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OCZ Z-Drive R4 C PCI Express 1.6TB SSD Review – OCZ Z-Drive R4 versus FUSION-IO ioDrive Duo

PCMARK VANTAGE X64 HDD SUITE

The SSD Review uses benchmark software called PCMark Vantage x64 HDD Suite to create testing scenarios that might be used in the typical user experience. There are eight tests in all and the tests performed record the speed of data movement in MB/s to which they are then given a numerical score after all of the tests are complete. The simulations are as follows:

  • Windows Defender In Use
  • Streaming Data from storage in games such as Alan Wake which allows for massive worlds and riveting non-stop action
  • Importing digital photos into Windows Photo Gallery
  • Starting the Vista Operating System
  • Home Video editing with Movie Maker which can be very time consuming
  • Media Center which can handle video recording, time shifting and streaming from Windows media center to an extender such as XBox
  • Cataloging a music library
  • Starting applications

If you are new to testing and considering benchmark software, this is the best you can get because the program goes well beyond the results of simulated testing as we have already done. In comparing SATA 2.0 SSDs, we have reached the bandwidth limit and the performance of most new SATA 2 SSDs is as high as it can get with typical high sequential access speeds in the area of 280MB/s read and 270MB/s write.  This observation can again be seen with drives of different manufacturers that utilize similar components within and have very similar specifications.

We needed a way to differentiate these drives and to find a method that can actually put one drive above another and this is exactly what Vantage testing does. Its tests combined can provide an accurate comparison between drives and its tests individually can assist a smart shopper in finding the best SSD for their needs. Next to actual true to life testing which can take an insurmountable length of time, PCMark Vantage is the only program that can compare any SSD, side by side, regardless of SATA interface or controller in use.

Z-DRIVE VANTAGE HDD SUITE TOTAL POINTS

The total point score achieved for the Z-R4 was 118,649 with a single test high of 1111MB/s transfer speed when testing in Media Center.  By comparison, the result of the io-D was 94,457 points with a single high test of Vista StartUp where its transfer speed reached 711MB/s.  We expected such from the io-D because we have been secretly comparing it to the Revo 3×2 behind the scenes but we have to admit that we expected higher from the Z-R4.  In the end, we have to keep in mind that the Z-R4 is as pure of an enterprise commodity as it can be and, further, that PCMark Vantage was created for consumer testing.

Z-R4

io-D

PCMARK VANTAGE SCSI AND RAID COMPARISON CHART

  • Tanya

    Would be more fair if you compared it to the 1.28 TiB variant of the Duo.
    Brilliant article none the less…

    • I agree totally but we have to work with the hardware that we have access to. As for the compliment of it being a brilliant article, totally unexpected and thank you very much.

      • “we have to work with the hardware that we have access to”

        OK, so you have access to the fastest OCZ hardware but not the fastest FIO hardware…and this makes for a subjective test? Seriously? When do you expect to have current hardware for live testing? Any chance we might get actual server-side testing to show off the true strength of FIO hardware and, more importantly, software? Oh wait, then we couldn’t have a test could we…you’d need a competitor other than OCZ….

      • WE would be pleased to hear suggestions as to other sources of competition for the card. Thanks ahead.

      • Vmdaversa

        not sure why the harsh response or love affair with Fusion. Why do you care which company? I say Fusion should put up the hardware like OCZ and do real life tests within applications. Both companies can put there money where their mouth is.

      • Harsh response? Love affair? I guess I am a bit confused because, well, myself, when I read an article I want to know the reviewers opinion and feelings just as much as I do facts alone. This is what keeps my interest.

        It is also an important factor to help the reader. Take for instance the stuttering 602 controller a few years back. Can you imagine a reviewer saying, ” The drive stalls and stutters a bit but is still a large step up from a hard drive” Say it like it is I believe and hope our fellow members feel the same.

        Thank you for taking the time to respond and expressing your feelings.

      • Xman

        This is subjective because the z-drive r4 is cheaper than the FIO drive.

      • You find it subjective because one performs alot better yet is alot cheaper? How so?

  • DatabaseFire

    Please update using the ioDrive 2 they just released, also

  • Anonymous

    Finally SSDs start approaching the RAM speeds. Not very useful yet for the regular users without deep pockets. So meantime we still get 2-5 times of these speeds with software based QSoft RAMDrive and, thanks to DRAM price drop, at the $5/GB. While many even never heard of that but we are enjoying such crazy RAMDrives’ speeds for our apps for almost a quarter of century since the DOS times.

    Suggestion to authors – test it just for fun. The latest QSoft Enterprise edition or one of Romex Software have a lot of nice functions allowing to auto backup the RAMdrive and load it back when you switch on and off your computer. Yes it might be lost if PC crash if you do not autobackup things, but this typically never happen, It is not for servers or critically important files but in its turn it is soooooo much faster and is eternal (well, lifetime guarantee) and no wearing off, TRIM, problems with compressed or 4K files.

    I do not know while similar board designs of RAMDrives as these two SSDs are not making its road to the world (with just the battery backups) – they are so much faster t yet

  • VMD

    nice review. I like both of these companies, but I think you need to compare the iodrive II DUO if you really want to compare head to head what each manufacture would put against another. Another addition that would be nice is to see performance of actual work like indexed data using lucene. What is the performance gain on these working enviornments.

    • We have been in contact with FusionIO during CES and just may be able to appease your request soon enough.

      • MySchizoBuddy

        OCZ Z-R5 is also coming

  • VMD

    Sorry, but thinking this through HP should donate some equipment or Dell as well as updating the cards and also add tests of real applications to see performance gains. This was a great article none the less. Thank You

  • MySchizoBuddy

    “Is there really a need for anything that fast?” with 4 dual GPUs being used for CUDA/OPenCl application you do need even more than what is being provided to keep the GPUs filled with data with bottleneck.

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