So, I've seen the news, read the reviews and found that Smart Cache on the new Intel Z68 chipset looks quite attractive to me. Now, all I need to know is this: If I am to start using the Smart Cache feature with an SSD, will it at all be possible to create a partition on the SSD, use the one part as the Smart Cache drive and the other part as the drive for my operating system? Or should I rather get two SSD's from the start, one for the OS and one for the Smart Cache feature, keeping $$ in mind? I'm really wanting a good enthusiasts PC, so I'm looking at the 2600K, about 8GB RAM (for now) and a Z68 chipset motherboard (the one supporting the Intel Smart Cache feature).
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I don't think anyone knows whether you can "share" an SSD like that for the Smart Cache Response feature. Or if they do know, they can't tell us.
This has been tried before, and ended in failure.
ReadyBoost (using inexpensive USB sticks as hard drive cache) - failure.
Intel "Robson" tech (using moderately-expensive memory on PCIe cards as hard drive cache) - failure.
Intel Smart Response (using very expensive SSDs as hard drive cache) - seems destined for failure to me.
Unless money is no object and you absolutely need maximum drive performance, it really isn't worth the price. You'd be better off with the standard enthusiast setup -- a fairly large SSD for the OS and most-used programs, and a platter drive for data storage. I suppose you could try for the "best of both worlds" setup with one large SSD for the OS and most-used programs, a platter drive for data storage, and a smaller SSD for Smart Response to make the platter drive transfer faster ... but that's still a waste of money.
Yeah I hear you. I'm seeing more and more HDD's with integrated SSD's as well, but I don't think it's all that wow either. I think I'm going to stick to a ~128GB SSD for my OS and four~five favourite games and leave it at that. A 2TB green HDD will be good for storage then. Thanks for the extra info man.