OCZ's huge 3.2TB Z-Drive 4500 SSD is fast and smart

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OCZ has launched a brand new high-capacity, high-speed solid state drive destined for server applications, known as the Z-Drive 4500. Boasting performance well over what is supported through a 6 Gbps SATA interface, the Z-Drive 4500 is a full-height, single-slot PCIe 2.0 8x expansion card, utilizing Toshiba's 19nm MLC NAND.

According to the Z-Drive 4500's specification table, the SSD is capable of 2,900 MB/s sequential reads, 2,200 MB/s sequential writes, 252,000 IOPS random reads and 78,000 IOPS random writes. This is well above a standard desktop SSD, which usually tops out around 550 MB/s for sequential read/write and 100,000 IOPS for random reads.

The drive itself is made up of eight separate SSDs based on SandForce silicon, with OCZ's Virtualized Controller Architecture (VCA) combining all eight drives into a single volume. VCA allows you to configure redundancy, plus there's support for TRIM and it includes a custom queuing system. Alongside VCA, OCZ has packed in a new thermal throttling system that uses several sensors to measure temperatures and scale back performance when thresholds are exceeded.

The Z-Drive 4500 will be available in three models, one with 800 GB of storage that'll set you back $2,355, another with 1.6 TB for $3,806 and the largest with a whopping 3.2 TB. The flagship 3.2 TB drive is capable of withstanding 2,500 TB of writes over its lifetime, but it won't be cheap: expect to pay $6,533 for it, or $2.04 per GB.

In comparison, Samsung's desktop-grade 840 EVO SSD with 1 TB of storage costs $509, or $0.51 per GB; 4 TB desktop-class hard drives are also available for $165, or $0.04 per GB. Just goes to show that if you want a high-speed, high-capacity enterprise drive, you're going to need to hand over quite a lot of cash.

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