RevoDrive Hybrid combines SSD, HDD on a single PCIe card

Computex β€” 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.

Comments closed
    • jimmy900623
    • 8 years ago

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    • uksnapper
    • 9 years ago

    “solid-state storage is also in the cardsΒ£” That has to be a Pun !

    • pogsnet
    • 9 years ago
    • DeadOfKnight
    • 9 years ago

    But it’s just so…UGLY!

    • yuhong
    • 9 years ago

    Anyone remember the old ISA hardcards?

      • Wrakkenruan
      • 9 years ago

      Yeah, I wanted to post about them and deja vu from work, but wasn’t able to log in from there for some reason…

      [url<]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hardcard[/url<] -Martin <><

    • shank15217
    • 9 years ago

    Why don’t they just make a revo drive with extra sata connectors and make it a high end sata/raid controller? Slapping on a hard disk to a pci slot device just seems like a short sighted idea.

    • ew
    • 9 years ago

    This is the kind of product I’ve been waiting for. But I wouldn’t ever want to buy the card and HDD as a bundle. Probably take a few generations before all the bugs are worked out too.

    • TechNut
    • 9 years ago

    If Seagate and SandForce had a love child, this would be the offspring…. No striking good looks here… I guess some babies really are ugly!!

    • indeego
    • 9 years ago

    Shouldn’t OCZ just get [url=http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/forum/showthread.php?81578-RevoDrive-IBIS-on-Asus-SB850-Based-Motherboards-Temporary-Fix<]the[/url<] [url=http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/forum/showthread.php?82539-Any-Corruption-issues-with-Revo-and-Ibis<]basics[/url<] [url=http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/forum/showthread.php?76129-Install-problems-to-Revo-drive-...read-this.<]of[/url<] [url=http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/forum/showthread.php?89208-Strange-RevoDrive-Behavior-Great-Benchmarks-Wonky-Performance<]PCIe[/url<] drives working?

      • 5150
      • 9 years ago

      Nah, early adopters blah blah blah.

      • DrDillyBar
      • 9 years ago

      I have a first gen Revo 120GB, and it works fine as long as you put it in a slot that actually delivers x4 bandwidth.

    • 5150
    • 9 years ago

    Oh good, now instead of relying on OCZ to protect a few hundered GB’s of data, I can ask them to hold a TB of data. What could go wrong?

    • Duck
    • 9 years ago

    Or, for less money, you just get a 120GB SSD for ya OS and ya games, etc… use a regular HDD of choice as a mass storage tank.

    This RevoDrive is only really good for people that write huge amounts and want high performance.

      • mutarasector
      • 9 years ago

      You mean like a home media server, or a security DVR recording, say, 4-8 camera video streams?

      I could see using one of the base models (60GB SSD/500GB HDD) as an OS/ DVR ‘buffer’ drive in a media server with a connected NAS.

        • Firestarter
        • 9 years ago

        But DVRs don’t need high random access performance at all, they just need lots of space and high sequential throughput. Why you’d use an SSD (or SSD chaching) for that, I don’t know.

        For a media server, you don’t need the high responsiveness of an SSD either, as it should either be running or sleeping, not booting/starting up programs.

          • mutarasector
          • 9 years ago

          re: “Why you’d use an SSD (or SSD chaching) for that, I don’t know.”

          For those who have systems under multitasking/multipurposed use. Let’s face it, some of us don’t always build dedicated purpose systems for every separate purpose, and are still old school, and actually do several things on one system. πŸ™‚

          Personally, I like the idea of a desktop system with an SSD drive for my system drive, w/a mounted 2.5″ drive (a Velociraptor?) for my user folders and temp files, w/a separate disk (or two in a mirrored config) in my microATX Aspire X-QPack case. A nice neat, small and powerful, all in one/self contained multipurpose box that will also contain a Ceton CableCard 6 HD tuner card that will be simultaneously recording/streaming video while web surfing, downloading, gaming, or doing bulk data transfers across a gigabit network.

            • Duck
            • 9 years ago

            That’s so 1990s.

            Decentralize, man! Come to the cloud! Free your data!

            • mutarasector
            • 9 years ago

            It’s not about ‘decentralizing’. It’s about _security_ and localized data storage/protection, and taking responsibility for it _yourself_.

            It may be ‘so 90’s’, but I’m a DIYer, and I don’t want to rely on the cloud. I’ve seen what ‘clouds’ are and how important things get lost/destroyed in them on 9/11. While we have it, LTE, 3G, 4g, WiMax is nice and all, but we’re waaaaay too dependent on our burgeoning infrastructure in an increasingly economically/politically unstable world that can go bye bye overnight.

            Think what happened to internet services during the ‘revolution’ in Egypt. Then think ‘Snake Plissken’ or Obama’s progressive power-grab for control over the internet with a kill switch for so called ‘national emergencies’.

            Only fools with their heads in ‘the cloud’ place blind trust in it….

            • Duck
            • 9 years ago

            You are putting all your computing eggs in one basket. Things are done differently these days.

            My emails are in the cloud but one NAS serves a few people in the household for storage, TV recording functionality, media streaming, etc, etc. Trying to do everything from my computer would make things way more difficult and be too restrictive for me.

            • mutarasector
            • 9 years ago

            No, I’m getting the most multifunctional use out of each system I use. The cloud is still ‘nebulous’, and means different things to different techno powermongers still vying for control over those who buy into it. I’m not entirely opposed to the cloud – it’s still just too much wild west territory AFAIC. I use it now, but I certainly limit my dependency on it. Whose cloud do I use, anyway? What about privacy concerns. My chief cyber threat is from my own government these days. Until these problems are resolved, I prefer the DIYer self-reliance paradigm thank you very much.

            When the next major grid blackout occurs, or an ACORN/SEIU sponsored riot kicks off, and you lose your internet for a few days, let me know how well the cloud works for you then, while I have most of my data/media stored in ever larger, less expensive drives in NAS setups, backed up, in my Faraday cage room, and backed up.

            • XaiaX
            • 8 years ago

            [quote<]or an ACORN/SEIU sponsored riot kicks off, [/quote<] LOL. Oh, you're one of [i<]those[/i<] people.

            • Firestarter
            • 9 years ago

            I’d buy a cheap dedicated high-def HDD DVR (pretty ubiquitous nowadays) and stop worrying about it. That way I can play games while the missus watches America’s Next Top Model (and pauses/skips commercials).

            I understand the nerdy glory of one device to rule them all, but some things are just better handled by dedicated hardware.

        • Duck
        • 9 years ago

        I would never put SSD+HDD in a htpc/dvr/media server if it had a connected NAS

          • mutarasector
          • 9 years ago

          Would you if you were also storing/playing playing games on it, or running Adobe CS, or Maya?

            • Duck
            • 9 years ago

            Nope.

    • cygnus1
    • 9 years ago

    I’d like to see some serious benchmarks and hopefully get Scott and/or Cyril’s honest opinion of how such a beast feels in use before trying out a hybrid like this. But if it performs as well as OCZ claims, I think the 1TB version could very quickly end up in my next system build.

      • dmjifn
      • 9 years ago

      I would also like to think that. Unless they continue to have the same apparent RMA level as their current SSDs – then I probably won’t pull the trigger.

        • cygnus1
        • 9 years ago

        Do we have more than anecdotal evidence of their high return rates? Or is it all based on the negative reviews at e-tailers? I’m honestly curious because I haven’t personally seen any articles with hard numbers and because I have to take a lot of the negative reviews with a grain of salt, as most everybody that posts those reviews seems to overstate their technical ability.

          • 5150
          • 9 years ago

          Just looking at their forums should speak volumes about the reputation they’re getting.

            • cygnus1
            • 9 years ago

            Does being unresponsive equate to high RMA rates?

      • Squeazle
      • 9 years ago

      Yeah, seeing what they’re like to live with is sort of important though. I’m wondering if there’s a mysteriously long boot-up or anything fun like that… should be interesting at least though.

    • bdwilcox
    • 9 years ago

    I wonder what the long term effect of drive vibration would have on the PCI-Express slot. Perhaps they would be better off just providing a SATA connector on the card.

      • Ngazi
      • 9 years ago

      The HDD is probably hefty as well.

      • crabjokeman
      • 9 years ago

      2.5″ drives have very low vibration, especially 5,400RPM drives. They’re also lighter than some large GPU coolers.

        • bcronce
        • 9 years ago

        just don’t yell at your HDs

        [url<]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDacjrSCeq4[/url<]

      • mutarasector
      • 9 years ago

      I doubt this would be a problem. I’ve seen this finally come full circle from a physically similar setup I used to use 25 years ago…. on an Amiga 2000.

      I had a combo 8MB ‘Fast’ RAM/SCSI HDD controller card (made by GVP), on a huge full length Zorro expansion card form factor for use in one of the Amiga’s ‘Zorro’ expansion slots. The card also had a honkin’ huge 3.5″ HH (half-height) Quantum SCSI HDD mounted on it like the card in this photo:

      [url<]http://www.amiga-hardware.com/display_photos/gvp2000hc8_3_sm.jpg[/url<] I Never had a problem with vibration affecting a Zorro slot, and those 3.5" drives had more drive vibration than today's drives. I have had drives on this card go bad from a HDD firmware ROM overheating being mounted on this card, and popping like popcorn however. πŸ™‚ I had contacted GVP, and told them of the problem and what I suspect it's cause was, but they insisted it shouldn't have been a problem. I actually drove down to their Paoli facility (which was about 45 minutes from where I used to live, and 15 minutes from Commodore's HQ), took my Amiga 2000 system to them and proved it was the problem by actually causing a HDD's firmware to pop right in front of their eyes. πŸ™‚ I fixed the problem by using some small hex stand-offs for the HDD mounted on the card.

        • wobbles-grogan
        • 9 years ago

        Aren’t you great? πŸ˜€

      • LauRoman
      • 9 years ago

      I don’t know man, humongously heavy dual or triple fanned graphics cards have been shaking pcs for a while now and i never heard of any big problems. Then again you could get cases that puts the pc on it’s side (and have the mobo be flat) or ones that put the business end of graphics card facing up.

    • wobbles-grogan
    • 9 years ago

    This looks much much more promising than a regular SSD.

    With this you get best of both worlds. Storage and speed at an almost doable price!

      • mutarasector
      • 9 years ago

      Agreed. These do look promising.

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