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Best way to use ssd as hdd cache

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September 22, 2011 2:57:15 PM

currently using dual 500g f3's raid edition in raid 0 for boot/software w/3x1000g in raid 5 for data on an evga x58 classified, which i think supports sata 3.

I saw this on the front page:
http://www.tomshardware.com/news/OCZ-SSDs-Synapse-Solid-State-Drive-Cache,13488.html

It's nice, and a pre-setup package is nice, but figure I could do it a little cheaper myself.

Aside from a good ssd(probably 128G with the budget I have in mind), what software or setup would be required to use any ssd as a cache for the two raid 0 drives?

The article mentions "Dataplex caching software", is that integrated in the drive, or installed on the OS? Is it something I could purchase alone to pair with a drive? Is there a better(cough free/open source cough) product that would do the same thing?

I would probably go to raid 1/500G if the ssd was caching.

Thanks!

More about : ssd hdd cache

a c 283 G Storage
September 22, 2011 5:29:00 PM

According to the OCZ press release the caching software is integrated with the ssd. Therefore, the caching software is already installed. Typically the ssd is used as a cache for one hard disk drive. Windows 7 and all software applications and utilities are installed on the hard disk drive.

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 hard drive performance. Intel hoped that once clients saw the slight performance boost they might be inclined to purchase a larger ssd for much better performance. There are some individuals who view ssd caching as a marketing gimmick.

Intel also researched the size of the cache. The tried a variety of ssd capacities all the way up to 512GB. 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 software applications on an ssd. The ssd performance boost is much higher than the hard disk drive performance increase.

There should be a few technical reviews published one the ssd is available for purchase. It will be interesting to see how OCZ configured their ssd and what kind of real world performance boost it provides.
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September 22, 2011 5:46:18 PM

JohnnyLucky said:

Intel also researched the size of the cache. The tried a variety of ssd capacities all the way up to 512GB. 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.


Well, that's great if you are willing to make a conscious decision every time you install an app. Do I want this one fast, or can it be relegated to the slower disk? ok, let me see how much space i have left. oh! 21 gigs left. wait, am I supposed to leave 20% or 25% free. let me look that up.

you see what i am saying.

I would much rather have a 500 GB raid one array(sunk cost=free) boosted by a 60 or 120 gig cache that software is deciding what to put on the ssd.

Also, wouldn't a larger drive, like 120 or 240 allow a larger subset of installed apps to be cached? I would think the algo would use the full space to allow more to be cached.

you are correct, I know nothing about caching. if you could link me to a couple of good guides, I am willing to read through. perhaps then i could ask more informed questions.

thank you, johnny. you the man.
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a c 283 G Storage
September 22, 2011 6:37:53 PM

Here's the point you missed in my comments: "Typically the ssd is used as a cache for one hard disk drive."

I guess I should have explained a little more. With Intel SRT the ssd and one hard disk drive have to be configured in the system BIOS as a RAID0 array. In your case you already have dual 500g f3's raid edition in raid 0.

There had been talk of possibly using some sort of software application instead of relying on a chipset on an Intel Z68 based motherboard but it never got very far. In OCZ's press release it looks like they probably did that. Unfortunately we don't know yet if it is designed for use with just one hard drive. We're just need to wait for technical reviews once the ssd is acctually released for sale.

I am curious about something. You seemed concerned about having enough capacity on an ssd for software applications. What do you do with your computer?
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September 22, 2011 7:00:30 PM

JohnnyLucky said:
Here's the point you missed in my comments: "Typically the ssd is used as a cache for one hard disk drive."

ok i read that as a raid array being seen as a single drive/volume vs a single physical drive. heck, i can go to a single 500 if need be and mirror or backup to the raid 5 or something.

JohnnyLucky said:
I am curious about something. You seemed concerned about having enough capacity on an ssd for software applications. What do you do with your computer?

absolutely everything having to do with technology in staten island new york ny
you like how i gave it that google link juice with terms, lol.

yeah, that company is little old me.

games, dev(web, db, application), media of all types, i mean really what do i not do on there.

i'm one of those super over provisioners that wants 10 times the space that i need so i don't have to worry about it ie the 1.5 TB of raid 5 that is maybe 20% full right now.

I guess if I could get win 7 pro, cs5, my entire steam library(ok, mabye just three games at a time, i need to do that anyway), various random apps, many many browser versions for testing and what not, i don't know.

really that's just it, your making me answer the question i don't want to have to ask every time i install something. 500+120(do they stack or would i only get 500 total) is much better than 60 or 120.

I mean sure, i could get a couple of 512 GB ssds, and raid 0 them, but the wife has this crazy idea that I have enough computer already. madness i tell you madness. so i could probably talk her into a 120 GB drive.

the prices are dropping so fast in a year this is a moot issue, i just want to play with the tech. plus it's fun to discuss and i can apply it to clients systems. just got my first ssd from newegg last week for a client; have this pc running of it now so i can tweak and understand the tech. Now I WANT ONE. :) 

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September 24, 2011 6:38:35 PM

chedderslam, I'm totally with you on this.. a software-based ssd cache should be possible, but I bet it's reserved for high end servers where they can charge lots of money for it. only a matter of time before MS is forced to release this feature as part of windows.

however, if you happen to be buying a new mobo, there's intel SRT on z68, which claims to do this on a low level. looks like SRT would give 80% of the advantage of pure SSD.. seems like an okay sacrifice for the laziness gained and money saved over a huge SSD.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/269739-32-caching
http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleid=2594&p...

I'm building a new computer, was going to get a 128gb SSD, but now, considering the SRT, I might just get a 64gb SSD + 1 tb HD, maybe even with RAID mirroring. Might even split the SSD into 2 partitions, and put windows + virtual memory on one partition, and cache on the other :D 
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a c 283 G Storage
September 24, 2011 7:17:21 PM

Hey guys! I did mention that it looked like OCZ may have done it with with software. We'll just have to wait for the technical reviews to find out.
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September 24, 2011 8:20:55 PM

deletecode said:
however, if you happen to be buying a new mobo


gah, i spent so much on the x58/920 combo because i thought I would use it forever. learned my lesson :/ 
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September 24, 2011 8:42:03 PM

JohnnyLucky said:
Hey guys! I did mention that it looked like OCZ may have done it with with software. We'll just have to wait for the technical reviews to find out.


you are absolutely correct. it's not a rush or anything. just trying discuss and what not.
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October 6, 2011 12:55:29 AM

Best answer selected by chedderslam1976.
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March 18, 2012 5:44:45 AM

I just purchased a ASUS P8P67 and did a lot of research on it before I did. The SSD HHD caching was important to me and I thought I was ordering a board with that feature but when I looked up the specs on that feature I must have looked up the Z68 board (oh well). Anyways, I purchased 1 60 GB SSD and 1 WD Black 1 TB when I ordered the board (with a complete build) and realized I couldn't do it. At the time, there were so many other things to tweak that I didn't process an RMA (wasn't that big of a deal at the time). Long story short, I decided to put games on the SSD and added another WD Black for a Raid 0 (all important files backed up instantly because I use multiple computers). If the SSD isn't running the OS then there's not many benefits. I'm a Enthusiast though and wasn't happy with performance still. So I then decided to purchase another 60 GB SSD (the OCZ Solid 3 was a good budget SSD about $100 and reliability is-int a concern, just games). I then ended up with two Raid 0's (2 x 1TB HDD and 2 x 60 GB SSD). I really thought I would be ok on space (120 GB) and OS install to the SSD Raid 0 and move my user file to the HDD. It was extremely fast when I had it but it was a pain, and I reverted back. I still ran benchmarks though with the SSD Raid 0 and was very happy. I was maxing the controller I think on the SSD's (I was right near 1100 MB / Sec @ 8192.0 read on ATTO disk bench with the 2 SSD's and about 250 on the 2 WD's). Anyways, I thought about getting the Z67 still but read up more and there's a Marvell controller (2 SATA's on P8P67) with HyperDuo technology. This was released in 2011 but is-int advertised. I read up on it and although it can only do 1 HDD and 1 SSD it claims to achieve 80% of the SSD performance. I went to Marvell's website and there's some info but I'm confused as to why nobody talks about this, supposedly it was one of the first and worked well. Anyone know anything about it? I'm running everything on the 6 Intel SATA's I have now but heck if it does what it says it does, I'll try it. Supposedly it will do 1 HDD 1 SSD Cache at 80%...
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March 18, 2012 8:13:13 PM

I also realized, that there is some Trans coding benefits when using a i7 2600 K (which I have installed and stable at 4.3 Ghz 40-50 c) with the P8Z68 vs P8P67. This is because it makes use of the GPU I (think it's named the Intel 3000) in the processor. I notice when I encode, my CPU all cores and even the virtual cores (4 cores hyper thread to 8) total run around 80% load using Cuda tech with a PNY 560ti graphics card. This makes me want to upgrade even more because again, I'm an enthusiast. I don;t want to throw money in the garbage though. With me utilizing a 560ti and i7, does anyone think there will be benefits to also having the GPU in the processor help with video conversions? I know thats a tough one and maybe cant be answered without someone having the system... Still worth asking.
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