SSD Caching Drive

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SSD Caching Drive

Postposted on Sat Feb 11, 2012 3:09 am

I'm pleased with most aspects of my current system. One area that could use improvement are my storage speeds. I have the Z68 chipset with Intel Smart Response. I've been looking at the OCZ Synapse as a solution for an SSD install without having to re-install my Win 7 operating system. With the smart response can I use any SSD as a caching drive or would the OCZ Synapse be a faster solution?
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dpmeersman
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Re: SSD Caching Drive

Postposted on Sat Feb 11, 2012 11:04 am

Pretty sure OCZ Synapse uses it's own software that you have to download.
Don't know if it is faster then Intel's software. (would be surprised if it was)

In the next few months there are supposed to be other companies releasing
SSD caching systems (Think I remember... Corsair or Crucial maybe).
I believe the article said that you could use any make or size SSD (unlike Intel).

jmc2
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Re: SSD Caching Drive

Postposted on Sat Feb 11, 2012 11:10 am

You can use a software like CASPER to clone the drive

http://www.fssdev.com/products/casper/smartclone.aspx

I also use it for the backup, is easy and you can have your system running in a few minutes if your HD dies. IN fact you only need to reboot the copied drive.
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Re: SSD Caching Drive

Postposted on Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:28 pm

joselillo_25 wrote:You can use a software like CASPER to clone the drive

http://www.fssdev.com/products/casper/smartclone.aspx

I also use it for the backup, is easy and you can have your system running in a few minutes if your HD dies. IN fact you only need to reboot the copied drive.

And what does this have anything to do with the context of this thread?
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Re: SSD Caching Drive

Postposted on Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:48 pm

To answer the original question: you can use any SSD as a cache. I use a Vertex 3 60GB that I picked up on sale and it works quite well.
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Re: SSD Caching Drive

Postposted on Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:55 pm

thegleek wrote:And what does this have anything to do with the context of this thread?

I suppose he was just trying to show the OP that he did not have to be concerned about reinstalling if he wants to move the system drive to an SSD and forget about caching. I remember there was another thread somwhere that talked about using ImageX to move the OS install to SSD too. So it is doable and no need to reinstall.
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Re: SSD Caching Drive

Postposted on Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:57 pm

Flying Fox wrote:I suppose he was just trying to show the OP that he did not have to be concerned about reinstalling if he wants to move the system drive to an SSD and forget about caching. I remember there was another thread somwhere that talked about using ImageX to move the OS install to SSD too. So it is doable and no need to reinstall.

Gotcha. When I read it, I was like... HUH? :roll: but yeah, thanks for clearing that up! :D
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Re: SSD Caching Drive

Postposted on Sat Feb 11, 2012 2:40 pm

Oh wait - I missed that part of the question as well. You don't have to re-install in order to activate an SSD as a cache, or to switch to Intel's RST drivers. You may have to do a tiny bit of fiddling with the registry to get the right driver to load if you're switching the mode of the SATA controller ... unfortunately I don't remember exactly what this entailed in my case. Sorry!

HOWEVER - if Windows 7 wasn't originally installed to a clean drive, the RST drivers may not let you cache the main drive. It's fussy about partition layout and where the drive is actually set to boot from (MBR/booting from partition) although what it actually wants is a bit mysterious. This won't be a problem for most people! Only if you've ever used the drive to dual boot or resized/moved parititons.
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Re: SSD Caching Drive

Postposted on Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:04 pm

dpmeersman wrote:... One area that could use improvement are my storage speeds. ... an SSD install without having to re-install my Win 7 operating system. ...

I read that as "I know I can put an SSD in to improve performance, but I don't want to reinstall so I am looking at the caching stuff". Someone was just suggesting that even moving the OS to the SSD does not need a reinstall. That should still be the best way.
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Re: SSD Caching Drive

Postposted on Sat Feb 11, 2012 5:21 pm

Lets straighten things back out here shall we?

You can clone your current hard drive and put it on an SSD and not have to reinstall windows. Using a SSD as the OS drive will be the fastest solution, although it generally requires a larger SSD, I recommend at least 90GB ($100 after MIR typically). If you only have the money for a 40GB SSD or something similar, then you'll have to settle with caching. SSD caching performance lies somewhere between OS on an SSD and OS on a mechanical hard drive without caching. Also, Intel Smart Response (caching) is limited to 64GB I believe.

The OCZ Synapse does ship with "Dataplex" caching software which gives the user the ability to use SSD caching even if they don't have a Z68 mobo. Other than the software, the Synapse is pretty much like any other SSD out there. And if you have a Z68 mobo and a Synapse, I wouldn't suggest using the OCZ software, it's most likely slower.

Here is how you enable AHCI mode after you've already installed Windows.
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