As you should expect by now, the drive capacity that is actually usable is diminished by overprovisioning and a little bit claimed by Windows. The overprovisioning helps with drive maintenance and adds to the lifespan of the drive. The 240GB RevoDrive X2 allots the user 223GB of usable space which is more than enough for most users, even if not using a secondary drive for storage.
The numbers put up by the RevoDrive X2 are insane and part of the reason it can reach such numbers is the PCI-E interface. A normal SATA II connection allows a theoretical bandwidth limit of 3Gbps or 375MB/s. I say theoretical because there’s overhead that must be accounted for so you never reach that rated throughput. When you kick up to 6gbps/750MB/s of SATA III, you are still capped out well before the scores seen by the X2. Even the x1 PCI-E slot never exceeds 625MB/s so the x4 or above interface is necessary to reach the potential of this beast.
So can you duplicate the RevoDrive X2 performance with four SandForce drives and your very own RAID array? With an add-in RAID card, you sure could. But the economics don’t work in your favor. Plus, setting it up and finding room for four SSDs with cables and a RAID card in your system just makes it all the more unappealing. The simplicity of this design can’t be beat.
A quad-drive set-up of 40GB SSDs will set you back around $450 at best
and a quality raid card will add another two bills minimum (don’t forget
a fan for that guy!). Plus you have nowhere near the total storage capacity.
So, the $640 retail price for the 240GB RevoDrive X2 starts looking like more of a bargain in comparison. While TRIM is not supported, you always have idle garbage collection working for you and the proprietary DuraClass technology doing its thing to keep this guy humming along. Even if you lost 20% of
the factory fresh speed, you’d still be better off than with most other SSD options in
terms of raw performance.
On a final note, we’d be remiss if we didn’t tell you to do your homework before making a purchase, as is the case with all emerging technology. Some motherboards may not play nice with either versions of the RevoDrive and/or may require a BIOS update for compatibility. While we had no issues on our test ASUS board, we had to load a beta BIOS for an MSI Big Bang XPower board before we could get things working correctly. As always, OCZ offers great support and their forums are a wealth of information which is a good place to start your research. Now that the original RevoDrive has been out in the wild for a bit, support from motherboard makers should be on the rise.
Legit Bottom Line: OCZ has taken the already impressive RevoDrive and kicked it up to a whole new level with the RevoDrive X2. It simply rocks. It’s hands-down the fastest SSD we have used and its elegant simplicity in use and installation makes it all the more appealing for users of all levels. If you are the type that has to have the fastest and best of everything, this is the drive to have.