The OCZ IBIS is quite unlike other SSDs, so it's worth examining what comes with the package in detail. First up, there's an add-in, four-lane, PCI Express card. The OCZ IBIS HSDL 240GB model is bundled with a single-port HSDL card enabling the connection of just one drive.
However, there's also an optional four-port card enabling four-way IBIS action and quite ludicrous theoretical storage performance.
The HSDL card is essentially a dumb connector allowing the drive to interface with the PCI Express bus via a mini-SAS cable – the same cable type used by high performance SAS RAID cards. However, while the physical connectors are the same, HSDL is not electrically compatible with SAS RAID.
The drive itself conforms to the standard 3.5-inch hard disk form factor via a nicely screwed-together brushed alloy case. Along with the mini-SAS data socket, the case has a standard SATA power port. With the PCIE card, the mini-SAS cable, the drive itself and some drivers for the 'have disk' Windows installation procedure, you've got everything required for some serious storage speed.
In terms of detailed specifications, the single-port HDSL card only supports PCI Express 1.1 and is therefore rated at 10Gbps or 1.25GB/s. To put that into context, the SATA 3Gbps is currently the most common storage interface in PCs, while SATA 6Gbps is a relatively recent addition to the latest motherboards and PCs. Only a small handful of 2.5-inch SSDs support SATA 6Gbps.
Crack open the 3.5-inch IBIS enclosure (not something we'd recommend), and you'll find a pair of circuit boards, each with two SandForce SF-1200 controllers and 120GB of flash memory.
Our review drive is the 240GB model, but OCZ offers configurations ranging from 100GB all the way to 960GB. Despite hefty pricing in excess of £500, the 240GB model arguably offers the best combination of value and capacity in the IBIS range.