Forgive us a Rumsfeldism, but with any new technology there are both known unknowns and unknown unknowns. The OCZ IBIS HSDL 240GB is no different. Broadly speaking, there are three angles you can attack it from. Firstly, you can analyse the official specifications. Then you can peruse our benchmark results. Finally, there's the matter of long-term performance.
The first two are easy to deal with. OCZ claims maximum sequential read and write performance of 740MB/s and 720MB/s along with up to 125,000 IOPS. Incredibly, in testing we found those figures to be at least in part conservative.
Atto Disk Benchmark returns read and write maximums of 834MB/s and 700MB/s. Admittedly, the more demanding AS SSD test suggests marginally more modest sustained throughput of 681MB/s and 342MB/s.
But either way, the raw speed of this drive is borderline bonkers.
Elsewhere, the synthetic results are a little less impressive. 4K random reads and writes measure 24.75MB/s and 53.05MB/s respectively. That's not as good as we've seen from some single SandForce-powered SSDs running on the SATA interface.
That said, the 4K 64-thread random performance is frankly immense, clocking in at 417.94MB/s and 289.38MB/s.
Put the synthetics together and you have a picture of a drive that looks world beating when it comes to shifting big files around, but might not always have a huge advantage with smaller, bittier work loads. That's more or less in line with the results from our application benchmarks.
The IBIS is incredibly quick at shunting big files. That includes pulling files off another SSD located on a SATA connection, a task we found it to be over twice as quick at compared to two SSDs sharing the same SATA controller.
The same goes for copying large files around the IBIS itself. It's much quicker than a standard SSD. Less impressive is its performance in our 1GB zip file extraction.
Our test file contains scores of little files and the IBIS struggles to put significant distance between itself and conventional SSDs in this kind of real world test. It completes the extract in 29 seconds compared with 32 seconds for Samsung's latest SSD, the 470 Series.
That just leaves the matter of long-term performance. Currently, the all-important TRIM storage command in Windows 7 is not supported by drives hidden by a RAID array. Unfortunately, that applies to the IBIS as much as it does home-made RAID configurations.
However, the IBIS does benefit from the SandForce SF-1200's garbage cleaning routine that's designed to do much the same job. However, in our testing, we could not detect any evidence of the cleaning algorithms in action.
If you're the sort of video editing junky who routinely shunts huge files around his rig, you'll love the OCZ IBIS HSDL 240GB. It's an absolute screamer and comes close to hitting the magical 1GB/s mark in some circumstances.
Given the unique technology, it's also reasonable value compared to conventional high-capacity, high-speed SSDs.
For day-to-day computing this SSD-RAID-array-in-a-box solution is almost definitely overkill. While it delivers spectacular performance by most metrics, there's evidence in the 4K random results to suggest OCZ's IBIS isn't significantly quicker than cheaper SATA SSDs for routine storage work.