OCZ RevoDrive 3 X2 480GB PCIe SSD ReviewTue, Jun 28, 2011 - 11:00 AM
Capacity, Final Thoughts & Conclusions
Windows shows capacity on the RevoDrive 3 X2 to be 447 GiB (1,073,741,824 bytes per GiB) with the full drive capacity based on the 64 NAND modules of 8 GB each is 512 GB (1,000,000,000 bytes per GB). A portion of this is set aside for drive maintenance while the rest is tied up in the conversion of GB to GiB.
I’ll just start off here by saying this is one very impressive drive. Not that we expected anything else. Reads of 1500MB/s and writes of 1250MB/s are numbers inconceivable for a single drive just a few years ago. However, the real highlights here are that OCZ has managed to boost performance to nearly double that of its predecessor and in the process, add support for TRIM – which is a welcome improvement. Changing the configuration by shedding the RAID controller and employing the SuperScale storage controller and VCA 2.0 (Virtualized Controller Architecture) technology is a substantial refinement to the drive design. Not only does it allow for TRIM support but appears to be very scalable so as drive capacities increase the technology can keep pace. The PCI-E interface ensures adequate bandwidth exists to handle the copious data throughputs which are handled adeptly by the four SF-2281 controllers.
Having a PCI-E based drive does have its shortcomings. First, drivers must be installed for Windows to properly recognize the device which are available from OCZ. If you’re imaging from a backup from another drive, it can be tricky because you’ll lack the driver. On a side note, the driver we used in testing is still undergoing WHQL certification but OCZ expects this to be complete by the release of the drive in 2-3 weeks. If you have PCI-E slots occupied by other devices, most notably video and sound cards, finding an open slot supporting PCI-E 4x or greater may be a challenge depending on your motherboard. None of these are deal breakers by any stretch but important considerations to make before making a purchase. Another one of the welcomed improvements that used to be a bit of a pain is the ability to secure erase the drive using the OCZ Toolbox. Previously, the user had to break the RAID array using the utility pre-Windows load and then secure each of the four logical drives independently. The array would have to be rebuilt and then it was ready to go. Now, it’s just a matter of deleting the existing partition(s), secure erasing with the tool and re-initializing the disk in Device Manager.
While being tremendously fast, for most consumer users it’ll simply be overkill. The RevoDrive 3 X2 really earns its keep with multi-threaded, intensive random data workloads which is not what you’ll find gaming, reading email or checking Facebook which is the predominant activities for many users. Maybe it’s for the best as dropping $699.99 on a 240GB SSD isn’t going to happen for the vast majority of consumers much less $1699.99 and $3199.99 for the 480 GB and 960 GB versions although we’ve established that the price per GB is not all that far off of the Vertex 3 line. Even so, the high-end enthusiast/prosumer and business-class customers are really the demographics that will be the largest purchasers although comparable PCI-E competitor drives are substantially more in price and don’t necessarily offer anything more than maybe longer expected lifespans due to SLC NAND, etc. While on that topic, we weren’t told directly by OCZ, we’re going out on a limb to say that the warranty will likely by 3-years like the previous iterations of the RevoDrives and their other SSDs. The full specifications should be available from OCZ as the embargo lifts today.
We think that the changes OCZ has made and the uniqueness of their product in the consumer marketplace earns them our Innovation Award!
Legit Bottom Line: Redesigned for the better, the RevoDrive 3 X2 is an amazing piece of hardware that not only nearly doubles up on the previous generation in max speed but now offers the all important TRIM to keep that performance going strong long term.