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SSD Cache + SSD Boot + HDD Storage???

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August 31, 2011 5:47:30 PM

I am a soon to be a Owner of a purdy Asrock Extreme7 gen3 Z68 board.

Which has the SSD Caching feature, now SSD caching isn't perfect and I ideally want the best of both worlds of a Pure SSD rig and the overall performance of a average SSD rig in alot of everyday tasks.

So I have recently purchased,

Patriot Torqx 2 32GB
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
( I got a good deal on with a 20$ promo code, since this drive has great write speeds.)

OCZ Agility 3 60GB
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

Now my plan was to have the OCZ as the primary drive, with OS and important games installed on.
And have the Patriot as the cache.

Now There is a Very big difference between Sata 2 and 3 speeds obviously.

This is where I am worried, as I only want the cache drive to be caching things off my 1TB WD Black, not off of the faster OCZ SSD.

Thoughts??


a b G Storage
August 31, 2011 6:21:34 PM

My question is: what do you think will be the advantage of caching the HDD to the SSD when you have the boot SSD? When you boot from the SATA 6.0 drive you will be getting the fastest load of your OS. After boot up, you will need to load (non-SSD) apps from the HDD. If the HDD is caching to the small SSD the speed will be slightly longer than a direct boot from the SSD. In other words the data flow starts with a read from the HDD, is transmitted to the cache to the SSD and then loaded to RAM. If the same commands or data needs to be accessed it is in the cache if it was a recent instruction call. Some improved speed there, but not a lot (as you have 8 GB of RAM for instructions to be stored in). Plus you will have the overhead of read-writes between the cache on the SSD and the HDD to keep changes refreshed. You will run a risk of data loss because of caching in a system crash.

In short, I don't see any advantage to your proposed setup, and some additional risk.


And, what processor do you plan to run? The i7 860 is not compatible with LGA 1155 (the Z68 mobo)?
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August 31, 2011 6:31:00 PM

Ah I'm not that active on Tom's I haven't kept my Rig up to date,

but ya I was just gonna jam my i7 860 into the board and see what happens :D 

I'm about to upgrade to,

CPU: i7 2600k (Coolit Vantage ALC P/P)
MOBO: Asrock Extreme7 Gen3 Z68
GPU: PCS+ 6950 Vortex II CF (850/1300)
RAM: 16GB Corsair Vengeance 1600
PSU: Corsair 850HX + 600V2
HDD: 1TB WD Black + 60GB S3 + 30GB S2 SSD's.

I will get most of my performance yes from the main SSD, which has OS and primary games on it.

And I planned to use the Cache SSD to speed up commonly used applications of the HDD which I know does work just takes a couple of runs, which would still be better in my mind then using that SSD as a pure storage as long as it isn't caching off of the primary but instead the Secondary HDD

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a b G Storage
September 1, 2011 3:16:19 AM

I have not heard of anyone using both a cached HDD to SSD and a boot SSD, and don't see any advantage to such a setup. A cached HDD/SSD setup speeds up the system by having the most commonly used program calls present in the cache: it doesn't speed up initial program calls. So say the system says "write x to screen." This instruction will be sped up only after an initial call. Subsequent calls of "write x to screen will be speedier than the initial call, but not calls like "play sound y on the sound processor." The second instruction will be sped up only after an initial call.

If your caching SSD has a transfer rate of 250 MBps and your HDD has a transfer rate of 50 MBps then the initial instruction call will have to go to the HDD and transfer it to the cache of the SSD before it can execute the initial call. All subsequent calls of the same instruction will be at the SSD speed if the cache has not been flushed.

However, a lot of instructions persist in RAM. If an instruction stays in RAM it will be magnitudes faster than even going to the SSD.

Again, I am not certain that the Z68 can set up both a boot SSD and a caching SSD. But, assuming it can, you would be much better off (in performance) buying either a larger SSD or using multiple SSDs without caching, for those critical apps with which you want fast loads. Caching is slower than solid state.

If you want to improve system performance with large apps (that require a lot of RAM) then the better solution is to add more RAM. Similarly, if you want fast loading apps from a HDD, the optimal solution is RAM caching to a virtual drive (more commonly known as a RAM disk). Say you max out your mobo at the 32 GB of RAM it can hold, you can build a virtual RAM disk of 16 GB to hold your most used calls. This is hundreds of times faster than either a SSD or a HDD. But it is risky too as a system crash will cause the RAM drive to disappear and it will have to be rebuilt from scratch.

Perhaps a better idea for the second SSD would be to store some apps that you want to load to a RAM disk. You could create a 8 GB RAM disk, with an automatic load routine at boot up from the SATA 3.0GBps SSD. Alternatively, you could use the smaller SSD as your memory/disk cache for windows. Either of these strategies would give (I think) better results than your proposal.

In any case, good luck.
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September 1, 2011 4:19:16 AM

The only case where I can find something that would work with the Z68 would be if I can target the Cache SSD to only affect say the non-primary HDD, then I would have a increased performance on applications I use from it. Yes.

But if there isn't this option then I'm likely screwed in that respect and will be forced to use it as a games drive.

Does anyone know if using SRT technology I can target specifically the HDD and ignore the primary drive?
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