I don't think we are very far away from a time when all new personal computers ship with some form of cache system installed at the factory. Just a few days ago I saw a Youtube video of a motherboard still in the 3D modeling stages with a SandForce drive built onboard specifically for cache. Until those days arrive, products like the OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid will bring the future within our grasps today.
We've looked at several drive caching systems over the years, from high dollar enterprise systems to the most basic consumer versions that use USB flash drives. So far the OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid has been the absolute fastest we've tested and in many ways the easiest to configure for optimal performance.
By using their new VCA 2.0 system, OCZ managed to harness the performance of two SandForce SATA III SSDs in RAID and put that power in front of a large 1TB HDD. What you end up with is awesome SSD performance around 85% of the time and a full 1TB of capacity. The key is having your important data on the SSD portion of the RevoDrive Hybrid. With 128GB of space available to keep your hot data, the RevoDrive Hybrid simply holds more than competing products on the market.
The OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid isn't going to be for everyone, though. With a cost of right around 500 Dollars the first hurdle is a pretty steep one to climb over. With that price you have to wonder if a Vertex 3 240GB boot drive paired with a 2TB HDD for storage isn't a better option. If you take advantage of all of the mail-in rebates and instant rebates, this combination could be had for the same cost.
We applaud OCZ's continued efforts to push the envelope and release new innovative products to the market. That said, we feel that SSD cache technology should be a low cost alternative to SSDs and not just an alternative. OCZ chose performance with the RevoDrive Hybrid and that is reflected in the price. Those looking for a low cost solution can opt for OCZ's Synapse Cache SATA III product that also uses Dataplex to control the software.