OCZ officially launches PCI-E SSD

After teasing us with tradeshow demos and preview pictures, the memory gurus at OCZ have finally given their PCI-E RevoDrive SSD the official blessing.

We caught our first glimpse of the drive earlier this month, but OCZ has now revealed all the details, and stock is apparently already winging its way over to us.

Unlike your usual 2.5-inch SATA brick, the RevoDrive comes on a raw PCB that slots into a four-lane PCI-E slot. Spreading all the chips over a PCI-E card frees up a lot more room than the cramped confines of a laptop hard drive, which means OCZ can effectively put two SSDs on to the circuit board.

The drive comes with either 120GB or 240GB of multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash memory, as well as two Sandforce SF-1200 controllers. These are then linked in RAID 0 configuration, which almost doubles the data transfer rate.

There are a variety of data transfer figures floating around for the drive, depending on who you speak to, but the official line from OCZ is that the RevoDrive can read at up to 540MB/sec and write at up to 480MB/sec. The company also quotes a sustained write speed of 400MB/sec and a 4KB random write speed of 75,000 IOPS (input/output operations per second).

Of course, this level of data throughput is more than the standard 3Gb/sec SATA interface can handle, but it's no problem for a four-lane PCI-E slot. Even the first generation of PCI-E offers 250MB/sec per lane, so that's 1GB/sec using a four-lane slot. Hardly any PCs have a 6Gb/sec SATA interface at the moment, but many more PCs will have at least first-generation PCI-E.

According to OCZ, the drive is also bootable, despite not being connected to a SATA interface. The company quotes the power consumption figures as just 3W when idle, and 8W when active, so the average PC won't have any trouble accommodating its power needs.

OCZ's CEO Ryan Petersen proudly claimed the RevoDrive is, "the first PCI-E SSD that delivers both performance and affordability and radically alters the SSD landscape."

"Up to this point PCI-E SSDs have been reserved for enterprise applications and priced out of the range of many consumers," he said. However, he adds that "the bootable RevoDrive SSD changes the game by delivering a PCI-E based solution that costs as low as $3 per gigabyte."

The RevoDrive comes with a three-year warranty, and is available to pre-order now from Overclockers UK. The 240GB version will set you back £599.99 inc VAT, while the 120GB card costs £334.99 inc VAT.