you compare the numbers loosely from our review back then, the ioXtreme does still hold a performance edge in spots.

While it's true that the RevoDrive lacks TRIM support, that's the current price of admission if you want to run a RAID array. There's no evidence that this is going to change—various companies, including Intel, are apparently "working" on the problem, but no one has come up with a software solution yet. RAID-level TRIM support may not be possible until new controllers are designed to support it.  In other words, don't buy a Revo now with the expectation that updated drivers will come along and add this particular function.

Without these capabilities, the drive's performance will inevitably degrade over time, but its high base performance should keep it out in front of its SSD competitors even when dirty. It's also possible to minimize the drive's performance penalty by periodically imaging one's OS installation, reformatting the Revo from inside the SiI 3124 RAID BIOS, and then re-creating the array. 

We'd recommend the RevoDrive to anyone looking for top-notch performance. The Revo has set a new bar for both SSDs and RAID-based PCI-Express storage cards.  We look forward to seeing how the rest of the industry responds. 

 

  • Extreme Performance
  • Bootable PCIe Card
  • More Affordable Than Other PCIe-Based Storage Solutions

  • Relatively Expensive
  • Silicon Image Controller + PCIe Bridge Adds Some Latency
  • No TRIM Support


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