A few years ago we tested the Fusion-io io-Drive, one of the first available PCI Express based solid state drives to hit the market. The io-Drive was a bit like a fairy tale when released, a product from a faraway place with performance unmatched in might, right out of a child's book. The Fusion-io wasn't for children, or for that matter, just about anyone without an enterprise budget or enterprise needs. Still, the io-Drive sat on a pedestal for all to admire and some to try and emulate.
Mimicry is the highest form of flattery and when done to reduce cost and make a product similar more available to the masses, there isn't anything wrong with it. To call the OCZ Technology RevoDrive a true PCIe drive like the io-Drive is a bit of a stretch. The RevoDrive takes the PCIe signal and routes it through a Silicon Image RAID controller. From the RAID controller the data is passed through to two onboard PCB SSDs. This should reduce latency from the RAID controller to the drives since it eliminates the SATA cables. In reality there really isn't much difference between buying two 60GB Vertex 2 60GB drives with a RAID controller and the RevoDrive when it comes to performance, but OCZ didn't really design the RevoDrive to flatter the Fusion-io or accomplish performance outside of the realm of the above scenario.
OCZ's main goal of the RevoDrive was targeted at another set of numbers that are just as important to end users, cost numbers. By using just one PCB for the Silicon Image RAID controller and dual SandForce SSDs, OCZ was able to keep the cost lower than if each of these components was purchased separately. Add in the elimination of additional documentation, packaging, cables and such, OCZ was able to really get the cost down on this one making it not only accessible to the consumer market, but in some cases the best option for desktop users looking to get the absolute most out of their Dollar, Euro or Peso.
Let's take a look at OCZ's RevoDrive and see if the hype lives up to the real world performance.