TechSpot

OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid 100GB Review

By Jos
Oct 31, 2011
Post New Reply
  1. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 959   +49

    Good review, totally validates my preference for a fast boot drive and larger secondary storage. lol

    Considering all the good things OCZ has come up with that take advantage of the PCIe bandwidth, it really is disappointing that this hybrid drive did not do better, and god forbid having to deal with that Dataplex software.
     
  2. The most telling clues about this review was the comparision to the Seagate hybrid - everyone knows that the seagate hybrid drive delivers 'almost' the same the performance of a 7200 HDD, and in many cases, it's actually slower. That is old news, and the very mention is a tip off about this review... If you actually run the tests, benchmarks, and the real user scenarios using a pure SSD, a RevoHybrid, a standard HDD, and a Seagate Hybrid HDD, you will conclude that in terms of performance and price/GB/performance, the Seagate H-HDD and the HDD are basically tied at the bottom of the range, then the Revo Hybrid and SSD are way (way) above those two.
    Be careful what you read. (poor madboy...)
     
  3. Per Hansson

    Per Hansson TS Server Guru Posts: 1,932   +126 Staff Member

    Wow guest, perhaps you should provide some proof of your claim that a Seagate Hybrid, which you so put it "everyone knows that the seagate hybrid drive delivers 'almost' the same the performance of a 7200 HDD"
    That's not what Anand found out, infact he says in many cases it performs as good as the 10000RPM Velociraptor: "In many cases the Momentus XT performs like a VelociRaptor, but in a lower power, quieter package. The impact of adding just a small amount of SLC NAND is tremendous."


    http://www.anandtech.com/show/3734/seagates-momentus-xt-review-finally-a-good-hybrid-hdd
     
  4. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Staff Posts: 1,402   +483 Staff Member

    Per you are smarter than me! I had a hard time following that post. I did get the feeling that he was saying my results were wrong I am just not sure in which way. Generally when it sounds like the ramblings of a mad man it is ... well just that.
     
  5. Massive fail
     
  6. You should test the OCZ Synapse ssd drives. This review makes me wonder if those are as bad a choice as this expensive hybrid, considering the fact they both use dataplex software for caching.
     
  7. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Staff Posts: 1,402   +483 Staff Member

    Actually for $155 I think the OCZ Synapse 64GB is a decent buy. It can be paired with a fast 7200 RPM 2TB hard drive such as the Hitachi Deskstar 7K3000 for under $350 and for general use I believe it would be faster than the RevoDrive Hybrid and if true at about 30% less it would be a good buy.

    The Dataplex software actually works very well, the caching function is great. It was just the licensing aspect that drove me nuts, if they fix/change that I wouldn't have any issues with it.

    The RevoDrive Hybrid itself is not a bad product. However take the price into account and we feel there are a number of better setups to choose from.
     
  8. gwailo247

    gwailo247 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,105   +18

    The Momentus XT is good, but the SSD cache is too small for a power user. 100 GB is more like it. But when the Momentus was used under proper conditions, where the computer user only runs a few programs over and over, the speed was really impressive.
     
  9. I guess my previous review didn't make the cut. It was late last night, so I'll try to be more diplomatic this time.

    As an actual user, I have a dissenting view of the RevoDrive Hybrid. Yes, it's expensive, and yes, it takes some effort to install the drivers (Revo and Dataplex). But, no, it doesn't suck. In fact, it's amazing. I have 1TB of SSD performance for a fraction of the price for everything I do: boot, application launch and edit videos. The Momentus XT can't compare in performance. It stuttered all the time.

    One major mistake that the review makes is in comparing the first iterations of the Momentus XT, Intel SRT and RD Hybrid. All you are measuring is the underlying HDD performance, not the caching effect. There are one-off situations when the first iteration matters a lot, but for most daily activities (email db, web, photoshop), you should be getting data from the SSD cache.

    Another issue I have with the review is that its mixing DRAM and SSD caching. When you run a program, it ends up in the DRAM cache, so if you bring it up again it's fast. But, if you reboot before launching the 2nd time, it's no longer in DRAM so has to draw from the media. With SSD caching, it gets it from the SSD rather than the slow HDD and its persistent across reboot.
     
  10. That is exactly correct. The issue isn't whether Photoshop (et al.) loads quickly the second time it's launched in the same session. It's whether it loads quickly after a reboot.

    I like how thorough the review is, but for me the advantage of SSDs isn't in copying files or running benchmarks. It's more general multitasking and browsing.
     
     
  11. "Wow guest, perhaps you should provide some proof of your claim that a Seagate Hybrid, which you so put it "everyone knows that the seagate hybrid drive delivers 'almost' the same the performance of a 7200 HDD"

    Per Hansson, Steve: That is a "high integrity" question, and I appreciated you open-mindedness on the topic. No problem in providing data that shows the Seagate Hybrid compared to SSD, 7200 HHD, etc. , What would you accept as reasonable data/proof? Would you like to me to see PCMark comparisons of the various storage configurations on the same platform? SYSMark, CrystalDisk, file copy, zip/unzip? I can probably jsut post a simple PCMark HDD Suite comparision here to start... Thanks for the integrity!
     
  12. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Staff Posts: 1,402   +483 Staff Member

    It doesn’t suck, never said that but it is bad value and if you choose to ignore that then fine. You do not have 1TB of SSD performance, there isn’t a single RevoDrive Hybrid review on the Internet that suggests you do. As for the Momentus XT that is another product I am not fond of though it makes a heck of a lot more sense than the RevoDrive Hybrid.

    I did not confuse DRAM cache with SSD cache at all. It is my opinion that SSD caching technology is beneficial but only slightly, it certainly will not transform performance like a dedicated SSD will and that is why I found the RevoDrive Hybrid at nearly $500 a tough sell. Intel SRT on the other hand is considerably more affordable so it is worth using for that performance boost.

    Again this technology is useless for transferring files of any size, unless you plan to do it more than once which I cannot for any reason see why you would.

    As for the application performance I still believe my original argument is valid. Loading StarCraft II for example took 38.7 seconds which is much slower than an SSD. Loading it again using the RevoDrive Hybrid provided SSD performance but at this point it would be cached in the DRAM anyway and would load that fast using a HDD.

    Since writing this review I have done much more general testing with the RevoDrive Hybrid and found that my initial results are accurate. If you load Windows 7 and then use the RevoDrive Hybrid for a number of hours and then perform a reset, the boot time is still very slow. Unless you reset almost right away the performance gain is lost, this will be even more true for heavy users.

    The software licensing is a massive pain and potential buyers should certainly be made aware. Again after installing a number of Windows 7 updates the license was rendered invalid.

    I am impressed that you were able to come back and phrase your comments in a more respectful manner. That said I understand being able to post anonymously on the internet gives most people the ego of Brock Lesnar.
     
  13. captainawesome

    captainawesome TS Guru Posts: 415   +42

    I would take out the HDD and just use the SSD :D
     
  14. Could you please answer this: Will you be reviewing the synapse ssd's considering the fact you actually think they may be a better choice? I for one would be quite interested in such a review because the only available info is ocz's, and it may be biased/for marketing purposes.

    Oh and another question: Let's say you start windows, run sc2, exit, run it again, exit, run it again, as you did in the review. Could you do this with the hdd to test the DRAM cache and see the performance gained?
     
  15. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Staff Posts: 1,402   +483 Staff Member

    It would certainly be a lot faster and it would also be called a RevoDrive 3. The 120GB version still costs $400 so we highly recommend users purchase a pair of Vertex 3 60GB drives and create a DIY RAID0 setup for almost half the price. Alternatively for less than $400 it is possible to purchase a pair of Vertex 3 120GB drives for a 240GB RAID0 configuration.

    I believe we would be interested in publishing a review on the Synapse at TechSpot. It is just simply a matter of getting samples from OCZ.

    I can already tell you that with a standard hard drive if we load the All In level it takes 40 seconds as reported in our review. If you load the level again it only takes half that time but I will confirm this. The only problem with DRAM cache is that it fills up faster as its much smaller but essentially this is why we have DRAM in the first place, to make stuff happen faster :)

    Update: Using the test system specified in this review the Hitachi HDD takes 40 seconds on the first load without cache. If we simply hit reset when in the level so it loads again it takes just 8 seconds. If I exit the game completely and then jump back in it takes 21 seconds to load the level.

    This is why when we test normal SSDs that the average of the three runs is taken after each reset. As in we load SC2, record the load time and then exit the game and reset the entire system and start over.
     
  16. "I did not confuse DRAM cache with SSD cache at all.

    As for the application performance I still believe my original argument is valid. Loading StarCraft II for example took 38.7 seconds which is much slower than an SSD. Loading it again using the RevoDrive Hybrid provided SSD performance but at this point it would be cached in the DRAM anyway and would load that fast using a HDD."

    This last line reveals your misunderstanding of the technology: With a hybrid system with SSD caching, the data would remain cached after a reboot. That isn't the case with DRAM.

    "Update: Using the test system specified in this review the Hitachi HDD takes 40 seconds on the first load without cache. If we simply hit reset when in the level so it loads again it takes just 8 seconds. If I exit the game completely and then jump back in it takes 21 seconds to load the level."

    That is still twice as fast a mechanical drive and I suspect the caching might improve after multiple runs. Some tests show that the Dataplex software only caches certain items after 4 runs. The important thing to remember is that the big advantage of a hybrid solution is that the data remains cached after a reboot. So for instance, every time you open Photoshop after a reboot you benefit from the fact that it is still cached in the SSD cache. This is not the case with DRAM cached items.

    Also you might not be seeing the full benefits of the hybrid solution if you are performing all sorts of benchmarks and the cache data is getting overwritten. I do not believe that this is typical for every day use and I believe that you are not letting the Dataplex software enough time to optimise caching according to the usage trends of a particular user. This misses a major point about how the technology works and what it's intended market is.

    I also believe this invalidates your CrystalDiskMark results. As CrystalDiskMark averages the results over 5 passes, you have a first and second and third run pass included in the results. I think you should run the CrystalDiskMark benchmark (at least) twice (so that by the second time everything is cached on the SSD) and look at the results of the second test. I think they will be different to the first test. Again, I think your test method misses a major point about how the technology works.

    If you look at Tom'shardware review of the Dataplex software you will see that often the benefits of caching are only seen on the fourth! pass. Which in itself invalidates many of your test results. Remember, the cached data remains after a reboot so it is not a problem that the benefits are only seen after 3, 4 or 5 passes. Most typical computer usage has many repetitive aspects and the same applications are opened daily. This typical behaviour would greatly benefit from the hybrid solution I believe.

    IMO leaving out the aspect of the data remaining cached after a reboot and the fact that often the benefits are only seen after 4 runs are fundamental misunderstanding of the technology and this invalidates your test methodology, your test result and conclusions.

    Alistair
     
  17. yep, software is death, gotta pass on Dataplex, useful or not.
    Put another way, if the software is a non-starter, I've already moved on. I only read the remainder of the review due to OCZ.. they hurt their rep here.
    Thanks for the relevant info, so often "missed" aka ignored in reviews. I sincerely hope that it does not hurt product availability for you in the future, as has happened for other reviewers.
     
  18. Allistar is spot on with his comments. The initial assumptions and testing approach/methodology seems off. And, I think that affected the conclusions too.

    I think we can all pretend this review doesn't exist. How about a do-over?
     
  19. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Staff Posts: 1,402   +483 Staff Member

    LOL so denial it is. If you want misleading reviews that only focus on synthetic tests go else where, there are plenty around to please you.
     
  20. Toby Holmes

    Toby Holmes TS Rookie

    I have used one of these hybrid drives. I bought it to be a primary capture drive for the input of a high speed 50 fps scientific low light video camera. It was not up to the job and could not clear the video cache out of the interface card quickly enough resulting in dropped frames. I had to replace it with two corsair 240 GB SSDs in RAID 0 to handle the input. I then decided to downgrade the hybrid card and take it home to my gaming PC. This was not a success, and again was replaced with 240 GB SSDs.
    It just does not give enough of a performance boost in real world usage. Maybe in roles where there is a lot of repetition of file access it would shine. It would be nice if they allowed you to take the 2.5" drive off and use the PCIe card alone as a boot drive. Instead I will probably take off the 2.5" drive and bin the PCIe card, at least the drive can be reused in an external case. An expensive experiment that failed
     


Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.