Review: RevoDrive 240GB PCI-e SSD vs OCZ Agility 3 240GB SSD

Back in September techAU ran a three way SSD shakedown of some of the fastest products in the Solid State Drive market, and now we’re back for round two...

Back in September techAU ran a three way SSD shakedown of some of the fastest products in the Solid State Drive market, and now we’re back for round two and a whole new memory bout. OCZ has been kind enough to provide two review samples, and we have more coming in the next few weeks.

Testing Rig:

Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO USB3
CPU: AMD Phenom x4 955 Black Edition @ 3.8Ghz
RAM: 8GB DDR3 1600Mhz G-Skill Ripjaws X (9-9-9-24)
GPU: GTX 580 (1.5GB)

Note: All drives were benchmarked as is, out of the box.

Testing Programs:

AS SSD – 1.6.4237.30508
ATTO Disk Benchmark – 2.47
HD Tune Pro – 4.61
CrystalDiskMark – 3.0.1

Competing alongside each other today we have the heavy hitting RevoDrive x2; OCZ’s high-end PCI-e SSD, and the Agility 3; a competitively priced and equally high performing traditional SSD.

All three drives were wiped before having Windows 7 64 bit install on them. We then took the drives through a series of tests and benchmarks using common tools, the data and results of which have been provided below for review.

Alongside the fresh data of the two aforementioned drives, we also have comparison data from our previous three-way review. Not only does this show the performance of the latest products, but also gives you more insight as a consumer. It’s important to remember that while the 240GB RevoDrive x2 produces huge results, it is not a traditional SATA SSD.

The two drives provided for review have been kept in the same spots in graphs, thus making the data easier for you to read.

Test One: AS SSD

A common tool used to benchmark traditional Solid State Drives as well as having the ability to benchmark other drives and devices, AS SSD is a great piece of software. We ran all three drives through AS SSD’s extensive tests and compiled the raw data into easy to read graphs.

The sequential read and write test of AS SSD provides valuable information into the writing and reading mechanics of any drive. How fast the drive can write large amounts of data reflects how suitable the drive may be for tasks such as video rendering that reward faster dumps.

The RevoDrive bested all our drives on record, and ran miles ahead of the Agility 3. The impressive read speed exhibited by the RevoDrive not only lived up to the results we expected to see, but also surprised us a little too. The Agility 3 fell slightly behind some of our other reviewed products, but definitely made up ground later in the review.

The 4K-64 Thrd read and write tests give us an insight into the SSD’s ability to load programs, and fast. So if you had a program that needs to load 80MB into RAM, and your 4k-64 result is 80MB/s, it would take two seconds to load said program.

Once again the RevoDrive and its impressive swathe of hardware took an impressive lead over everything we have on record. The Agility 3 posted results in line with the rest of our drives, reinforcing its heavy footing as an aggressively priced and hard hitting performer thanks to its 142.62 and 196.92 MB/s speeds, respectively.

The titular access time test does exactly that, test how quickly AS SSD can access the read and write functions of your drive.

I was quite surprised that the RevoDrive didn’t post a stronger result in the write speed category, however I was more than happy with its read speed, seeing it best the Crucial m4 from our last review.

The Agility 3 also held its own, posting faster results than the biggest majority of our traditional Solid State Drives. While the speeds weren’t miles ahead of anything else we have shown above, it’s definitely a set of impressive figures.

The German flag colouring returns once again and with it the AS SSD Overall Score. This final AS SSD test provides a final representative score that depicts the total performance of each drive.

The RevoDrive expectedly shot out ahead, it’s 1,191 score skewing the data severely thanks to its impressive scores of 529 and 400.

The Agility 3 posted a nice and high result, and while it didn’t beat the other traditional devices, it definitely cemented a high score and mark, not only in AS SSD but also in the upcoming tests.

Test Two: ATTO Disk Benchmark

ATTO Disk Benchmark (ATTO from here on out) is one of the most reliable disk storage benchmarking tools available. The freeware tool is widely accepted across the internet for providing accurate figures and results.

OCZ Agility 3 240GB SSD

The Agility 3 provided impressive results, reaching the full promised potential and showing just how powerful the drive was.

With max reads of 534MB/s at the 8k mark, not only was I blown away by the performance but also the consistently high results in the later stages of the ATTO testing. ATTO isn’t an indication of overall performance, but it definitely showed the drive can blast the tests.

Write spreads were marginally behind their read brethren, but still impressive none the less. We saw almost maximum speed results consistently from nearly halfway through the benchmarking.

OCZ RevoDrive x2 240GB PCI-e SSD

If there was a test I was excited to see the results of, it was definitely this one. 240GB of RAID enabled flash storage not only sounds good, but performs amazingly.

A max read of 739MB/s was mind-blowing, and found at the 2k test, so it’s definitely a legitimate result. Reads were in the high 700MB/s range after the 64 test, and definitely never disappointed me.

Write speeds were also high and impressive, a max write of 710MB/s shown at the 128 test. We also saw an impressive read of 711MB/s at the 2k test, further exhibiting the impressive power and performance of this cutting edge piece of technology.

Test Three: HD Tune Pro

We used HD Tune Pro in our testing to determine a number of factors in the read only division. Firstly, the program shows the IOPS performance of the drive on both the 512 bytes level, the 1 MB level and when used in a random fashion. We were then able to find out the average speed of the drive across all three size levels, as well as the access time.

OCZ Agility 3 240GB SSD

The Vertex 3 put out impressive results that were at times in line with those we saw in the ATTO leg of our testing. We saw results higher than nearly all of our drives on record, which proves that the Agility 3 can rise to the challenge across a number of fronts. The IOPS performance was impressive, besting even OCZ’s tailor made Max IOPS drive.

OCZ RevoDrive x2 240GB PCI-e SSD

The came out in force for the HD Tune Pro benchmark testing, blasting all other competitors out of the water across every facet of the program. Consistent results were backed up by an insanely high IOPS count in the 512 bytes test and beautiful access times.

Test Four: CrystalDiskMark

CrystalDiskMark is the final program used for our review, and provides a swathe of results similar to that seen in AS SSD. Testing the drives across a number of fronts, CrystalDiskMark (CDM from here) is another comprehensive and widely recognised testing platform.

The Agility 3 lagged behind in our Sequential test, falling short of not only the RevoDrive x2 but also the other traditional SSD scores we already have on file. The RevoDrive posted our highest result to score, although it’s surely attributed to its PCI interface and RAID storage.

The 512k test of CDM shows each drives performance at writing data in 512k blocks, which not only offers real world insights, but also shows us valuable data you can use when purchasing an SSD.

The Agility 3 posted some impressive results however failed to keep up with the Crucial m4, it’s almost direct competitor. The RevoDrive once again sailed ahead, but only beat the Crucial m4 by 20MB/s in the write test, something that definitely surprised me.

The 4k test, as with the 512k test, shows writing and reading performance to the drives but with the tiniest of file sizes.

The Agility 3 shot ahead of the Crucial m4 and almost defeated the Vertex 3, too, if it had not had fallen behind by less than 3MB/s in the read category. The RevoDrive showed it’s greatest application; small files being written at high speeds. The impressive 73MB/s write result definitely excelled over everything we had seen.

Conclusion

RevoDrive x2 – The RevoDrive is unfortunately out of reach to many consumers, and even high-end enthusiasts, thanks to its high end price tag. The price definitely isn’t inexplicable though, as the impressive and consistent results make it the pinnacle and literal future of SSD technology.

Agility 3 – If I was going to buy or recommend any SSD it would honestly be the Agility 3. Great performance, high storage capacity, and impressive speeds make it the SSD to own. Not only is it priced aggressively, but it backs that up with great speeds and ultimate performance.

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