OCZ Technology was kind enough to send us their latest high performance PCIe solid state drive for review; the MLC based RevoDrive X2 240GB. The RevoDrive X2 series of drives are fairly unusual in that they are not housed in either a 2.5 form factor case, or indeed a 3.5 inch housing. Instead OCZ have built what can only be described as an extreme SSD solution. Instead of using a slow SATA interface, the RevoDrive X2 is mounted on a x4 PCIe card. This removes the shackles and allows the extreme performance that the RevoDrive X2 can deliver.
The specifications of the OCZ RevoDrive certainly have the “drool factor”. There are 4 SandForce SF-1200 series SSD controllers onboard, each with its own bank of 34nm MLC NAND, with capacities ranging from 100GB right up to 960GB.
- Read speeds at up to 740MB/s
- Write speeds at up to 720MB/s
- 4K random writes at up to 120,000 IOPS
- RevoDrive X2 can be used as a boot drive or as a storage drive
The specifications of the OCZ RevoDrive X2 are certainly very impressive, but can the RevoDrive X2 really deliver this level of performance?
So let’s find out how this new SSD performs in our range of benchmarks and real world tests in this review.
OCZ Technology company information
I’m sure most MyCE members will be familiar with the OCZ Technology brand name. OCZ has been manufacturing high performance PC memory, SSDs, and other PC related hardware for many years.
If you would like to find out more about OCZ Technology, you can visit the OCZ Technology website.
Inside the outer box, you will find a more robust box, which contains the RevoDrive X2. This box is a strong affair, made from quite thick cardboard.
Inside the internal box we can also see the RevoDrive X2 PCIe x4, and the card is well protected by foam packing.
What’s inside the box
Now it’s time to take a look at the drive itself and what it came shipped with.
The package contained the OCZ RevoDrive X2, a nice label to place somewhere prominent on your PC case to make your friends drool, and instruction booklet.
Now let’s take a look at the drive itself.
RevoDrive X2 240GB
As we have already seen, the RevoDrive X2 is housed on a PCIe x4 card. What we have is basically four OCZ SandForce SF-1200 series based SSDs, minus the SATA and power connectors. Each of the four SSDs have their own SandForce SF-1200 series SSD controller, and their own bank of Intel branded 34nm MLC NAND. In the case of our review sample which has a capacity of 240GB, each bank of NAND is 64GB in capacity.
Each of these (internal) SSDs is connected to a Silicon Image SiI 3124 RAID controller in a RAID 0 configuration (by default), and in turn, the SiI 3124 is connected to a Pericom PI7C9X130 PCIe to PCI-X bridge.
The original RevoDrive came supplied with two SandForce SF-1200 series controllers, and two banks of 34nm MLC NAND. The RevoDrive X2, as we have already stated has four SandForce SF 1200 series controllers and four banks of 34nm MLC NAND. The extra two controllers and banks of NAND are fitted by means of the daughter board which we can see in our above screen shot.
OCZ RevoDrive X2 Specifications
We found the specifications of the drive at OCZ Technologies website.
Drive maintenance features
With the RevoDrive X2 using a RAID 0 configuration, there is no TRIM support at present, so the RevoDrive X2 will have to rely on the effectiveness of its own garbage collection algorithms. If this turns out to be as good at the OCZ Vertex 2, then there is certainly no need to worry about the lack of TRIM, as the Vertex 2 is very capable of maintaining its performance, even without TRIM.
From the short time I have been using the RevoDrive X2; there is certainly no evidence of performance dropping off due to the lack of TRIM support.
Despite what other sites have said about “Secure Erase and the OCZ RevoDrive and RevoDrive X2”. The drive does support internal Secure Erase, and it’s certainly possible and very easy to Secure Erase the RevoDrive X2.
Internal Secure Erase (SE) on an SSD that supports it, will restore all NAND on the drive back to its clean (factory default) state.
You will require a special Linux distribution to secure erase the RevoDrive X2 using a point and click GUI, but most Linux distributions will secure erase the RevoDrive X2 via the terminal application within Linux.
In either case, all that is required is a small USB flash drive/stick or a blank CD to accommodate the “Live” Linux distribution. I can certainly recommend the point and click GUI version. Don’t panic about the word “Linux” being used here, it’s all very simple to use.
Praz over at OCZ has produced an excellent, easy to follow guide for the GUI version. It’s a very worthwhile read.
You can find the article and everything you will need, here.
Now let’s head to the next page, where we look at the SandForce SF-1200 SSD controller.