So the storage unit we'll be testing today is a 480 GB version. Here's how that works. OCZ places four NAND flash partition of 16 ICs onto two PCBs. The NAND FLASH partitions all get one new SandForce 2281 assigned for some massive multi-channel IO. The RevoDrive 3 series uses asynchronous Micron MLC NAND (25nm) memory by the way.
So what about 25nm NAND lifespan ?
I've been saying this over and over again, personally I'm not a fan of the new 25nm NAND FLASH memories, the overall lifespan of the ICs has been reduced from 10.000 towards 5,000 program/erase cycles. Rumors are that the numbers for consumer grade 25nm NAND flash memory (as used on the SSD tested today) are even lower at 3000 program/erase cycles.
But granted, as drastic as that sounds, it's all relative as this lifespan will very likely last longer than any mechanical HDD. Drive wearing protection will help you out greatly. With a normal filled SSD and very heavy writing/usage of say 10GB data each day 365 days a year you'd be looking at roughly 22 full SSD write cycles per year, out of the 3000 (worst case scenario) available. However, all calculations on this matter are debatable as usage differs and even things like how much free space you leave on your SSD can effect the drive.
SandForce, opposed to other controllers, enforces a trick as they can write to the FLASH memory less than the competition needs to by using real time compression. The SF controllers store a representation of your data and not the actual data itself. It does that by using a partition of the available NAND flash memory. This is why on SandForce based drives you do not see an extra memory cache chip, which in fact saves on the bill of materials used for the SSDs.
Now we mentioned it already, but the SF-2281 series controller will support up to roughly 500MB/s sequential read and write speeds, that's 62.5MB/s per one of the available eight channels. Combined the bandwidth is just exceptional for single non RAID drive.
The trick though is that the four controllers on the RevoDrive 3 X2 are pointed towards that proprietary OCZ RAID controller, here two partitions are configured as RAID0, done twice ... effectively doubling up performance per array.
So that's roughly what you need to know about the NAND memory and SandForce controllers. Let's move onwards to that RAID unit, as it comes with a new VCA 2.0 software layer that adds some pretty snazzy features.
OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid review We review the RevoDrive Hybrid. The idea behind the device hints very much towards Intel's Rapid Storage technology where a HDD is being cached by a Nand flash storage unit. Being OCZ they are making it an enthusiast class performance product. The product we test today for example comes with a 1TB HDD, and a really large 100GB cache partition running over SF2281 controllers. OCZ then applies a mix of their VCA 2.0 technology
OCZ RevoDrive 3 X2 review We'll be testing an engineering sample of that RevoDrive 3 X2 today. Let me just throw some numbers at you to get that tickly in your belly ; 1500 MB/s maximum read performance, or what about 1250 MB/s maximum write performance ? No that still didn't do it for you ... well what about 200.000 IOPS (4K writes) ? Yeah that is where we have arrived in the year 2011. It's insanely fast, it will be insanely expensive but it is most definitely insanely sexy.
OCZ RevoDrive X2 240GB review We test the OCZ Revodrive X2, a concept that is close to that IBIS product, but also is not. Will this RAID based SSD solution be faster, slower or equal in performance relative to that IBIS ? Fact remains, today we'll pass 700 MB/sec of storage performance from something slapped onto a PCIe 4x slots and that is just frightening to test, that fast.
OCZ RevoDrive 120GB review We test and review the OCZ RevoDrive. Pretty much two SSDs slapped onto a PCB, armed with a RAID controller. Pop it in, install the new storage unit and you'll have tremendous performance right of the shelves without the need to configure anything. What OCZ did was done right. They smacked 120GB or alternatively 240 GB of the fastest NAND Flash memory on the PCB, armed that Flash memory with two separate 8-channel SandForce SSD ICs, then bind them to a SIS RAID controller, pop on a PCie x4 bridge and then offer a "PCIe SSD" (if you can call it that) reaching 300,k 400 even 500 MB/sec read and write speeds.