In a recent Product Change Advisory (opens in new tab), AMD has announced that the company has officially terminated support for the StoreMI technology. But fear not, the chipmaker confirmed that a brand-new version with improved features is slated for release in the second quarter of the year.
For those of you that are not familiar with StoreMI, it's a feature that AMD introduced with its Ryzen 2000-series (opens in new tab) (codename Pinnacle Ridge) and corresponding 400-series chipsets. AMD subsequently added support for the X399 chipset. The latest Ryzen 3000-series (opens in new tab) (codename Matisse) chips chipsets and high-end X570 chipset can also take advantage of StoreMI.
In a nutshell, StoreMI essentially lets you combine up to 256GB of solid-state storage with memory so speed up conventional hard drives. StoreMI is based on tiered storage. The feature combines your SSD and hard drive into a single volume. The software stores your most frequently used files on the faster drive so you can access them quickly. AMD claimed that StoreMi could accelerate Windows boot times by up to 2.3 times quicker and allows you to load your applications and games up to 9.8 times and 2.9 times faster, respectively.
Effective of March 31, the StoreMi software will no longer be available for download at AMD. You can rest easy if you downloaded StoreMI before the termination though as AMD will generously let you continue to use the software. However, the chipmaker will be redirecting its resources to work on the replacement so the company will no longer provide users with technical support.
We reached out to Enmotus, the company behind the software, which provided us with the following statement:
"To help concerned StoreMI end users, Enmotus has decided to offer StoreMI customers that register with us free technical support for existing installations from April 1st until May 15th of this year. Given we have a lot of fans out there, we are also offering the registered users upgrades to FuzeDrive 256 at $9.95 (50% off the regular price) for a period of time. Of course, FuzeDrive will be fully compatible with our upcoming MiDrive and also provide the freedom for end users to migrate their FuzeDrive configurations to Intel platforms also."
AMD advises users against downloading the StoreMI software from a third-party website since the chipmaker cannot ensure you if the download is safe or reliable. AMD recommends you use an alternative solution, like Enmotus FuzeDrive as a stop-gap solution meanwhile you wait for the future replacement for StoreMI.
AMD StoreMI Technology*
SSDs are fast, but expensive, and offer minimal capacity. Mechanical hard drives boast large capacity for a low price, but are much slower than an SSD. AMD StoreMI technology combines these two types of storage into a single drive and automatically moves the data you access the most to the SSD, so you get the best of both worlds: SSD responsiveness, and mechanical hard disk capacity with its low price.
* AMD StoreMI Technology is included with every motherboard that features an AMD X399 or 400-series chipset. If you have an AMD X399 or 400-series chipset, you can download AMD StoreMI software for free. If you have a socket AM4 motherboard with a 300-series chipset, you can still enjoy the benefits of storage acceleration with Enmotus FuzeDrive software, exclusively for AMD, for an additional fee.
And when I go to AMD's own page for Ryzen 9 series processors I see StoreMI technology continues to be prominently featured. I guess the marketing department must have missed the memo???
In any case, considering we are already in Q2, I'm guessing the replacement will be coming soon. If not this month, perhaps by the May 15 date that the FuzeDrive developer is providing support through.
It is a bit odd that they dropped support for the feature under such short notice though, without the new version immediately available. Apparently this was announced on March 18th, just two weeks before downloads were to be pulled. It makes me wonder if there might have been some falling out between the FuzeDrive developer and AMD. Perhaps they wanted substantially higher licensing fees for the software that AMD wouldn't agree to. It's been about two years since AMD launched StoreMi, so the existing contract might have been up for renewal. Or maybe there's some other reason they felt the need to pull the existing version, and the FuzeDrive developer might still be supplying the next version of the software. Either way, it sounds like StoreMi 2.0, or whatever AMD calls it, should be available before long.
StoreMI (as well as FuzeDrive) are not caching solutions, but tiered storage. They approach improving data availability in fundamentally different ways.
Caching means a copy of the most recently/often used data is put on the SSD. The capacity of the volume will be equal to the size of the HDD (up to capacity supported by the software).
Tiered storage means that every block of data is only present on only the SSD or the HDD, with the most often needed data being kept on the fast tier. The capacity of the volume will be combined total size of both the SDD and the HDD (up to capacities supported by the software).Since tiered storage doesn't automatically move most recently used data to the SSD (as a caching solution might do), but also considers the "most accessed recently" metric, they're slower to adapt to your usage patterns (but also don't make the mistake using SSD capacity and lifetime writes, and system processing power to copy once-accessed data to the SSD).
This means that in the short term caching will seem faster (since all your last accessed data will be read off the SSD), but after a a week or so of normal use, the tiered storage's smartness should start to provide benefits.
That is, as long as you don't keep changing your usage patterns erratically, or keep accessing lots of data (more than the capacity of the SSD) all the time - something like editing videos (with raw or intermediate codec video, and lots of scratch use).
The price of the 2TB 660p has similarly climbed into the $240+ range, up from around $190 last year. And the 665p was never priced quite as good, currently standing at $140 for the 1TB model, and $270 for the 2TB. SATA drives have climbed a bit as well. It's probably not enough to turn one away from putting an SSD in their system, but they might go with a lower capacity model than they would have otherwise, and maybe resort to hard drive storage for many of their games.
But yeah, compared to 2 years ago when AMD launched StoreMi, SSD pricing has dropped by around half. It wasn't really practical to put 1TB of SSD storage in a mid-range system then, but it arguably is now. So maybe that played a role with this. The FuzeDrive developer might have wanted more money to renew the licensing for the software than AMD felt it was worth at this point, and maybe they decided to go with their own solution instead. That might also allow them to include features that weren't included in the cut-down version of FuzeDrive previously used for StoreMi. Again, that's assuming AMD isn't using their software anymore, which might not even be the case.
As far as "tiered storage" goes, I'd rather see a caching system. If your files are split across two drives, that increases the potential points of failure, and may complicate the process of upgrading or replacing one of the drives, or transferring them to another system. In the case of StoreMi, where the SSD cache was limited to just 256GB, it seems kind of silly to not have those files mirrored to the hard drive, since that's less than $10 worth of hard drive storage.
I think cache all solution will not work with non-ram cache.
BUT I am saying this for a while now.
SSD <<no<< is file larger than 1/4/10MB >>yes>> HDD.
something like this will work. Its super light weight, is not wearing the SSD pointlessly. (you can have margins that will take care of edges, like 9 or less to upgrade to ssd, 11 or more to go to HDD) and then you can have much better performance than HDD (as they only struggle with small files) and have a lot of disk space.
If they update the tiers as disks fill up unevenly (too much on ssd -> -1 to min size, to much on hdd +1 to min side on ssd).
second thing is filessystem MAP for HDD.
if SSD will act as "disc map" and HDD will only store the data without ANY METADATA, it will also be way faster and more consistent performer than current HDD/fusion&hybrid craps.
hybrid drives make a lot of sense we just use it in a very stupid way.