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Upgrade a RevoDrive 3 x2 240GB to a 480GB Version

Revodrive 3 x2 OCZ Hacking

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#1 Dr-Doom

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 03:07 PM

I just bought a referb OCZ RevoDrive 3 x2 240GB from NewEgg for cheap. Looking at the board, it looks like I can easily add in flash chips to the board. I haven’t got the board yet, but looking on the internet, it looks like the Flash chips are Mircon MT29F64G08CBAAA WPA chips, which are 48 pin TSOP MLC 64GBit chips. I should get the board tomorrow.

I am an experience electrical engineer, so it shouldn’t be a problem soldering some extra chips onto the boards. But I am wondering if the controller will see the extra memory. Since the Micron chips cost $10 to $20, it would be a nice upgrade and a lot cheaper than buying the 480GB versions.

 

Looking at the layout, they flash chips are in a 4 x 4 grid, making 16 of them, and then 32 of them because of the dual sided. Then the x2 has 2 boards, so 32 * 2 is 64 chips. So the 480GB version, which is really 512GB is 64 * 64Gbit, which is 4096GBit, then converted to 512GB.

 

The 240GB is 32 * 64GBit chips. So I will have to solder on 32 more 64GBit MLC flash chips to the two boards. I probably can get the chips at $14, so total would be $448. I got the card for $300, so total expense will be ~$748. Not too bad, since a brand new 480GB card costs $970 from TigerDirect, saving $222.

 

 

Has anyone tried this? I am assuming it will work, since the card BIOS would boot up and see the memory. But I might have to upgrade the BIOS. It might be a good hack, if I can get the MLC Flash chips cheap.

 

I probably couldn’t upgrade to the 960GB version. I am assuming the 960GB uses 128GBit chips, and has 64 of them. I could replace all of the chips, but it might not even work. I will just stick to looking at upgrading from 240GB to 280GB.

 


#2 Brian

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 03:12 PM

I went ahead and emailed OCZ. They surely won't sanction behavior like this, but I hope to get a list of red flags or other considerations. 


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#3 Dr-Doom

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 03:32 PM

It would be nice to get a list of red flags. Since the referb only has 18 months of warranty, it might be nice to try. Also, maybe be the first to hack a RevoDrive.

 

I believe OCZ is not too worried about this, since in most cases it doesn’t make financial sense to upgrade by hacking the card. On Tiger Direct the 240GB card sells for $615 and the 480GB is $970. The difference is only $315. Even if I got the 32 flash chips for $10 a chip, total cost would be $935. The $35 you saved wouldn’t be worth the risk or voiding your warranty and the soldering work.

 

Same goes for the 960GB version. Card costs $1667.25 at Atacom or $1997.48 at CDW. The 128GBit chips probable cost ~$20 a chip, so 64 * 20 is $1280. Then $615 for the 240GB card plus $1280 in chip is $1895. So it is cheaper just to buy the 960GB card. If you used the $300 referb card I got, then it would be $1310, saving $357.25. This might be worth it, but I don't know if you can upgrade to the 960GB version. Is it only the flash chips are different, or is other chips different between the 480GB and 960GB cards?


Edited by Dr-Doom, 30 January 2014 - 03:36 PM.

#4 Brian

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 03:56 PM

Well, you'd have 0 months of warranty if you start physically altering the drive ;)


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#5 Dr-Doom

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 06:06 PM

Well, you'd have 0 months of warranty if you start physically altering the drive ;)

 

True, but it will be fun voiding it  :D


#6 Dr-Doom

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 10:03 PM

I finally got my RevoDrive 3 X2 today. The delivery guy showed up at 6:45pm today to drop it off. A little late, but I am glad he came.

 

Looking at the board I noticed that it doesn’t use Micron flash chips anymore. It is now using OCZ flash chips, however, they could just be re-branded. The chip model number is M2501064T048SX21. I tried to search for just the chip to buy, and couldn’t find it. I just found SSD drives that use the chip.

 

That got me thinking. I can just buy an OCZ SATAIII SSD drive. Then take the flash chips out of the drive. NewEgg has a refeb Vector 258GB MLC drive for $160. Hopefully it has the 64GBit chips in them. Then I can take out the 32 MLC flash chips, and then solder them on the card. Then the total price would be $460 ($300 + $160). With a new 480GB card costing $970, that would be a saving of $510, which is huge. If this works out, I might have to buy some more, hack them, and then sale them. Thinking for $660 or $710. It would be a nice little profit. Now I need to find out if that SSD drive has those OCZ MLC 64GBit flash chips in it.

 

Edit:

I found that the OCZ Vector 128GB drive has 16 of the OCZ 64GBit MLC chips. Also NewEgg has referb drives for sale for $90 apiece, so $180. Still looking for info on the OCZ Vector 256 drive.

 

Edit 2:

Looks like the OCZ Vector 256GB use 128GBit flash chips and not the 64Gbit chips. Looks like I will have to buy two 128GB drives. Or I can buy four 256GB drives and upgrade to the 960GB card. Would cost $640 for the drives and $300 for the 240GB card, so total would be $940. The savings would be $727.25, which is pretty big. But still don’t know if the 960GB drive changes is just 128GBit flash chips. 


Edited by Dr-Doom, 31 January 2014 - 10:22 PM.

#7 Brian

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 04:22 PM

Any OCZ stamped NAND is someone else's. Not sure who they bought from when they were doing that but there are less than a handful of options.

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