Installation and Early Issues

OCZ doesn’t do anything to hide what’s going on under the hood. The Silicon Image RAID BIOS loads at POST, it’ll even let you enter the BIOS and destroy the RAID array if you’d like. The first time I tried to install Windows on the RevoDrive I actually had to recreate the RAID array. I headed into the Silicon Image BIOS, asked to recreate the array, specified the entire 223GB capacity and hit ok. My sample is a bit early so I don’t expect that all users will have to deal with that, but just be aware that there are no abstraction layers here. You’re working with a pre-configured RAID array.

The RevoDrive is bootable, but you need to supply Windows with the appropriate drivers to recognize the controller. OCZ provided me with a set of 64-bit drivers for the Sil3124 controller and I was on my way. Windows 7 x64 installed without a hitch.

I did notice that I got consistency warnings between reboots however. The OS would run a chkdsk operation, find some issues with files, repair them and let me get on with things. Again, I’m not sure how much of this is due to the early nature of my sample.

The Test

CPU Intel Core i7 965 running at 3.2GHz (Turbo & EIST Disabled)
Motherboard: Intel DX58SO (Intel X58)
Chipset: Intel X58 + Marvell SATA 6Gbps PCIe
Chipset Drivers: Intel + Intel IMSM 8.9
Memory: Qimonda DDR3-1333 4 x 1GB (7-7-7-20)
Video Card: eVGA GeForce GTX 285
Video Drivers: NVIDIA ForceWare 190.38 64-bit
Desktop Resolution: 1920 x 1200
OS: Windows 7 x64
The OCZ RevoDrive Sequential Read/Write Speed
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  • cgaspar - Monday, June 28, 2010 - link

    If you re-flash the card with SIL3124 non-RAID BIOS, it should look just like 2 SSDs, and TRIM should work.
  • oshato - Monday, June 28, 2010 - link

    I too would like to see the pass through configuration ( non-raided ) tested for TRIM support and db IOPS #s. Curious how feasible this would be for a zfs ZIL in pass through mode.
  • marraco - Monday, June 28, 2010 - link

    I'm worried about video performance in single and dual setups with this SSD working.
  • marraco - Monday, June 28, 2010 - link

    What about boot time?
    the RAID controller should increase the POST time, and that frequently destroys the boot advantage of SSD under RAID.
  • javaman3 - Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - link

    Does anyone know if this card will work in OSX? I would like to know specifically if it will run in an Xserve.
  • clarkn0va - Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - link

    I think there's another, if less common need for this: places where you lack drive bays or SATA ports. Some examples:

    -SFF servers, most of which accommodate only 1 3.5" drive or 2 2.5" drives. Would be nice to have a little 1U Atom board running a small NAS/application server and cram a little more storage in. I have a mini-ITX server doing nfs, torrents, voip, monitoring, etc and would love to move it to a small rack, but until now couldn't justify the loss of drive space. With the OS and applications running on a RevoDrive, bulk data can live on a pair of 2.5" drives and we're all good.

    -Enterprise servers. I'm shopping out a terminal server at work and the cost of purchasing drives with your new server is laughable. The highest-end SLC drives from Intel and OCZ cost less than the OEM-branded grab-bag the server vendors are offering. I would much rather put my own drives in there, thanks, and cruising ebay for compatible drive caddies just feels wrong. pcie slots, on the other hand, come with the server without paying some stupid OEM storage premium.

    Now the questions.

    1. The article says you configure your own RAID-0. Will the utility also let me configure it as RAID-1 if I want?

    2. Anybody know what it's like to try to boot Linux from one of these devices?
  • cosplay - Thursday, July 8, 2010 - link

    Nice reading, thanks for another SSD review.

    btw, on Installation and Early Issues you have a typo:

    I headed into the Silicon Image BIOS, asked to recreate the array, specified the entire 233GB
  • clarkn0va - Friday, July 9, 2010 - link

    What are the lengths of these 2 cards? I'd really like to put one in a case that only takes half-length cards.
  • LightningCrashTSI - Wednesday, July 14, 2010 - link

    FTA:"The OCZ RevoDrive will offer lower CPU utilization than an on-board software based RAID solution thanks to its Silicon Image RAID controller,"

    The Silicon Image RAID controller is a software-based RAID controller as well.
  • Conradical314 - Thursday, August 12, 2010 - link

    The important question is, which Firefly episode?

    Was at first very disappointed to hear about this drive, but thanks to your review I see it would only have made a small effect on actual usage, so I don't need to regret recently getting OCZ Vertex II 120GB too much.

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