SSD Types and Form Factors – An SSD Primer


PCIe SSDs are the workhorse of the bunch as a result of the absolutely amazing speeds they can achieve.  We have already shown that the OCZ Z-R4 PCIe SSD can reach 2.8GB/s transfer speeds and this is an unfair example as it is meant for enterprise use.  Looking a bit closer to home, however, the OCZ RevoDrive 3×2 PCIe SSD can be had for less than $700 and reaches performance speeds as high as 1.5GB/s.

To date, consumer PCIe cards have been the exclusive release of OCZ and the reason that they can reach such high speeds is actually pretty interesting and demonstrates just how fast technology is moving forward.  Here we are just moving into SATA 3 which technically doubles the speed of SATA 2 systems and along comes PCIe SSDs which sail by SATA speeds with ease.

This is because PCIe SSDs clip into your motherboards PCIe 2.0 slot and are not subject to the bottlenecks seen in SATA SSDs.  The downfall, of course, is that these are limited only to computer systems with an available PCIe slot, however, the absolute speeds reached are incredible.  Lets take a look at the ATTO result we received in testing the Revo 3×2.


A discussion of PCIe cards wouldn’t be complete without looking at the OCZ Z-R4 PCIe SSD in its comparison to the Fusion IO ioDrive Duo which we reviewed previously.

blankblankSpeeds reached in enterprise drives are almost too high to believe and, even the purpose of such performance, escapes the grasp of most of us.  Still, as a reviewer, I couldn’t go without showing off this kind of performance! Yes, that is 2.8GB/s!



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    Paul Andrew Mitchell

    We L-U-V all the fine photos, Les.


    /s/ MRFS

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    The writing here is terrible. You should hire an editor.

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    Just how massive is your Mastiff.
    An effective warning about your security system to potential evil-doers.
    Great picture… I did a double-take.

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    Great article! very benficial, helped me understand the SSD arena and how to make an informed decision at purchase time. keep up the good work.

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    You mention on page 3 “The mSATA SSD measures about 50mm long x 49mm wide x 4.85mm thick, or 1/3 the size of a business card”. Measurements are 50.8mm x 29.85mm x 4.85mm. Not 49mm.

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    Articles like these are one of the reasons I hold your site in such high regard. You do not cater only to the high-level enthusiast crowd, but instead work hard to ensure that you maintain as technologically-diverse an audience as possible. While many have tried to do this before, it has almost always inevitably resulted in failure, likely as a result of many websites “talking to” their more mainstream consumers as if they are stupid. You guys have managed to avoid this, and as such, I recommend this site to everyone who is considering purchasing a new storage solution, from friends who can barely manage to work an iPhone to others who share the same level of enthusiasm as myself when it comes to building their own PC.

    You guys rock!

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    GC AND TRIM IN SSDS EXPLAINED link does not work

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    A few words to tell you how much I have enjoyed reading your articles. I am preparing for my leap to an SSD. My lack of knowledge has prevented me until now. You have a skill of explaining things that has helped me greatly. Thanks.

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    Thanks for your article. I’m about to purchase the Sonnett Tempo Pro Plus.
    Do you have an opinion on this one. I like the idea of utilizing my current 250gb Samsung SSD which has been plodding along in the bay drive. I have a Mac Pro, Early 2008 which has the second PCI slot only being used by a 3.0 USB that I put in last year. I need processing power for Final Cut multi-cam editing. I can get by with this cheaper than the OWC 480gb version. Of course no 3 year warranty. The Sonnett looks cool, but no reviews on B&H. What would you do?

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    This one badly needs an update Les 🙂

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