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Old 05-04-2009, 01:28 AM   #1
Rob Williams
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Default OCZ Launches PCI-E-based SSD, "Z-Drive"

From our front-page news:
In the past few months, whenever the term "PCI-E SSD" was mentioned, the company 'Fusion-io' usually came to mind first. They were the innovators where the technology was concerned, but it was only a matter of time before others followed suit, and so far, those companies have included OCZ and Super Talent, the latter of which we talked about a few weeks ago.

Both OCZ's and Super Talent's drives have their perks, but OCZ's Z-Drive easily wins any aesthetics awards (as you can see, it looks far better now than it did at CeBit). Compared to the Super Talent drive though, the Z-Drive falls a bit behind in performance. The 1TB model boasts Read speeds of 500MB/s and Write speeds of 470MB/s. This is compared to Super Talent's RAIDDrive's 1.2GB/s Read and 1.3GB/s Write.

We can assume that the pricing difference for both company's models is quite stark, and OCZ is catering more towards enthusiasts, whereas Super Talent is going after the professionals or server environment. One thing to note also is that not many PCI-E-based SSDs can currently act as boot devices, so if you're interested in one of these, you're best bet is to have a standard S-ATA SSD as your OS drive, and use this as a supplement. Just the thought of that is amazing...


OCZ will compete against the RAIDDrive with its own Z-Drive SSD using a PCI-E 2.0 x4 slot. It will feature a combined 256MB cache managed with an onboard RAID controller. Capacities of 250GB, 500GB, and 1TB will be offered. Maximum read and write speeds vary for each model in the series, although the maximum sustained write speed will be limited to 200 MB/s for all Z-Drives. Random read and write speeds were not made available.


Source: DailyTech
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Old 05-04-2009, 01:49 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Rob Williams View Post
One thing to note also is that not many PCI-E-based SSDs can currently act as boot devices, so if you're interested in one of these, you're best bet is to have a standard S-ATA SSD as your OS drive, and use this as a supplement.
I'd be interested to know if any actually do work this way. I'm not sure exactly how they would, unless its a custom system. AFAIK the BIOS would have to have special support otherwise I think it would start looking for a hard drive.
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Old 05-04-2009, 02:20 PM   #3
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I'd be interested to know if any actually do work this way. I'm not sure exactly how they would, unless its a custom system. AFAIK the BIOS would have to have special support otherwise I think it would start looking for a hard drive.
Yes, some of them are. It requires a drive controller chip that can be detected upon boot and recognized... some first generation PCIe SSD's like the FusionIO didn't have the hardware to be bootable, but they've supposedly rectified that. I do know OCZ's PCIe RAID SSD cards are bootable.
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:00 PM   #4
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Alright, I had no idea that the Z-Drive supported booting. I e-mailed OCZ but haven't received a response. That sounds amazing though... such speed on a bootable drive... that you can actually install all of your apps to! Too bad the cost-of-entry is a little (lot) high right now. Sure won't stop me from dreaming though.
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Old 05-06-2009, 12:49 AM   #5
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Don't get me wrong I dunno if this one is bootable, I just know OCZ's RAID SSD on a PCIe card is bootable. That one is detected just like a RAID controller, because that's what they actually used to RAID it.
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Old 05-06-2009, 01:41 PM   #6
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I'm confused. What's the difference between what you're speaking of and this Z-Drive? It's also a RAID SSD PCI-E card.
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Old 05-06-2009, 03:42 PM   #7
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Oh, actually I'm the one that got confused! I was referring to the original large box OCZ demonstrated at CeBit... I had no idea this was the finished product of that behemoth. I guess it just looks smaller because it's not plugged into a board..

So I guess this one is definitely bootable, I didn't notice it was also a RAID SSD solution.
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Old 05-07-2009, 05:09 PM   #8
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You're right, this one is indeed bootable. Hopefully this will be a huge hit for workstation users, so the prices can come down, hah.
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