When we review the RevoDrive X2 last year, the question of ‘what kind of speed would a bunch of Vertex 2 SSDs produce’ was answered. Now, with the OCZ RevoDrive 3, we get to see what a pair of Vertex 3 SSDs would look like.
The RevoDrive 3, like its predecessors, combines the power of multiple Vertex SSDs into one PCI Express card to produce extremely fast storage. In this case, a pair of Vertex 3 120GB SSDs provide the storage and speed. Also available is the RevoDrive 3 X2 which doubles the drive count to four (and looks much more like the RevoDrive X2).
- Read: 1000MB/s
- Write: 900MB/s
- 4K Random write (aligned): 130,000 IOPS
- Interface: PCI Express 2.0 x4
- Internal RAID 0
- Power: 7.5W idle, 8.3W active
- MTBF: 1,000,000 hours
- 3 year warranty
While the RevoDrive series doesn’t support TRIM (RAID controllers are incapable of passing the commands through to array member drives), this isn’t really an issue. The SandForce 2281 controllers present on each Vertex 3 are capable of garbage collection.
Should the RevoDrive 3 be used as a boot drive, you’ll need either the driver DVD that comes with the SSD or a USB key containing the driver when installing Windows.
Performance was measured on our Intel-based benchmark system, the specs of which are as follows:
|Intel Core i7 2600K
|16GB (4x4GB) G-Skill DDR3-1600
|AMD Radeon HD 6950 2GB
|OCZ RevoDrive 3 240GB
OCZ RevoDrive 2 X2 100GB
OCZ Vertex 3 240GB
OCZ Vertex 2 120GB
Atto represents the best possible scenario for an SSD. The data is very compressible and the reads and writes are sequential. The RevoDrive 3 performs quite well here, starting out with similar performance to the other drives in 8K and below, then rapidly increasing its lead as data sets get larger.
CrystalDiskMark presents a worst case scenario for SSDs. The data is not compressible, causing the SandForce 2281 controllers to work much harder, and read/write speeds suffer greatly. The read speeds of the RevoDrive 3 are slower than the RevoDrive X2, and to a certain extent it makes a bit of sense; since the data is spread out over twice the drives on the RevoDrive X2 read speeds in some cases could be faster despite superior (but fewer) drives on the RevoDrive 3. Write speeds heavily favor the RevoDrive 3 and Vertex 3.
Similar to CDM, AS-SSD presents a rough situation for SSDs. And similar to the CDM results, read operations favor the larger number of SSDs in the RevoDrive X2 and write operations favor the Vertex 3 and RevoDrive 3.
PCMark Vantage sits somewhere between a synthetic benchmark and real-world scenario. The applications used for testing are real products, but the test itself is very controlled. The RevoDrive 3 holds the top spot in five of the eight test cases, comes in a very close second in two, and scores unusually low in one.
Measuring Windows boot time begins when the benchmark install of Windows is selected from the EasyBCD-produced bootloader. Time is stopped when full control of the system is passed to the user (the “busy” mouse icon changes to the normal icon). Crysis load times are started as soon as a saved game is selected. Time stops when the ready message is displayed.
The RevoDrive 3’s boot times are significantly faster than either SATA-based SSD, and are identical to the RevoDrive X2.
When storage is this fast, something else becomes the bottleneck. Quite honestly, it’s a problem I’m willing to live with.
File transfers are definitely one of the places where the RevoDrive 3 shines. The file set is transfered between a RAMDrive and SSD, showing the maximum potential transfer speed. As you can see, the RevoDrive 3 is easily twice as fast as its closest competition, in this case the RevoDrive X2.
The OCZ RevoDrive 3 is an exceptionally fast piece of hardware. That speed comes with a price tag to match, but it does make sense. A single Vertex 3 120GB SSD currently sells for $189. The RevoDrive 3 contains two of them, plus an additional PCB for the PCI Express card, plus the RAID controller. It’s also targeted more toward workstations and enthusiasts—segments slightly less sensitive to price than the every day average consumer.
If your wallet can absorb the cost, and you have an available PCI Express slot, the RevoDrive 3 makes a phenomenal system drive that will deliver massive performance boosts across all your PC tasks, from booting Windows to gaming. It’s a no-brainer to award the OCZ RevoDrive 3 the Icrontic Stamp of Approval for a product that we heartily recommend.