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OCZ Launches PCIe-Based HDD/SDD Hybrid Drive

Wednesday OCZ Technology announced the shipment of its RevoDrive Hybrid, a unique PCI Express-based storage solution that combines SSD and hard disk drive (HDD) technologies on one add-on card.

By bypassing the SATA bottleneck, OCZ's RevoDrive Hybrid promises transfer speeds up to 910 MB/s and up to 120,000 IOPS (4K random write). The SSD aspect reportedly uses a SandForce SF-2281 controller and the hard drive platters spin at 5,400rpm. On a whole, the hybrid drive makes good use of the company's proprietary Virtualized Controller Architecture.

But because the PCIe drive partially relies on old-school HDD technology, the overall product only has a mean time between failures (MTBF) of 600,000 hours – a third of the typical MTBF for SSDs. That said, the shortened lifespan is a tradeoff for the zippy speed across the PCIe bus, as even the PCIe-based RevoDrive X2 SDD only manages up to 740 MB/s reads and up to 720 MB/s writes, depending on the capacity.

Wednesday OCZ also said that the RevoDrive Hybrid comes bundled with Dataplex caching software which dynamically manages the use of the 100 GB SSD with the 2.5-inch 1TB HDD for "superior overall storage performance." This means the most frequently used "hot" data will stay on the SSD whereas the "cold" data will remain on the larger capacity HDD.

"Advanced caching algorithms learn user behavior and adapt storage policies to ensure optimal performance for each individual user, maximizing productivity for the most demanded programs and applications," the company explained in a press release.

"The RevoDrive Hybrid leverages the best attributes of both solid state drives and traditional hard drive technology to deliver dynamic data-tiering on a single easy to deploy PCIe storage drive," said Ryan Petersen, CEO of OCZ Technology Group. "Leveraging Dataplex software to efficiently manage frequently accessed data delivers superior performance and capacity, making the RevoDrive Hybrid the ideal solution for high performance computing and media content creation."

OCZ's 1 TB RevoDrive Hybrid comes backed by a three-year warranty and will be available worldwide for an MSRP of $499.99.