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OCZ Z-Drive R4 1.6TB PCIe 2.0 x8 SSD Full Review - 8 SF-2200's Can't Be Wrong!

Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: OCZ Technology
Tagged: z-drive, ssd, r4, pcie, pci-e, ocz

Internals, Testing Methodology and System Setup

Internals:

Here's the full OCZ PCIe lineup: RevoDrive, RevoDrive x2, RevoDrive 3 x2, and finally, the Z-Drive R4:

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Let's take a closer look at this beast:

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The OCZ SuperScale VCA 2.0 processor is hiding under a heatsink at the far left. Just above that we see some PCB space reserved for a bank of capacitors (differentiating the pictured 'C' model from its higher-end brother). A daughter board holds 4x SF-2200 controllers and 800GB (!) of Intel 25nm MLC flash memory, obscuring a duplicate bank of 4 more SF-2200's and another 800GB of flash.

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Separating the PCB's, we can see an onobscured view of what is in essence 8 200GB SF-2200 SSD's.

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A shot of the rear shows even more flash memory. Total flash chip count: 128! Don't be fooled - each SF is only connected to 16x 16GB flash chips - the chips had to be arranged into single rows of 8 for each controller (we're used to seeing a 4x2 arrangement on prior cards). This was necessary to cram 8 SSD's onto this single solution.

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Removing the heatsink, we can see the OCZ SuperScale processor. This is where the VCA 2.0 goodness happens.

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That's just a lot of flash, any way you slice it!

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...and here's the playing field for today. We'll compare the new Z-Drive against it's prior iterations, as well as throwing a full round of FusionIO ioDrive's into the mix - the ioDrive 160GB SLC and ioXtreme 80GB models.

Testing Methodology

Our tests are a good mix of synthetic and real-world benchmarks. PCMark, IOMeter, HDTach, HDTune, Yapt and our custom File Copy test round out the selection to cover just about all bases. If you have any questions about our tests just drop into the Storage Forum and we'll help you out!

Test System Setup

We're breaking in a new SandyBridge testbed. Necessary for properly testing these new drives, even with the known issues. We're now using a revised version of this chipset that has solved the compatibility and performance issues.

PC Perspective would like to thank ASUS, Corsair, and Kingston for supplying some of the components of our test rig. 

Hard Drive Test System Setup
CPU Intel Core i5-2500K
Motherboard Asus P8P67 Deluxe
Memory Kingston HyperX 4GB DDR3-2133 CL9
Hard Drive G.Skill 32GB SLC SSD
Sound Card N/A
Video Card BFG Geforce 8400 GS 512MB PCI
Video Drivers Geforce 181.22
Power Supply Corsair CMPSU-650TX
DirectX Version DX9.0c
Operating System Windows 7 X64

 

  • PCMark05
  • Yapt
  • IOMeter
  • HDTach
  • HDTune
  • PCPer File Copy Test

 

October 2, 2011 | 08:49 PM - Posted by Chris Stevenson (not verified)

This drive is so fast, that it can actually change the way programmers approach problems. With a disk speed a sizable fraction of RAM, I/O stops being a bottleneck. The big users of this will probably be High Performance clusters, where 4 CPU servers (each with 8+ cores) exist. The benefit of This incredibly fast storage will do wonders for these systems.

I'm kinda guessing that CPUs will be the bottleneck for the server crowd, and tthis'll push CPU development that much further. (Hey, I can hope!)

October 12, 2011 | 08:34 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I really hope developers won't stop optimizing their code. Data access can't ever be fast enough. Wherever you're running huge databases with tons of users, you'll be happy for every single timesaving tick.

October 20, 2011 | 08:57 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I think the biggest bottleneck for the foreseeable future is still network transfer speeds, which also puts a serious onus on programmers to optimize code as far as disk reads/writes, optimizing disk reads/writes to fill out TCP packets as much as possible and not have extraneous information sent over networks is still going to be the key to successful communication with servers. At least until new standards for network communication actually come into play.

October 7, 2011 | 05:30 AM - Posted by Sam (not verified)

Thank you for your effort on making this review , But I seriously don't see the point , Did you really think we ( the readers ) can afford such thing ? the item you reviewed is listed at 11,200$ , with this kind of money ill have all the high end pcs for the next minimum 15 years ! Minus this SSD.

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