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Just How Fast is OCZ's New 1 TB SSD?

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 21 comments

It's been barely a day since we first brought you the news of OCZ's massive 1 TB solid-state drive.  In case you missed it, here's a quick rundown: Dubbed the Z Drive, this powerful, videocard-like device hooks into your PCI Express x8 slot to deliver the punishing performance of a RAID 0 array of four, 256 GB solid-state drives.  But that's not all.

The Z Drive also sports a hardware RAID controller and 256 MB of onboard cache. This helps the device allegedly achieve read and write speeds of 600 MB/sec. and 500 MB/sec. respectively.  Or, at least, that's what OCZ's been boasting about its new $1,500 device.  Belgian Web site Madshrimps was able to get its hands on a Z Drive for a little bit of benchmarking action and here's what they were able to find.

First off, the specs: The Z Drive was hooked onto an Asus P6T motherboard running an Intel Core i7 965 processor, running alongside 6 GB of OCZ DDR3 2000 MHz RAM.  The Windows Vista 64-bit operating system was loaded onto a 150 GB Western Digital Raptor drive.

Next, the benchmarks: Madshrimps fired up HD Tune Pro 3.10 and was able to coax the Z Drive into delivering 100 MB/se.c read and write speeds when using smaller file lengths of around 4K for the testing.  As they increased the file lengths on the benchmark, the Z Drive's transfer rates shot up to appoximately 1,400 MB/sec. read and 1,100 MB/sec .writes.  That's a crazy amount for a synthetic benchmark, but what about performance results that are more indicative of real-world use?

Madshrimps fired up SiSoft Sandra File system and found that the Z Drive outputted a drive index of around 550 MB/sec.  This blew away competing scores from Gigabyte's i-RAM drive, as well as the scores of any conventional drive or RAID of drives based on spinning platters (go figure).  In the final tested benchmark, PCMark Vantage, the Z Drive outputted scores of more than 125 MB/sec. for all its hard drive tests.  At the top of the scale, the Z Drive capped out at a speed of 507 MB/sec. on the application's Windows Media Center test.  The Z Drive achieved an overall PCMark score of more than 43,000 points--that's downright fast, even without any other point of comparison on the tested PC.

If you want to check out the full results, as well as pictures Madshrimps shot of its testing, just head on over to the Belgian site.  And if you want to pick up a Z Drive of your very own, take a seat.  There's no word on availability or final pricing for the drive/device/array/beast.

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  • 10 Hide
    wicketr , March 6, 2009 4:02 PM
    I'm excited to see where we'll be in 2 years. This is just the tip of the iceberg. The 'hard drive' has been the bottle neck of a computer for a long time, and we're about to see some amazing things in the coming years because of SSD.
Other Comments
  • 10 Hide
    wicketr , March 6, 2009 4:02 PM
    I'm excited to see where we'll be in 2 years. This is just the tip of the iceberg. The 'hard drive' has been the bottle neck of a computer for a long time, and we're about to see some amazing things in the coming years because of SSD.
  • 3 Hide
    68vistacruiser , March 6, 2009 5:28 PM
    So how many writes will it take?
  • 5 Hide
    scarpa , March 6, 2009 5:37 PM
    Hell yea, that's fast.

    Spinning platters HDD will be obsolete soon,it was about the time for platter HDD to say goodbye, I got tired of them, they served well, rest in peace.
  • -5 Hide
    joex444 , March 6, 2009 6:05 PM
    I don't believe it. That site didn't even know how to take screenshots, they had pictures of an LCD screen. Fail.
  • 5 Hide
    Eric Kolotyluk , March 6, 2009 7:33 PM
    Hey, when will someone benchmark this against FusionIO's ioDrive?
  • 1 Hide
    falchard , March 6, 2009 8:46 PM
    I want one. I think I wrote this on the last article about the Z-Drive. I actually might get one considering its price.
  • 3 Hide
    Shadow703793 , March 6, 2009 8:56 PM
    joex444I don't believe it. That site didn't even know how to take screenshots, they had pictures of an LCD screen. Fail.

    That was so that they have validity! It's much easier to Photoshop a screen cap than an actual pic of the screen. And even if the pic of the LCD is edited it can be found with a bit of work.
  • 1 Hide
    eklipz330 , March 6, 2009 10:11 PM
    i think i busted a nut
  • 0 Hide
    MoUsE-WiZ , March 7, 2009 3:54 AM
    The speeds are the impressive part so benchmarks aren't too exciting... can go get 4x Apex or Vertex and a decent card for ~1500$ right now and get similar numbers. The TB is the part to drool over, and I don't think that needs benchmarking ~_~
  • 0 Hide
    MoUsE-WiZ , March 7, 2009 3:55 AM
    *speeds aren't the impressive part
    Is there an edit button hiding somewhere I don't see?
  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , March 7, 2009 6:16 AM
    Shadow703793: "It's much easier to Photoshop a screen cap than an actual pic of the screen."

    Eehhh.. in that case, why then not photoshop a screen cap and take a picture of it being displayed on the LCD. Duh.
  • 0 Hide
    descendency , March 7, 2009 4:52 PM
    Uhh... How is everyone managing to miss the 1.5$ per gigabyte price? That's a 50% drop. There is zero chance of this not being out in under a year because of that price. With the way prices are falling right now, Christmas of next year, MLC SSDs should be under 1$ per gigabyte. And SATA 3.

    I hope they come out with a small (4x32=128gb would be awesome), bootable, PCI-e 16x 2.0 (8 gb/s max transfer), and inexpensive Z-drive.

    Although I might wait for the SLC version because it's nothing more than a RAID and 4 drives.
  • -1 Hide
    eklipz330 , March 7, 2009 10:37 PM
    correct me if im mistaken, 4x 256gb in raid, correct? so its only 256gb, not 1tb....right?
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , March 7, 2009 11:12 PM
    @eklipz330: Stripped not mirrored.
  • 0 Hide
    Tindytim , March 8, 2009 8:44 AM
    eklipz330correct me if im mistaken, 4x 256gb in raid, correct? so its only 256gb, not 1tb....right?

    It's RAID 0.

    RAID 0 just stripes information across multiple drives. RAID 1 mirrors it across all the drives in the setup. RAID 5 has what's called parity, while the capacity of a single drive is taken (so in a 4 drive setup, it will only have the capacity of 3 drives), if a single drive fails in the setup up, it can be quickly replaced, and automatically rebuilt.

    So RAID 0 isn't really RAID (which is why the '0' makes sense).
  • 0 Hide
    bin1127 , March 9, 2009 4:56 AM
    so what is it then? is it a 1 TB drive or just a raid setup?
  • 0 Hide
    Tindytim , March 9, 2009 9:50 AM
    bin1127so what is it then? is it a 1 TB drive or just a raid setup?
    \r\nA raid setup on a card.
  • 0 Hide
    sublifer , March 9, 2009 3:12 PM
    wicketrI'm excited to see where we'll be in 2 years. This is just the tip of the iceberg. The 'hard drive' has been the bottle neck of a computer for a long time, and we're about to see some amazing things in the coming years because of SSD.

    Now they need to start working out faster controllers with better connections to the rest of the system. Poor hdd controllers have been stuck in slower southbridge chips which will either need to be made faster or they'll have to bring more functionality to the northbridge
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 25, 2009 11:16 AM
    Amazing: reading at over a 1Gb a second! true HD is near. welcome to the 1 meter monitor
  • 1 Hide
    Tindytim , April 25, 2009 1:11 PM
    Shadow703793That was so that they have validity! It's much easier to Photoshop a screen cap than an actual pic of the screen. And even if the pic of the LCD is edited it can be found with a bit of work.

    Lol, and how hard would it be to take a screen cap, edit it, display it, then take a picture of the LCD? You don't have to mess with the image of the LCD.
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