OCZ RevoDrive review

Okay, maybe this belongs in hardware, but who really goes there? Okay, some snarky “I am better than you are” types, but seriously…

I purchased the 180GB OCZ RevoDrive for the dual boot DAW/General purpose machine that I use every day. Since I can’t seem to change my signature, the specs are as follows:

Intel i7 950, 12 GB OCZ Gold 1600 DDR3 RAM, OCZ RevoDrive 180GB SSD (dual boot XP64/Win7 64bit), 3 TB Platter Storage, Gigabyte Radeon HD4850 1GB Silent, Dell 3007WFP 30" monitor @ 2560x1600, Tascam FW-1884 control surface/audio interface, Pioneer DVD Writer, Thermalright U120 Extreme1366RT Cooler, Apogee Mini-Me, Universal Audio Solo/610, UAD-1, UAD-2 Duo.

I’ve only set it up to load both OS’s and the programs drive.

System boot times went from about 45 seconds (RAID 0 w/ WD Raptors), to less than 15 seconds. This is for a fully accessible system, not just something where you still have to wait 20 seconds before you can do any real work.

Photoshop comes up in less than 3 seconds, including plugins. Cubase comes up a lot faster, but still takes too much time. Cut almost everything else in 1/3. That’s right, folks, everything loads about three times faster.

My email client (Thunderbird) comes up in about a second. Same for Firefox.

I paid about $415. Time is irreplaceable. I’ve saved a lot of that. The RevoDrive cards are superior to the standard SSD SATA systems by roughly 30%, possibly more. You need to have a free PCIe slot, running at the minimum of x4.

Caveats: don’t try sleep mode. You will crash and corrupt your boot sector. If you don’t believe me, you’d better have a full system backup, or you can suck wind (and you will). With the time savings for a full boot, you can simply forget about sleep mode. Simply forget about using it. I mean it. If you don’t heed my advice, then please share your experience, or don’t. We really don’t want to hear about how you screwed up, even after being warned by an expert.

As with all RAID 0 systems, you should backup frequently. If you don’t and you lose your system (trust me, you should have multiple backups, and you will lose something if you are not careful), more fool you. We don’t want to hear about your stupidity after you were warned by an expert. If you’re better than everyone else, we want to know what you did, and how to reproduce your results, because you are one bad mofo.

Anyway, I definitely see this as an extremely worthwhile update. I haven’t used it as a recording system, and neither should you, unless you are very meticulous about backup daily, or more frequently. You should only use it for OS loading and program acceleration.

This is where we are headed. If you’ve got some extra cash, and you are curious, I am available to answer your questions. I am quite willing to share my experience(s) with you.

Here’s a bonus: if you use something like Acronis® Disk Director, you can resize and move partitions in a fraction of the time that it would take to move/resize platter-based partitions. I’ve done resizes in seconds that would have taken hours. If you’re experimenting with SSD (like I was), this can save you days of time.

What I’m wondering is if drives like this (I notice it has 75,000 IOPS – that’s crazy!) would obviate the “need” for using multiple drives when using a DAW (for audio and samples and such). I’m largely ignorant about SSD, but am I correct in ASSuming they promise better reliability/longevity than a disc drive? Speed and access times aren’t a big deal to me, but consolidation and longevity are

Well, platter drives are destined for mechanical failure from the moment they leave the factory. Having been a director of systems at a smaller brokerage house, I’ve seen many of these failures, which tend to be of two varieties: drives that fail within the first month, and drives that last for years, then suddenly fail.

In either case, you lose your data. Occasionally the data can be saved, sometimes rather easily, and other times at exorbitant cost. You should be backing up your data frequently, no matter what you use.

SSD does have the potential to be the more reliable mechanism, since there are no moving parts. In fact, the estimated lifespan for an SSD is considerable in the average usage scenario. By considerable, I mean decades.

If you put them into a database server, however, that lifespan dramatically decreases because of the limited number of write cycles that current flash memories deliver. Since most of the users here are unlikely to be in that predicament, there is no compelling reason, other than cost, to avoid them.

I would go as far to say they could be used for recording if you have the budget for them.

They do have a tendency to slow down over time at their present stage of development. With a low level format and a restore from a backup, this becomes irrelevant, although it does somewhat reduce the lifespan of the drive, it is not a significant issue, IMO. By the time the drive wears out under normal use, we will have certainly gone far beyond the present capabilities, anyway.

Hi,

great information!

But could you please elaborate on “not using sleep mode”? I think about getting a RevoDrive, for OS and most important samples. But there will be still many samples which will have to be loaded from hdds so I will need sleep mode.

I have 12 GB full to 95% with my Cubase templates, I plan upgrading to 24 GB and…yes… I will make full use of that too. So loading these templates certainly will take 10 minutes at least, even with a SSD.

Thanks!

This doesn’t make any sense.

You would not put your computer into sleep mode while loading samples.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sleep_mode

Hope that helps.

Ceiling Duck

lol, of course I don’t want use sleep mode, while the samples are loading. I’m talking about using it after they have been loaded :wink:

By using sleep mode I want to avoid having to close the project and reopening it after the reboot, as reopening would take very long.

By now, I do it that way; Project is loaded, RAM is full. Put PC to sleep - wake it up, continue working…

Well, in that case, good luck.

SSD hangs after returning from sleep mode are a common topic in SSD forums.