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SSD caching SATA 2 vs SATA 3

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September 15, 2011 11:07:42 PM

Hello all!

I am about to pull the trigger on a new build, and I would like some advice on my storage plan.

After much internet research I have decided that using the SSD caching feature on a Z68 board would be the most beneficial to my computing habits: Gaming (I know it doesn't increase FPS, but it will sure help out my Skyrim loading times)*, video editing, and photo shopping pics for popularity on reddit!

I am planning on getting a 1.5TB SATA 3 standard hard drive. I need a SSD to pair with this spindle drive for some cache action. Right now I can get the: intel 320 40gig SATA 2 drive for $100, OCZ Agility 3 60gig SATA 3 for $109, patriot pyro 60gig SATA 3 for $100, and some others found here: . What sticks out to me is the reliability of the OCZ A3 being quite poor and the speed of the Patriot Pyro being poor. (disclaimer**). If I get the Intel 320 SATA 2 will I see noticeable speed difference compared to a SATA 3 SSD? Or if You have an opinion on a different manufacture SSD...

Other things: I have heard while utilizing SSD caching there is NO trim support. (not that there would be anything to trim the point of a cache is to fill up to the brim and evict things as needed). I know when an SSD fills up it also starts to slow down. Thoughts opinions?

I am open to anything even if you say, "scrap the SSD cache its just a gimmick!"

NOTES:
* I plan on keeping my entire steam lib on my hard drive, so a dedicated SSD for boot and frequent apps is a no go.
** I am currently running an Intel X25-M G2 in my laptop and love the reliability & speed.
***I am trying to make my wish list on newegg public so I can post it here, But I am having some trouble finding it...
****Link didn't work http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

More about : ssd caching sata sata

September 15, 2011 11:28:22 PM

balistic2 said:


Other things: I have heard while utilizing SSD caching there is NO trim support. (not that there would be anything to trim the point of a cache is to fill up to the brim and evict things as needed). I know when an SSD fills up it also starts to slow down. Thoughts opinions?



I'm in the same boat as you, and hoping some people give some good insight here. Just wanting to add a thought and question as well. From what I understand, SRT has a limit to the size of the cache drive (It's either 40GB or 64GB, can't recall which), so to solve the problem of SSD's slowing down when they near 100% capacity, could you not put in a slightly larger drive than the allowed maximum for SRT caching, therefore never allowing it to fill up?
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a b G Storage
September 15, 2011 11:43:56 PM

Each ssd has a different rated speed so would be dependent on the ssd if sata 2 will bottleneck it.

64gb is the max, any extra will show as an extra drive. Although imo this is enough space to just leave it as a boot drive and still fit a couple games on it. This would allow better performance than ssd caching, and allow you to have direct control of what uses the ssd.

Trim is not supported by drives in raid which you must be to use ssd caching. Although trim works on drives not in raid even if you are in raid mode.
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a c 283 G Storage
September 16, 2011 12:22:32 AM

There is a lot of misunderstanding about caching. Intel developed caching for clients and businesses that could not afford a large capacity ssd. Back when the concept was on the drawing board, Intel hoped clients and businesses would purchase a small 10Gb or 20GB for about $100.00. Microsoft Windows 7 and all software applications would remain on hard disk drives. The cache only produced a minor boost in performance. Intel hoped that once clients saw the slight performance boost they might be inclined to purchase a larger ssd.

Intel also researched the size of the cache. Intel determined that a 60GB ssd was the point where it made no sense to use the ssd as a cache for a hard drive. Instead if you have a 60GB or larger capacity ssd, then Windows 7 and software applications should be installed on the ssd to take full advantage of the ssd capabilities.

It makes more sense to install Windows 7 and your software applications on the ssd. The ssd performance boost is much higher than the hard disk drive performance increase.

Windows 7 will use up a just a little over 21GB leaving plenty of room for software applications.

A few weeks ago Tom's Hardware published "SSD Performance In Crysis 2, World Of Warcraft, And Civilization V". It is an analysis of ssd's and gameplay. Here is the link:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-gaming-performa...

I did not want to pay a lot of money for an ssd either. I purchased a Kingston ssdNOW 100V+ 96GB ssd when newegg had it on sale for $99.99 and free shipping. They periodically repeat the sale. Just have to be patient and wait.

The 96Gb was more than enough for Windows 7 Pro 64, all of my Adobe photo editing applications, web publishing software, Microsoft Office Suite, and some additional software and utilities. The grand total came out to a little over 31GB and I still have over 60GB of unused space. Games are a bit different. You could probably load a couple of your favorite games on the ssd. If you have a lot of games you could store them on a hard disk. Swapping games between the ssd and the hard drive is easy.

The problem with ssd caching (Intel SRT) is that it only produces a small hard drive performance boost. Might as well use an ssd to it's full potential instead of settling for something less.

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September 16, 2011 12:24:53 AM

JohnnyLucky said:
There is a lot of misunderstanding about caching. Intel developed caching for clients and businesses that could not afford a large capacity ssd. Back when the concept was on the drawing board, Intel hoped clients and businesses would purchase a small 10Gb or 20GB for about $100.00. Microsoft Windows 7 and all software applications would remain on hard disk drives. The cache only produced a minor boost in performance. Intel hoped that once clients saw the slight performance boost they might be inclined to purchase a larger ssd.

Intel also researched the size of the cache. Intel determined that a 60GB ssd was the point where it made no sense to use the ssd as a cache for a hard drive. Instead if you have a 60GB or larger capacity ssd, then Windows 7 and software applications should be installed on the ssd to take full advantage of the ssd capabilities.

Since you are thinking of purchasing a 120GB ssd, it makes more sense to install Windows 7 and your software applications on the ssd. The ssd performance boost is much higher than the hard disk drive performance increase.

Windows 7 will use up a just a little over 21GB leaving plenty of room for software applications.

I do not know if you are a gamer but I hope you know that an ssd will not improve actual game play and it will not improve FPS. The only thing that happens is that the game will launch faster and levels, maps, or charts will load faster. If you participate in online gaming, then the ssd will not improve anything. You'll still be at the mercy of your Internet Service Provider.

A few weeks ago Tom's Hardware published "SSD Performance In Crysis 2, World Of Warcraft, And Civilization V". It is an analysis of ssd's and gameplay. Here is the link:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-gaming-performa...

I did not want to pay a lot of money for an ssd either. I purchased a Kingston ssdNOW 100V+ 96GB ssd when newegg had it on sale for $99.99 and free shipping. They periodically repeat the sale. Just have to be patient and wait.

The 96Gb was more than enough for Windows 7 Pro 64, all of my Adobe photo editing applications, web publishing software, Microsoft Office Suite, and some additional software and utilities. The grand total came out to a little over 31GB and I still have over 60GB of unused space. Games are a bit different. You could probably load a couple of your favorite games on the ssd. If you have a lot of games you could store them on a hard disk. Swapping games between the ssd and the hard drive is easy.

The problem with ssd caching (Intel SRT) is that it only produces a small hard drive performance boost. Might as well use an ssd to it's full potential instead of settling for something less.



Johnny I was waiting for your to reply, I have read that post in an earlier thread.... I did search... If you have any other info please add that. Such as the SATA2 vs SATA3 caching speeds.
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a c 283 G Storage
September 16, 2011 12:36:58 AM

SATA 2 3Gb/s and SATA 3 6Gb/s data transmission speeds do not apply because you are using an ssd as a cache for a hard disk drive. Either way there is only a small hard drive performance boost when compared to an independent ssd with Windows 7 and applications installed on the ssd.

If you go the independent ssd route, typical users usually can't tell the difference between SATA 2 and SATA 3 performance. One of the problems is an obsession with synthetic benchmarks. They are called synthetic for a reason and at best are only a very rough approximation of real world performance. The synthetic benchmarks make minor differences look much bigger than they really are. Manufacturers pick different benchmarks and use them to make their ssd's look better than they are.
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a b G Storage
September 16, 2011 1:14:20 AM

IMO, if you really want things to load fast, just get a bigger SSD to host both games and OS. The performance/$ on the caching solution is probably lower that full SSD.
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September 16, 2011 3:04:03 AM

If you decide to cache, I would do some research on the OCZ drives,a good number of people are having problems with the set up, both in cache and as boot drives. I am not saying you will have problems but read up on it. I tried to set up a cache with the Agility 3 with nothing but problems, switched to a Intel 311 (SATA 2) and have been trouble free ever since.

Have I noticed a difference vs. a HD only....yes. Is it as fast as an SSD boot drive.... no.
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September 16, 2011 3:20:24 AM

SSD changed everything for me. I have a stack of three Summit 60 Gig drives (I think...) with 128 mb buffers that could maybe run a read of 160 and a write of less. It still beat my raptors that were not too shabby. They always beat the Raptors in gaming. Load first rolling first. Until now.

I have a stack of 3 OCZ Vertex 3 in Raid o I use a old spinner with sufficient capacity to copy/backup this SSD raid.

There is a Patriot 60 gig SATA III on order and coming. That one is going to be installed as a Cache drive to "Accelerate" the system under Intel's software that manages the array. Why am I bothering with this when there is 16 gig ram on tap and the good speeds etc.

Well, if I can put the cache disk and allow the computer to tear into it instead of feeding page files or whatever, that would be great.

The summits sit in the parts bin because there is only one computer left capable of running them once I replace THAT motherboard to SATA 2.
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