Intel Smart Response Technology vs ExpressCache Software

So I bought a SanDisk Ready Cache and now I have a z77 mobo that supports intel Smart response technology. Which one should I use? Intel SRT will require me to install windows in RAID mode, while SanDisk allows me to install windows in ACHI mode. I noticed that the z77 Extreme 4 manual (by ASRock) says that windows 7 64bit will perform better in ACHI mode. So I am wondering if using ReadyCache ExpressCache Software would be better than Intel SRT?

What do you guys think plz help me decide!
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  1. I've been looking for answers too. RAID? ACHI? If I set up a RAID volume for an HDD and SSD to use SRT, can I switch it back to ACHI after setup since it's really not a RAID? If I buy a ScanDisk Ready Cache drive, can I use the Ready Cache software on a separate non-ScanDisk drive?

    It would be nice just to buy your preferred SSD and cache software either bundled or separately. But noooooo. And it's worse than just being bundled. Dataplex (just bought by Samsung) will only work on SSDs that are registered (i.e., partner vendors). Just like Microsoft's SRT - will only work with specific hardware. Same thing with ScanDisk and Condusiv; no cache software unless you buy their SSD. These others might be able to work with other SSDs, but you can't just get the software to even just test/trial. And it's actually worse in the Macintosh realm - Dataplex and the other vendors' cache software isn't developed for Macs. Virtually all SSDs with run on both platforms, but no software at all for Macs. Mac's 'Fusion' is something inherent in the latest version of OS X Mountain Lion implemented in their newest Mac-Minis and iMacs, but to make it work in other systems you have to apply some terminal-based changes (unofficial hacks).... with the caveat that it's not Apple-based, thus not guaranteed to be stable.

    It's really frustrating that there is a flood of SSDs out there and becoming affordable, and the cache-software aspect so promising, but there is nothing outside of SSD-vendor-restricted implementations. Sucks. I think this is why it's so hard to find solid answers in this area - we're all restricted to limited options, thus no real broad experience yet.

    Because of these limitations, most people seem to be just moving only the OS and maybe applications to SSD, and just keeping all the 'data' on the HDD.
  2. The best way to answer those quesitons would be to actually go ahead and do it and see if the software works with other SSDs (I suspect it would). I did switch to ACHI after SRT was installed with RAID and Windows wont boot. You will need to leave it in RAID.

    Now I am having other problems... I enabled Intel quick sync (went through hell to get it to work), but its not even fast... I transcoded just as fast without it lol... What a ripoff! Also, my dual AMD 6950s only transcoded slower by like 30 seconds lol... So much hype for nothing!!! Also, the software out there that supports Quick Sync really sucks. Its like Trialware with Adware that doesnt even do what you want it to do and is trying so hard to be "simply to use" that is actually harder to use... (Cyberlink MediaExpresso really sucks!!!!!!!!!!) It even plants a permanent popup/gadget on your desktop and launches on system startup... Wow never using Cyberlink software again in my entire life!!!!!!!
  3. Caching SSD solutions sound really cool and even look kind of neat in use but my experience has been that they just are not worth the cost. If you want a real world, notice in everyday use speed bump then buy an SSD and make the move. Even if you just put the OS and basic apps on the SSD you will notice a day to day speed bump.
  4. My experience in PCs dates back to 1992 (60Mhz Pentium) and before that to 1969 in DEC mainframes with multiple discs running side by side. Data reading and writing on hard drives, although much improved and still improving, has lagged behind the ability of the CPU and Ram memory at all levels of computer technology from the beginning 75 years ago. The best way to improve data throughput has been to duplicate the hardware and have each piece working towards the completion of the task required. Sometimes we used three printers to print a long report. Sometimes we used 4 tape drives to provide the data. With the personal computer whose CPU capability is awesome compared to mainframes (which is why there aren't many of them today) with tremendous memory by comparison (and unfortunately often over-bloated software written in the Charles Dickens style: he was paid by the word) the best way to improve the performance has been to 1) increase the ram memory (subject to M$ limitations) and 2) carry the operating system and frequently used application programs on one FAST hard drive while keeping the files for games, music and video on another reasonably quick hard drive. Better still, partition the storage hard drive so games, video, music, pictures and documents are separated so that files that lend themselves to sustained reading throughput (games, video, music) are not co-mingled with each other or with pictures and documents. The current trend to use the SSD as a fast hard drive for the OS and programs makes a lot of sense. Game files can be read fast when they are not fragmented or mixed with other files. I've had 5 partitions on a storage drive and you know when you've got it right when optimizing a partition results in just a little defragmentation with no rearrangement of files.

    My preferred set up today is a quick HDD for storage and an SSD for the OS . Cost of the SSD dictates its size and its size dictates how many program applications you can afford to put on it. But in any event, this is currently the fastest way you can increase your data throughput after you have already increased your ram. I suggest you carry the first partition on the HDD as a copy of your OS and any programs on the SSD so you have a backup in case the SSD gives trouble. I also suggest that you have a backup of the entire storage drive, which is supposed to be a reasonably quick drive such as a WD Blue or Black or WD Re, Seagate Barracuda or SSDHD, an HGST DeskStar or above, Seagate Constellation, Toshiba 4TB or 5TB. The emphasis should be on 3 year or longer warranty, reasonable durability and performance attributes, 64MB cache or larger. The less you shut down your HDD and your PC in general, the longer it is likely to last without trouble unless you have a cooling problem which should be solved, the sooner the better.
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