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Old 10-05-2011
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Default z68 SSD Caching

This is a quick two benchmark snapshot on how well SSD caching works on the z68 platform.


What is SSD Caching?

SSD caching marries a conventional hard drive to a relatively small Solid Stage Drive, with the most frequently accessed data automatically placed on the SSD for fast access while the two drives appear to users simply as a single drive. The functionality serves to bring users much of the speed benefit of SSDs but with the storage capacity and lower cost of traditional hard drives.




Test Platform:

Asus Maximus Gene-Z
Intel 2600k (Overclocked to 4.2 GHz)
4 Gb Gskill Ripjaws-X (F3-17000CL7D-4GBXHD XMP)
40 Gb OCZ Vertex 2 (OCZSSD2-2VTC40G)
300 Gb WD VelociRaptor (WD3000GLFS)
Windows 7 Home Premium





Initial Test:


First, we'll tested each drive individually using ATTO Disk Benchmark as our baseline. Screen shot to the left is the 300 Gb VelociRaptor and the one to the right is the 40 Gb Vertex 2.



Next, using Intel Rapid Storage Technology we'll set SSD to perform caching duties for the main drive. The two available settings are "Enhanced" and "Maximized". You can read more on Enhanced and Maximized modes >here.< Screen shot to the left is Enhanced mode and the one to the right is Maximized mode.



As you can see, in Enhanced mode Writing speed does not improve but Read does. In Maximized mode both Writing and Reading improve significantly. Lets look at percentage of performance gain by pairing these drives together based on the ATTO Disk Benchmark data.








By simply pairing a small SSD to a lager HDD you can get almost 60% quicker Read/Write speeds in Maximized mode. Quite an improvement for the old mechanical drive I must say. Alright, lets take a look at boot up times.


Boot Racer:

First, we'll use the HDD as the boot drive and reboot a few times.



Boot speeds are all over the place with an average of 32 seconds. *Note* OS has not been maximized for quick booting.
Next we'll pair up the SSD in Enhanced mode and reboot a few more times.




And now in Maximize mode.



Here you can clearly see boot times have reduced by 50%. Quite a nice improvement for sure.


Conclusion:
Simply put, SSD Caching is a nice option if your on a budget. You may not get the same overall performance as a large dedicated SSD, but now you have the option to turn that old hard drive into a much better performing unit.

OCM
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Old 10-05-2011
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dude thats a killer guide!
nice work mang
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Old 10-05-2011
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Nice work OCM,

Putting together a Z68 system myself and will be using SSD caching
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Old 10-06-2011
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Excellent OCM
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Old 10-06-2011
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Nice even though I don't have a ssd or z68
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Old 10-06-2011
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Have you tried testing with a full windows install? IE APP and games that surpasses the SSD size?
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Thanks Men
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neuromancer View Post
Have you tried testing with a full windows install? IE APP and games that surpasses the SSD size?
The Raptor has 103 Gb of used space. Windows 7 Home Premium full install, games, music, pictures, ect.... Then I paired the 40 Gb SSD for Caching. Tried to make test as real world as possible although I'm still using synthetic benchmarks.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OC Maximus View Post
Thanks Men


The Raptor has 103 Gb of used space. Windows 7 Home Premium full install, games, music, pictures, ect.... Then I paired the 40 Gb SSD for Caching. Tried to make test as real world as possible although I'm still using synthetic benchmarks.
Cool

I have not played with the SSD caching yet I forgot you could add it after you installed windows making it just a cache drive. Just found some SATA2 drives laying around so next Z68 board (maximus gene) I will test it out.

How about RW results? Do the games actually load any faster? Or maybe after you run them a couple of times and they get cached to SSD?
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Old 10-07-2011
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Awesome! I was wondering how well that worked.
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Old 10-07-2011
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Nice guide! I don't really see the use for this unless someone is just hell bent on using a HDD.
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