OCZ RevoDrive 3 x2 480GB PCIe SSD Review - Seriously Fast Storage
Back in June of last year, OCZ released the RevoDrive, followed up rather quickly by the RevoDrive x2. Both models represented a new way of economically bundling multiple SSD controllers behind an integrated RAID solution. This broke the mold for storage, as the vast majority of end users were stuck with the common 2.5" form factor SATA SSD (as well as trying to figure out where to put one inside their desktop case full of 3.5" drive bays). Since all desktops had PCIe slots, the Revo concept just seemed to make sense.
Now on the 1-year mark since the original Revo, we have the RevoDrive 3. OCZ has opted to skip the staggering of releases and is also releasing the 4-channel version, the RevoDrive 3 x2. Today we will be looking at the latter, in 480GB form factor. Here's a look at the new silicon:
The last generation RevoDrives used a rather simple SiliconImage RAID-0 solution, which scaled rather nicely at greater queue depths, something not accomplished by prior integrated SSD RAID solutions. The RevoDrive 3 takes this to new heights with VCA 2.0 (Virtualized Controller Architecture):
OCZ SuperScale™ storage controller enables infinitely scalable performance. VCA 2.0™ in OCZ enterprise PCIe devices supports the creation of a virtual pool of logical units (LUNs) and features best-in-class configurable performance aggregation.
VCA technology can interpret and execute both SCSI and ATA commands across any physical interface and utilize any available internal interface to facilitate communication across multiple elements of the overall drive architecture. Current OCZ hardware implementations support SCSI commands over PCIe (Z-Drive) and Serial (Talos). This storage virtualization currently allows SCSI commands to be sent through PCIe or SAS physical interfaces to an internal virtualized array of NAND devices.
In essence, the new VCA controller acts like a supercharged traffic cop. It's able to intelligently handle multiple IO requests from the host (PC) side, and arrange them, on-the-fly, in the best possible order to be passed onto the SSD controllers. This minimizes the possibility of lag introduced by any single controller from negatively impacting the IO performance of the Revo as a whole.
VCA 2.0 is the only virtualization layer in the industry with TRIM and SCSI Unmap Support to enhance sustained performance by significantly reducing the overhead associated with garbage collection. Consolidated SMART support provides system administrators with advanced features for monitoring analyzing and reporting device attributes. User-selectable data recovery and non-stop modes allows for unprecedented data protection.
Unlike other flash virtualization layers, OCZ VCA 2.0 supports complete power fail protection. OCZ enterprise PCIe devices store all metadata in nonvolatile memory while power fail protection completes all in-progress transactions in the event of an unexpected system power loss.