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Tuesday, 31 May 2011 14:44

OCZ's RevoDrive Hybrid breaks cover

Written by Slobodan Simic

SSD and HDD on single PCI-E card
Techreport.com had a chance to stop by OCZ and check out the previously announced RevoDrive Hybrid, a PCI-Express x4 card that combines SSD and HDD.

The new RevoDrive Hybrid has an SSD component that can use multiple Sandforce controllers in RAID 0 that will serve as cache for the HDD. OCZ didn't specifiy which HDD you need to use but according to the report over at Techreport.com, it appears that even with a 5,400 RPM drive the RevoDrive Hybrid works like a charm.

OCZ is using Nvelo Dataplex software in order to manage both read and write cache and will work with up to 120 GB of SSD storage. According to Nvelo, Dataplex software offers better pefromance when compared to Intel's recently announced Smart Response tech on Z68 Express chipset. The spec list states that OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid is capable of sustained read and write speeds of up to 575MB/s and 500MB/s, while the random 4KB write is set at 30,000 IOPS.

It appears that OCZ didn't finalize the specs as it still looking for a prefect combination, but early predicitions puts a base model with 500GB HDD and 60GB SSD, while the more expensive one should feature a 1TB HDD and a 120GB SSD. OCZ plans to put the RevoDrive Hybrid on the market as of July with prices at around US $350.

More here.


Last modified on Tuesday, 31 May 2011 15:46
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+24 #1 Exodite 2011-05-31 15:53
I get the cache idea, I really do, but considering that HDDs are basically free at this point why would I choose a 350$+ hybrid solution rather than simply buying a powerful 120GB SSD to begin with?

These solutions would make sense if they were more affordable, unfortunately they aren't.
+4 #2 Bignon 2011-05-31 16:33
I agree with Exodite furthermore how about access speeds for a data that isn't in the ssd cache? Booting windows and starting up other programs as fast as an 100% ssd? or at least close?
+7 #3 themassau 2011-05-31 16:39
why don't they make the hDD changeable so we can chose which HDD we put in it or just a pci-e card whit a raid controller and nand flash als a cache so we could do a raid array just after this super large cache
+4 #4 The blue fox 2011-05-31 18:39
Why waste your money on this when you can buy a SDD that costs less and has better performance.
Also Intel's smart response free as it's built in to the the motherboard chipset and will work with any HDD or SDD. It also wont take up a pci slot or 2.
+2 #5 techno 2011-05-31 20:24
Intel's smart response and this product from OCZ are almost there ...but not quite. There are pro and cons for this type of approach as opposed to just having the OS installed on an ssd.

On the plus side they enable a performance increase over HDD's, the user does not have to be concerned about having a separate drive or partition for their OS or have to get a very large ssd.
Also some may consider a HHD more reliable than an ssd to keep their OS on.

On the negative side as these are only caching approaches a proportion of the read operations will still be performed by the underlying HDD and performance will not be as fast as an ssd installed OS.......continued
+2 #6 techno 2011-05-31 20:25
There is however a third approach which has been partially done but has not yet been used with ssds to my knowledge.

A company called "Superspeed" make ramdisk software for using some of your system ram as a drive......they also make something caller "Super Volume" which is basically using RAM to mirror the entire OS of your system.
Basically all reads are then directed from RAM rather than from the HDD. (writes can either be write through to avoid risk at normal hdd speed or delayed write at full RAM speed)

Of course the this has major draw backs in that you have to have more RAM than the size of your OS instal and of course being volatile the contents of the Super Volume have to be rebuilt completely on every restart......continued
+2 #7 techno 2011-05-31 20:25
I see the best solution as being a combination of the of the Super Volume approach with SSD's instead of system RAM.

You would use the SSD as a Super Volume to the OS partition or drive.

It would have many advantages over the RAM Super Volume in that it would not be as expensive needing many GB of expensive RAM and a mobo to accommodate it. Also the Super Volume would be persistent not volatile. Delayed write could be more safely used as in the event of system crash the unwritten data would be retained on the ssd and so possibly recovered......continued
+2 #8 techno 2011-05-31 20:26
Compared to a straight SSD installation some would consider the Super Volume approach would be safer as your OS is still installed on the HDD.
Also you could use several small SSD's in raid0 as the Super Volume, this would give blistering fast performance but none of the risk of having your OS installed on a multidisk deathwish Raid0 array.

Compared to the Intel smart response and OCZ caching approach the advantage would be one of performance, you would still have to have your OS on a different partition unless your Super Volume was very large and it would be more expensive needing more SSD capacity....but hell that's the price of performance.
+2 #9 techno 2011-05-31 20:30
PS if any knows of a way to do this or if it has been done please inform me ;-)
+2 #10 crackerz 2011-05-31 20:49
So if you have the HDD fragmented you defrag the HDD but also the SSD? hmm doesn't sound very good.

Why don't they make an SSD in PCI-E and have dimm socket for DDR2 so you have a DDR2 buffer of up to 16GB, that would be a killer performance with more than 500k IOPS and 4k random read/write of 250+ mb/s!! (if you use a ramdrive in win you can get that performance ..but creating a ramdrive isn't bootable)

P.S. I know the battery issue but put a lithium polumer battery and you'll be fine for any power problem..in the end the DDR2 is only a buffer not a main storage thing.

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