OCZ RevoDrive X2 100GB PCI Express Hard Drive Reviewajmatson -
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Just as with its little brother, the RevoDrive X2 is a PCI Express based drive that connects directly into an available x4 PCI Express port. This design allows the drive to eliminate the SATA II bottleneck of 3.0Gbps, giving the RevoDrive X2 the ability to reach top sequential speeds of 740MB/s and random small file writes of up to 120,000 IOPS. The RevoDrive X2 uses a unique onboard RAID-0 setup that offers a performance boot in a single drive configuration with the main and daughter board connecting to each other. The RevoDrive X2 comes in capacities from 100GB to a massive 960GB and all are supported with a three year warranty from OCZ to give you piece of mind when using your hardware. In addition, the drive is not only fast, but is bootable as well so there is no need for an additional boot drive to access the data on the RevoDrive X2.
Each bank of drives has its own SandForce SF-1222 controller chip. The NAND flash used for the drives are Intel model #29F32G08AAMD. The NAND is a 4GB chip that offers a total space of 128GB, minus the necessary amount set aside for the wear leveling and DureWrite technology through the controller. There are four total drives on this card, two directly attached and two on the daughter card. This setup gives you the ability to run all four in a RAID-0 setup for faster speeds or a combination of RAID-0, RAID-1, and RAID-5. Toward the front bracket, there are a series of activity LEDs that show the connection and activity of each drive bank. As I mentioned above, like its little brother, the RevoDrive X2 uses a PCI Express x4 interface for the faster transfers. This is connected to a bridge chip that turns the PCI data into data the RAID controller can read, which then passes to the drives.
With the daughter card removed, you can see how identical it is to the lower portion of the main card. The daughter card is secured on the main board using four screws and the connector itself. The board only adds a bit of height to the main card while maintaining the single slot profile for space. The daughter card itself is the same length and width as the drive portion of the main card, so it will fit snug and not hang over the main card.
To show the difference in the original RevoDrive and the RevoDrive X2, I took a couple of side-by-side shots of the two together. The bottom card is the original RevoDrive card and the top is the RevoDrive X2. As you can see, the physical dimensions are the same with the exception of a little bit of extra thickness on the RevoDrive X2 for the daughter card expansion.
Now that we have seen the RevoDrive X2 up close, let's pop her in and get on to the testing.