Taking hybrid storage to the next level.
I recently reviewed the OCZ RevoDrive 3 PCI-Express based SSD that destroyed our benchmarks with its incredible data transfer speeds. Today I’ll be looking at its brother from another mother, the RevoDrive Hybrid.
The RevoDrive Hybrid on principle employs the same technology as the Seagate Momentus XT which was reviewed earlier last month. You basically have a traditional hard drive that benefits from a large SSD based NAND Flash to cache data, thereby giving you faster access times and overall performance.
Of course, this performance benefit is only seen in regularly used programs, as that’s the data which will be stored on the SSD. So Windows, Office applications and games will open up with near SSD speeds, but any new program will run just as it will on a regular hard drive for the first time. It all depends on the controller at the end of the day.
So for the OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid we have the same basic internals as the RevoDrive 3. There are sixteen 8GB NAND chips that give a total of 120GB SSD space which act as cache for a 1TB Toshiba 2.5-inch HDD running at 5,400RPM. The I/O operations are controlled using the industry leading SandForce 2281 chip, all the data on this hybrid is accessed via a SAS 6Gbps to PCIe 2.0 x4 bridge that provides full 2Gbps bandwidth. Obviously OCZ’s SuperScale storage accelerator with the new Virtualized Controller Architecture 2.0 (VCA 2.0) carries over here as well.
As with the RevoDrive 3, in order for the RevoDrive Hybrid to work, you’ll need to download the drivers from OCZ’s website, without which the drive won’t run on Windows 7, nor will you be able to install Windows 7 on it.
Ideally you’ll be using the RevoDrive Hybrid as a bootable drive, because after installing Windows 7, you’ll need to download the Dataplex software from OCZ’s website as well. Dataplex, however, can only be downloaded once you enter the CDkey that comes on the RevoDrive Hybrid. Basically Dataplex will enable you to use the 120GB of onboard SSD space as cache for the 1TB HDD. Technically you only have 93GB of SSD and 931GB of the HDD as useable space.