OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid: Solid-State Speed With Hard Drive Capacity

SSD Caching: PCMark Vantage

Caching is a fickle technology to benchmark because its performance gains depend on the movement of frequently-used data from one slower storage medium to a faster repository. This means monitoring performance over time. As a result, we're going to toss out our typical SSD benchmark suite and turn to application-level testing. However, we're going to start off with the older PCMark Vantage, since it's more sensitive to hard drive-esque performance. This makes it ideally suited for examining the effects of SSD caching.

Overall, the RevoDrive Hybrid outperforms Intel's Smart Response Technology. But the individual suites within PCMark Vantage really highlight the specific differences. Nvelo's Dataplex has a catch-all policy to data caching, whereas Intel's algorithm tries to avoid caching large chunks of data read sequentially, assuming that sort of usage pattern is only going to be touched once by the user. That's why, we surmise, SRT doesn't help improve performance in the TV and Movies suite.

Looking at the graphs, it's clear that the performance benefit of caching is much more dramatic on the RevoDrive Hybrid. It nearly happens all at once. Compare this to the Z68, where there's a slow and steady improvement. No matter the solution you analyze, though, you need three or four runs in order to experience the boost of performance enabled by caching.

This graph helps illustrate that caching with an SSD is in no way equivalent to unleashing the full potential of an SSD. While the RevoDrive Hybrid brings an impressive six-fold jump in performance, it's still not as fast as running a SSD on its own. If you manually manage storage space between a SSD and hard drive, it's possible to achieve 50% more performance than the potential of a PCIe-based RevoDrive Hybrid.

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  • aznshinobi
    This should be compared with the Seagate Momentus XT, where's that?
    3
  • LuckyDucky7
    Except for those who don't have SATA 6GB/s controllers on their motherboards, this product is a little redundant.

    I mean, it's really cool and all, but since Vertex 3 drives on their own run about 200 bucks for 120GB, you could get 2 x OCZ Vertex 3's in RAID, and a high-performance 1TB 7200 RPM drive like the Western Digital Caviar Black (the one mounted there is 5400RPM) for the same price as this drive.

    So instead of the rather limited 120GB, you'd get 240GB of SSD storage instead, along with a faster hard drive. Because with 240GB, who needs cache?
    2
  • chumly
    What a dumb idea.
    -9
  • zybch
    LuckyDucky7Except for those who don't have SATA 6GB/s controllers on their motherboards, this product is a little redundant.I mean, it's really cool and all, but since Vertex 3 drives on their own run about 200 bucks for 120GB, you could get 2 x OCZ Vertex 3's in RAID, and a high-performance 1TB 7200 RPM drive like the Western Digital Caviar Black (the one mounted there is 5400RPM) for the same price as this drive.So instead of the rather limited 120GB, you'd get 240GB of SSD storage instead, along with a faster hard drive. Because with 240GB, who needs cache?

    Yeah, like i want to use 'scary'RAID in my system. Screw that.
    -8
  • alidan
    zybchYeah, like i want to use 'scary'RAID in my system. Screw that.


    than i believe use a raid 5, i think thats it, raid the 2 ssds and get another hdd in there as a backup for the two ssds
    -1
  • rantoc
    alidanthan i believe use a raid 5, i think thats it, raid the 2 ssds and get another hdd in there as a backup for the two ssds


    For a raid 5 at least 3 drives is needed. And the chipset integrated raid5 solutions don't have powerful checksum offloading either meaning its either slow or hogs the cpu. Sure raid 5 is awesome in its ways but it also has its drawbacks.
    3
  • billybobser
    Just raid 0 and actively backup important files yourself if you can't take the drawbacks of it.

    If something just created is really worth saving, save it twice. Else just a back up image per week.
    3
  • shqtth
    This should be compared with the Seagate Momentus XT, where's that?
    ..

    It should be !


    Also why use 5400rpm? why not 7200rpm? Or use the XT.


    To me, this product looks like its hurting. Overpriced.


    I tested a few of the XT's are they are quick. Pretty much constant 100+ data and super low latency on common tasks.
    0
  • Reynod
    Could you please look at a direct comparison with the Momentus XT please?

    I have one as well.

    From what I can see this is a bit better than the XT but it would be good to know Andrew.

    Cheers !
    0
  • nebun
    zybchYeah, like i want to use 'scary'RAID in my system. Screw that.

    download the correct drivers and set it up correctly and you will have no issues....i have been using raid 0 for over 5 years with no issues at all
    1
  • jacobdrj
    shqtthThis should be compared with the Seagate Momentus XT, where's that? ..It should be !Also why use 5400rpm? why not 7200rpm? Or use the XT.To me, this product looks like its hurting. Overpriced.I tested a few of the XT's are they are quick. Pretty much constant 100+ data and super low latency on common tasks.


    Heat, for one, reliability for another, vibration (on a PCIe slot, no less) yet another...
    -2
  • SIR-Blade
    For those that dismiss the "cache" scenario out of hand, i.e. could buy a 2TB HDD and a stand alone SSD, they miss the whole point. Caching takes the "work" out of deciding the data that you want in the SSD. The more you use the app/data, the more likely most of it will be in cache, and you only have to work with a single drive letter.

    The other scenario that You could use from OCZ, is do what I've done. Use their synapse drive as the cache, with a 5 *1TB RAID 1+0 on an Gigabyte X58 Mboard, i.e. no Z68 option available.
    So I get the security/speed of a RAID array, and quick load times for OS and my favourite games, when cached. (The synapse is via the SATA III channel.)
    For the ultimate, scenario, just add another 60GB SSD for those choice games/apps for those that absolutely positively had to be loaded ASAP.
    Simples.
    0
  • SIR-Blade
    The momentus is for a totally different target. It only has 4Gb NAND, so it would be like comparing apples with pears.
    1
  • jacobdrj
    SIR-BladeThe momentus is for a totally different target. It only has 4Gb NAND, so it would be like comparing apples with pears.

    Yes, and no...

    It is still a hybrid solution. At least we could see what the differences are, and therefore, we can decide which market we fall in: Either Momentus or Revo Hybrid...

    Personally, I think the Momentus would be on par, for most applications, with the RevoH if they would include closer to 24 GB of NAND, and therefore, this comparison would be much much closer...
    2
  • cyberkuberiah
    not confusing at all :)
    0
  • SIR-Blade
    But the SSD is PCIe based, whereas the Seagate is SATA II if memory serves me correctly. The point of the Revo drive is to beat the SATTA II and III bottle neck, and provide large HDD capacity as well.

    And then the big difference ... the size of the cache ... 4GB for the Seagate ... 100Gb for the Revo .. actually (114Gb .. 14% over provisioned)
    0
  • CaedenV
    This is going to be one of those fun "remember when" articles. Remember when people were so desperate for performance and space that they had to attempt this Frankenstein of a device?
    Truly I do not see the market for the device. It limits the capability of a truly fine SSD, with a slow laptop drive attached to it. You would get much better performance raiding a few SSDs in 0, 1, or 10, and putting your active project on that drive. If your drive was too large to fit on the SSD portion in the first place then you would see little to no benefit at all. Then, put a real HDD in as your cold storage device. Much less messy, little bit cheaper, and better/consistent performance. Not to mention all those extra writes that are supposedly going to destroy the SSD portion of this drive anyways.
    Like I said, a few years from now when we are completely on SSD we will really laugh at these devices.
    1
  • CaedenV
    *if your PROJECT is too big to fit on the ssd... doh!
    1
  • agnickolov
    Honestly, the price should be almost halved - ~$200 for the SSD part and ~$60 for the HDD part comes to $260 for the package, which is slightly more than half of $500. Certainly shouldn't exceed $300.

    Relating to the Seagate Momentus XT comments: I wish Seagate had released a sensible flash composition - 32GB flash for a 500GB or 1TB drive would have been perfect IMO. Such a drive would have had much better commercial success. With only 4GB, all I'm thinking is - why bother...
    1
  • wendellowen
    It would have been nice to have seen a couple of 1TB drives in Raid 0 in this shootout. I, along with a fairly large portion of my friends have been doing this for years. I should add that all of us have NAS boxes (they are super cheap now, even running in RAID 1) for valuable file/photos. Hell, I think youu can buy 4 1TB drives and a NAS box for less than a 240GB SSD.
    0