OCZ Storage Solutions (OCZ) is back in the game. Since being acquired by Toshiba, OCZ has cranked out a few SSDs all of which have been decent performers except the TRION 100. However, none of OCZ's recently released SSDs have carried enough performance to challenge Samsung or Intel in enthusiast circles. Today that changes. Intel was first to launch a line of NVMe SSDs and for a short time, their 750 series was the undisputed performance leader. Samsung responded with their 950 Pro M.2 NVMe SSD and since October of last year, Samsung's 950 Pro has dominated the enthusiast space as the go to consumer NVMe SSD for bleeding edge performance.
Several factors make the 950 Pro more appealing to hardcore enthusiasts than Intel's 750 Series SSDs. Number one is, of course, better performance, which is usually first on an enthusiast's check list. Pricing is the next reason for the 950 Pro's success; with an MSRP of $349.99 for the 512GB model, Samsung's 950 Pro costs considerably less per gigabyte than Intel's 750 series SSDs. Lastly, the 950 Pro comes in a far more appealing M.2 form factor.
A couple of weeks ago, we got the chance to review Toshiba's XG3 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD. Toshiba's OEM XG3 lit up our charts and cemented itself as the second best performing non-enterprise client (OEM) SSD that we've ever tested. Toshiba's XG3 stunned us with its superior sequential and random write performance, which turned out to be far better than Samsung's M.2 NVMe offerings. In addition, the XG3 handily outperformed Intel's 750 series SSDs with real-world performance testing.
In our XG3 review, we mentioned that a retail version was coming soon via OCZ's RevoDrive 400. We speculated that OCZ's RevoDrive 400, or RD400, as we will refer to it going forward, was about to launch and that the RD400 would likely deliver even better performance than the XG3. Both of our assumptions turned out to be correct. Today, OCZ introduces the world to the RD400. OCZ's RD400 is their first stab at a consumer-based NVMe SSD. The RD400 is an M.2 form factor SSD with a PCIe Gen 3x4 physical interface, which we find most appealing. Contrary to popular belief, NVMe in not a physical interface, it is a software stack that runs on the PCIe interface.
The RD400 employs a Toshiba 15nm MLC planar flash array. Utilizing planar flash is the reason why OCZ's RD400 costs less per gigabyte than Samsung's 950 Pro. Reliability and endurance are essential to any high-performance SSD solution. To address this, the RD400 employs Toshiba's proprietary Quadruple Swing-By Code (QSBC) error-correction technology, a highly efficient error correction code (ECC), which helps protect customer data from corruption, improves reliability, and extends the life of Toshiba SSDs. QSBC is rumored to be even more efficient than LDPC.
OCZ enhances reliability and performance even further with its proprietary NVMe driver. The RD400 will run fine with Microsoft's in-box NVMe driver, but even better with OCZ's NVMe driver. Additionally, OCZ's proprietary driver supports Windows 7 and can be F6 loaded with your Windows 7 install, making it easy for Windows 7 users to run the RD400 as their OS disk.
If you have a notebook with a PCIe Gen 3x4 interface that supports an M.2 x 2280 SSD and you are looking to upgrade, OCZ's RD400 is an excellent choice because it is not only powerful, it is also power efficient. OCZ engineered the RD400 family of SSDs for power efficiency, through lower power-state modes and the use of components engineered for power efficiency.
Drive maintenance is imperative to the end-user and it doesn't get any better than OCZ's SSD Utility. This utility allows the RD400 end-user to monitor drive health, tune their system for maximum performance, easily perform a secure erase or advanced format, update firmware, and perform a whole host of additional functions, quickly and easily. We will briefly cover the main functions of OCZ's SSD Utility on page three of this review.
Let's take a close look at the RD400's factory specifications.
The RD400 is available in four capacities: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1024GB (1-terabyte). There are two versions: Standalone M.2 and M.2 with Add-In-Card (AIC). Sequential specifications: Read up to 2600MB/s, Write up to 1600MB/s. Random 4K performance tops out 210K for read, 140K for write. Performance varies by capacity point, so please refer to the spec sheet above. Power consumption: Active 6-6.4W typical, Low Power State 6.0mW typical. MTTF checks in at 1.5 million hours. TBW varies by capacity from 74TB -592TB.
The RD400 in the 256GB capacity without AIC carries an MSRP of $169.99, and the 512GB model goes for $309.99. This is $30-$40 less respectively than the MSRP of Samsung's 950 Pro at each capacity point. We do recommend the AIC version, for an additional $20 you get a high quality AIC to M.2 adapter. The AIC provides additional versatility along with potentially better performance.
OCZ's Advanced Warranty is the best in the business. As implemented on the RD400, it is a limited five-year warranty that features advanced replacement of a defective product with no return shipping cost to the customer.
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- Page 1 [Introduction, Drive Specifications, Pricing and Availability]
- Page 2 [Drive Details]
- Page 3 [Test System Setup, Drive Properties, & OCZ SSD Utility]
- Page 4 [Synthetic Benchmarks - ATTO & Anvil Storage Utilities]
- Page 5 [Synthetic Benchmarks - CrystalDiskMark & AS SSD]
- Page 6 [Benchmarks (OS) - PCMark Vantage, PCMark 7 & PCMark 8]
- Page 7 [Benchmarks (Secondary) - IOPS, Response & Transfer Rate]
- Page 8 [Benchmarks (Secondary Volume) - PCMark 8 Extended]
- Page 9 [Benchmarks (Secondary Volume) – 70/30 Mixed Workload]
- Page 10 [Maxed-Out Performance (MOP)]
- Page 11 [Final Thoughts]