OCZ RD400 PCIe NVMe SSD Review
By David Ramsey
Product Name: OCZ RD400 NVM Express M.2 Solid State Drive
Part Number: RVD400-M2280-512G-A
Prices: 128GB – $119.99, 256GB – $174.99, 512GB – $309.99, 1TB – $769.99
Full Disclosure: Toshiba/OCZ provided the product sample used in this article.
OCZ Storage Solutions was acquired by Toshiba, and they’ve been repurposed as Toshiba’s “enthusiast” brand for solid state storage. Prior to the Toshiba acquisition, OCZ’s “RevoDrive” PCIe SSDs used proprietary memory boards with multiple SSD controllers on a PCIe card to achieve large capacities (for the time) and amazing performance at an equally amazing price– in the sense that they were very expensive. These days, better performance can be achieved with a PCIEx4 SSD in the m.2 form factor, mounted on a simple PCIe adapter card (that you don’t have to use if your motherboard has an m.2 slot). Today Benchmark Reviews checks out this modern iteration of a PCIe SSD in the 512GB Toshiba RD400.
|Form Factor||m.2 2280 on PCIe card|
|NAND||Toshiba 15nm MLC Flash|
|Max. Read||Up to 2600MB/sec|
|Max. Write||Up to 1600MB/sec|
Solid State vs Hard Disk
Benchmark Reviews has championed SSDs over hard disks for many years, as we feel that even when prices were much higher than they are now, the superior performance was worth it. Now that SSD prices have come down dramatically, there’s little reason for any but the most basic computers to use a spinning hard disk as a primary drive.
However, we’re now in the middle of another transition: within the last 18 months or so, standard SATA SSDs have all run up against what used to be the performance province of only the higher-end drives: the bandwidth limitations of the SATA interface. This means that no matter how fast your SSD is, you’re never going to see more than about 550MB/s transfer rates unless you stripe multiple drives together in RAID 0.
Moving from SATA to PCI Express (PCIe) is the obvious solution, but it required different controllers, and many desktop systems, especially enthusiast systems, simply didn’t have the PCI-E lanes to spare. The introduction of Intel’s Skylake architecture added more PCI-E lanes, and the icing on the cake was the introduction of NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express) to supplant the older IDE and AHCI protocols, which were design for spinning hard disks and suffered from efficiency issues with fast SSDs.
The latest crop of PCI-E m.2 SSDs implementing the NVMe protocol promises vast increases in performance. Let’s see how this drive compares.