The folks at PC Perspective have gotten their hands on one of OCZ's new PCIe-based Revo solid-state drives, putting it to the test against a collection of SSDs and a couple of comparable add-in cards. For those who missed our Computex coverage of the drive, the Revo uses a Silicon Image RAID controller to combine multiple SSDs on a single card. The SSDs use SandForce's SF-1200 SSD controllers coupled with flash memory from Intel.
Interestingly, it appears that OCZ has lowered the Revo's price substantially since it debuted at Computex. We were originally told that 120GB flavors would cost $450, but PC Perspective quotes a suggested retail price of $360 for the 120GB model and $640 for the 240GB. The Revo is expected to be available at Newegg next weekend.
So, how does it perform? Quite well, all things considered. The Revo isn't as fast as ultra-high-end PCIe solid-state drives from the likes of Fusion-io, but then it's not nearly as expensive. And unlike Fusion-io's drives, the Revo is bootable, making a viable option for folks looking to add a fast OS and applications drive to their desktop PC. The Revo also offers much faster read performance than traditional SSDs, hitting a sustained read rate of close to 500MB/s in HD Tune.
OCZ's aggressive pricing results in a cost per gigabyte that's comparable to traditional solid-state drives, making the Revo an intriguing alternative to a single SSD or even multi-drive arrays. However, as with all SSD RAID implementations, you'll have to give up TRIM support. That might be a small price to pay given the potential payoff in read performance, especially for an OS and apps drive that reads much more than it writes.