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SSD Caching (Smart Response Tech) vs. standard SSD setup

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October 27, 2011 11:00:49 PM

So I took the plunge and ordered some new hardware including a 180 gig SSD. Initially, I had intended to use this drive as my Operating System drive, and also for the soon to be released Elder Scrolls - Skyrim. :pt1cable:  (Just wanted to see how performance improved)

Then I would use my 750 Gig Caviar Black drive for apps & storage. I currently use the exact same setup except for my system drive is currently a 150 gig Velociraptor instead of a SSD.

But along the way I did a little research into the Smart Response Technology available now and how over time it remembers your frequently used programs and stores them on your SSD basically caching your apps as if they were installed directly on the SSD. I can see where this has advantages in that virtually all of your most used apps could be stored in its cache. And according to stuff I've read you can get by with a much smaller SDD thereby saving a little money. (Too late, I already bought a bigger one, lol.)

However, I have some reservations of this method, mostly in that it also said that you could only have the SDD & the main mechanical drive installed and no others. Is this true? Surely you could have an external USB drive plugged in couldn't you? I also read that with a SRT setup you won't use more than 60 Gig of your SSD?

So if anyone with experience in this type of setup could provide a little feedback or advice, I would greatly appreciate it.


At the end of the day, I'll most likely go with the first setup I mentioned.

[C] SSD for OS &
[D] Storage & Apps

And I'll also get an external USB 3.0 drive as my redundant backup. (I'm OCD about backing up and saving stuff, lol.)

Anyway, if you got any tips please post 'em.

Thanks!
October 27, 2011 11:10:53 PM

My biggest tip to you would be to grab a copy of the Ultimate BootCD as it has HDDErase 4.0 on it...

You will need this or HDParm to restore performance to the SSD once it comes time to reinstall everything back on it...

Only those two apps can perform what is called a Secure Erase and restore performance to the drive...

A simple zero-fill cannot...

And remember, defragging is worthless on an SSD...
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October 27, 2011 11:18:27 PM

OK, perhaps I was a little unclear. This will be basically a new build from scratch. New MOBO, CPU, SDD & RAM will go in my current Antec 900 case with a GTX 480 and my other HDD and power supply. Sorry, I should have been more descriptive of what I was doing. I'm also going from Vista 64 Home to Windows 7, so it will all be a fresh install of everything.
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a c 523 G Storage
October 27, 2011 11:21:00 PM

Go with the standard setup of using your SSD as your O/S drive.

The purpose of Intel SRT is to boost the performance of a HDD with the O/S on it with a small (64GB and less) SSD as a cache drive.

With a 180GB SSD you will have better performance using that as your O/S drive and installing your currently used games on it. When you're no longer playing a game installed on your SSD you can store it to your HDD and then uninstall it from your SSD.
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a c 523 G Storage
October 27, 2011 11:35:04 PM

FlopZnuts said:
However, I have some reservations of this method, mostly in that it also said that you could only have the SDD & the main mechanical drive installed and no others. Is this true? Surely you could have an external USB drive plugged in couldn't you? I also read that with a SRT setup you won't use more than 60 Gig of your SSD?


When you set up Intel SRT the HDD and the SSD together are seen in Windows as 1 logical drive ("C:" drive for example).
You can add other SSDs, HDDs, external USB drives, etc. to your motherboard and they will be seen as D:, E:, F:, etc.
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a c 283 G Storage
October 28, 2011 4:39:39 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 ssd for about $100.00 (Intel M11 ssd). Microsoft Windows 7 and all software applications would remain on hard disk drives. The cache produced a boost in hard drive performance but it was not equal to a stand alone ssd. Intel hoped that once clients saw the slight performance boost they might be inclined to purchase a larger ssd for much better performance.

Intel also researched the size of the cache all the way up to 512 GB. 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 ordered a 180GB ssd, it makes more sense to install Windows 7, your software applications, and your most favorite games on the ssd. The ssd performance boost is 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 and games. Additional games and other files can be stored on the hard disk drive. The games can be swapped as needed.

The Intel SRT can only be used with one hard disk drive. You most certainly can have additional ssd's, hard disk drives, optical drives, and other storage devices connected to the motherboard. They just won't be part of the SRT and they will function normally.
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October 28, 2011 2:52:21 PM

Thank you folks. That is some very good info Johnny. That all makes perfect sense. This will make it MUCH easier for me because I already have everything I want already on my storage drive! So I can just put in my new guts, boot it up, inatall my OS and I should be good to go! (I'll probably have to register some of my purchased software again, but that's no biggie as I'm OCD about saving reg codes and have a nice spreadsheet with all that on it, lol.

Anyway, thanks again everybody!
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a c 353 G Storage
October 28, 2011 3:15:23 PM

As Always, Johnny is right ON +5.

Just a comment:
Make sure you DISCONNECT your HDD and verify that AHCI is enabled before installing windows 7 on SSD. If Intel system, SSD should be on Intel port for best performance and after Win 7 Installation down load and install Intels latest RST driver (ver 10.6)
When done with installation, Then reconnect your HDD.
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October 29, 2011 12:02:53 AM

Thanks Chief. My plan was to gut my case and clean her all up real good, take the fans out & clean them etc. Then I'll install the MOBO with the liquid cooler on the CPU, my DVD drive, the SSD and the memory. Boot into BIOS, set the AHCI and cross my fingers it will then boot into the Windows 7 install utility. After the OS is installed I'll install all my MOBO chipset & stuff, and start adding my GPU, sound and HDD. (Then enter reboot hell mode for an hour or so, lol.... :fou:  :pt1cable: )

I saw another thread that suggested the SDD be placed it on the SATA3_0 port for my MOBO, and the DVD player on SATA_4. And plug my HDD up to SATA_1 after I get the OS up and running. Does that look about right? I've already downloaded my MOBO user manual and everything I see in it seems to confirm this procedure.

Thanks again everybody.
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a c 353 G Storage
October 29, 2011 2:32:45 AM

Not sure what MB you have and how the Sata Ports are numbered.
But Yes the SSD should be on the INTEL Sata III (6)_0. I generally put the DVD drive at, or near the end. The HDD can go on either the marvel Sata III (6) port, or on the first sata II (3) port.
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October 29, 2011 11:47:17 AM

Here's how my manual has them designated:

SATA3_0/1 (SATA 6Gb/s Connectors, Controlled byIntel Z68 Chipset)
Plug my SDD into the SATA3_0 plug.

SATA2_2/3/4/5 (SATA 3Gb/s Connectors, Controlled by Z68 Chipset)
Plug my DVD into one of these.

GSATA3_6/7 (SATA 6Gb/s Connectors, Controlled by Marvell 88SE9172 Chip)
Plug my HDD into the SATA3_6 plug.
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a c 353 G Storage
October 29, 2011 3:03:59 PM

That's the same as my ASsRock Z68
I have two SSDs plugged into SATA3_0 &1
HDD pluged into SATA2_2
BLU_Ray Writer pluged into Sata2_4
I Plan on adding a 2nd dvd drive and a 2nd HDD to fill up the Sata 2 intel ports.

The Marvel controlled ports I have not used, but would be fine for say HDD, Just do not use them for SSD.
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October 29, 2011 3:53:22 PM

Hopefully this will be that last time I bug you, lol. And I truly appreciate the advice. My HDD is a WD Caviar Black SATA 3 drive. I was reading up a little on this on wikipedia (dangerous I know) and it says,

Quote:
"Standard hard disks cannot transfer data fast enough to require more than 3 Gbit/s; but they can nevertheless benefit from the later standard as reads from their built-in DRAM cache will be faster across the later interface. According to Seagate "Cache-efficient desktop applications such as gaming, graphics design and digital video editing can experience immediate incremental performance using a SATA 6Gb/s interface". Drives with bigger, faster caches were introduced to benefit from the faster interface.


So based on that do you think I might get the best performance available on my MOBO by putting the HDD on one of the 6.0 ports? Would there be a problem with using the SATA3_1 plug for my HDD and the SATA3_0 plug for my SDD?
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a c 353 G Storage
October 29, 2011 5:02:00 PM

No problem can use intel 0 for SSD and 1 for HDD. Could also plug HDD in to Marvel Sata III port.
Only disadvantage of using HDD in Intel Sata III port would be if you bought a 2nd SSD, you would need to move HDD.

What you read is what I was refering to as a higher burst speed, Which only improves what is in cache.
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November 1, 2011 9:07:54 AM

Quick update: I'm posting this from my new build with my new SSD and upgraded hardware! Everything installed perfectly, booted just like it should have and came off without a hitch! Flawless new build. Thanks again for the help!
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November 2, 2011 2:54:02 PM

RetiredChief said:
As Always, Johnny is right ON +5.

Just a comment:
Make sure you DISCONNECT your HDD and verify that AHCI is enabled before installing windows 7 on SSD. If Intel system, SSD should be on Intel port for best performance and after Win 7 Installation down load and install Intels latest RST driver (ver 10.6)
When done with installation, Then reconnect your HDD.
No offense, but all that "johny" does is copy and paste his information. below is a test in which i used a Mushkin Chronos Delux 60gb/WD 500gb BEVT drive
CrystalDiskMark 3.0.1 x64 (C) 2007-2010 hiyohiyo

Crystal Dew World : http://crystalmark.info/

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

* MB/s = 1,000,000 byte/s [SATA/300 = 300,000,000 byte/s]

Sequential Read : 374.525 MB/s

Sequential Write : 114.383 MB/s

Random Read 512KB : 351.614 MB/s

Random Write 512KB : 114.315 MB/s

Random Read 4KB (QD=1) : 17.912 MB/s [ 4373.0 IOPS]

Random Write 4KB (QD=1) : 53.859 MB/s [ 13149.2 IOPS]

Random Read 4KB (QD=32) : 81.831 MB/s [ 19978.2 IOPS]

Random Write 4KB (QD=32) : 105.460 MB/s [ 25747.0 IOPS]

Test : 4000 MB [C: 75.0% (349.4/465.7 GB)] (x5)

Date : 2011/11/01 12:17:04

OS : Windows 7 Home Premium Edition SP1 [6.1 Build 7601] (x64)

on my first run! remember, this was also done at 4000 mb! also, ATTO: highest read:472669- write:435974! I will get better #s with a faster hard drive! It is like having a mid-range 500gb ssd for $300.00!
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a c 353 G Storage
November 2, 2011 5:13:40 PM

(1) Not impressed with crystaldiskmark performance.
(2) In a previous post you indicated that it was like having a 300 Gig SSD - No way would your performance = a 300 Gig SSD.
.. Previous reviews of SRT have indicated a performance boost of from 2x to 4 x HDD on its own. That is NO WHERES near the 20x -> 40x that a large SSD provides. The reviews I've read have all indicated that if the SSD was large enough for OS + Programs that was the way to go, not SRT.
(3) With SRT:
... A) You lose TRIM
... B) Results (REAL LIFE) will vary considerably between users. If work done is very repetitive, will see good results, if Not results, not so good. What is not in cache is done at the speed of the HDD, in fact a little slower as request first looks in cache and if not there then to the HDD.
... C) SRT has not been out long enough to verify reliability using MLC SSD (vs SLC). The recommended fill for an SSD is 90%. When used for SRT fill is 100%

As to Johnny, Yes he does a "cut and paste" of the Links - SO How is this relevant.
.. It provides users a VERY convenient place to find multiple links to information.
.. More Important, Johnny reads the reviews. And separates the BS from real life.
.. I find VERY VERY few times that I would disagree with Johnny's comments, based on the reviews.
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November 2, 2011 5:44:28 PM

RetiredChief said:
(1) Not impressed with crystaldiskmark performance.
(2) In a previous post you indicated that it was like having a 300 Gig SSD - No way would your performance = a 300 Gig SSD.
.. Previous reviews of SRT have indicated a performance boost of from 2x to 4 x HDD on its own. That is NO WHERES near the 20x -> 40x that a large SSD provides. The reviews I've read have all indicated that if the SSD was large enough for OS + Programs that was the way to go, not SRT.
(3) With SRT:
... A) You lose TRIM
... B) Results (REAL LIFE) will vary considerably between users. If work done is very repetitive, will see good results, if Not results, not so good. What is not in cache is done at the speed of the HDD, in fact a little slower as request first looks in cache and if not there then to the HDD.
... C) SRT has not been out long enough to verify reliability using MLC SSD (vs SLC). The recommended fill for an SSD is 90%. When used for SRT fill is 100%

As to Johnny, Yes he does a "cut and paste" of the Links - SO How is this relevant.
.. It provides users a VERY convenient place to find multiple links to information.
.. More Important, Johnny reads the reviews. And separates the BS from real life.
.. I find VERY VERY few times that I would disagree with Johnny's comments, based on the reviews.

So, what benchmark do you deem acceptable?
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a c 353 G Storage
November 2, 2011 6:23:54 PM

(1) For Os = Program drive. I look at PCMark vantage scores, they have an overall score, but also individual scores for how a person uses his computer ie gaming vs encoding video, vs multimedia. The only other bench mark I pay attention to is AS SSD which uses compressed data (closer to real life) Not data that is readily compressable.

(2) For SRT, I really don't think there is a good benchmark - The benifit is how the user uses his system in real life.
If you go back to the concept of SRT, it was a poor man's way to boost HDD performance, mainly by caching the operating system and a "FEW" most used programs. This is the reason that Inlel used only a 40 gig SSD - But they also used SLC, not MLC memory. The cache will contain OS + programs and act just like a SSD. Past this point it then becomes very subjective. For Users that are very limited in what the do, ie very repetitive in files that are loaded the performance can be excellent. But for users that vary the files that are called, performance (other than boot tim and program load) afterwards can close to the performance of a HDD without a SSD. Example if one works with a large number of jpeg photos the SSD Cache will not help, If working with DVD video files, well they can be 1 gig for a single file (a Blu-ray file can be from 13 gigs to 40 gigs for a single file.
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November 2, 2011 7:05:59 PM

RetiredChief said:
(1) For Os = Program drive. I look at PCMark vantage scores, they have an overall score, but also individual scores for how a person uses his computer ie gaming vs encoding video, vs multimedia. The only other bench mark I pay attention to is AS SSD.....

AS SSD;seq/read=372.91 mb...seq/write=125............4k/read=18.07 mb...4k/write=55.16...............4k-64/read=98.48...4k-64/write=125.77 mb, as far as SRT being a "poor mans ssd", being poor has nothing to do with it, just ask all of the AMD fans that buy the least powerful, least expensive cpu, if one can get close to ssd performance but more space for less, i will go for that. i have a 60 and 120 gb Mushkin Chronos Deluxe, the 60 gb pushes my SRT for games, 120 gb for windows and audio/video editing software, to go along with a i7 2600k, ASUS gtx 580 and 16 gigs of ram, i build gaming computers in my spare time, again, being poor has nothing to do with it, but being critical of something that gives an performance boost for less, without actually testing it for yourself, makes no sense, Peace! PS, by the way, who plays AS SSD? i do real world testing, and i can honestly say, my games load just as quickly on my SRT hard drive as it does on my Mushkin 120 gb, which is very fast SSD on it's own!
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a c 353 G Storage
November 2, 2011 9:37:38 PM

To each his Own.
Enjoy
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March 8, 2012 7:01:41 AM

carlhil2 said:
AS SSD;seq/read=372.91 mb...seq/write=125............4k/read=18.07 mb...4k/write=55.16...............4k-64/read=98.48...4k-64/write=125.77 mb, as far as SRT being a "poor mans ssd", being poor has nothing to do with it, just ask all of the AMD fans that buy the least powerful, least expensive cpu, if one can get close to ssd performance but more space for less, i will go for that. i have a 60 and 120 gb Mushkin Chronos Deluxe, the 60 gb pushes my SRT for games, 120 gb for windows and audio/video editing software, to go along with a i7 2600k, ASUS gtx 580 and 16 gigs of ram, i build gaming computers in my spare time, again, being poor has nothing to do with it, but being critical of something that gives an performance boost for less, without actually testing it for yourself, makes no sense, Peace! PS, by the way, who plays AS SSD? i do real world testing, and i can honestly say, my games load just as quickly on my SRT hard drive as it does on my Mushkin 120 gb, which is very fast SSD on it's own!


Hey Carlhil2

It looks like you have the same setup which I would like to do, I was looking around to see whether it is doable or not.
Here is my system two SSD 128GB & 64GB + 1 TB WD SATA HDD.
I plan to use the 128 GB for OS & Application
the 64GB as the cache for the 1TB.
Can you briefly provide me instruction on how to connect them and how to setup the bios.

Rig spec: I-7 2600K with GB Z68 Mother board, 16 GB Ram, 2 HD 6870 Cross fired.
The SSDS are OCZ VertexIII

Thanks,

M. AMER
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