Here's where we'll look a little deeper inside the actual product. The OCZ RevoDrive X2 is, as stated, an SSD based on MLC NAND flash memory.
The difference though is that it uses its own interface, hence it is not an SSD that you connect to your SATA connection. Quite the contrary. The NAND flash is stored onto a PCB(s) which connects directly can be plugged into your PCI Express x4/x8/x16 slot.
The end result here is that you'll get a storage unit with a massive IO performance peaking up-to 740 MB/sec in read performance and a scorching 720 MB/sec write performance.
Now, always bare in mind that a manufacturers loves to show you the burst peak performance, not average. Regardless of that fact, which we'll show you in the benchmark sessions, the RevoDrive is extremely fast thanks to a trick or two.
Euro per GB
Multi Level Cell
3 years carry in
The SSD that is available in several volume sizes: 100, 160, 240, 360, 480 and even a 960GB are available. The products range from roughly 375 EUR towards an unheard of 2900 EUR, in USD that number is even higher. OCZ covers the unit with a 3 year warranty.
To understand the product we'll need to realize that there are three primary technologies embedded into the RevoDrive x2. As such we'll continue the technology coverage in three stages:
The SSD partitions paired with Sandforce controllers
The Silicon Image RAID controller
The PCIe interface
We'll explain each one in a simple manner.
The SSD NAND FLASH partitions
So the storage unit we'll be testing today is a 240GB version. Here's how that works. OCZ places two NAND flash partitions onto one PCB. Each 64GB partition will get a SandForce 1200/1222 based IC assigned for multi-channel IO. OCZ now merges two of these NAND units into onto the product. That means accumulated you can account for four SandForce 1200 controller each managing a separate 64GB partition. Deduct a few GB per partition for real-time data compression (SandForce controllers require this) and then you have your SSD partitions ready. Why separate these clusters you might wonder ? Well, each cluster is in fact it's own drive. And what can we do with separate drives ? Yep - the drive partitions now lead towards a RAID controller.
The RAID controller
Controlling the two SandForce ICs is a Sil RAID controller, model 3124 SoftRaid 5. It actually is the same one used on the 1st generation OCZ RevoDrive and IBIS. It will assign four active SATA II channels, one to each of the "SSD partitions" controlled per controller.
The partitions will be then setup in RAID0 (Stripe) effectively quadrupling performance, in theory that is. As all that data requires a decent chunk of bandwidth to operate in. So the next step is to tie the RAID controller to a fast interface.
The PCI Express interface
With so much performance thrown at the interface towards your PC, SATA2 certainly is not going to cut it. In fact even SATA3 or SATA 6G as you might call it could be insufficient.
OCZ therefore guides the RAID storage unit data towards a PCIe x4 connector. The card has a bridge chip on its end which is then connected to the motherboard chipset via x4 lanes of PCIe 1.0. That provides as much as 1 GB/s of throughput with the help of a Pericom PCI Express Bridge, the PI7C9X130, making the PCIe 4x link happen.
The typical usage in this configuration is to bridge legacy 64-bit PCI products to PCI Express systems. That's really all there is to it... anyway let's head into a photo-shoot covering all the ins and outs.
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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.
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