OCZ's Hybrid SSD/HDD PCIe Card Spotted

This week during Computex, OCZ is showcasing a unique storage solution called the RevoDrive Hybrid, a marriage of mechanical and solid-state storage technologies on a single PCI Express x4 card. OCZ has yet to determine final configurations, but expects to release a base model featuring a 500 GB HDD and a 60 GB SSD. There's also talk of a second model which may sport a beefier 1 TB HDD and a 120 GB SSD.

According to hands-on reports, the hybrid drive will use a 2.5-inch HDD provided by a third party although OCZ is still trying to determine whether it wants to use a 5,400-RPM or a 7,200-RPM model. The SSD component actually serves as a cache, and can even use multiple SandForce controllers arranged in a RAID 0 array. This unique caching scheme will allow the slower 5,400-RPM drive to be used without sacrificing performance.

OCZ said that the Hybrid's cache will be managed by Nvelo's Dataplex software which is capable of caching both read and writes up to 120 GB of solid state storage. According to Nvelo, Dataplex actually demonstrates better performance in PCMark Vantage results than the Smart Response caching scheme available with Intel's Z68 Express chipset.

OCZ also provided a spec sheet claiming that the Hybrid drive has sustained read speeds of 575 MB/s and sustained write speeds of 500 MB/s. It also reportedly has a random 4KB write rate of 30,000 IOPS. That could be tweaked even further before the PCIe-based drive is expected to hit the market this July. OCZ hasn't officially released a ship date or pricing, but the base model is expected to retail for around $350.

Currently OCZ is offering two RevoDrive models without the HDD riding piggyback: the original RevoDrive PCIe SSD and the RevoDrive X2 PCIe SSD.

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