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OCZ 50GB RevoDrive PCI-Express SSD Review


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Introduction


OCZ Technologies has been a major player in the SSD market since the early days of solid state drives. Recently they have changed their focus to make faster storage devices and from what we have seen it appears to be paying off. You will find a wide assortment of SSD's with a variety of different speeds and capacities not to mention pioneering advances in PCI-E Storage solutions for the enterprise customer and their proprietary HSDL interface, collectively this shows their dedication to storage technology and likely the future for the consumer.

The product we have in the labs today is the REVO 50GB bootable PCI-E drive. Using RAID 0 SSD drives with Sandforce controllers and their own Silicon image Raid chip sounds like a dream come true for performance enthusiasts. OCZ rates the Revo 50GB drive at 540 MB/s Read and 450 MB/s write speeds with a 4k Random Write of 70k IOPS.

Revo Drives feature MLC (Multi Level Cell) NAND technology and Sand Force 1222 controller which is already a proven combination. The card operates on the PCI-E generation 1 standard for better motherboard compatibility.  Bandwidth in this case will not be a limiting factor as the PCI-E bus has more than enough available.
The OCZ Revo is basically 2 Solid State Drives in RAID 0, all built into a single expansion card. A beautifully simple concept and execution makes you wonder why we haven't seen these in consumers' hands years ago.  To be fair OCZ's enterprise solutions have been out for a while but their cost more than an enthusiast would likely spend.

By utilizing the PCI-E lanes the Revo family of drives eliminates the bottlenecks you would encounter with traditional SATA 3GBs or 6GBs interfaces. The card installs into a x4 slot but should work in any lane above x4 size. The speed afforded by a PCI-E x4 is more than enough for a super fast storage device like the Revo Drive 50GB.

In the following pages we will take you on a tour of the drive and subject it to our test suite and see if it lives up to it's specifications, the hype and our expectations.
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