OCZ's RevoDrive captured our attention, and a spot on the A-List, when it first launched last year. This was one of the first consumer focused PCI-Express SSD solutions to hit the market, and more importantly it actually takes advantage of the extra bandwidth offered by PCI-Express to deliver SATA 6Gbps level performance with SATA 3Gbps controller chips.
The RevoDrive is composed of a PCB with a x4 PCI-Express connector. Onboard it has two SSDs worth of controllers and Flash mounted onto it, and a Silicon Image RAID controller. It is configurable via the RAID BIOS and appears to the PC as a single drive. What it means is that it is capable of performance well in excess of a single SATA 3Gbps Sandforce drive and thanks to the increased PCI-Bandwidth can actually deliver SATA 6Gbps speeds.
For example, in the sequential tests the RevoDrive managed a write speed of 395.95MB/s and a read speed of 184MB/s. This is in contrast to the SATA 6Gbps based Vertex 3, which delivered 515MB/s read and 266.93 MB/s write speeds. In the 4K tests the gap was closer, with the RevoDrive delivering 166.26MB/s write and 216.49MB/s read to the Vertex 3's 183.37MB/s read and 224.06 MB/s writes.
In the time since it launched the price of the RevoDrive has dropped, and it is now competitive with SATA based drives. With a cost per gigabyte of $2.25 it is quite reasonable, and while installation is a little more complex than a SATA drive, it is still relatively quick and easy to get up and running. If anything this is even more viable then it was when it won its spot on our A-List, a position it happily retains after this group test.