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Is there a BENEFIT of Using a 2nd SSD as a Cache to the Primary SSD?

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January 4, 2013 2:05:41 AM

Hi Everyone, :hello: 

I thought I had selected all the components that I intend to use to build my new computer.

A few days ago, however, I came across a post on a random forum by someone who had responded to a question about a SSD and caching. The writer wrote that it would be very beneficial to system performance including much faster boot times if one was to add a second--no more than 64GB-- SSD to a computer configuration as a cache to the primary drive that would be a 128GB SSD that contained the operating system, Windows 7, and all the software programs on it.

It would be necessary for the MB to support Intel's Smart Response Technology which I believe is an available option on the ASUS P8Z77-V PRO MB, my motherboard. It was also written that the second SSD that would be acting as a cache only and must be plugged into the gray colored Intel SATA ports. I was curious as to why I could not simply plug in this second SSD into one of the SATA II or SATA III blue ports? If this is indeed true, could someone please explain the difference between the blue and gray SATA ports?

In addition, I was wondering, partially because of cost, how small in GBs could this cache SSD be and still gain a significant improvement in performance and make the system feel "snappier" all around, as was written in the original post? It also noted that a 30GB SSD would work well as a cache drive. If I am able to get a good boost with a 30GB SSD and an outstanding boost with a 64 SSD, I think I would still lean towards purchasing the 30GB SSD because of money matters. Now if there is a phenomenal difference in system performance that I will achieve with only a 64GB SSD then please tell me and I can consider my options.

Thank you in advance for your enlightening feedback regarding this issue of using a second SSD to act as a cache for system benefits. :) 

Finally, the original post said that I would need to set the SATA controller to RAID mode and turn-on Intel's Smart Response program.

More about : benefit 2nd ssd cache primary ssd

January 4, 2013 2:17:03 AM

Nope, caching an SSD with an SSD is pointless.
Caching is only useful when you have two storage mediums that differ in speed by a large stretch. Most common is an SSD and HDD. SSD is way faster than a HDD, so it grabs the most commonly accessed files from the HDD (caching them) and whenever that data is requested, the SSD provides them a lot faster than the HDD could.

If you cached an SSD with an SSD, it would grab all the files and cache them. But since both drives are roughly the same speed, there's no increase in performance. If you want to cache an SSD and see results, gotta do it with RAM :) 
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January 4, 2013 2:21:37 AM

no. Just like there's no point to add a second HDD to cache a primary HDD.
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January 4, 2013 2:53:02 AM

U said that if I wanted to get a boost to my SSD caching speed than I should upgrade my DDR3 SDRAM.
Okay, I'm open to possibly increasing my SDRAM speed.
Right now I am planning on purchasing Kingston HyperX 16GB Kit @ 1600MHz DDR3.
But there r higher Kingston HyperX SDRAM cards.
How about Kingston's Genesis HyperX 16GB Kit @ 2133MHz.
It would cost me about $35 more for the Genesis SDRAM cards.
I am pretty sure that either the 1600 or 2133MHz can be overclocked, I just don't know by how much.
I like speed by I'm not using this build for gaming or video editing.
I will be using the PC for Photoshop projects but I think that is the most intensive type software on the SSD.
So do u think it is worth the upgrade?
I'm @ a about $1450 for all the components and I'm trying to keep it under $1500 max.
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January 4, 2013 3:00:34 AM

Don't bother caching your SSD. They are already plenty fast and coming from a HDD system it will be way faster than any computer you'v used before.

Be wary of Kingston RAM on Intel builds, most of their kits run at 1.65v which can degrade the CPU's memory controller over time. Make sure its 1.5v or less. If its not, have a look at the G.SKill Ares or Corsair Vengeance Low Profile series
Also don't bother with RAM faster than 1600Mhz, the performance difference is negligible and not worth the significant extra cost.
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January 4, 2013 4:01:19 AM

I just wrote out this detailed response to u and just as I was finishing it up my battery shut the phone down and I lost the whole message. I have no one to blame but myself and that makes it all the worse.
I'm not up to writing out my questions again tonight.
I will however do it tomorrow.
I hope your around to answer my questions as u obviously know what your talking about.

Ok, I will write something.
I did look up the SDRAM cards u mentioned and the Vengence specifically cited that it came in 1.5 volts.
The problem is I'm not much into their super-spiked heat defusers.
Would it be possible to adjust the Kingston HyperX SDRAM cards voltage to 1.5 volts in the BIOS?
Or do these type cards come with their own programs to control voltage and overclocking?
I noticed that on the Vengence SDRAM cards it mentioned Extreme Memory Profile using an Intel technology. That sounds the opposite of a Low Profile that u mentioned.
The price point seems close depending on the color of the Vengence. I would want blue.
The blue ones come @ 1866MHz. Not a big jump but still a small bump though u did say over 1600 MHz was not that important.

I look forward to your reply. But I won't send u a response until tomorrow. Thanks again:) 
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January 4, 2013 4:03:42 AM

I think you are overthinking this. SSD=fast. nothing more to worry about other than putting it on a SATA III port.
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January 4, 2013 4:12:10 AM

Hence the "Low Profile" part. Normal Vengeance RAM does have those massive hair-combs on them. This is the kit I think you should get.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
The "Extreme Memory Profile" is just marketing speak. Its just another way of saying that they, like all memory sticks, have an XMP profile that will make sure they run at the right settings.
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January 4, 2013 4:13:53 AM

So I shouldn't stress about voltage adjustms with the RAM cards?
The Kingston HyperX r okay to use in my Intel board?
Thanks for your feedback. And, yes, I often over think many things.
My patents were therapists. So just imagine the kind of kid that cones from that arrangement. LOL!
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January 4, 2013 4:34:08 AM

Well, not the "right" settings according to the mobo, but rather the settings that are advertised on them. In this case 1600Mhz, CL9 1.5v. If the XMP profile said 1.65v it would run at that voltage.
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January 4, 2013 5:29:16 AM

captainsky said:

My patents were therapists. So just imagine the kind of kid that cones from that arrangement. LOL!


Could it be that you are still trying to please your parents? How do you feel when you purchase a computer and things don't work? Do you feel like a failure? Do you feel like your life is not under your control?

just messing with you!:) 

A lot of these minutae aren't really that important. It's for squeezing the last 1-2% of performance out for benchmarks. Pick quality parts and you'll have a killer system, nothing to worry about.
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January 4, 2013 6:13:05 PM

Thanks. I feel more in control now. LOL.
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January 5, 2013 5:13:50 AM

Ok, I'm a little confused by your last response.
When u say "not the right setting" according to the mobo, r u referring to my mobo: the Asus P8Z77-V Pro?
Or u just being general about all mobos?
Plus, u mention the Intel XMP and it is throwing me off because I didn't read about that feature on the Kingston HyperX SDRAM cards I had planned to buy. It might be an option available but I didn't see it but I think it's probably not an option.
The Kingston HyperX 16GB set is not gamer or higher level type RAM such as the Ares and Vengence RAM cards.
I only saw that Extreme (XMP) configuration profile when I looked up the and the Ares/Vengence RAM cards.

To clarify and bring this thread to a possible conclusion, it is true that it really will not make that much difference if I go with the Kingston HyperX cards and the voltage is not 1.5 volts but instead 1.65 volts? Do I really need to worry about this?
Seriously into 2-3 years I will be upgrading the system again, so I'm wondering if this voltage issue will even matter for such a short time period

Finally, if I wanted could I adjust the SDRAM voltage to 1.5 volts through the BIOS?
Also why u @ answering the above question could u tell me if it would be through the BIOS that I would overclock the SDRAM cards? I have never overclocked RAM before but I'm open to it if it going to luck my SSD to a peak performance speed.

Thanks again for your valued feedback.
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January 5, 2013 6:21:54 AM

Just being general about all mobo's.
Every stick of RAM has an XMP profile in it, whether advertised or not.

There is no such thing as "Gamer" or "Elite" RAM, not anymore anyway. Between kits of the same specifications (so same frequency and timings) there is no performance difference.

I do not know if the RAM being 1.65v will have an effect in a 2-3yr timespan. The RAM voltage restriction only started when Sandy Bridge came out, a year and a half ago. So there isnt really any data as to whether over the long term it affects the CPU. But Intel say that it has to be 1.5v or less.
I personally wouldn't take the risk, theres little to no price difference between 1.5v and 1.65v RAM of the same performance. Especially when you consider that in all likelihood, there might not be a reason to get new RAM when you do upgrade.

You could, though you might have to downclock the RAM to make it stable.
It is possible to overclock your RAM and it is done through the BIOS. As to how, I admit that I have no idea. I tried to a while ago, failed and haven't bothered since. Most people dont bother, as the performance gain is minimal and compared to overclocking other things is somewhat difficult.

Also if you want to cache the SSD with your RAM, you might want to purchase more RAM. The way it happens is that you turn some of the RAM into whats called a RAM-Disk, for all intents and purposes it acts just like a normal storage drive except its made of RAM. However big you make the RAM disk you will lose of your system RAM. So a 4GB RAM-Disk will mean you only have 12GB of system memory.
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