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Old 03-04-2012, 11:43 PM   #1
Rob Williams
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Default OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid PCIe Hybrid SSD Review

SSDs are expensive and often don't offer enough capacity to meet user needs. The recent SSD caching craze attempts to alleviate both these issues, but OCZ has done one better. Combining a RevoDrive 3 with a 1TB HDD the RevoDrive Hybrid offers a self-contained SSD caching solution that is guaranteed to work.

Read through Robert's in-depth look at OCZ's RevoDrive Hybrid and then discuss it here!
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Old 03-05-2012, 02:42 PM   #2
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eh..... I don't know about large SSDs. IMO they seem like a waste, I mean a 64gb is fine and even with the hibernation enabled I have plenty of space, until I install adobe CS or games (however as a p67 board with pll OV enabled hibernate/sleep is useless) TBH What I would do is keep a smaller drive as OS then IF I wanted to increase game load speed/adobe CS load speed get a second one. Reason being, unless your constantly backing up your files (to a standard HDD I guess) what happens when you have 2 large raid 0 SSDs and the OS fails and they are the OS drives. Seems like a lot of risk of losing data to me.

Another reason is, how fast do we really need apps to load? I mean all of the adobe apps load within seconds the 1st time and faster than that after they are closed and reopened. My games load pretty fast too, I mean at least it seems that way.
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Old 03-05-2012, 03:36 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkStarr View Post
eh..... I don't know about large SSDs. IMO they seem like a waste, I mean a 64gb is fine and even with the hibernation enabled I have plenty of space, until I install adobe CS or games (however as a p67 board with pll OV enabled hibernate/sleep is useless) TBH What I would do is keep a smaller drive as OS then IF I wanted to increase game load speed/adobe CS load speed get a second one. Reason being, unless your constantly backing up your files (to a standard HDD I guess) what happens when you have 2 large raid 0 SSDs and the OS fails and they are the OS drives. Seems like a lot of risk of losing data to me.

Another reason is, how fast do we really need apps to load? I mean all of the adobe apps load within seconds the 1st time and faster than that after they are closed and reopened. My games load pretty fast too, I mean at least it seems that way.
The issue is most people I've talked with or heard about, 64GB is not enough for Windows 7 + all their programs and games. In many cases it's not even enough for just their games! Even without factoring in my Steam library, just my OS and programs alone exceed the capacity of a 64GB drive. Add to that my VMware virtual machines and my personal space requirements exceeds 128GB without a single Steam game factored in.

As for Steam games... sure I could delete them to keep my hard drive usage lower, but then I'd have to wait 4-6 hours just to download many of them when I wanted to play them once more. Not to mention most people in the world are living under data caps, and frequently downloading games will go over their limits. There are at least 3-4 games in my library alone that are 10GB or larger in size! If I truly combined everything (except media) onto one drive, my needs would exceed even the capacity of a 240GB SSD. And my game collection is quite small compared to other people I know!

Also, the Hybrid's two SSDs are not RAID'd together. Should one fail the other will continue to work, although there still may be some data loss. The original data should still be present on the hard drive though, because again any data in the SSD is just cache.

This is the day and age of on-demand services. People are conditioned to expect instant gratification, or instant service, and that especially goes for their technology they regularly use. I'll be honest and say that I simply get irritated trying to use a computer without an SSD because it's so slow. If I'm trying to fix someone's computer I frequently have to stop and sit there idle while the PC tries to catch up with me, and for a PC that's just absurd really. Take the slow storage out of the equation and no system has trouble keeping up with whatever litany of tasks I might be giving it to do.
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Old 03-07-2012, 10:21 AM   #4
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Well, I mean if you want high capacity the "smarter" way is to get 2 decent size SSDs and raid them together. My point however is still the same, I have Steam and all my games on my 1tb drive. That's all I am saying is that I don't see a real need of having games on a SSD but on top of that I just mean for power failures in general large SSDs seem like a bad idea because of possible corruption and data loss. I understand about the games but I have mine on a separate drive and they use ~47Gb No real reason to have them on a OS drive if you could purchase a smallish VERY fast SSD for the OS and a larger but not quite as fast drive for the games/large programs if you really felt like the speed helped (I TBH think my stuff loads plenty fast so why fix something that isn't broken)

Like I said apps on a second drive works great I am probably going to put the adobe stuff on the 2nd drive to keep it persistent so I can stop copying plugins around repeatedly. I realize the hybrid doesn't use raid but most people thinking high capacity SSD go with dual 128gb or dual 256gb in raid to unify space and increase speed.

Last but not least, any system is snappy no matter the storage unless it has too little of something else, too little ram means tons of extra swapping slowing it all down, slow/old processor slows it all down too. I have a system that was a 955BE and 4gb of ram with a 7200rpm 500gb HDD and its no slouch. The system seems to perform just fine without an SSD. Before that I had it hooked up to an old laptop drive and it was fine for the most part but a little slow when multiple thing were hitting the drive (The drive was acquired as a working but damaged pull and IIRC 5400 rpm as is typical of laptop OEM drives) Even on that drive it ran fine with no waiting for it to "catch up" just a bit of lag doing lots of HDD things. (basically took an extra couple seconds but I bet if I swapped this 100% working drive that's 5400rpm as well it would perform better, I was using the other due to not having more sata drives and I am not buying any due to the insane pricing)

I however agree, I never said 64gb TOTAL was enough BUT 64gb is enough for windows and all of my apps (not including games however). If I wanted to put all my stuff on SSD I would need a SSD larger than 1.5Tb I also don't have my music, docs, videos or pictures on the SSD, why bother for stuff that sees no improvement and takes almost the entire SSD anyways (50gb between no movies most of my music and everything else) Like I said what really needs that SSD speed? the OS and your main programs, most larger programs either get cached into memory or don't see (real) improvements with SSDs. Load time may be reduced but who cares if it goes from taking 10 seconds to taking 8 seconds. With games it IMO is hardly worth it for the 2-4 seconds, I don't know about anyone else but dropping $200 on a drive just to speed up game loads by 2-4 second seems just a really bad way to spend money. I mean video drivers can make WAY more difference than that.

Anyways my point is it seems that large SSDs in a raid are just begging for data loss/corruption the hybrid seems like a better option in this case but it all depends on how capable it is of telling you of an impending death of the drive. My feeling on it is whatever is on your SSD shouldn't be the only copy you have and it shouldn't be used for everything as your only form of storage since unlike normal drives you have no so called "warning sounds" before the drive goes so with something as complex as the hybrid whats to say it can accurately report the status of the drives components? I would be less worried about an SSD failure as I would be of some other required part on the drive failing. I mean just look at the last page:

Quote:
During testing after an otherwise normal, standard reboot, we were promptly greeted with a warning screen and a data synchronization and integrity check between the mechanical drive and the cache SSD. After a brief nine seconds, this check failed and the device became unbootable. Although a simple reinstall resolved the problem
I assume by reinstall that means windows maybe clarification if I am wrong but TBH I don't like reinstalling windows (any OS for that matter) and that would be quite annoying. If by reinstall the article meant remove the drive and plug it back in, not nearly as big of a deal but when your trying to sell to everyone (so much so you have a step by step video) that can be a huge problem for people who want something they can set up close the PC and forget it.
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Old 03-11-2012, 08:54 AM   #5
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Quote:
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Well, I mean if you want high capacity the "smarter" way is to get 2 decent size SSDs and raid them together.
That's the exact reason for this product though... in the situation you describe, just HALF of the capacity (two 240GB SSDs) would still more than double the final cost versus the 1TB Hybrid. There are also issues with RAIDing SSDs together... lack of TRIM, and the data risk involved if one should fail in RAID 0 which ya mention yourself!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkStarr View Post
Like I said what really needs that SSD speed? the OS and your main programs, most larger programs either get cached into memory or don't see (real) improvements with SSDs. Load time may be reduced but who cares if it goes from taking 10 seconds to taking 8 seconds. With games it IMO is hardly worth it for the 2-4 seconds, I don't know about anyone else but dropping $200 on a drive just to speed up game loads by 2-4 second seems just a really bad way to spend money. I mean video drivers can make WAY more difference than that.
Well, we're gonna have to agree to disagree on the need for an SSD! I would still like to make some comments here, though! A program still has to be read from the disk before it can be cached, which is where the largest gains can be had. Even then, not all data is cached in memory by the OS, nor is it kept in cache once another program evicts it. Even for a game that was loaded twice, every level or map load would still not be cached. Or, even if Photoshop was loaded twice (so it was in cache), any data files you opened would not be in the cache. SSDs just make working with multiple multi-MB photos and files much, much smoother. File transfers, data imports, and things of that nature aren't cached by the OS either.

Also, for games we're not just talking about how long it takes to load a game and get to the menu. We're talking about map & level load times. Each time the game breaks to load more of a level, or changes to load a new map, an SSD can cut a large chunk out of those times. For any immersive game it becomes really noticeable. Portal or Half life are just a few examples for me personally.

I would fully agree in that games are not the best reason for buying an SSD though, they never are. Cutting system boot times from 1:20 to just 0:20 is one reason, and having regular programs launch within two seconds instead of anywhere from 6-12 is another.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkStarr View Post
Anyways my point is it seems that large SSDs in a raid are just begging for data loss/corruption the hybrid seems like a better option in this case but it all depends on how capable it is of telling you of an impending death of the drive. My feeling on it is whatever is on your SSD shouldn't be the only copy you have and it shouldn't be used for everything as your only form of storage since unlike normal drives you have no so called "warning sounds" before the drive goes so with something as complex as the hybrid whats to say it can accurately report the status of the drives components? I would be less worried about an SSD failure as I would be of some other required part on the drive failing. I mean just look at the last page
Yes, any RAID 0 array will eventually fail. It's just a question of when and why. Regarding SSD failures, the fact is SSD's are terrible about warning for impending failure. So combining RAID 0 and SSDs is just a bad idea, in my frank opinion.

Almost all SSD failures are abrupt and give zero warning. They are also typically the result of a controller problem, or a manufacturing problem, or a firmware bug. Basically not actually due to the NAND wearing out, which is something Intel and SandForce controllers can monitor in real time. If the NAND had worn out the SSD would simply become a read-only device and the original data would still be intact.
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Old 03-13-2012, 02:53 PM   #6
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First, RAID0 on SSDs just seems like a heart attack for me. I can see the blue-screen already...I'm sure it's not half as risky as I imagine it, but yeesh...

I like the concept of the caching drive "package" - I think this is a slick idea. I have a 128GB SSD as my primary on my Win7 desktop, and I can say that it's already 3/4 full just with my Steam library, Adobe Photoshop/Lightroom+Plugins, and Windows. It's actually a little sickening. I think ALL of my debugging/reversing tools AND VM programs account for another 500MB combined. Granted, part of the storage issue is the whole "it's a 64b OS so everything feels the need to install in duplicate for a 32b fallback".

As for power failure, etc, well - if it's a computer where the performance matters enough to put in hybrid or SSD solutions for speed, is there no reason to consider spending the $30-50 on a small UPS?! It amazes me how we'll all drop $200 on a video card without batting an eye but don't think of the disastrous long-term effects of improper power regulation and control. ;-)

I guess the question comes down to, would the speed truly be worth it as a primary drive? I'm personally a little uncomfortable with a hybrid (or any RAID but 1) solution where my OS resides, no matter what...but this DOES seem like a nice way to roll together a bit more storage and a bit more speed.
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Old 03-15-2012, 03:30 PM   #7
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First, RAID0 on SSDs just seems like a heart attack for me. I can see the blue-screen already...I'm sure it's not half as risky as I imagine it, but yeesh...
I fully agree! Instead of playing Russian roulette with one gun, they might as well just use two, one in each hand. But again, the hybrid does NOT RAID the two SSDs, so a partial failure shouldn't nuke all the data as far as I am aware.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brett Thomas View Post
As for power failure, etc, well - if it's a computer where the performance matters enough to put in hybrid or SSD solutions for speed, is there no reason to consider spending the $30-50 on a small UPS?! It amazes me how we'll all drop $200 on a video card without batting an eye but don't think of the disastrous long-term effects of improper power regulation and control. ;-)
Ouch! You had to mention those bloody things... I swear. Both of mine developed problems over the past several weeks and I think I'm going to be forced to fork out another $100 for a fully new one... not happy at all. Newest unit was just months outside warranty, and the replacement batteries in the older model UPS didn't hold up very long... I need to find the invoice, because I'm not even sure they lasted two years. Else something else is wrong with it, in which case I have to replace it anyway.

But more on topic, you have an excellent point that I didn't cover in the review. Anyone splurging on a Hybrid would likely (or should) already have a UPS to protect the system from power loss. That'd go a very long way towards ensuring the Hybrid remains running perfectly smooth and trouble free.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brett Thomas View Post
I guess the question comes down to, would the speed truly be worth it as a primary drive? I'm personally a little uncomfortable with a hybrid (or any RAID but 1) solution where my OS resides, no matter what...but this DOES seem like a nice way to roll together a bit more storage and a bit more speed.
It is indeed nice, the user gets all the capacity they could use without giving up SSD-like performance for programs, and they get it with convenience of not having to micro-manage splitting the files and installs across a HDD and an SSD. And with 120GB of cache to use it isn't likely they will have their more rarely used programs flushed from the cache. Ideally a single large SSD is still best, but given current pricing there's still a large difference between 1TB and 240GB. TLC NAND won't make that issue go away either when it shows up in the next 12 months...
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