RevoDrive Hybrid combines SSD, HDD on a single PCIe card

Computex — With OCZ now out of the memory business, we weren't surprised to see the company's Computex showcase dominated by solid-state drives. However, we didn't expect to see a mechanical hard drive included in the mix. The 2.5" drive isn't made by OCZ, but it does ride shotgun on a new PCI Express x4 card dubbed the RevoDrive Hybrid.

As its name implies, the new RevoDrive employs a hybrid configuration that mixes mechanical and solid-state storage. The SSD component, which can use multiple SandForce controllers arranged in a RAID 0 array, serves as a cache for the RevoDrive's HDD. OCZ hasn't settled on which hard drive to use, but it's looking at both 5,400- and 7,200-RPM models. Apparently, the caching scheme is so effective that a 5,400-RPM drive can be used without sacrificing much performance.

To manage the Hybrid's cache, OCZ has tapped Dataplex software from Nvelo. The system is capable of caching both reads and writes, and it'll work with up to 120GB of solid-state storage. Interestingly, Nvelo claims that Dataplex offers better performance, at least in PCMark Vantage, than the Smart Response caching scheme available with Intel's Z68 Express chipset. The RevoDrive Hybrid's spec sheet lists sustained read and write speeds of 575 and 500MB/s, respectively, and a random 4KB write rate of 30,000 IOps.

Although final configurations have yet to be set, OCZ tells us to expect a base model that combines a 500GB hard drive with a 60GB SSD. A second model with a 1TB hard drive and 120GB of solid-state storage is also in the cards. The RevoDrive Hybrid is due to arrive in July with prices starting at around $350.

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