We can think of a thousand words to describe the RevoDrive 3 X2 series but I'll just put it all in one work, delicious.
Now we know that only 0.1% of the reader base here could ever afford a product like this, but that doesn't mean there's no market for it. On the contrary, the FLASH storage market is growing rapidly and demand is rising. Products like shown today are featured products, they set the trend for the years to come.
See, much like a new high-end graphics card architecture that defines and shapes the gaming experience for say the upcoming two years, you can see the similarities towards the RevoDrive series, this technology will define future storage solutions.
But alright, conclusion time. With the RevoDrive 3 series product OCZ is certainly attacking the market with the fastest consumer storage solutions available. The overall concept has not changed very much from the first generation RevoDrives, but not a component remained the same. The usage of four (for the X2) Sandforce 2281 controller, the new proprietary RAID controller and the adaptive VCA 2.0 layer produces a product that is showing stunning numbers whilst utilizing a clever drive wearing firmware with added benefits like TRIM.
However I was wondering about TRIM support, as the last time I checked it needs to be supported by Microsoft. A question that I had to verify with OCZ. Though the Revo3 card supports TRIM, because the architecture is based on SCSI, the Microsoft Windows StorPort architecture currently does not support either TRIM or SCSI UNMAP. As such, these commands are not generated by the OS, which of course prevents VCA from executing them. OCZ is working with Microsoft to have this functionality enabled as soon as possible. So that will take a RAID driver update alright, but that should not effect your data already on the drive.
Benchmark and test performance then. I'll keep saying this, any manufacturer will show you the peak performance at all times, not so much the sustained or overall performance. With that knowledge in mind I'm getting more and more of an underbelly feeling against software like IOMeter. The methods used to show IOPS performance have been designed in a manner the benefit the outcome result of the SSD, and not the end-user experience because of course there is no real-world application that outs precisely 4KB aligned files all of the time. Our real-world tests show that very well.
But even in these real-world tests the RevoDrive 3 X2 will dominate and rule as expected, it's not 'always' 1GB+ performance okay ?
The new architecture that OCZ created with the RevoDrive 3 series is clever, a new foundation for the future has been made. In the future you'll probably see more advanced controllers, faster NAND (yet asynchronous) and thus more improvements. The current design is scalable. Not just for the NAND partitions, but for example right now the x4 PCIe bus is more than sufficient for all the storage havoc, but it will be relatively easy for OCZ to switch to a x8 or even x16 solution as the PCIe bus gives them that flexibility, as they're connecting to it natively now.
This very point is one of the primary issues for current generation SSDs, I mean this year we all started moving towards SATA3 (6G), but truth be told, the SATA3 bus is already getting outdated as the new generation, series 3 SSDs from OCZ for example, are getting close to the bandwidth limitation of that bus.
So who knows, perhaps PCIe based FLASH storage might be the future. Fact remains that OCZ will innovate and release lots of PCIe based products. In a month or so we'll even see Hybrid PCIe solutions, with a fast NAND FLASH partition tied into the HDD with that FLASH storage unit working as cache, speeding up the important stuff. The tradeoff is loosing a little on generic SSD performance, but you gain much more storage volume, at a better price. See the sky is the limit here in terms of ideas, innovation and functionality.
What about warranty you ask ? It's three years. Now, I had this discussion with my system-admin (a very storage savvy guy) on this, he feels that the RevoDrive series should get 5 years warranty, no moving parts, the premium price and the fact that it is new technology he feels should warrant 5 years. And you know what, I tend to agree with him. Crucial's SSDs have 5 years, OWC is 5 years, Intel has gone from 3 to 5. Here's an idea .. perhaps up-to 240GB 3 years warranty and everything above it 5 years ? Proper firmware and wearing techniques, power failure protection and TRIM makes this a solid product. If OCZ believes in their products as much as they say they do, 5 years should be the way to go we feel.
Alright let me wrap this up, how much performance do we actually need ? Will a RevoDrive 3 X2 offer you a better experience than a Vertex 3 if you are a generic desktop PC user ? You know I doubt it a little, but the performance mongers amongst us that are thirsty for the fast and the furious ... well that's the kind of end-user that would like to take a chew out of this product alright. Split second application loadups and ridiculously fast boot times is what you gain. See it like this, what a dual-GPU based high-end ATI Radeon HD 6990 or NVIDIA GTX 590 is for gaming, the RevoDrive 3 X2 is for storage -- it is along these lines that you need to judge and see a product like this.
All hail NAND FLASH storage we say, it might be expensive, but it is fast, furious and super duper sexy, that's for sure. Each OCZ product as of lately seems to be amazing and the OCZ RevoDrive 3 X2 is exactly that ...
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