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Monumental OCZ PCI Express Z-Drive SSD Hits Retail

Gordon Kelly


Monumental OCZ PCI Express Z-Drive SSD Hits Retail

We've lusted after the OCZ Z Drive ever since we first saw it back in March and now we can get our hands on one - if only we could afford it!

OCZ has confirmed to us that six models of Z Drive are now on sale in 256GB, 512GB and 1TB capacities with a choice of MLC (multi level cell) or *brace your wallet* SLC (single level cell) NAND flash memory.

So first (and in order to make you hate us by the end) is the performance data. OCZ states the PCI Express based line will see 750MB/sec and 800MB/sec read speeds from MLC and SLC drives respectively and 650MB/s (MLC) and 750MB/sec (SLC) write speeds along with 10,000 (MLC) and 16,000 (SLC) IOPS (4k file size - random write). These are ballistic figures somewhere about 3/4x other leading SSDs. Perhaps I haven't mentioned the coolest part yet though since, despite being PCI Express based, the Z Drive is bootable. That's right, you can install your OS on it for an untouchably fast PC.

MTBF (mean time before failure) is quoted at 900,000 hours, they are also compatible with Windows XP 32/64, Vista 32/64, Windows 7 32/64, Linux, Mac OS X 10 and above while each drive comes with a three year warranty.

So the painful bit: price. OCZ has only given us RRPs for the SLC models (p84) which come in at *take a seat* $1,349.99 (256GB), $2,149.99 (512GB) and $4,049.99 (1TB). The MLC variants (e84) should be significantly less, but no matter I suspect it is time to pick your jaw up off the floor and admit defeat. It's painful I know...


Z Drive Product Page


September 21, 2009, 4:21 am

So this is what we will be using in our desktops in 3 or 4 years Time when they are cheaper.

speeds are lustful, you have to admit we have been bottlenecked with 7200rpm drives for So long

All Hail Nand Flash & SSD


September 21, 2009, 5:01 am

Does the government car scrappage scheme apply? :)


September 21, 2009, 5:06 am

Yep, in 10 years time this'll be the size of a stamp and they'll be giving them away like DVD's on the covers of PC Builders magazines.

Thanks heavens for rich, early adopters who pave the way for skin-flints like me :)


September 21, 2009, 5:07 am

@ Ironduke - Uh, we won't be using PCI-E drives, no. The only reason they used that is because the existing SATA/SAS interfaces don't offer enough bandwidth (only 300MB/sec vs the 2GB/sec of the 4 PCI-E lanes these drives offer)


September 21, 2009, 5:08 am

I remember in 1992 (or something like that) I left school and started at an IT company. Pretty sure there were servers that required Winchester drives at about £3k. Oh they were about 10mb in size. It wont be long. I see these being used in some High End workstation for a year, then high end games machines, then 10 a penny. Cant wait


September 21, 2009, 5:42 am

O_o ???

Expansion cards have been bootable for years! I remember the SCSI PCI-X card in my old NT4.0 box!


September 21, 2009, 12:52 pm

All they're gonna do is bring your PC's response times up to the same level as a 1997 Nokia 6210 hahaha!

Very nice though - i wonder how much i can get for a kidney ;)


September 21, 2009, 4:08 pm

@ThaDon: All they're gonna do is bring your PC's response times up to the same level as a 1997 Nokia 6210 hahaha!

Yep, install Vista or Windows 7 after service pack, and watch you investment/gains magically disappear.


September 21, 2009, 4:39 pm

truly impressive...

In about 10 years time, we wont be needing any hdd space on personal computers.. cloud tech should save us all from buying expensive hardwares... hopefully


September 21, 2009, 6:07 pm

hope someone tests game level load times with this.crysis load in one second?

Don Kanonjii

September 21, 2009, 6:14 pm

Wow! only $4,000!? Signe me up for a dozen!





In your dreams! how can they honestly expect to sell them?


September 21, 2009, 7:28 pm

Whack a couple of these in a Power Mac and Final cut users will like you. 1080p uncompressed is 1.5Gbps (1TB = 90 mins.)


September 21, 2009, 10:42 pm

I @Keith: I don't think even WINDOWS can stop these babies! A well-specced, well-patched, well defragged, well serviced XP machine and a well-used OSX machine are nearly neck and neck in terms of normal user usage in my experience, so anything that cuts out or eliminates the HDD bottleneck is very very welcome. THIS is the sort of technology that people should be pushing to adopt in my humble opinion...

Digital Fury

September 22, 2009, 10:19 am

@Peter, you can do this today with a high-end Areca or HighPoint RAID-6 card and 8x HDs for way less money.


September 22, 2009, 8:02 pm

digital fury what are you on? that card gives a sustained read of about 100mb this is 750mb

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