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SSD vs HHD. Which configuration would deliver FASTER RESULTS?

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January 8, 2013 9:34:00 PM

Hello Everyone,

I'm about ready to place an order for my components and I just read an article about using a SSD as a cache drive to a single hard disk drive or two HDDs in a RAID configuration.

I had inquired a few days ago about using a SSD as a cache to a SSD boot drive. I found out that it wouldn't either work or it would not make any difference in the retrieval of data time. So that idea was killed.

This is a quote from the article I mentioned above and it reads like this:

"The Intel Smart Response feature requires that the SATA controller be set to RAID mode via the system BIOS. Intel® Smart Response Technology is an Intel® Rapid Storage Technology (RST) caching feature that improves computer system performance. It allows a user to configure computer systems with an SSD used as cache memory between the hard disk drive and system memory.

This provides the advantage of having a hard disk drive (or a RAID volume) for maximum storage capacity while delivering an SSD-like overall system performance experience. Intel® Smart Response Technology caching is implemented as a single drive letter solution; no additional drive letter is required for the SSD device used as cache."

At this point, I had intended to use a 128GB SSD as my primary boot drive that would store my operating system--Windows 7--and all my other programs that perhaps amounts to 30GB, so there will be additional space on the SSD to contain my "My Documents" folder that I would frequently access though "My Music" folder is large as I have an iPhone and an iPod so there is a lot of mp3 files stored in this folder, probably on average about 40GB. So maybe I will need to have this file I use for my iDevices on my 1TB data drive. So then this would be one example of needing to access the HDD storage drive on a regular basis.

So what I'm wondering is whether using a smaller size SSD, say 30 or 60GB, to act as a cache drive to the HDDs would really deliver a speed close to the speed of an SSD acting as a boot drive? In addition, if I wanted to access a folder or file on a HDD in a RAID configuration (either 0 or 1), how would I do that from the SSD boot drive? Would accessing information from the RAID drives work similar to accessing data on an external drive? So it would require me to access the "My Computer" section to see the HDD? I do understand that with a RAID 0 configuration the computer sees both drives as one single drive and that if u have a RAID 0 configuration all commands r processed by both HDDs which increases the speed at retrieving data.

Okay, I have touched upon more than one area in this post but I think they r closely related topics; however, if is confusing to users I can break up the post. But I'm confident that the users here will not be daunted by this issue.

Thank u in advance for your contribution.
January 8, 2013 9:41:56 PM

It'll deliver a significant speed differences but your MoBo have to have a Cache slot/port for it to work... BTW Caches does not improve file transfer, only best with loading something like games or software... Using a SSD Cache to another SSD doesn't show much performance since it's like 3 times faster than HDD...
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January 9, 2013 12:59:36 AM

Quote:
It'll deliver a significant speed differences but your MoBo have to have a Cache slot/port for it to work... BTW Caches does not improve file transfer, only best with loading something like games or software... Using a SSD Cache to another SSD doesn't show much performance since it's like 3 times faster than HDD...


Finally, I am able to write out a post on a real computer and not be limited to typing everything out on my iPhone!

To be honest, I am NOT clear as to what was being addressed in the quoted answer above; moreover, it didn't answer but one question out of a few I presented and that might be my fault. Perhaps I am to keep my questions to one for each post?

So I am going to ask and rephrase the questions that I still need illumination on to best understand how I might want to proceed with my new build.

First, from the above quote, when it refers the statement: "it will deliver a significant speed improvement," what is being referred to specifically?

As my original post asked, I am wondering whether a SSD configured to act as a cache to at least one 1TB HDD would be as fast as a SSD configured to be the boot drive that held the operating system as well as all the programs, plus some other files that I access often?

Will having the SDD as a cache to a boot HDD match the speed of having the boot drive be a SSD? I am trying to figure out what would be the best configuration of the computer drives based on my needs. I am thinking that in regards to speed the SSD alone must be faster than one acting as a cache to a HDD because the HDD has moving parts and that ultimately is what caps how fast data can be retrieved from the drive? A bit unsure of my last statement here but I know some of it is right.

The quote above also cites that I have to have MB that has a cache slot/port for the SSD cache configuration to work? I intend to purchase the ASUS P8Z77-V PRO MB that is well reviewed and appears to have enough slots for my needs; however, I don't know what type of slot I would need to successfully implement a SSD cache configuration? Can I use one of my PCIe slots for the purpose of a SSD acting as a cache system to the primary HDD?

My ASUS MB comes installed with 2 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16. I have another 1 x PCIe x16 and another one that is 2 x PCIe 2.0 x1 *4. What does the "*4" signify? And finally, I have 2 x PCI. So overall, I understand this to mean that I have 5 PCIe available ports on the MB, plus 2 PCI ports. Can someone confirm that I am interrupting this information about slots correctly? Please. With what I have written above, is my MB capable (does it have the required port) for handling a SSD cache configuration to a HDD?

Next question, I am unclear as to how I would access one HDD for instance if I had a SSD as my primary boot drive? Would accessing data on the HDD be similar to accessing an external drive through the "My Computer" window, or would it work differently than what one does to find data on an external drive? I am just not sure how Windows 7 will see the HDD storage drive?

I have another question but this time I am not going to present more than about three questions as it might be confusing to a reader and it also probably difficult to remember each question that has been asked and that is why I have underlined them this time, for the most part.

It would be very helpful if someone could elaborate a little more excessively than the first response as I am not on familiar ground here.

Thanks again for your help.
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January 9, 2013 12:28:36 PM

captainsky said:
Quote:
It'll deliver a significant speed differences but your MoBo have to have a Cache slot/port for it to work... BTW Caches does not improve file transfer, only best with loading something like games or software... Using a SSD Cache to another SSD doesn't show much performance since it's like 3 times faster than HDD...


Finally, I am able to write out a post on a real computer and not be limited to typing everything out on my iPhone!

To be honest, I am NOT clear as to what was being addressed in the quoted answer above; moreover, it didn't answer but one question out of a few I presented and that might be my fault. Perhaps I am to keep my questions to one for each post?

So I am going to ask and rephrase the questions that I still need illumination on to best understand how I might want to proceed with my new build.

First, from the above quote, when it refers the statement: "it will deliver a significant speed improvement," what is being referred to specifically?

As my original post asked, I am wondering whether a SSD configured to act as a cache to at least one 1TB HDD would be as fast as a SSD configured to be the boot drive that held the operating system as well as all the programs, plus some other files that I access often?

Will having the SDD as a cache to a boot HDD match the speed of having the boot drive be a SSD? I am trying to figure out what would be the best configuration of the computer drives based on my needs. I am thinking that in regards to speed the SSD alone must be faster than one acting as a cache to a HDD because the HDD has moving parts and that ultimately is what caps how fast data can be retrieved from the drive? A bit unsure of my last statement here but I know some of it is right.

The quote above also cites that I have to have MB that has a cache slot/port for the SSD cache configuration to work? I intend to purchase the ASUS P8Z77-V PRO MB that is well reviewed and appears to have enough slots for my needs; however, I don't know what type of slot I would need to successfully implement a SSD cache configuration? Can I use one of my PCIe slots for the purpose of a SSD acting as a cache system to the primary HDD?

My ASUS MB comes installed with 2 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16. I have another 1 x PCIe x16 and another one that is 2 x PCIe 2.0 x1 *4. What does the "*4" signify? And finally, I have 2 x PCI. So overall, I understand this to mean that I have 5 PCIe available ports on the MB, plus 2 PCI ports. Can someone confirm that I am interrupting this information about slots correctly? Please. With what I have written above, is my MB capable (does it have the required port) for handling a SSD cache configuration to a HDD?

Next question, I am unclear as to how I would access one HDD for instance if I had a SSD as my primary boot drive? Would accessing data on the HDD be similar to accessing an external drive through the "My Computer" window, or would it work differently than what one does to find data on an external drive? I am just not sure how Windows 7 will see the HDD storage drive?

I have another question but this time I am not going to present more than about three questions as it might be confusing to a reader and it also probably difficult to remember each question that has been asked and that is why I have underlined them this time, for the most part.

It would be very helpful if someone could elaborate a little more excessively than the first response as I am not on familiar ground here.

Thanks again for your help.

SSD used as Cache to a HDD, you will see performance changes in loading time so the boot time would be different. Using SSD as Cache to another SSD will be like barely differences because SSD are faster than HDD... There are NO PCIe which offers Cache to HDD but there are mSATA which now boards currently carries... Some MoBo have Caches SATA slot but I dont really know since they dont mention it... mSATA act as a Cache too and it offers up to 32GB Cache which is plenty
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eu4gYXPhNnE start the video at 12:00 it'll explain about mSATA Cache
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January 19, 2013 1:02:08 AM

Best answer selected by captainsky.
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