OCZ RevoDrive 3 PCI-Express SSD
Author: Shawn Knight
Editor: Josh Maronde
Date: 12-05-2011
Provided by: OCZ Technology
First Look

Included in the retail package is the RevoDrive 3 card, a mini driver disc, installation manual and an OCZ SSD sticker.

At first glance, the RevoDrive 3 doesn't look too much different than the original that started it all. Both are built on a black PCB with an array of memory chips near the front of the card and two SandForce controllers near the middle. Both cards utilize a PCI-e x4 interface, fill only a single expansion slot and have provisions for a daughter card, known as the X2. Like the original, the X2 consists of an addition card that mounts onto the RevoDrive using the four screw holes and a connector to bridge the two parts together. But this is where the similarities end.

The RevoDrive 3 includes dual updated SandForce SF-2281VB1-SDC controllers and OCZ-branded memory modules labeled M2501064T048AX21. These are 25nm asynchronus MLC NAND chips, 8GB per chip, 32 total chips on this 240GB card (256GB before provisioning). The real secret behind OCZ's RevoDrive 3, however, lies in the new SuperScale Storage Controller and OCZ's proprietary Virtualized Controller Architecture 2.0 (VCA) technology.

Rather than recite everything myself, I'll let OCZ's Kevin Wagner, vice president of enterprise solutions, explain VCA 2.0 in the video below.

One thing to note - while the RevoDrive supports TRIM, the feature doesn't yet work under Windows on the RevoDrive 3. The reason is because the command cannot be passed through the drivers that the card uses. As of writing, we have no idea if or when Microsoft will release an update for this. A complete breakdown of VCA 2.0 can be found by clicking here (PDF).

Additionally, VCA 2.0 isn't compatible with all motherboards. We suggest you check out this list of compatible boards before buying.

The rest of the card is pretty simple. OCZ has added a passive heatsink to help cool the new SuperScale Storage Controller as well as a descriptive RevoDrive 3 sticker on the outside of the PCI-e bracket. Much like the original, there is a series of diagnostic LEDs on the card, although they have been moved to the front edge on the RevoDrive 3.

Let's move ahead and get the RevoDrive 3 installed in our test system.

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