Final thoughts and the conclusion
- Silky smooth operation as a system drive and completely stable.
- Astonishing reading and writing performance.
- Extreme 4K random I/O performance.
- Excellent video, audio, and graphic editing potential.
- Phenomenal multitasking potential.
- Lightning fast access times.
- Completely silent operation.
- Fast operating system start-up and shutdown times.
- Considering the performance and neatness, the RevoDrive X2 is good value.
- Super fast application loading.
- Can be used a bootable system drive or as a storage drive.
- 3 years warranty.
- MTBF: 2,000,000 hours.
- No TRIM support.
A modern operating system such as Windows 7 rarely does one thing at time; as it processes hundreds of threads at once. Just take a look at the processes and services that are running in task manager for an idea of how much is going on, even with the PC idling at the desktop. When you start running applications on top of this, the workload increases in line with the amount and type of applications you are running. It’s also fair to say that many of these processes are already loaded into system RAM, but many are also loaded and unloaded into RAM from the system drive as and when they are required.
The fact of the matter is this: If you are running a mainstream or high-end modern PC with a powerful CPU and graphics card, and are still running a traditional HDD as a system drive, regardless of how fast that HDD is, it is still bogging the system down substantially. It has long since passed the stage where one can meaningfully debate if an SSD is really faster than a traditional HDD. The fact is they are, and not just by a little bit; they are much faster, and the OCZ RevoDrive X2 takes this several stages further.
When I first started testing SSDs more than 2 years ago, it was less clear then how much an SSD improved performance. A lot of things have changed with SSDs over the last 2 years. The SSD controllers are much more powerful and the NAND itself is getting smaller and faster. The RevoDrive X2 has moved SSDs away from the slow SATA interface, to the very much faster PCIe bus, and the gains in performance are there for everyone to see.
Video and audio editing with the RevoDrive X2 has brought about an extraordinary boost in performance even over the very best single SATA SSD. It’s amazing how much extra work you can get done with this drive used as an editing drive.
Let us summarise the most important positive and negative points below:
The main positive points:
The OCZ RevoDrive X2 series drives are very good; in fact, extremely good. Reading and writing access times are lightning fast and applications load in an instant, making the OCZ RevoDrive X2 series of drives ideal as the operating system drive with all the user’s installed applications.
4K random IOPS performance is phenomenal, as is threaded and sequential performance.
With DuraClass technology from the SandForce SF-1200 SSD controllers, the OCZ RevoDrive X2 should remain at near peak performance during the expected life cycle of the drive.
Noise levels from the drive are nil; there are no moving parts so the drive is completely silent.
The RevoDrive X2 can be used as either a bootable system drive, or as a storage drive. To select it as a system drive, it is simply a matter of changing the boot order in the BIOS, and selecting the RevoDrive X2 as your boot drive.
The main negative points:
Price is still a stumbling block to purchasing an SSD drive, and the cost of NAND memory isn't helping matters. At the moment, the OCZ RevoDrive X2 is quite expensive, but then again, this type of extreme performance was never going to come cheap.
There is no TRIM support at the moment, as the RAID 0 configuration used in the RevoDrive X2 will not allow the TRIM command to pass to the drive. This is normal for RAID arrays, as at the moment no RAID array will allow the TRIM command to pass to the SSD controller and be executed. That really should not be a problem, and at worst you can image your install, Secure Erase the RevoDrive X2 by using the link to the guide earlier in this article, and then restore your image to the RevoDrive X2 again. This shouldn’t take no more than about 10 minutes of your time.
While the RevoDrive X2 could be used on any PC with a spare PCIe x4 slot, you will get the best from the RevoDrive X2 if your PC is powerful enough to utilise all that performance. While I’m reluctant to recommend a spec for a PC that is suitable to get the best out of the RevoDrive X2, I would recommend at least a fast dual core CPU if you want to push the RevoDrive X2 to anywhere near its limits of performance.
To sum up, this is what we would say:
It is inevitable that the OCZ RevoDrive X2 will be directly compared to purchasing 4 separate OCZ Vertex 2 SSDs, and then creating your own RAID array. The price of 4 separate Vertex 2 SSDs will be cheaper than the RevoDrive X2, but if you connect these 4 separate Vertex 2 to let’s say, Intel ICH10R for example, then don’t expect to get anywhere near the performance of the RevoDrive X2. ICH10R and all other RAID solutions that are integrated into the motherboard will give you about 660MB/s max, whereas the RevoDrive X2 has already shown it’s capable of over 800MB/s reading speeds.
You could purchase a high quality hardware RAID card and obtain even higher performance than the RevoDrive X2 can deliver, such as the LSI MRSAS9260-4I, but that will mean you have to add another £300 to the price of your purchase. You must also consider that 4 separate SSDs will have to be accommodated in your PC case, and let’s not forget that each of these 4 separate SSDs will also require a precious SATA port, and SATA power and data cables.
Now, all of a sudden, the OCZ RevoDrive X2 not only looks like very good bang for the buck, it is also a very neat solution, only requiring a single x4/x8/x16 PCIe slot, with no untidy cables needed, or motherboard SATA ports required.
Pricing, taken from Scan computers (25/11/2010) Price in Euro, is from the current exchange rate.
Cost per GB
OCZ RevoDrive X2 240GB
The OCZ RevoDrive X2 is an extreme SSD solution, and there really isn’t anything else around in this price range that can compete with the RevoDrive X2. I really like the fact that OCZ are looking at other SSD solutions other than SATA. This beast is already too fast for SATA 6Gbps, and if OCZ wants to scale up performance, they can add more SandForce controllers, use a more powerful RAID controller, then fit them all on a PCIe x8 card, or even a PCIe x16 card. The sky is more or less the limit for the foreseeable future, as far as PCIe SSDs are concerned.
“The OCZ RevoDrive X2 is a phenomenal SSD solution, and its performance is astonishing”.
The performance and usability of the OCZ RevoDrive X2 240GB SSD drive was so good, that we decided to award the drive our MyCE.com “Editor’s choice” award.
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