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Benchmark Results: 4 KB And 512 KB Random Reads

OCZ’s RevoDrive X2: When A Fast PCIe SSD Isn’t Fast Enough

Testing random read and write speed is perhaps most important for desktop usage models. Unless you’re doing heavy video editing, you’re probably not reading or writing a ton of sequential data to an SSD, after all.

The RevoDrive X2 and IBIS match each other’s performance in Iometer 4 KB random read performance. OCZ’s first-gen RevoDrive actually matches Intel’s second-gen X25-M. And the SandForce-based Vertex 2 falls into last place here.

The header of these two charts is the same, except for one important detail. The first employs a queue depth of one, and the second uses a queue depth of 32. Why are these figures important? Well, look what they do to performance.

Native Command Queuing, part of the SATA specification, was originally designed to improve the performance of mechanical disks by allowing the hard drive itself to optimize the order in which read and write commands get executed. Of course, the physics of a hard drive don’t apply to SSDs. However, the multi-channel architecture of a solid state drive enables it to similarly field multiple concurrent requests—though Intel claims the bottleneck isn’t the drive, but rather the host system itself. Today’s SSDs are consequently dependent on high queue depths in order to realize the specifications you see manufacturers quoting.

When OCZ says the RevoDrive X2 is best suited to environments heavy on I/O, this chart shows why the company means business. With a relatively non-taxing queue depth of one, the X2 takes a first place finish, but its 30.7 MB/s result is underwhelming, and certainly not very impressive compared to the last-place Vertex 2 at 22.4 MB/s.

Cranking queue depth up to the other (very unrealistic on the desktop) extreme queue depth of 32, the quad-controller RevoDrive X2 is suddenly pushing 466 MB/s, cruising past the IBIS at 434 MB/s. The dual-controller RevoDrive lags back at 210 MB/s, and Intel’s X25-M takes fourth place with 164 MB/s.

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  • 0 Hide
    joelmartinez , January 12, 2011 3:19 AM
    Too much money :(  will get the vertex 3 though :)  or intel
  • 5 Hide
    alikum , January 12, 2011 3:38 AM
    If only they could make SSDs cheaper ... Mechanical drives are still the way to go
  • 0 Hide
    eklipz330 , January 12, 2011 3:50 AM
    although i think sandforce's new controller won't be as fast as they claim, i really think it's gonna change the face of the ssd race by the end of the year

    and probably a new iteration of the revodrive as well... can't wait!! =D =D i need me a 160gb for less than $1/gb... that's how much i bought my raptor for like 4 years ago!!
  • 2 Hide
    dauthus , January 12, 2011 4:00 AM
    In related news, OCZ stock is up to $6.80 a share, rising 19%+ today.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , January 12, 2011 4:10 AM
    How does this compare to the new Z-drive R3?
  • 0 Hide
    cmi86 , January 12, 2011 4:32 AM
    Yeah its really cool and i wish i had 1...or 2 lol but it just costs waay too much money, isnt really practical for enthusiast use until the prices drop
  • 2 Hide
    dirtmountain , January 12, 2011 5:12 AM
    You routinely use $500 graphic cards (GTX580) and $1,200 displays (2560x1600)in reviews. The price for this upgrade ($650)isn't any harder to stomach then those.
  • 1 Hide
    cangelini , January 12, 2011 5:26 AM
    dirtmountainYou routinely use $500 graphic cards (GTX580) and $1,200 displays (2560x1600)in reviews. The price for this upgrade ($650)isn't any harder to stomach then those.

    Aye, but it's a little less tangible than exotic graphics configurations, too.
  • 4 Hide
    razor512 , January 12, 2011 5:38 AM
    a pci-e ssd seems good, I want one, MS word will run sooo much better
  • 4 Hide
    alidan , January 12, 2011 6:14 AM
    i realy wish they would put a 7200 10000 and 15000 drive in there, all top of their respective class, just so we can get some prospective of how much an improvement these are over traditional hdds.
  • 1 Hide
    palladin9479 , January 12, 2011 7:04 AM
    Something like that is beyond anything any mechanical drive can hope to compete with, its even faster then a multi-channel directly connected SAN array. It looks to be one step away from a RAM Drive, if anyone can remember what those were.
  • 0 Hide
    utengineer , January 12, 2011 11:03 AM
    I am waiting to see if Intel's LightPeak tech will be used in the the storage arena(i.e. boot drives, etc). Seems like the SSD tech is evolving so quickly.
  • 1 Hide
    christop , January 12, 2011 11:14 AM
    I want one but will have to wait for the price to come way down.
  • 0 Hide
    moogleslam , January 12, 2011 12:18 PM
    Do SSD's or the RevoDrive improve gaming performance at all?
  • 0 Hide
    krisboro , January 12, 2011 12:36 PM
    Just load times...
  • -1 Hide
    syrob , January 12, 2011 1:27 PM

    There is no way to use REVO, Modern Video card AND INTEL RAID ICH10R RAID 10 AT THE SAME TIME, the option rom spoace is used all up.

    DO not buy unless you do not ever want RAID through Intel ICHR10 !!!

    See link below

    REVO is not worth it!
  • 0 Hide
    studioman22 , January 12, 2011 2:16 PM
    Hmm, a little off topic, but what is that Cooler Master UCP-1000W used for the test rig? It's in a strange spot on the CM website, and not in their regular lineup. I guess it's either brand new and not for sale yet? Or is that a legacy product?
  • 0 Hide
    K2N hater , January 12, 2011 2:16 PM
    SYROBThere is no way to use REVO, Modern Video card AND INTEL RAID ICH10R RAID 10 AT THE SAME TIME, the option rom spoace is used all up.DO not buy unless you do not ever want RAID through Intel ICHR10 !!!See link below [...] controllerREVO is not worth it!

    I've read the thread. If you boot from the Revo it's 100% safe to disable ICH RAID. The RAID support present on ICH can be replaced to Windows RAID. As discussed in that thread disabling PXE can also help.
  • 0 Hide
    68vistacruiser , January 12, 2011 2:19 PM
    Why would anyone spend hundreds of dollars just to boot up 30 seconds faster, when they spend hours a day on the same computer?
  • 0 Hide
    willy_ , January 12, 2011 2:20 PM
    What I miss in the review: Is the RAID on the card "invisible" to the OS, as in, the OS sees it as a single drive. Or does the OS need to load a driver for the controller? If that's the case many Linux distri's will not be able to use it as a single drive.
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