OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid 1TB PCI-E SSD Review
In a perfect world we would all be able to afford 480GB monster SSDs like the RevoDrive 3 x2 but until prices come down by a fair amount, standard hard drives continue to outsell solid state drives by a wide margin. Concern over limited capacity has also justified many people’s steadfast adherence to HDDs but there are solutions out there which offer the best of both worlds. For starters, Intel’s new Z68 chipset allows for the installation of an SSD alongside a traditional hard drive for drastically improved boot times through information caching. OCZ’s all new RevoDrive Hybrid takes this idea to the next level by localizing the caching and storage systems on a single device.
Before we continue, let’s be clear: the RevoDrive Hybrid isn’t meant to compete against the standard RevoDrives or even the Vertex 3s of this world. Rather, it aims to offer capacity and performance without having to mess around with finicky software.
Much like competing hybrid HDD / SSD setups, the OCZ Revo Hybrid uses advanced real time algorithms to decide which data will be stored on the hard drive and what will be localized on the solid state portion. Unlike other hybrid setups such as the Seagate Momentus XT, the OCZ solution doesn’t use a small capacity, easily overwhelmed cache which can only boost a limited number of applications. Rather, it combines a 100GB RevoDrive 3 with a standard 5400rpm 1TB 2.5” hard drive. With such a large amount of ultra fast NAND to work with, this drive will be able to boost the performance of even more of your applications and games before resorting to the attached hard drive.
Making the RevoDrive Hybrid even more attractive to consumers, its PCI-E design eliminates your motherboard’s SATA controller from the performance equation. As long as a motherboard has a Gen 2 PCI-E x4 slot it will be able to access all 910MB/s worth of performance this device has to offer. Unfortunately, all this power and storage capacity does come with an equally large asking price of $470.
From an architectural standpoint the RevoDrive Hybrid shares more in common with a RevoDrive 3 x2 than it does with the standard RevoDrive 3. It consists of a main PCB which houses 120GB worth of NAND ICs, a pair of SF2281’s controllers –each is responsible for 60GB worth of NAND– , the SuperScale processor and one SAS to PCIE x4 gen 2 bridge chip. The only real difference is the daughter card which houses the 1TB hard drive.
The hard drive OCZ has opted for is the Toshiba MK-1059GSM (aka Toshiba HDD2K11 seen in our 2.5” hard drive charts). This 1TB, enterprise class (12.5mm) 2.5” hard drive is attached to the board via a standard SATA data and power ports. It is certainly not the fastest 2.5” hard drive on the market but it should get the job done.
Unfortunately, it is NOT possible to upgrade the Hybrid’s HDD as it is specifically keyed to the firmware system.
While there is enough space for 32 NAND ICs, the RevoDrive hybrid only utilizes 16 NAND ICs. These 16 NAND chips are OCZ branded M25010164T048AX21 ICs and are the same Asynchronous ONFi 1.0 NAND IC’s found in an Agility 3 120GB.