Intel Smart Response recommended in certain situation?

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Intel Smart Response recommended in certain situation?

Postposted on Fri Oct 04, 2013 7:40 pm

I've just bought the parts for a ~$650 build for a couple who are not very tech savvy, but wanted something future proof. I ended up with an H87 motherboard, i5 Haswell, a 120 GB SSD and a 500GB Seagate Baracuda HDD (plus PSU, case, 8GB ram, no GPU as they don't game). I would have got a 1TB HDD, but they honestly don't need very much storage, and I got the 500GB drive for $45.

If this was my own build, I'd not bother with an SSD caching solution if I absolutely didn't need the space for programs, and just make the SSD the boot drive. However, I think it might be simpler for them to operate if I just set it up as a single drive, with the SSD as cache. The Intel Smart Response is appealing because I can set it in the bios, and not have software for them to mess with. Can anyone surmise how much performance this would sacrifice? Will it really be a waste of the SSD? I've never used Smart Response myself..

Thanks in advance for the advice!
cynan
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Re: Intel Smart Response recommended in certain situation?

Postposted on Fri Oct 04, 2013 9:45 pm

I believe the largest amount of cache the SRT can use is 64GB, if so - using 120GB drive would be a waste...
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Re: Intel Smart Response recommended in certain situation?

Postposted on Sat Oct 05, 2013 2:41 pm

JohnC wrote:I believe the largest amount of cache the SRT can use is 64GB, if so - using 120GB drive would be a waste...

This is true.

It'll be nice in the future if it allows larger drives, but the extra space would go unused now (unless you set it up as an extra partition but I doubt they'd use it).

I would, however, last forever and massively speed up the whole system. I set up my grandfathers computer like this and he loves it.
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Re: Intel Smart Response recommended in certain situation?

Postposted on Sat Oct 05, 2013 8:08 pm

I plan to use Smart Response when I upgrade my system. It gives a big boost to performance without having to worry about whether the SSD will go bad, swapping programs between two drives, or wrestling with Windows' unhealthy love for the letter C.
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Re: Intel Smart Response recommended in certain situation?

Postposted on Sat Oct 05, 2013 8:17 pm

Hmm. Too bad I didn't just get the 64GB drive. I wonder why the limitation on SSD size? I can't think of a good reason for it..

What I was really hoping for was an indicating of how much performance (eg, boot times and such) that I'd be giving up with Smart Response vs justusing the SSD as a boot drive.

Thanks for the replies.
cynan
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Re: Intel Smart Response recommended in certain situation?

Postposted on Sat Oct 05, 2013 9:57 pm

I run an older Vertex 3 60GB with an (oooooooold) WD Green 2TB using Intel SRT. Technically, there is software (you "accelerate" the HDD using Intel's RST drivers) so you cannot just set it up in BIOS. I remember seeing a benchmark comparison of SRT vs native use of the drive, but I can't remember who did it. I run it through SRT and not as a boot drive for two reasons - one being that I didn't have to reinstall anything, I could just attach it to my existing Win 7 install, and also so that I didn't have to worry about managing the other software on it - it caches whatever game I happen to be playing a lot on it automatically.

It's true there's a 64GB limit, but the RST drivers let you split the remaining space off into a regular partition.
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