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OCZ's Hybrid SSD/HDD PCIe Card Spotted

By - Source: Tech Report | B 14 comments

OCZ is showcasing its HDD/SSD PCIe-based hybrid this week at Computex.

This week during Computex, OCZ is showcasing a unique storage solution called the RevoDrive Hybrid, a marriage of mechanical and solid-state storage technologies on a single PCI Express x4 card. OCZ has yet to determine final configurations, but expects to release a base model featuring a 500 GB HDD and a 60 GB SSD. There's also talk of a second model which may sport a beefier 1 TB HDD and a 120 GB SSD.

According to hands-on reports, the hybrid drive will use a 2.5-inch HDD provided by a third party although OCZ is still trying to determine whether it wants to use a 5,400-RPM or a 7,200-RPM model. The SSD component actually serves as a cache, and can even use multiple SandForce controllers arranged in a RAID 0 array. This unique caching scheme will allow the slower 5,400-RPM drive to be used without sacrificing performance.

OCZ said that the Hybrid's cache will be managed by Nvelo's Dataplex software which is capable of caching both read and writes up to 120 GB of solid state storage. According to Nvelo, Dataplex actually demonstrates better performance in PCMark Vantage results than the Smart Response caching scheme available with Intel's Z68 Express chipset.

OCZ also provided a spec sheet claiming that the Hybrid drive has sustained read speeds of 575 MB/s and sustained write speeds of 500 MB/s. It also reportedly has a random 4KB write rate of 30,000 IOPS. That could be tweaked even further before the PCIe-based drive is expected to hit the market this July. OCZ hasn't officially released a ship date or pricing, but the base model is expected to retail for around $350.

Currently OCZ is offering two RevoDrive models without the HDD riding piggyback: the original RevoDrive PCIe SSD and the RevoDrive X2 PCIe SSD.

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  • -3 Hide
    memadmax , June 3, 2011 2:01 AM
    Nah, I'll pass.

    I would rather have the OCZ Z-Drive R4 PCIe SSD.

    Gargle Gargle Gargle Gargle....
  • 1 Hide
    alextheblue , June 3, 2011 4:06 AM
    mouse24hmm, i think this might work for servers, but for home use id rather have 'em separate.
    There are some advantages to the caching approach. Having seperate drives/cards takes up more space, for one. For a gamer with a full ATX case this isn't an issue, but smaller form factors are certainly a lot more commonplace than they once were.

    The other big advantage is simplicity for the end user. Again, not a problem for a typical geek who knows what to install on the small but fast SSD drive/card. But what about those who build boxes for non-nerds to use? This is a good looking solution from that perspective. From the user's point of view, it's just one big drive that happens to also be pretty damn fast.

    So yeah, it might not be the way to go for most THG readers PERSONAL machines, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have a place. Even big OEMs could take advantage of it too, for their higher end machines, as an alternative to a two-drive SSD/HDD setup. I especially like this talk of it being faster than Intel's Z68 caching. We can already see that it supports a larger SSD size.
  • -1 Hide
    alidan , June 3, 2011 4:13 AM
    lame? after the 7tb ssd and 1.5 mill io this just seams really lame.

    and the biggest advantage of ssd, no spinning crap, gets thrown out the window with this.
  • 0 Hide
    dalauder , June 3, 2011 4:35 AM
    I think this has a lot of potential. If smart caching allows apparent (and benchmarkable) SSD performance across the entire HDD, that could remove the huge capacity hit that switching to a SSD causes.

    I'd never buy one of these for $350--I'd just buy a single $200 SSD to go with my HDDs. But if they could get this near the price of a $60 SSD and a $35 500GB HDD and maybe package the "500GB SSD Hybrid" near $150, I'd be very interested.
  • 0 Hide
    pocketdrummer , June 3, 2011 4:46 AM
    alidanlame? after the 7tb ssd and 1.5 mill io this just seams really lame.and the biggest advantage of ssd, no spinning crap, gets thrown out the window with this.


    The point has been lost with this one...

    This is intended as an intermediate storage device. SSDs are too expensive and too small. HDDs are cheap and spacious, but slow. This bridges the gap. Whether or not it bridges the gap well is another story altogether. We need more information about it in actual use. What goes on the SSD portion and what goes onto the HDD. How is it controlled, what are the benches, etc. Need more information.
  • -1 Hide
    alidan , June 3, 2011 9:24 AM
    pocketdrummerThe point has been lost with this one...This is intended as an intermediate storage device. SSDs are too expensive and too small. HDDs are cheap and spacious, but slow. This bridges the gap. Whether or not it bridges the gap well is another story altogether. We need more information about it in actual use. What goes on the SSD portion and what goes onto the HDD. How is it controlled, what are the benches, etc. Need more information.


    i have an sata ports. ssds dont need to write or read fast, but have next to no seek time, thats what makes them feel so fast.

    but i done get who this is for?

    the pcie thing is cool for people like me with sata2 ports and not 3 to take full advantage of the read and write, but that doesn't really matter as i said above.

    the ssd drive isnt the best to speak of, as i see stand alone ones that go some where double their io operations,

    and the hdd is weighty and small you can get a 2tb hdd for 1-150$ a 1tb for 70ish, and a 500gb for 40$ cut that off the 350 base model price and you come out with 310$ or better put, $5.10 per gig... now not to complain, but isn't that what higher end ssds cost? and you aren't getting high end performance.

    this is unimpressive all around, not just for what it is.

    the ssd is expensive and under preforms, and takes up a pcie slot, and even than you just get faster read writes on older motherboards.

    who is this marked to?
  • 0 Hide
    redgarl , June 3, 2011 10:17 AM
    Seems more like an experiment to me...

    Still, OCZ should stick to pure SSDs.
  • -1 Hide
    alidan , June 3, 2011 12:02 PM
    redgarlSeems more like an experiment to me...Still, OCZ should stick to pure SSDs.

    true... unless they partner with someone and make a hybrid in the 3.5 form factor for sata, and its not more expensive than 20$ more than the non hybrid model. (10gb of ssd space or 2$ a gig)
  • 0 Hide
    tmax , June 3, 2011 2:53 PM
    Something that I would be intrested in if it tests well.
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , June 4, 2011 5:10 AM
    Didn't Seagate try something like this, just in a HDD form factor and much more primitive?

    Either way, I'm sure enthusiasts would just simply buy a 500GB HDD and a 60GB SSD.
  • 0 Hide
    palladin9479 , June 6, 2011 1:37 AM
    Yeah they used to do this a long long time ago, they were called "Hard Cards" and were a mechanical HDD embedded onto the disk controller board. Big problems will happen, first is that the HDD is much heavier then any typical PCB and can snap off and move freely around the case (breaking everything) during a move. Next is when you have a HDD problem you must return the whole thing, and you can't "upgrade" the HDD but are forced to buy an entire new unit. These are the biggest reasons we split the disk controllers from the drives themselves, it made for a cheaper more reliable solution.

    Their better idea would of been to create a SATA disk controller with an embedded SSD disk cache. You connect a regular SATA drive and let the controller format and control the drive and do all the caching.
  • 0 Hide
    fir_ser , June 6, 2011 7:29 AM
    Hope to see a SATA 3.0 version.
  • 0 Hide
    fir_ser , June 6, 2011 7:32 AM
    I’m interested to see a review on this hybrid SSD/HDD drive.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , June 11, 2011 10:20 AM
    Why not just make them two different devices? Creat a cable connecter from the card to the HDD. Using that software or Eboostr software... make the SSD drive a cache device. For the most part, cache data is smaller than the HDD blocks themselves allowing SSD to shine with their random 4k reads. Actully... you can already do this... why buy this o.o;?