OCZ's New SSD RAID Promises Speed, Bankrupcy

The ribbons came off on OCZ's latest solid-state creation yesterday. Dubbed the "Z-Drive," the new solid-state storage device more resembles a videocard than your average flash-based, 2.5-inch drive. That's because the company is packing four of its Vertex SSD drives into a single enclosure, then connecting this RAID 0 of drives to your motherboard via a PCI Express x4 interface.

Depending on the size of the Z-Drive, read and write speeds are expected to range from up to 450 MB/s and 300 MB/s for the company's 250GB offering to 500 MB/s and 470 MB/s on OCZ's top, terabyte offering. OCZ splits the difference by offering a 500GB version of the Z-Drive as well. All three versions come with 256MB of onboard cache, a significant size given that conventional solid-state drives max out at 64MB.

So how much will a four-drive array of SSDs set you back? OCZ hasn't released the pricing yet, but a European retail leak puts the Z-Drive between $1,200 and $3,000 dollars, depending on the model. Give that you can pick up a 60GB version of the Vertex SSD for around $250 retail right now, that's just a tiny bit of an overhead for the PCI Express functionality and onboard RAID controller.

Although a number of SSD manufactuers are turning toward these PCI Express-based SSDs--including Fusion-io and, most recently, Super Talent--it's hard to believe that these devices are marketed toward the average consumer. The most compelling adoption issue facing solid-state drives remains their price. Asking $200-$300 for a low-capacity solid-state drive is one thing; pushing $1,000 for an array of drives is going to be a tough sell, even for enthusiasts. But to be fair, had you a nickle every time a publication said that about solid-state drives, you'd have your terabyte RAID in no time.

Shop ▾
arrow up Amazon Shop buttons are programmatically attached to all reviews, regardless of products' final review scores. Our parent company, IDG, receives advertisement revenue for shopping activity generated by the links. Because the buttons are attached programmatically, they should not be interpreted as editorial endorsements.

Subscribe to the Best of TechHive Newsletter