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deeppow
05-30-11, 10:29 AM
I've been told by an ASUS rep that the new SSD cauching (also called SRT -- Smart Response Technology) only works with the OS on a HHD and does its caching on a spare SSD. It could be common knowledge but if so, I missed it (my bad).

That means that for many of us today using a small SSD for the OS can't use SRT (SSD caching). You'll need to down grade your system and put the OS on a HDD to use SRT. :bang head Since many of the reviews of Z68 boards use gaming that is stored on a HDD to show how great SRT is, I find the situation a little unclear (dishonest?). As with many situations, the devil is in the details.

I assume this is common to all Z68 boards but I don't know. If you're considering a new Z68 board and SRT is of interest to you, make sure of what is true (I could be wrong) before you buy and how that might relate to hardware you might reuse.

Anyone having the combo of an OS on a SSD and using SSD caching please let us know.

ChanceCoats123
05-30-11, 10:30 AM
I'm just wondering, but isn't the goal of SRT to "Give SSD-like performance to HDD setups"? If someone already has a SDD for their OS, then... well... don't they already have "SSD-like performance"?

deeppow
05-30-11, 10:35 AM
Guess it depends on what you're caching doesn't it? Does it relate more to improve performance of the OS or apps or both?

I clearly made a bad assumption that I could use it for apps and not worry about the OS. One point is that the strategy of using a small SSD for the OS, as used by many of us, must get changed if you want to use SRT.

RJARRRPCGP
05-30-11, 11:06 AM
Looks like nothing more than a motherboard version of ReadyBoost.

deeppow
05-30-11, 11:09 AM
Looks like nothing more than a motherboard version of ReadyBoost.

Wouldn't swear to it but think I've heard it referred to as a refined ReadyBoost.

EDIT: Marketing may have selected the word "refined."

Suppressor1137
05-30-11, 04:52 PM
Even if this is true, There are more features of interest on the Z68 series chipset.

For Instance, Overclocking your cpu while having intergrated video enabled, making the integrated video dedicated physx, and move on.

The downside is In doing so, your overclocking performance is NOT as good as p67, due to the increased heat that i presume is present due to the gpu being enabled as well.

In my eyes, this isn't a problem, because at MOST, I'm only going to bring her up to 4.3 GHZ.I like having my processor for more than a year :P.

As for the SSD caching, what it is trying to get across is mahing a SSD/HDD hybrid system that is all the rage, and make it closer to the full on SSD systems.

It will basically do the work for you(place commonly used files on the SSD.)

The part about the GPU is speculation, so don't hold me to it, but SSD caching is correct, from the way i understand it, that is.

stunt
05-31-11, 12:52 PM
Using RST you use an ssd (smaller than 64g) and raid the the ssd and large platter.This gives you a fairly fast platter drive in combination with the ssd. If you use a, lets say 120g ssd, it's a waste of money and performance. Better off just loading os/apps to the ssd.

It's just a way to give ssd "like" performance to a larger platter disk using a cheaper, smaller ssd. So you can load everything to your large storage drive and not worry about how much data your loading to the smaller ssd drive.

EarthDog
05-31-11, 01:56 PM
Hmm. Interesting. I never caught that it was like that...Why would I get an SSD, just to cache my HDD? Shouldnt I just get an SSD?

stunt
05-31-11, 03:05 PM
Well, that's what I have now but I'm going to try the RST in an i5-2500k build I'm doing now. The whole theory is to use an 89.00 ssd drive and a 2 TB 7200 drive to get ssd type speed with mass storage. And not worry about what is loaded on the ssd for space. When set up, it just looks like a 2 TB drive to the OS because it raided.

Suppressor1137
06-05-11, 02:00 PM
*Removed my own post due to a more clear restatement below.*

raIDERgeek
06-05-11, 02:26 PM
Here is some a video of it running vs just a HHD

Starts at 8:17

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ei7kkOHa0iw

Suppressor1137
06-06-11, 12:25 AM
Hmm. Interesting. I never caught that it was like that...Why would I get an SSD, just to cache my HDD? Shouldnt I just get an SSD?

SRT= SSD+HDD Raid. In a sense. It will allow SSD performance to a large storage drive(1tb and the such). I'd imagine the effect would be amplified if you had two ssd's in raid(2 60's or 80's would be most cost effective.) Which translated to faster HDD storage.

Question now is: depending on the way it works, it MIGHT kill your ssd faster than you might think.

10,000 write per cell, or 100,000 per cell. If it moves data from HDD to SSD and back, that cell is going to reach the end of its life pretty quickly. Don't panic, it won't just suddenly die 100% like a HDD, but it will gradually get smaller and smaller as the data is moved. the last bit of data recorded on the cell will still be able to be read, just not written to.

Although, its the small SSD's that will die faster.

That is assuming it takes files and swashes it across the two drives based on use.

This information is my own speculation. If it proves to be incorrect, then I apologize.

SRT is for Hybrid systems only, HDD only systems will NOT benefit from this technology, I cannot say the same for SSD only systems, as I don't quite understand the technology 100%, but HDD only, it will have no benefit. RAID is still king for HDD only systems in terms of performance boosts.

EarthDog
06-06-11, 08:51 AM
I get what it is. My problem with the technology, and the subject of this thread, is that you have to install your OS on the HDD in order for it work. So if I can afford a small SSD, why dont I just put the entire damn OS on there?

I dont think this technology will kill the drive any faster either...at least not enough to worry about. That makes no sense.

ratbuddy
06-06-11, 09:01 AM
This is untrue. I run my OS on a SSD and a mechanical for storage/games backed by an ISRT cache. It works fine.

Why? I can't afford 500GB+ of pure SSD storage. My MWLL installations alone are over 60GB including Crysis Wars, and the Steam folder is over 250GB. Running an SSD cache lets me have better performance in the stuff I use more often, and I don't need to dick around moving programs back and forth to a small SSD.

EarthDog
06-06-11, 09:03 AM
Sooooo this entire thread is false?

ratbuddy
06-06-11, 09:06 AM
Sooooo this entire thread is false?

Basically :)

deeppow
06-06-11, 09:26 AM
Wait a darn minute. You can't not run SRT with an OS on an SSD. SRT only works with an HDD or HDD RAID array having the OS and an SSD for caching. That is what the tread is about!

You can use RST to do several things, that is a different subject.

EarthDog
06-06-11, 09:28 AM
Can you post a link that specifically states that limitation? It seems that we have a proof of concept that it works even with an OS on the SSD caching a HDD with no OS.....

@ ratbuddy - What motherboard do you have? Asus? Maybe its an Asus only limitation?

ratbuddy
06-06-11, 09:40 AM
System is in my sig, and I'll get on that rig in a bit and run some tests to confirm.

edit: It's definitely caching the non-boot drive.

ratbuddy
06-06-11, 11:43 AM
Some pics.. I thought the 4k QD32 test would best show off how it will make the system feel snappier. Didn't have the patience to run the full set of tests over and over :)

96032
96033
96034

EarthDog
06-06-11, 11:48 AM
and........delete thread :p? To be serious though, I wonder if that limitation is JUST on ASUS boards..



Thanks for the tests. Makes me feel a lot better about the technology now!

ratbuddy
06-06-11, 12:13 PM
System was acting a little wonky after changing the cache settings so many times, so I rebooted and ran the 4k QD32 test again in maximized mode..

edit: The forum seems to be making my pictures tiny, ugh.

edit 2: Testing..

96038

ratbuddy
06-06-11, 12:43 PM
Another metric.. This is first run, subsequent ones didn't improve speeds. They're already pretty much as fast as the cache SSD alone, so that isn't surprising.

Without a doubt, ISRT works on non-boot drives.

96042

stunt
06-06-11, 01:45 PM
And if you use an SSD larger than 64g, Intel will partition it and use the remainder above 64g as a separate drive. 64g is the max allowed for ISRT.

ratbuddy
06-06-11, 01:56 PM
And if you use an SSD larger than 64g, Intel will partition it and use the remainder above 64g as a separate drive. 64g is the max allowed for ISRT.

You can see exactly that in my screenshots - it's a 90GB Vertex 2. F: is the remainder. I use it as a target drive when compiling FRAPS videos.

johan851
06-06-11, 02:47 PM
A lot of misunderstanding of what SSD caching with the Z68 is here.

Yes, it's true that in every case, when using SSD caching, the OS needs to sit on the HDD. ALL the data, in fact, goes on the HDD. The SSD is then configured to act as a cache (this is NOT RAID) for reads and writes to and from the HDD. The fact that the OS is installed on the HDD isn't in any way a limitation - it's completely by design, and the feature is very appropriately named.

This kind of tiered memory hierarchy has been in place since the dawn of computing, really, when information used by the CPU was stored in two tiers - registers and memory. Today, the memory hierarchy looks something like this:

CPU registers -> L1 cache -> L2 cache -> L3 cache (if available) -> memory (RAM) -> hard drive.

Even then, there are still sub-tiers. Spinning hard drives and SSDs are advertised as having a memory cache (RAM) that ranges from around 8mb to 64mb these days. That's another instance of a hard drive cache. Now what we're doing is using an SSD to up that cache from 16mb or so to 20GB. For an example, look for articles on the Seagate Momentus XT, which features a 4GB SSD cache.

In this configuration, an SSD failure will result in absolutely no data loss, while an HDD failure will likely result in complete data loss.

The advantage to Z68 SSD caching is that you can use a small SSD (8GB - 40GB) to cache data for a large drive, say 1-2TB. Frequently used files are automatically cached on the SSD, giving you SSD-like performance for anything you use frequently that stays in cache. You should get most, if not all, of the benefits of installing your OS on the SSD in this configuration, since those files will be used a lot, and you'll have much more space than SSDs provide. It's especially useful for consumer-level systems where people don't know (and shouldn't need to know) where to stick all of their data for good performance. This exposes a single large partition, and caching choices are made in the background.

What this doesn't work well for is programs that are so large that they evict useful things from the cache, and read/write operations that are too random in nature to be cached.

Anandtech, as always, has a great article on this: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4329/intel-z68-chipset-smart-response-technology-ssd-caching-review/2

ratbuddy
06-06-11, 02:49 PM
Yes, it's true that in every case, when using SSD caching, the OS needs to sit on the HDD. ALL the data, in fact, goes on the HDD. The SSD is then configured to act as a cache (this is NOT RAID) for reads and writes to and from the HDD. The fact that the OS is installed on the HDD isn't in any way a limitation - it's completely by design, and the feature is very appropriately named.

This is simply untrue, as I have shown above.

johan851
06-06-11, 03:06 PM
This is simply untrue, as I have shown above.
You're installing it on leftover space that's not used for the SSD cache, so your OS isn't part of the caching scheme. While that's probably optimal, that's not what I was referring to. In fact, that's a great idea.

I should clarify that what I meant was that in the simple configuration where an SSD is configured only as a cache for another hard drive, it's true that the OS always needs to be installed on the hard drive, and can't be SSD-only.

Although, its the small SSD's that will die faster.
They'll definitely get more writes, sure. A lot of the small, designed-for-cache SSDs are actually SLC NAND, though, so they should still last as long as you would care for them to. And even in the case of the MLC drives, degradation probably won't start happening for a few years.

EarthDog
06-06-11, 03:21 PM
I should clarify that what I meant was that in the simple configuration where an SSD is configured only as a cache for another hard drive, it's true that the OS always needs to be installed on the hard drive, and can't be SSD-only.
BUt isnt that what RB just disproved? He doesnt have an OS installed on the HDD, yet the SSD is still caching it.

Sorry if I missed something here...:chair:

johan851
06-06-11, 03:30 PM
I can't quite tell from the screenshot, but it looks to me like the SSD is partitioned. One partition is caching information from the HDD, and one partition is storing the operating system itself. So the SSD isn't configured to just be a cache, but to store a boot partition as well.

I'm not trying to be a jerk, sorry if I come off that way. =/

EarthDog
06-06-11, 03:33 PM
You are not at all. Im just trying to get to the bottom of this. :)

The point in contention in this thread is that the HDD needs to have an/the OS on it in order to have the SSD caching work. RB has said that his HDD does not have an OS on the HDD and his SSD is still caching it, which debunks the assertion made in this thread...No?

johan851
06-06-11, 03:38 PM
The point in contention in this thread is that the HDD needs to have an/the OS on it in order to have the SSD caching work. RB has said that his HDD does not have an OS on the HDD and his SSD is still caching it, which debunks the assertion made in this thread...No?
Right. So if your setup is a hard drive with an SSD configured solely as the cache, the operating system needs to be installed on the HDD.

If your setup is a hard drive with an SSD configured to have one partition act as the cache and one partition act as the OS boot partition, then you can install the OS the partition of the SSD you reserved for that purpose.

Maybe I misunderstood what the thread was about, too...

EarthDog
06-06-11, 03:42 PM
Ok we are on the same page, but Ratbuddy's testing shows otherwise. He does NOT have an OS setup on the HDD and the SSD is still caching it...contrary to the warning in this thread it does not. :)

johan851
06-06-11, 03:46 PM
Ok we are on the same page, but Ratbuddy's testing shows otherwise. He does NOT have an OS setup on the HDD and the SSD is still caching it...contrary to the warning in this thread it does not.
So he installed the OS to a partition configured as a cache partition? That seems illogical to me, like installing the operating system in RAM instead of the hard drive.

EarthDog
06-06-11, 03:49 PM
I see him lurking hopefully he will explain..

..what I thought he did was just randomly had the/an OS on part of the SSD, paritioned it to allow for the caching. So first partition OS, second partition caching. He has it caching his HDD with his games/apps on it.

EDIT: Guess not, but his point remains true in that you do not have to have an OS on a HDD in order to have an SSD cache it.

ratbuddy
06-06-11, 03:53 PM
Check my sig. I have a 64GB M4 SSD with Vista and several smaller programs (CPU-Z, Realtemp, Afterburner, Tortoise SVN, etc) installed. The main storage/programs drive is a Spinpoint F3 1TB. I can remove this drive and the system still boots fine since the M4 is the OS drive. There is a second SSD installed, a 90GB Vertex 2. This drive has a 64GB partition upon which resides the cache, and a spare 20GB partition left over which I use for transient files which enjoy high speeds. I can also remove this drive after disabling the cache and the system will happily cruise along with just the M4 boot drive.

My reasoning behind the storage system was simple: A Z68 micro ATX board came out with a featureset that made me take the leap to SB. The same day, there happened to be a sale on the M4 64GB for only $80. I already had the Vertex 2 coming from a friend for the same $106 he paid during that newegg SSD sale in February. The M4 achieves speeds of roughly 400MB/s read, 100MB/s write. Not so great for a cache, and in fact a bit slower on sustained writes than the F3. Logic dictated that I put the OS on the faster read drive and the cache on the faster write drive. $186 wouldn't even put me in a decent 120GB SSD, so going pure SSD was totally out of the question. I'd be looking at $1k or so worth of drives. I also FRAPS at 1GB/11 seconds which the F3 handles just fine, while a SSD would be overkill.

As mentioned, my Steam folder is something like 250GB. The way the caching scheme works (by LBA, not by program) gives me a boost in probably every game I regularly run. Putting the whole thing on SSD would be great, but we're talking $550 worth of drives to store it all on SSD. No thanks. Saved games are stored on the OS SSD, so those are always enjoying faster speeds as well.

TLDR:

Windows Vista installed on Crucial M4.
Programs and data on Spinpoint F3 1TB.
Spinpoint F3 cached by Vertex 2 90GB (64GB cache/20GB left over)

You can most definitely cache a non-OS hard drive, and you can do it when booting from a SSD.

If you had a 120GB SSD and wanted to partition it to devote 60GB to OS and the rest to a cache for a non-boot hard drive, could you do it? I dunno. I have two SSDs so I didn't feel the urge to find out.

johan851
06-06-11, 04:07 PM
If you had a 120GB SSD and wanted to partition it to devote 60GB to OS and the rest to a cache for a non-boot hard drive, could you do it? I dunno.
I think that should be possible.

Anyway, what I'm saying is that if you have a partition (or an entire drive) dedicated to caching, the OS can't be installed on that partition or drive.

The typical use case for this, according to the docs and probably according to how the Asus techs are trained, is that a person will install a small SSD and dedicate it to caching a larger HDD. In that scenario, the SSD can't have the OS installed on it because it's a dedicated cache. I'm asserting that that is true, but I agree that it's certainly possible to install the OS on any partition not dedicated to caching.

ratbuddy
06-06-11, 04:11 PM
I'm not so sure that's the case. IIRC, ISRT looks for an unused (unpartitioned) SSD and allows you to select it as a cache. It may freak out on you if you have already installed an OS to one partition and disallow use of the remainder as a cache. Someone would need to test that to be sure.

johan851
06-06-11, 04:16 PM
I'm not so sure that's the case. IIRC, ISRT looks for an unused (unpartitioned) SSD and allows you to select it as a cache. It may freak out on you if you have already installed an OS to one partition and disallow use of the remainder as a cache. Someone would need to test that to be sure.
Hmm. That might be reasonable, since double-purposing an SSD as both the OS drive and a cache might make it do a bit more work than you'd actually want.

ratbuddy
06-06-11, 04:24 PM
Hmm. That might be reasonable, since double-purposing an SSD as both the OS drive and a cache might make it do a bit more work than you'd actually want.

Could be. I am just guessing on that point, it may well be possible to split a single SSD for boot/cache duties. Won't know for sure until someone tries it.

The way I figure it, the cache drive takes a beating, but the Vertex 2 has a three year warranty and rather low write amplification (details here (http://www.anandtech.com/show/2899/3)). By the time the warranty expires, I'll likely have moved to a new setup anyway. If it craps out before then, well, so be it. I won't lose data and they'll send me a new drive.

deeppow
06-06-11, 06:22 PM
You need to reread the original post. It says ASUS and for anyone having info otherwise please post. Ratbuddy shows a Gigabyte in his sig.

Info from both an ASUS rep and the Intel forum indicate to use SSD caching requires the OS on a HDD or HDD array with a spare SSD. If Gigabyte has found a way allowing it, more power to them.

Gota say I tried Ratbuddy's setup a number of times (probably 4-5 days on and off) and it just wouldn't work. Using a small separate SSD to cache HDDs makes a lot of sense.

deeppow
06-06-11, 06:31 PM
Link (http://hardforum.com/showpost.php?p=1037319600&postcount=88) to ASUS rep's comment on SSD caching.

stunt
06-06-11, 06:38 PM
+1 to johan851, When installing the OS, you create the raid with the "less than" 64g cashe drive along with the spinner to create the single cashed drive. If your drive is over 64g, the remainder will become a separate partition/drive letter. Which ain't bad either like ratbuddy said. I would use it as a scratch disk.

I think I'm going to do this to the i7-2600k 120g ssd system I have here. Just to see what happens.

stunt
06-06-11, 06:41 PM
I just feel it's a big waste of money to do this on a ssd drive larger than 60g.

EarthDog
06-06-11, 06:49 PM
Link (http://hardforum.com/showpost.php?p=1037319600&postcount=88) to ASUS rep's comment on SSD caching.That comment is a bit different than the OP, no?

In that post he replied to of yours, you are trying to cache another SSD with an SSD.

You are already using an SSD as your OS drive, so caching really isn't going to do anything for you in this instance while your HDDs are in a RAID array again not compatible with the Intel requirements.
...he goes on to say...
As you can see - the requirement is a single HDD and a SSD.
...which does not say anything about having an OS EXCLUSIVELY on the HDD.

http://download.intel.com/support/motherboards/desktop/dz68db/sb/intel_smart_response_technology_user_guide.pdf

deeppow
06-06-11, 07:25 PM
That comment is a bit different than the OP, no?



I was trying to cache the RAID array to the spare SSD. As you know, little point in caching the OS SSD. I was moving my separate RAID card array in my sig to the Intel SATA as a RAID while I was testing.

I'm behind on the discussion (out of town) but at a glance, Ratbuddy is caching a HDD. Appears the single HDD works for him. Wonder if the difference is the RAID array versus a single HDD. The discussion in the original thread said only that the OS wasn't on a SSD, it could be a HDD or HDD RAID (I assume the Intel SATA connections only).

ratbuddy
06-06-11, 08:35 PM
Link (http://hardforum.com/showpost.php?p=1037319600&postcount=88) to ASUS rep's comment on SSD caching.

He has no idea what he's talking about, plain and simple. He makes a big deal about not being able to cache a RAID array, but the link he provides says quite clearly that you can.

johan851
06-06-11, 08:37 PM
He has no idea what he's talking about, plain and simple. He makes a big deal about not being able to cache a RAID array, but the link he provides says quite clearly that you can.
Unfortunately pretty typical of representatives like that. :blah:

deeppow
06-06-11, 08:46 PM
I have told you what I know by having experienced what I did. I'm not here to do anything other than indicate what I know and relate what I've been told by various sources. And I can say I've tried to do that.

If you are sure that all Z68 boards can SSD cache in any situation thru the Intel SATA then I have ABSOLUTELY no problem with either asking a mod to allow you to state that in my original post and to disregard the thread or to delete the thread all together.

The ball is completely yours.

ratbuddy
06-06-11, 08:48 PM
I'd rather get yours working :)

Maybe start a new post and we'll try to make it happen for ya :beer:

deeppow
06-06-11, 09:13 PM
The original intent of this thread wasn't me. It was a cautionary note to possible buyers.

I adopted another better setup, using two old smaller unequal-sized SSDs through RST RAID to store all my applications. A nice feature of RST is it simply adds the storage space of the two devices instead of limiting it to the smaller device times 2.

My perspective is the SRT (SSD caching), as original envisioned, is a feature that has passed its usefulness for most overclockers. OEMs may make use of it in the next few years but with current SSD prices, most overclockers have moved on to SSDs for their OS.

johan851
06-06-11, 09:35 PM
My perspective is the SRT (SSD caching), as original envisioned, is a feature that has passed its usefulness for most overclockers. OEMs may make use of it in the next few years but with current SSD prices, most overclockers have moved on to SSDs for their OS.
But it's not just for the OS. It's for all frequently used data on however big a drive you put behind it. For some, that could be extremely valuable.

stunt
06-07-11, 12:56 PM
+1 johan851. It seems we have a major disconnect on the use of this feature.

It's design is not to load an OS and certain games or apps to single or multiple ssds. It's design is to give ssd "like" performance to users that want to load everything to a large hard drive and use a cheaper, small ssd and not worry about the space limitations.

EarthDog
06-07-11, 01:31 PM
Part of the disconnect is because of this thread? Am I right in assuming this thread's 'warning' is incorrect seeing RB's proof of concept to the contrary? I hate to say it but I was fairly clear on its uses until I saw this thread. :(

ratbuddy
06-07-11, 01:36 PM
Part of the disconnect is because of this thread? Am I right in assuming this thread's 'warning' is incorrect seeing RB's proof of concept to the contrary? I hate to say it but I was fairly clear on its uses until I saw this thread. :(

True, the thread is 'myth - busted,' but there's at least one question left in my mind. Can you install windows on one partition of an SSD and use the rest for caching, or must the SSD be unpartitioned in order to select it for use as a cache? I have two, so I don't really care, but it would be nice to know.

johan851
06-07-11, 01:45 PM
The initial warning is a little ambiguous.

If you have a small SSD that you dedicate to caching ONLY, then it's true that you can't put your OS on that SSD because it's being used for the cache.

If you have an SSD with a single partition dedicated to caching, it IS possible to use another partition on the same SSD for data storage or whatever, but it's probably NOT possible to put your OS on that same SSD.

If you have an SSD dedicated to caching, it IS possible to put your OS on a second SSD that's not being used for a cache.

EarthDog
06-07-11, 01:45 PM
I may be able to test this... I have a Vertex2 120GB I can drop an OS on to, and have it cache my Caviar black. Not sure when I can get to it though.

@ johan - Ambiguous is really looking for an alternative meaning from the OP, but... I am a bit grumpy today. :p

johan851
06-07-11, 01:54 PM
I may be able to test this... I have a Vertex2 120GB I can drop an OS on to, and have it cache my Caviar black. Not sure when I can get to it though.

@ johan - Ambiguous is really looking for an alternative meaning from the OP, but... I am a bit grumpy today. :p
I think it's ambiguous because I've read it four or five times and I still can't figure out which of those scenarios we're worried about. And all the discussion in the thread isn't clarifying things at all.

Some people are saying the thread is over and it's a non-issue, others are saying that it's still an issue, it looks unconfirmed to me... :confused:

EarthDog
06-07-11, 01:56 PM
I've been told by an ASUS rep that the new SSD cauching (also called SRT -- Smart Response Technology) only works with the OS on a HHD and does its caching on a spare SSD. It could be common knowledge but if so, I missed it (my bad).

I clearly made a bad assumption that I could use it for apps and not worry about the OS.

In bold has been bunked. Thats what this thread is about (to me) according to the 1st post and his subsequent post. The thread is over to me as the information provided in the first post is not true as written. There is a question still unaswered that is related to the OP though... :p

johan851
06-07-11, 02:33 PM
Fair enough. But I keep reading this:
That means that for many of us today using a small SSD for the OS can't use SRT (SSD caching). You'll need to down grade your system and put the OS on a HDD to use SRT.
And that part of it is true. If you have a small SSD for the OS, and you want to dedicate it to caching instead, you'll have to put your OS on the HDD.

EarthDog
06-07-11, 02:37 PM
Well, we dont know if thats true. We havent tested it. It could be simply a space issue on a small SSD and not a limitation of the software which that snippet you quoted alludes to (from the prior sentences in that first post).

I mean if its a 30GB SSD, I think Vista/7 need 20GB partition minimum to install, but can it work with 10GB space? No clue. Can it work say on my 120GB Vert2 partitioned at 60GB with 60GB of space?

So I guess we do have one question unaswered. But the thread seemed more like a OMG THE HOUSE IS ON FIRE, when the reality of it seems to be that a candle was burning.

johan851
06-07-11, 02:40 PM
Right. So I'm not just making stuff up - it's a little ambiguous. :)

EarthDog
06-07-11, 02:41 PM
Im not going to split hairs anymore LOL! :)


..but check my ninja edit. ;)

johan851
06-07-11, 02:45 PM
You sneaky son of a ... :D

So I guess we do have one question unaswered. But the thread seemed more like a OMG THE HOUSE IS ON FIRE, when the reality of it seems to be that a candle was burning.
This much is very true.

I may be able to test this... I have a Vertex2 120GB I can drop an OS on to, and have it cache my Caviar black. Not sure when I can get to it though.
It seems like you ought to be able to install the OS to the Vertex2, boot up, then go into the Intel RST tools and make a partition of the Vertex2 a cache for the HDD. I'm interested in what you find out, because that kind of setup would be perfect.

EarthDog
06-07-11, 03:08 PM
If my testing works can we delete this thread? :p :rofl:

Sorry Deepow! :grouphug:

Suppressor1137
06-16-11, 10:02 PM
New light on SRT Caching: If yo have more than one SSD, one of them will be converted to Cache for the other to use, to a maximum of 64 gigs of cache to store on. So if you are an enthusiast, you will greatly increase the performance of your SSD by using this. Say you have one of the expensive 1 tb pci-e card, you can buy a small 64 gig ssd to use a cache, and greatly increase that 1 tb's speed. Its good for the budget and enthusiast if they have more than one drive. I'm sure it will be the same with Dual HDD systems, one has a 64 gb partition dedicated to cache, and the rest of the drive for storage, though this would be much slower than a ssd as cache.

EarthDog
06-16-11, 10:08 PM
Where did you hear/see that? Link please! :)

Last I heard that you cannot cache an SSD with an SSD. The SRT software will only allow you to cache a slower drive than itself.

I also dont understand how in your example that a slower drive ('small 65gb ssd for cache') can help out a presumably much faster PCIe ssd drive (im thinking revo x2).

Last, this software is for an SSD to cache HDD's not HDD's caching itself. I would imagine that would be slower, especially if you access something on the storage part of the drive while caching. That makes no sense to me.

ratbuddy
06-16-11, 10:12 PM
Yeah, it doesn't work that way. It only gives you the option to cache a regular hard drive.

johan851
06-16-11, 10:14 PM
Last I heard that you cannot cache an SSD with an SSD. The SRT software will only allow you to cache a slower drive than itself.
If you could, why would you want to? I guess if you got an old 240GB or something and a new fast 40gb...even then it doesn't seem worth it.

pwnmachine
06-16-11, 10:17 PM
P67 still golden...

EarthDog
06-16-11, 10:29 PM
Im sorry but I think that entire post is false, its like it was pulled out of thin air...:shrug:

hokiealumnus
06-17-11, 08:57 AM
ED, the post obviously wasn't pulled out of thin air, he referenced his source (http://www.overclockers.com/forums/showpost.php?p=6878563&postcount=42). I think saying 'out of thin air' is a bit harsh, don't you?

Now, I've read this post with great interest. While I can't take advantage of the feature (no Z68 board), it's interesting. I think the entire premise of the thread and discussion has gone in multiple directions from its intent. The OP may be a bit too broad, but not necessarily wholly incorrect. Bear with me, and read on.

I'm not sure ratbuddy has disproven anything. It seems the entire premise has been confused. Need moar input. Ratbuddy - your screenshot shows two SSDs, one Crucial (OS drive) and one Vertex 2. It seems to me that the Crucial drive containing your OS is not acting as cache, but as the OS/small program drive only. The large HDD is using the Vertex 2 as cache.

So, if that analysis of the SS is correct, to properly state the OP: the OS must be installed on a separate drive (be it SSD or HDD) from the one operating as the cache. Separate drive could potentially (based on some posts above) be a 'fake' drive (partition on OS drive) or an actual standalone SSD as in ratbuddy's case.

Now, looking at deepow's source (http://www.overclockers.com/forums/showpost.php?p=6878563&postcount=42), I think there is a misunderstanding as a whole. Raja was making a different point than ratbuddy's use. Snippet from his post (http://hardforum.com/showpost.php?p=1037319600&postcount=88):

...Intel stipulates that the caching drive has to have a higher performance metric than the drive you are attempting to cache. The caching is designed to improve the performance of a single HDD when used as your primary OS drive/or other with a small SSD drive, thus getting the benefit of SSD caching.

So, based on reading that, specifically "the caching drive has to have a higher performance metric than the drive you are attempting to cache.", that's exactly what ratbuddy has done, but to a different end the Raja's assumption. His assumption seems to be you're trying to speed up a system overall, including the OS, which initially resided on the HDD. But that's not what ratbuddy is doing. He already has the OS on an SSD.

You can't speed up an SSD with SSD cache, that we can all agree on. What he's using SSD caching for is to speed up his larger data drive that houses his games. It seems to be working perfectly fine, because (changing the quote around), his caching drive has a higher performance metric than the drive he is attempting to cache.

So in one respect, the OP is correct. You cannot use SSD caching to speed up an OS that's installed on an SSD...for the reason stated - the caching drive wouldn't have higher performance. The question then becomes, can you use SSD caching (which would require a separate, blank partition at the least, preferably a blank, small SSD) to cache a larger program/data drive that would, say, contain games. If that's the goal, it appears ratbuddy has done it.

EarthDog
06-17-11, 08:59 AM
I was talking about post #66. THAT is out of thin air (so far). ;)

Otherwise, you have clarified our collective thoughts from the previous and thread's intent quite well...we are just waiting on me to test.

hokiealumnus
06-17-11, 09:06 AM
I was talking about post #66. THAT is out of thin air (so far). ;)

Gotcha; sorry, I misunderstood your target. That one does appear to be incorrect all around. It's not possible, based on Raja's statement, to use an SSD to cache an SSD at all. :salute:

ratbuddy
06-17-11, 12:19 PM
I think it's simple:

The caching is designed to improve the performance of a single HDD when used as your primary OS drive/or other with a small SSD drive, thus getting the benefit of SSD caching.

I think the OP just missed the "or other" part and thought you needed the OS installed to a mechanical drive in order to use caching. That was my impression of the first post :)

We still don't know for sure if you can use a seperate partition on your OS SSD for caching. I tend to think the answer is no, due to how IRST will destroy any existing partitions when you disassociate the cache drive. That would not be good to have happen to a boot drive :p

PzR Active
06-19-11, 07:01 PM
Hey, first post on this forum so please be gentle. I think the question I have is the same unanswered question this thread has filtered down to, is it posible to install the OS on one partition of a SSD and use the other partition for cache acceleration of a HDD? I have a Gigabyte z68 board with a 1TB samsung HDD and a 60GB OCZ Agility 3 SSD. Intels SRT tool allows you to setup caching on a SSD in two ways. 1 - The whole drive is used for cache (max of 64GB the rest is used as data storage) 2 - 18.6GB used for cache and the rest (about 40GB in my case) is used as data storage. Hope this makes sense so far because Im about to confuse myself. OK EarthDog if it is of any help I beleive this setup will require patience because I dont think you can partition the SSD and install OS before you have used Intels SRT tool to part the drive and setup cache acceleration. So here's how I think it needs to be done... HDD and SSD are intalled into the machine, RAID is turned on, OS is installed onto the HDD, from within Windows intel SRT tool is used to setup cache (using the 18.6GB cache and the rest data option), then OS is re-installed onto the data portion of the SSD. Here is where I am currently stuck (and too suicidal to continue without help). When trying to re-install the OS onto the SSD there are no drives visible. Where did they go????? I know I have them as I can boot into windows on one of them.Is it because of RAID??? I think by now you can prob tell my skills are not too hot and Im prob a little out my depth with this but it would be the perfect setup for me and I have read this is possible (sorry I know it's not the done thing to not have a link to back this up but when I find it again I will edit it in).Sorry if I have this thread wrong and I do hope this can be tested by someone with the required skills. One more thing, if this is possible then obviously the OS and the caching would be using the same pipe, can anyone see a problem with this? Oh BTW this is a very helpful forum.

ratbuddy
06-19-11, 08:36 PM
It's all good man, I just can't tell what you're saying.. Wall of Text has defeated me :beer:

SHODAN
06-20-11, 01:01 AM
ratbuddy, never give up!

With editing:

Hey, first post on this forum so please be gentle.

I think the question I have is the same unanswered question this thread has filtered down to: is it possible to install the OS on one partition of a SSD, and use the other partition for cache acceleration of a HDD?

I have a Gigabyte z68 board with a 1TB Samsung HDD and a 60GB OCZ Agility 3 SSD. Intel's SRT tool allows you to setup caching on a SSD in two ways:


The whole drive is used for cache (max of 64GB; the rest is used as data storage)
18.6GB used for cache and the rest (about 40GB in my case) is used as data storage.


Hope this makes sense so far because I'm about to confuse myself. OK.

EarthDog, if it is of any help I believe this setup will require patience because I don't think you can partition the SSD and install OS before you have used Intel's SRT tool to part the drive and set up cache acceleration. So here's how I think it needs to be done:

HDD and SSD are installed into the machine

RAID is turned on

OS is installed onto the HDD

from within Windows, Intel SRT tool is used to set up cache (using the 18.6GB cache and the rest data option)

OS is re-installed onto the data portion of the SSD


Here is where I am currently stuck (and too suicidal to continue without help). When trying to re-install the OS onto the SSD there are no drives visible. Where did they go? I know I have them as I can boot into windows on one of them. Is it because of RAID?

I think by now you can probably tell my skills are not too hot and I'm probably a little out my depth with this, but it would be the perfect setup for me and I have read this is possible. (Sorry, I know it's not the done thing to not have a link to back this up but when I find it again I will edit it in.)

Sorry if I have this thread wrong and I do hope this can be tested by someone with the required skills.

One more thing, if this is possible then obviously the OS and the caching would be using the same pipe; can anyone see a problem with this?

Oh BTW this is a very helpful forum.

PzR Active, let's not make this a habit, okay?

PzR Active
06-20-11, 02:37 AM
OK so I see the problem with my post.

You know in my head when I posted it it looked exactly how Shodan has kindly laid it out.

Lesson learnt. Just hope the info is of help.

SHODAN
06-20-11, 02:45 AM
Welcome to Overclockers Forum.

ratbuddy
06-20-11, 07:30 AM
When trying to re-install the OS onto the SSD there are no drives visible. Where did they go????? I know I have them as I can boot into windows on one of them.

Hrm, if you can boot into Windows, why reinstall it at all?

PzR Active
06-20-11, 08:39 AM
Hrm, if you can boot into Windows, why reinstall it at all?

Because the os is currently on the HDD and I want it on the data portion of the SSD.

johan851
06-20-11, 11:01 AM
Because the os is currently on the HDD and I want it on the data portion of the SSD.
So when you boot to the SSD after you copied the operating system over, all the other drives just don't show up? Not even in device manager?

PzR Active
06-20-11, 11:24 AM
Sorry I'm not sure I'm explaining myself clearly.

The OS is only installed on the HDD so as I can use the Intel tool to correctly to part the SSD into cache and data partitions.
I then need to insert my win 7 disc again, boot from disc and try and install the OS on the SSD (on the data partition). I can then use the HDD for storage, app, games and such that will make use of the caching on the SSD.

PzR Active
06-20-11, 11:35 AM
The problem is when I try to boot from the win 7 disc the instalation shows no drives to install to, not even the HDD.



Posting from my phone sorry for the split post.

ratbuddy
06-20-11, 01:05 PM
If you disassociate the cache SSD do the drives show up again when booting from the 7 disc?

PzR Active
06-20-11, 02:29 PM
It appears the HDD does.

So currently OS on the HDD, SSD partitioned with 18.6GB cache and 40Gb data storage. Boot from win disc and no drives at all to install to.

If I disable the SSD as a cache drive with intel's tool and boot from win disc, just the HDD shows as a drive to install to.

In bios / integrated peripherals (gigabyte z68x-ud4 motherboard) if I change PCH sata control mode from RAID(XHD) to IDE then boot from win disc, both drives are available but the SSD shows as the full drive and not partitioned.

Suppressor1137
06-21-11, 01:58 PM
It was not pulled out of Thin Air ED, But the matter remains the same. :rain: When I went to try and re-find the source, It was removed. It was a SRT demonstration by Gigabyte on youtube, and they had mentioned that it would be possible to use SRT with a pure SSD setup, making a small ssd up to 64 gb cache to throttle up a larger ssd as if it were raided. It appears it was taken down probably due to misinformation. I thought the source was credible, seeing as how it was the largest manufacturer(as of right now) of Z68 chipsets who posted the video.

An interesting thought just came to mind... Integrated cache drive with SRT ready to be enabled right away...that would sell like candy, I'd probably buy a mobo at around $230 for that :shock::drool:

Instead of all the :argue: we should just lock this thread so people aren't all sorts of confused :p

EarthDog
06-21-11, 02:03 PM
Hmm interesting. I would definately post sources to information that is so contrary to popular belief and the white papers on the subject. :)

edit: as to your edit, I think there is a board that has a small MLC memory on it, but I *think* thats for quick boot. You are talking like physically on the mobo right?

I dont see any arguing here. Just a very informative discussion, and a bit of misinformation. Thats what forums are all about. :)

Knufire
06-21-11, 04:22 PM
An interesting thought just came to mind... Integrated cache drive with SRT ready to be enabled right away...that would sell like candy, I'd probably buy a mobo at around $230 for that :shock::drool:


http://www.gigabyte.com/microsite/279/images/mb-z68-models.html#mSATA

4 motherboards with an mSATA slot. They also sell the Z68XP UD3 as an iSSD model by throwing in a 20GB SLC drive for IRST.

EarthDog
06-21-11, 04:28 PM
Looks like that idea was already implemented. Nice!

johan851
06-21-11, 04:43 PM
^ Yup. The Intel 310 is built for that, and I believe someone is making Sandforce-based mSATA drives.

This technology would be great for laptops with an mSATA slot, too, but I don't know of any that are Z68-based. Hopefully this technology will continue to be integrated in chipsets down the road.

ratbuddy
06-21-11, 05:00 PM
Personally, I don't see the point if you're only going to go 20GB. "Stuff" simply gets ejected from the cache too quickly.

With 4GB sticks of DDR3-1600 coming in at $32.50 when sold in pairs, I would rather have some of those slotted for cache than sticking a tiny SSD on the mobo. Gimme a PCIe x4 (or higher) card that connects to a 5.25" bay device which holds a bunch of RAM sticks. Better yet, give me a board with mATX features but full ATX dimensions and the extra space (where the last three slots would be) populated by DDR3 slots with a controller chip that automatically manages the RAID/whatever setup :p

Dreaming, I know..

johan851
06-21-11, 05:11 PM
Personally, I don't see the point if you're only going to go 20GB. "Stuff" simply gets ejected from the cache too quickly.
Depends on the stuff. For most people I'm sure 20GB would be great.

I wouldn't think about it as *only* 20GB of stuff, but rather as the most commonly used 20GB of stuff on the entire HDD.

ratbuddy
06-21-11, 05:17 PM
Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to work that way, as evidenced by http://www.anandtech.com/show/4337/z68-ssd-caching-with-corsairs-f40-sandforce-ssd/5 and I'm sure many other sites. The cache will evict data to make room for more recently accessed "stuff," and if you happen to use more than a few programs, it will slow you up a bit when using a smaller SSD.

Being able to manually select which LBAs it caches would be pretty sweet, but so far there's no option for that..

johan851
06-21-11, 05:21 PM
Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to work that way, as evidenced by http://www.anandtech.com/show/4337/z68-ssd-caching-with-corsairs-f40-sandforce-ssd/5 and I'm sure many other sites. The cache will evict data to make room for more recently accessed "stuff," and if you happen to use more than a few programs, it will slow you up a bit when using a smaller SSD.

Being able to manually select which LBAs it caches would be pretty sweet, but so far there's no option for that..
In that case, it's a pretty contrived example. I don't know how many people actually do this on a regular basis:

Portal 2
Portal 2 (Level Load)
WoW
WoW (Level Load)
Starcraft 2
Starcraft 2 (Level Load)
Photoshop CS5.5 7.1
After Effects CS5.5
Dreamweaver CS5.5
Illustrator CS5.5
Premier Pro CS5.5
*reboot*

And the SSD cache still showed a noticeable improvement over the un-cached HDD.

I can't imagine the horror of having to select my own LBAs. :eek:

ratbuddy
06-21-11, 05:33 PM
I regularly run half a dozen games, CS5.5, 3dsmax, IE, WMP, a bunch of Tortoise SVN crap, and so on. A 20GB cache drive would be nearly useless to me :)

Surely they could figure out a way to associate LBAs with programs and let the user select which program's most frequently accessed LBAs the user would like to make 'sticky' in the cache.

johan851
06-21-11, 06:13 PM
A 20GB cache drive would be nearly useless to me
But the launch times were still 30% shorter with a cache, even with the smaller cache. The larger cache made them one second faster still.

I wish they had a comparison for straight SSD vs Z68 cache vs HDD.

Suppressor1137
06-22-11, 04:29 PM
Isn't this cache just there to Supplement the 64 MB of cache of the high quality drives? If this is the case, wouldn't it be better to have in ISSD on your board to supplement the cache, Not storage...IMO It sounds GREAT...

EarthDog
06-22-11, 04:32 PM
No..well....yes......well....... its storage and caching the HDD. Its supplementing the HDD, but not in the way you are describing (or I understand you describing it). I wouldnt call it cache like onboard like you are descrbing, but in essenence, thats what its doing.

Suppressor1137
06-22-11, 04:34 PM
Oh....Here I was thinking that it acted like the internal 64MB cache on the HDD. Would be nice if it acted as that, or even CPU cache...O.o

Edit: From my understanding of Memory, Storage is permanent data that is accessible, is sent to the cache bit by bit, once the cache is full(which is temp memory) it is then sent the the CPU to process. Depending on your processor, 2-12mb at a time. Once that information Pass is complete, it sends a command to delete that pass of data to make more room. That is what RAM is as well, Cache, at least from the way I understand it. Temporary data storage to expediate HDD read times.

EarthDog
06-22-11, 04:38 PM
Dude, you are all over the place... LOL! CPU cache is WAY faster than an SSD IIRC!!! So it wouldnt be nice at all!

ESSENTIALLY it does act like internal cache, but it is storage on another drive as that SSD also has its own internal cache.

Suppressor1137
06-22-11, 05:38 PM
I know CPU cache is far faster than SSD cache, and I don't see how I'm all over the place.
I know that DDR3 RAM is faster than SSD cache, SSD's are essentially DDR memory in a Drive form.
What I was trying to say is that while slow at the moment, it is the concept of using extra memory to let the CPU work with larger sections of data at a time. The main reason its Fast on the cpu, is the distance from the cores. its nanometers away opposed to 3+ inches. Less travel time=Faster response.

Cache for a Cache drive...

Let me rephrase my last post into something coherent as possible.

Storage drives(ANY form of storage, be it SSD, HDD, or some other technology for permanent storage. Its Data that is NOT temporary access for the processor.)

Basically, If a SSD is running as designed, it is Permanent storage.

Cache(ANY form of Temporary memory that is used to store temporary data to be processed, deleted to clear for more temp data when new applications are launched. This includes RAM, Random Access Memory, which modern day DDR3 is MUCH faster than associated SSD Cache.)

If an SSD is running as SRT Cache, it is temporary storage.

What I'm trying to conceptualize, is that if you have MORE cache for your PERMANENT storage drives, that speeds up the drive by having the CPU have a pool to pull from, and not have to keep sending signals to the HDD to bring more data in. The intial load is a little bit slower, but it speeds up the entire process by skipping the signal to send new cache.

What I was saying about CPU cache, is to slowly make it faster, maybe as fast as DDR5 Vram, if not faster, to decrease the amnout of work the cpu spends on filling and depleting its internal cache, and that way it does Less work with the same data, resulting in things like less heat.

johan851
06-22-11, 07:04 PM
SSD's are essentially DDR memory in a Drive form.
It's actually much, much slower.

The main reason its Fast on the cpu, is the distance from the cores. its nanometers away opposed to 3+ inches. Less travel time=Faster response.
The architecture of the memory types is also significantly different.

What I was saying about CPU cache, is to slowly make it faster, maybe as fast as DDR5 Vram
The CPU L1 and L2 (and L3, if applicable) are still much faster than any kind of RAM-type hardware.

I'm still a little confused about what you're saying. Essentially, this hierarchy exists:

CPU Registers
CPU L1
CPU L2
Main memory
---------------------------
SSD cache (if applicable)
HDD

Above the line is memory available to the CPU. Below the line is not directly addressable by the CPU.

The memory on SSDs and HDDs (the actual DRAM cache they have) is usually workspace for the drive controller, not really a readthrough/writethrough cache. On some drives it probably functions that way, but I don't *think* that's always the case. In any event, it doesn't really matter...you can just lump it into its respective device in the hierarchy.

It sounds like you're trying to shortcut through layers of the caching hierarchy, and that doesn't really make sense. All of these layers work to accomplish the end goal - getting more data to the CPU more quickly.

Edit: From my understanding of Memory, Storage is permanent data that is accessible, is sent to the cache bit by bit, once the cache is full(which is temp memory) it is then sent the the CPU to process. Depending on your processor, 2-12mb at a time. Once that information Pass is complete, it sends a command to delete that pass of data to make more room. That is what RAM is as well, Cache, at least from the way I understand it.
That's not really how a cache works. It doesn't try to fill the cache, process it, and then flush it. Rather, the CPU processes instructions and fetches data as necessary. If that data isn't in the L1 cache, it'll generally go out to the L2, and then to memory. When it finds the data, it may write it back to the L1 or L2 cache in case it needs it again in the future.

It's the application's job to load data into main memory so that the CPU can access it. An SSD cache will speed that process up. It'll also speed up the process of writing main memory pages to and from disk in the event that main memory fills up and a pagefile is necessary.

EarthDog
06-22-11, 07:08 PM
One is still limited by the speed of the SSD as cache. Even though its running LIKE cache, its still not as fast as its onboard cache or CPU cache. That said, the more RST drive available the more it stores and the more it 'speeds up' the drive so you are essentially correct if I understand you correctly...but not in the way you explained it.

CPU cache is faster than DDR5 ram. Run Everest memory benchmarks that test cache and look at the results.

BUT we are drifting a bit off topic, so Im going to leave it at this. If you want to clarify further, feel free to message me or start another thread on your dreams of speeding up...........what ever you want to speed up. :)

SNIPId give thanks, but Im spent for the day. :rolleyes:

gigabit
06-22-11, 08:16 PM
Gigabyte has a Z68 board with a preinstalled 20gb SSD.Sorry if this was already posted
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128505

GreenJelly
06-22-11, 11:33 PM
First, Please don't delete this thread... The discussion may seem frustrating, but it is a helpful tool for some of us to see the progression of thoughts.

This discussion brings me to a really interesting question. How would Intel handle a defrag? From what I hear a defrag could make the entire solution a waste, and tear apart the SSD. Also is TRIM still supported on this new hybrid drive?

All I want is Random Access to be faster... But to accomplish this requires more then a simple hardware solution. If it is to be handled like a Cache, then programers should be able to optimize for it and OS should be integrated with it.... Instead we are stuck with a half cocked 60gig limited solution...

johan851
06-23-11, 01:07 AM
All I want is Random Access to be faster... But to accomplish this requires more then a simple hardware solution. If it is to be handled like a Cache, then programers should be able to optimize for it and OS should be integrated with it.... Instead we are stuck with a half cocked 60gig limited solution...
I feel like they've done the right thing here. Managing it with hardware means that the OS doesn't need to be involved, which simplifies things considerably. This way, the device is presented to the OS as a single storage device, and the Intel drivers can manage things without the OS needing to be aware. Programmers shouldn't have to deal with programming around specific hardware configurations. That's what operating systems are for. If someone really needs a set of data to always be accessible with SSD-like speeds all the time, then that data belongs on an SSD, not on a cached hard drive. Otherwise, the caching is added as an additional layer of abstraction and no one needs to worry about it except Intel. It's great for typical consumer usage patterns.

This discussion brings me to a really interesting question. How would Intel handle a defrag? From what I hear a defrag could make the entire solution a waste, and tear apart the SSD. Also is TRIM still supported on this new hybrid drive?
Good question. It depends on how Intel does the mapping from SSD to HDD, I guess. At some level the SSD must be aware of where data sits on the HDD, so if every block on the SSD is associated with a block address on the HDD, then all that needs to happen when a file changes physical location on disk is a simple address update on the SSD. It would be a lot less writing than would actually happen on the HDD, and it would only apply to files that actually get defragged.

I would guess Intel is utilizing TRIM where available, since they've been pushing it since the beginning.

By the way, I would wager that their caching scheme is less naive than just reading through and writing through. That is, if I have a 40GB HD video file and a 40GB SSD cache drive, I would be very surprised if playing back the video evicted everything else from the cache. Also (this applies to most people reading this board) this kind of system is ideal for your friends and parents, and probably not quite as ideal for you. :)

johan851
06-23-11, 01:09 AM
Id give thanks, but Im spent for the day. :rolleyes:
I'm probably doing this thread more harm than good. :chair:

EarthDog
06-23-11, 07:38 AM
I disagree with GJelly's assesment that this is half cocked. I think the implementation as it stands is a solid solution for those that want improvements over their standard HDD. If you can afford a 60GB or more SSD, then you should be putting your OS and some/most applications on it anyway, so that limitation doesnt bother me in the least.

As far as the defrag, I would have to imagine that since its on an SSD, it doesnt defrag like it normally wouldnt in a non RST environment. You dont defrag SSD's as it messes up the drive map. Its not that the data on the caching SSD is MOVED from the HDD to the SSD, so there wouldnt be a need to defrag it. Im guessing there are probably some leaders for specific data sets that just point to the SSD as opposed to the HDD.

@ Johan - your input is quite valuable in this thread my friend. :)

ratbuddy
06-23-11, 08:03 AM
IRST is smart enough to know when you are running a virus scan, I'm sure it also recognizes defragging.

nightelph
06-23-11, 09:54 AM
Gigabyte has a Z68 board with a preinstalled 20gb SSD.Sorry if this was already posted
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128505

Given that this mobo is about $100 more than its non-msata mobo counterpart (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128500), and you could buy an Agility 3 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227725) for the same amount after rebate, wouldn't that be a no brainer? I know that the 20GB drive is SLC but still..

Edit: After reading the Anandtech article someone like me who uses a large assortment of big applications would run out of room with just 20GB.


I'm thinking of doing this actually. Why not give Z68 a shot and speed up my v-raptor.

johan851
06-23-11, 11:27 AM
Edit: After reading the Anandtech article someone like me who uses a large assortment of big applications would run out of room with just 20GB.
But they didn't see much improvement going over 40GB, IIRC. It's interesting.

nightelph
06-23-11, 01:34 PM
Right but SATA II 40GB costs about the same as a SATA III 60GB so why go low? I wonder if spinners actually utilize SATA III when set up for IRST..

johan851
06-23-11, 01:36 PM
Right but SATA II 40GB costs about the same as a SATA III 60GB so why go low? :P
Yup, fair enough. I wonder if Z68 will push prices down on small drives.

GreenJelly
06-23-11, 02:05 PM
Also (this applies to most people reading this board) this kind of system is ideal for your friends and parents, and probably not quite as ideal for you. :)

I agree with this 100%.... If they sold 20-40 SATAIII drives for less then $100 I would consider adding this to My Mechanical Drive... But to trust a $280 Drive to this Cache, is a bit over my tolerance...

EarthDog
06-23-11, 02:14 PM
SataII vs III shouldnt even be a concern in this case. There are SSD's available at the price you are looking for that would work, and well. Even the slowest modern SSD's (think back to original Vertex, or even Summit, and Intel X-25) would VASTLY improve performance of a HDD.

GreenJelly
06-23-11, 02:18 PM
Maybe in the future... Right now... Im broke... That is also contingent on the final answers regarding other features/problems/issues with the tech...

johan851
06-23-11, 02:19 PM
But to trust a $280 Drive to this Cache, is a bit over my tolerance...
Yeah, I don't think that's really the use case they were thinking of, and I agree that that would be a huge waste.

They're targeting the crowd that wants to benefit from SSDs on a budget, not drop $200+ on a new drive and then go through the hassle of setting up a multi-drive system. The simplicity of this caching feature is the big win. If someone were able to come up with a reliable, 20GB SSD for around $60-$80 (it wouldn't need to be super fast) then this would become a great mainstream solution.

X25-V, maybe?

EarthDog
06-23-11, 02:36 PM
X25-V sounds like a prime candidate, so does its lower cost Kinsgtson versions too. Like I said, plenty for less than $100...

(now watch that threshold fall even more...waffles).

PzR Active
06-23-11, 02:49 PM
Ok, I know this is going back a few steps in this thread but I'd like to know what you guys think.
If we assume it's not possible to set this up how I mentioned above with OS on one half of the SSD and the other used for caching with everything else on the HDD then how would you guys suggest I make best use of my 1TB HDD and 60GB SSD?

Should I install the OS on the SSD and everything else on HDD or OS and everything else on the HDD and try using the SSD for caching.

I'm a little bit lost now and I have all this kit just waiting to do it's job. :-)

EarthDog
06-23-11, 02:53 PM
OS on SSD, no doubt. :)

BUT if you want to be a guinea pig and try the one last outstanding thing in this poor thread.......

johan851
06-23-11, 02:54 PM
^ Yeah, OS on the SSD. You should be able to fit a lot of your programs there too, unless you have a bajillion games.

EarthDog
06-23-11, 02:56 PM
Also adjusting the Page File after install will give you a couple GB back, as well as eliminating restore and restore points (unless you use them). But that should be a 10GB install give or take of W7 leaving 50GB for apps/games/etc...

Install Windows
Install chipset and graphics drivers
Run WEI to shut off all the things an SSD should have done to it (indexing, defrag, etc)

Enjoy. :)

ratbuddy
06-23-11, 03:23 PM
Honestly, looking at boot times for a hard drive OS install with SSD cache, I'd probably go that route, rather than fuss around with moving stuff around to ensure a boot SSD doesn't fill.

Maybe it's worth installing the OS to a SSD if you only use ~30GB of games/programs and the large drive will be strictly for media storage, but ISRT does such a good job, I'd probably use it rather than a seperate boot SSD anyway.

Of course, you could also do both ;)

GreenJelly
06-23-11, 03:53 PM
Maybe a monkey with a notepad?

He will have a bit trouble figuring out NTFS, but we may be able to use.... Wait for it....

MUTATED MONKEYS FROM INTEL!

... Didn't see that one coming

However, if I was to buy a hard drive, and then I was to buy a X25-V or an Mutated Monkey from Intel, I would be spending $100 on a better faster & Bigger HD, that I would otherwise not have the money for...

PzR Active
06-23-11, 04:42 PM
Thanks for your help guys, I love the different views on this. Not fully sure which way I'm going with this but think whatever I use may end up being a temp solution.
I think I'm going to end up reaching back in my pocket and buying another SSD. The 60GB agility 3 only cost 80. I say only but don't get me wrong still a lot of wedge in my opinion.

EarthDog, I'm not sure what the one last thing is? If it's OS and caching on the one partitioned SSD then I've tried to the best of my limited capabilities and don't seem to be able to succeed.
I think this is still very new and there dosnt appear to be the info on the net yet to guide me through.

EarthDog
06-23-11, 04:46 PM
Assuming you are using windows 7, its the Windows Experience Index. If you run that, your PC will figure out you have an SSD and disable/enable somethings for the SSD.

nightelph
06-23-11, 07:40 PM
Danggit, I just let slip a 40GB X25-V in a netbook to my dad. Good fathers day gift tho.

Grannie_Gigabyt
06-23-11, 10:20 PM
Just as background: SSD caching is useful for raid arrays as many have pointed out--and it is not neccessary than an OS be on the HDDs in the array. It is a technology that was developed with servers in mind. It improves the performance of the HDD raid arrays inherent to servers--generally Raid 5 (or an enhancement of Raid 5 such as 5EE or 50). The more redundant the use of the server the better the benefit. The bottom line is that a Hybrid Raid Array using an SSD for a cache can approach the performance of an "SSD raid array" at less cost. The performance of the server greatly increases allowing them to serve more clients than before which results in more earnings. So it can be a profitable alternative to increase capacity. This of course generally would involve a raid card that would drive a large number of SAS/SATA Enterprise/Raid drives--hundreds. It used to be that an Enterprise drive was just a matter of setting a jumper but these days Enterprise Drives tend to have other features besides how they deal with errors (Desktop drives in server applications-say Raid 5 rather than consumer raid-will cause the raid controller to time out when an error occurs and the raid performance will deteriorate). Most Enterprise drives are 2.5 inches (less space), are SAS rather than SATA, and many spin at 15,000 RPM and so on. These HDD drives are a good bit more expensive than the best desktop drives which again do not perform well in raid arrays excepting what are deemed "consumer raid" versions (0, 1).

As for desktop applications, i doubt there is much benefit of SSD caching unless one has an exceptional number or HDDs in a raid array. I doubt the usage of many desktops is near as redundant as a server although many might think they use the same files often--it just seems to me to be a different ballgame in regards to the benefit of an SSD cache. If you are going to use just a SSD and a hard drive or two, i would venture you can ignore the whole issue of SSD caching--it is going to make more a difference for applications wherein there is a lot of stored data to sort from and has usage patterns that an algoryhtm can identify that result in performance gains.

The operating system need not be on a hybrid array and could be on another SSD. One could install say an Adaptec Series 6 Raid Card in a slot and hook it up to a lot of fast HDDs and one SSD, installing a serious hybrid system if one had a use for it. The cost difference per GB of an Enterprise HDD and a SSD is not all that much but it makes a big difference in server applications that use hundreds or more HDDs (in lieu of SSDs).

The point of this is that as far as desktops computing goes, i sort of think this ends up on MBs due to the high level of competitiveness amongst MB manufacturers who are looking for ways to make their products seem more attactive and it may be coincidental in that they may be using raid controllers on MB that actually were designed for other markets.

So if you are fortunate enough to have a nice SSD in hand a one or couple of HDDs--i would suggest you can be comfortable putting your OS on the SSD and your junk on your HDD(s). If you want better than that i would suggest a bigger SSD or more than one.

johan851
06-24-11, 01:14 AM
*Edited because I don't believe what I said anymore*

The problems I see with Z68 for enterprise is that it's mostly implemented at the driver level, not the hardware level, so it doesn't work in linux-based systems. It also seems like you'd want to go all or nothing (HDD only or SSD only) just for simplicity. If you've got a small subset of data that you plan to access often, you should probably put it in a fast database cluster. If you have larger chunks of data that don't require as much speed, it could go in a slower cluster. Either way, you want to be able to have some kind of reliable means of knowing how much throughput you can get from your data store, and an SSD cache kind of randomizes that throughput.

As for desktop applications, i doubt there is much benefit of SSD caching unless one has an exceptional number or HDDs in a raid array.
I don't really understand your point here. Can you elaborate?

EarthDog
06-24-11, 07:21 AM
Hmm, well, in an enterprise evironment, although there are large chunks of data, a lot of it these days (at least in my shop) are high I/O environment. And even with 15k SAS drives, I would imagine having a large SSD type cache would help push those I/O's through for reptative data/data stored in the SSD cache.

Also, this technology CLEARLY is beneficial to desktop applications with a single drive... Im not sure I understand that statement either?

johan851
06-24-11, 12:06 PM
Hmm, well, in an enterprise evironment, although there are large chunks of data, a lot of it these days (at least in my shop) are high I/O environment. And even with 15k SAS drives, I would imagine having a large SSD type cache would help push those I/O's through for reptative data/data stored in the SSD cache.
That makes sense. Maybe it's more that this particular implementation (Z68, Intel RST) doesn't strike me as enterprise-worthy quite yet. There's not enough control over the way the cache is used.

EarthDog
06-24-11, 12:17 PM
I wouldnt roll it out Enterprise... no way. Too green. BUT I can see the benefits, especially in a cost vs. performance comparison vs a SAN of SSD's.

Grannie_Gigabyt
06-25-11, 03:29 PM
my point Johan851:

My thinking was that for a simple arrangement, i would prefer putting the OS and often used stuff on an SSD rather than setting up a hybrid system with one or two HDDs. Also as a matter of economics--not much to gain that way from emulating SSD with a 'small' application. And i agree with those who asked 'why mimic SSD if you really want SSD performance' and was just trying to give some background as to when hybrid raid really makes sense for those who seem confounded by this. In the context of overclockers, i fail to see all that much benefit particularly in real-time use.

(Don't have one of 'these' MBs but we have a 6405 Adaptec Raid card although it is not in a slot yet. Machine is all torn down for awhile for other aesthetic reasons. Haven't been convinced that should set up a hybrid raid with one of our 2 SSDs as opposed to just using the SSDs for OS and programs and raiding the disks for data/junk. If or when i was going to set it up with more HDDS to say offer something on the web, then i might be tempted to use one of the SSDs in a hybrid arrangement.

Servers run into a definite bottleneck that the hybrid system addresses economically. I am skeptical that many of us here really face such a bottleneck and the economic savings of a hybrid raid (SSD cache) are minuscle relative to what most of us have into our machines. Thus, even though a benchmark algorithm might find a hybrid raid algorithm of one SSD and say one HDD improves performance i am skeptical that there will be any real world gain from this and if we are all that interested in performance--it seems i agree with many of the early posters--why not just go with the SSD you need to obtain needed performance and run your HDDs as a seperate drive(s).

I don't know if i answered your question. But i would suppose that the term benefit is somewhat a loaded term. Some of us have different ideas as to what benefit means and i wasn't meaning to diminish all you benchmarkers or your work. I was thinking back to the original posts and trying to explain how this works well for specific applications that are not particularly of interest to most overclockers (who are not likely to see near the same 'benefits' relative to the benefits of large hybrid raid arrays.) It's not like we have no caching options?

Regards

ratbuddy
06-25-11, 03:51 PM
As I posted somewhere or other (this thread maybe?), there is a great benefit for me, and the price of storing all my programs on SSD is simply too high. Frequently used programs are dynamically allocated space on the expensive but fast SSD, and I do not have to screw around moving games back and forth to pure SSD to take advantage of this small, fast, expensive storage.

My cost was something like $106 for the cache SSD, and $60 for the 1TB hard drive. How big of an SSD does $166 buy you? Nowhere even close to big enough. I have a lot of games.

johan851
06-25-11, 07:33 PM
...
I think that makes sense. The only part I don't fully agree with is your skepticism over how much real world gain there would be. I think the Anandtech article shows some pretty definite gains in real-world applications.

In ratbuddy's case I think the hybrid SSD approach is great. The economics certainly make sense. Has the speedup been noticeable?

ratbuddy
06-25-11, 08:14 PM
Oh yes, yes it has. Maybe I should make some videos of load times with cache enabled and disabled. MWLL launches in about 5 seconds, and 3ds max is basically instant.

GreenJelly
06-27-11, 07:54 AM
Maximum PC (This Month) has bench marks for it...

nightelph
06-27-11, 11:39 AM
Just ordered a GA-Z68X-UD4-B3. Now I have to keep an eye out for a SSD deal. :)

TimoneX
06-27-11, 12:44 PM
TY guys for the most interesting(though somewhat convoluted) thread I've read here for some time. :beer:

This is the first feature that I've found to be a compelling reason to swap out a s1366 setup for SB. If this interesting feature is left off Ivy or SB-E...well lets just say George will be getting angry...

Cheers.

ratbuddy
07-02-11, 09:44 PM
I just used the trial version of Acronis Easy Migrate to swap my boot drive from the M4 to the Vertex 2. I was running out of space on the M4 since my saved games live in Documents which I wanted to keep on pure SSD. Now there's another 20-something GB free on the boot drive, and the cache drive has even faster reads. Here's a Crystal of the F3 with the M4 acting as cache. Since the last time I posted the result was a few pages back, for comparison, I've included a screen of the same system with the same setup except with the Vertex 2 as cache drive and M4 holding the OS.

Very nice, IMHO. Anyone have a plain mechanical drive they want to run a QD32 4k random test on and post up the result?

;)

96949

96950

GreenJelly
08-06-11, 11:15 PM
I have my boot drive on the C drive. I installed windows awhile ago and figured that we have not heard a conclussion on the issue of creating a partition after installation that would then be able to use the Rapid Storage Technology.

I have Windows 7 64, Asus P8Z68-V PRO and an Intel 510 120GB SSD!

I installed Windows 7 around a month ago and figured I would try to setup a Rapid Storage Technology partition for my WD 1GB (well 932GB) Black Drive. I shrunk my partition using 3rd party software, creating 20GB unallocated of space. I then changed My Bios From ACHI to RAID (and tinkered a bit to get it working).

First when switching from AHCI to RAID, Intel Rapid Storage Technology reported the drive as 3Gbps. I have the latest Asus Bios (version 610) and the latest Intel 510 SSD Firmware PPG4. I have a SATA 6Gbps Cable. When changing back to AHCI the drive reports 6Gbps! I did not bench mark since I do not have a copy of PCMark.

When I enter Intel Rapid Storage Technology it fails to provide an Accelerate button as shown in the previous post. I have tried just about everything else! It is interesting that Ratbuddys drive shows 2 RAID partitions.

I can only conclude that you must either create the RAID array before you install (which the BIOS will not allow you to do), or jump off a bridge! I do not know why the SSD will report 3 Gb/s when the Bios is set to RAID, but I am discouraged enough not to try anything else right now:(

ratbuddy
08-06-11, 11:20 PM
You're trying to cache a spinner with unallocated space on your boot drive? That won't work. With a single-SSD system, you'd need to install windows to the spinner, cache it with the SSD, and use the leftover SSD space for something else.

Psycogeec
08-07-11, 05:53 AM
clear this up for me

1)

|-----SSD--all cache-------|
^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ linked
|------------HDD---------------------------------------------------------------|

Any data that is used and reused , from the hard drive no mater how large the hard drive is, can be sent to the SDD and read from it instead of the drive.
writes can go to the SSD but are also stored on the HD, because the SDD is not storage but only as cache to speed up the storage.


2)

----SSD GONE ------------
link disconnected
|--------------HDD-------------------------------------------------------------|

All data is still on the HDD, the cache is no longer in play.



3)

|-----SSD--all cache-------|
^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^cache linked to DISK not partition?
|-----HDD-OS----partition0----------|----------HDD----DATA---Partition1---------------|

same as above , OS and data are both cached? as the cache is not set on the partition but it is set on the whole "volume"
Cache usage is based not on the OS , but high use of specific file items?


4)

|-SSD Cache part--|-SSD Data -------|
^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^
|--------------HDD--------OS-----------------------------------------------------|

Parts of the whole of the SSD can be used as the cache, the leftovers can be partitioned for data storage. The minimum size of the cache is ~20gig or the 18.? that exists on a 20gig.


5)

|-SSD Cache part--|-SSD Data -------|
^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^
|-----HDD-------with NO Operating system----------------------------------------------|

Any HDD can be set up to be SSD Cached, it does not require that an OS exist on the drive that is being cached.


6)

|--------SSD---------|
^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^
|--------HDD---------|

There is NO requirement whatsoever that the disks be the same size , the cache system is caching file items, not the whole disk itself.
.

EarthDog
08-07-11, 06:02 AM
I have my boot drive on the C drive. I installed windows awhile ago and figured that we have not heard a conclussion on the issue of creating a partition after installation that would then be able to use the Rapid Storage Technology.

I have Windows 7 64, Asus P8Z68-V PRO and an Intel 510 120GB SSD!

I installed Windows 7 around a month ago and figured I would try to setup a Rapid Storage Technology partition for my WD 1GB (well 932GB) Black Drive. I shrunk my partition using 3rd party software, creating 20GB unallocated of space. I then changed My Bios From ACHI to RAID (and tinkered a bit to get it working).

First when switching from AHCI to RAID, Intel Rapid Storage Technology reported the drive as 3Gbps. I have the latest Asus Bios (version 610) and the latest Intel 510 SSD Firmware PPG4. I have a SATA 6Gbps Cable. When changing back to AHCI the drive reports 6Gbps! I did not bench mark since I do not have a copy of PCMark.

When I enter Intel Rapid Storage Technology it fails to provide an Accelerate button as shown in the previous post. I have tried just about everything else! It is interesting that Ratbuddys drive shows 2 RAID partitions.

I can only conclude that you must either create the RAID array before you install (which the BIOS will not allow you to do), or jump off a bridge! I do not know why the SSD will report 3 Gb/s when the Bios is set to RAID, but I am discouraged enough not to try anything else right now:(

You're trying to cache a spinner with unallocated space on your boot drive? That won't work. With a single-SSD system, you'd need to install windows to the spinner, cache it with the SSD, and use the leftover SSD space for something else.As GJ wrote it, it seems like he cut a 20GB chunk out of the HDD and not the SSD?

@ RB - That is what people have been wanting to be tested in this thread forever. Can you have OS on SSD, allocate 20GB+ on that same SSD to cache a HDD.

@ Pyscho - SSD dude... SSD. :p

As to you drawings... we have been discussing this throughout the thread, give it a read to see where we are at. ;)

SUmmary:

Drawing 1. Frequently used data is sent to the SSD, yes.
Drawing 2. True.
Drawing 3. I believe its the partition with the OS on it. As you should see from reading the thread that is one of our main questions that nobody can seem to (want to) test.
Drawing 4. True.
Drawing 5. See #3 answer.

Psycogeec
08-07-11, 06:21 AM
I feex, I have attempted to read the whole thread.
i was getting to the complicated parts :-)


someone suggested this? and has not been tested?

7)

|---SSD OS part--|--SSD---cache-part------|
. . . . . . . . . . . . . ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^
|-----HDD-Data--------------------------------------------------------------|

OS is all running off the SSD, the SSD cache is being applied to other data instead of "OS".



8)

Rat Buddy has this setup working (simplified)

|---SSD OS----------|


|--SSD---cache-------|
^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^
|-----HDD------------------------------------------------------------------------|

2 Solid state drives, OS running fully off of a SSD.
a seperate SSD is being used to do cache for a hard drive.



9)

|-----SSD--all cache-------|
^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^
|-----SSD --OS-------------|

This is just stupid, but i dont think anyone thought it wouldnt be. . The software does not allow for this, or allow for a HD to be the cache.
.

EarthDog
08-07-11, 06:26 AM
Id continue reading the thread we have went over this.. :)

Drawing 7: is what we are trying to figure out as well.
Drawing 8: I dont think so... I dont recall.
Drawing 9: No. You cannot cache an SSD with an SSD.

Read all about the technology here: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4329/intel-z68-chipset-smart-response-technology-ssd-caching-review/2

Psycogeec
08-07-11, 06:52 AM
. . . and The Number One reason why i was reading this thread instead of watching david letterman :-)

10)

Simplified, i want this

|---SSD Raid0 Array OS-----|-array--Cache space--|
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .^^^^^^^^^
|---HDD Raid0 array data---------------------------------------------------------------------------|


The fully complicated version would actually be like these 2

11)
One SSD One raid0 Hd team

|---SSD OS part--|--SSD---cache-part------|
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . ^^^^^^^^^
|-----HDD0----Raid 0----data-----|-----part1--data----|--------data----Part2--------------------------|
|-----HDD1----Raid 0----data-----|-----part1--data----|---------data---Part2--------------------------|


12)
SSD array, caching a HDD array

|---SSD0 OS RAID0--|--SSD---cache-part------|
|---SSD1 OS RAID0--|--SSD---cache-part------|
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . ^^^^^^^^^
|-----HDD0----Raid 0----data-----|-----part1--data----|--------data----Part2--------------------------|
|-----HDD1----Raid 0----data-----|-----part1--data----|---------data---Part2--------------------------|

i think intel could pull it off, but the thread made it all so confusing.

.

EarthDog
08-07-11, 06:56 AM
Again that is what we are trying to figure out I believe... Can you cache a HDD without an OS on it. You have multiple partitions on that HDD so that throws another variable into it though. If it works, I doubt you can cache multiple partitions, but I am just guessing at that thinking of how these are setup in the first place.

Psycogeec
08-07-11, 07:35 AM
i wonder if some of the confusion, came about due to what they were trying to say to Users.
the drive sanctioned for use with the system, is a little enterprise class 20G SLC intel drive.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820167062
The Intel SSD 311 Series, holding frequently used files, <-- does not say OS programs
The direction of INTELS own information is to use this smaller drive , with a larger HD.

we all know that you can use any drive, but then we quote the manufacture who is on one specific plane of thought. ? ? ?
with that drive, and most peoples systems, you would expect those answers.
they also know that most people dont bother to partition, or even organise anything.

the cache can be 64G max size, for me that could cache my entire system partition 5 times over :-)

http://download.intel.com/support/motherboards/desktop/dz68db/sb/intel_smart_response_technology_user_guide.pdf
2. Select the HDD (or RAID volume) to be accelerated. It is highly recommended to accelerate the
system volume or system disk for maximum performance.
It does not make any OS caching requirement statement, and continually speaks of volume, then tosses out the word disk.

Volume according to the wiki,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volume_(computing
for formatted NTFS systems in windows , would be only the partition :-( but could also be the whole disk, depending on the use of the word volume.

we know what a disk is :-)

In RatBuddys pictures the acceleration is shown applied to the "port" and "device".

One motherboard lists the action not as File based but "block" based cache.
.

GreenJelly
08-07-11, 04:26 PM
Yes, I was attempting to try the one thing people where asking (and remained unsolved). Which is if they had a current SSD with the OS installed on it, could they use a smaller partition of that SSD (not the OS partition) to use as a Cache for a larger drive. It appears not.

However, there is one solution left to try, and it is kinda a hack. Install the OS on a smart response technology partition. Then install another copy of the OS on the SSD partition. If you can use the Smart Response Partition when running the second Windows OS, then you could delete the first windows install and get it to work.

BUT, its not something I am willing to try as the drive is reduced from a SATA 6 to a SATA 3 drive:(

I also do not have a SECOND SSD to try, but a second separate drive should work without an issue... SHOULD!

Eldonko
08-23-11, 11:17 AM
This is really all you need to know from this thread. I would ignore the rest, it will just lead to confusion. :thup:If you have a small SSD that you dedicate to caching ONLY, then it's true that you can't put your OS on that SSD because it's being used for the cache.

If you have an SSD with a single partition dedicated to caching, it IS possible to use another partition on the same SSD for data storage or whatever, but it's probably NOT possible to put your OS on that same SSD.

If you have an SSD dedicated to caching, it IS possible to put your OS on a second SSD that's not being used for a cache.

ratbuddy
08-23-11, 04:49 PM
There's also a method floating around for running OS and cache on the same drive, but I wouldn't mess with it.

Mordachai
08-25-11, 10:39 AM
First: thanks for this thread. Cool discussion, including the confusion.

Now I'm torn. I have a 256GB C300 SSD and a 2TB 5400 RPM drive. Do I stick with my current config - OS & Program Files & Games on my SSD, or try to switch it to use the IRST approach, and then find something meaningful to put on the non-cache partition of the SSD (I'd end up with 212GB data partition).

hokiealumnus
08-25-11, 10:42 AM
I'd stick with your current config personally. With that size SSD, this type of caching would likely do nothing but slow you down.

EarthDog
08-25-11, 10:48 AM
There's also a method floating around for running OS and cache on the same drive, but I wouldn't mess with it.Links.. thats interesting!!!

First: thanks for this thread. Cool discussion, including the confusion.

Now I'm torn. I have a 256GB C300 SSD and a 2TB 5400 RPM drive. Do I stick with my current config - OS & Program Files & Games on my SSD, or try to switch it to use the IRST approach, and then find something meaningful to put on the non-cache partition of the SSD (I'd end up with 212GB data partition).Agree with below. :)

I'd stick with your current config personally. With that size SSD, this type of caching would likely do nothing but slow you down.

Mordachai
08-25-11, 10:52 AM
I wonder how all of this compares to the new hybrid drives (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148704) that Seagate and others? are making - where they have a few GB of SSD that the HDD controller uses for purely block-caching (no OS level driver support at all)?:confused:

EarthDog
08-25-11, 10:55 AM
Same difference if not better (RST over Hybrid)...look at some hybrid drive benchmarks then look at RST benches to compare.

ratbuddy
08-25-11, 02:22 PM
Links.. thats interesting!!!

Interesting but a pain in the ass. You also end up with OS and cache sharing the same SATA port, rather than each getting full bandwidth as you would get with a dual SSD setup.

Anyway, http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2172381 has the details.

EarthDog
08-25-11, 02:27 PM
Awesome! Thanks for the link!

I dont think the bandwidth will matter since its SATA3 and its not being saturated with even Vertex 3. Not to mention, I would guess that there are rare instances where you are thrashing the OS partition and a data drive at the same time to cause slowdowns...though this is where I would imagine a max IOPS drive would come in handy.

Again thanks, glad we now know it can be done!

Atheus
09-07-11, 04:34 PM
Hi all - if I may hijack this thread for a minute....

So I've got a very fast (Vertex 3) 120GB SSD for OS and apps, and a much smaller cheaper Crucial SSD for SRT caching etc. My question is, can I partition the smaller/slower SSD for SRT caching AND the Windows 7 page file. I would also like to know if this is a good idea :)

Any help appreciaed! Cheers.

ratbuddy
09-07-11, 05:16 PM
Hi all - if I may hijack this thread for a minute....

So I've got a very fast (Vertex 3) 120GB SSD for OS and apps, and a much smaller cheaper Crucial SSD for SRT caching etc. My question is, can I partition the smaller/slower SSD for SRT caching AND the Windows 7 page file. I would also like to know if this is a good idea :)

Any help appreciaed! Cheers.

You sure can, in IRST you'll see the option to use as much of the SSD as you like, up to 64GB. Personally, I wouldn't bother, RAM is so cheap right now, you can just toss 8GB+ in there and not worry about paging at all.

Atheus
09-07-11, 06:41 PM
You sure can, in IRST you'll see the option to use as much of the SSD as you like, up to 64GB. Personally, I wouldn't bother, RAM is so cheap right now, you can just toss 8GB+ in there and not worry about paging at all.

I've already got 8GB of 1866mhz RAM sitting here - you reckon I shouldn't bother setting up a page file at all and just using the entire 64GB SSD for SRT caching?

I have a feeling about disabling page/swap entirely... previous versions of windows didn't like that... no matter how much memory you have it seemed to use some kind of secret page on the boot disk anyway.

Do we even know this kinda stuff about the win 7 memory management???

johan851
09-07-11, 06:49 PM
Turning the page file off isn't worth it. Windows 7 is good enough about memory management that it won't touch the page file unless it needs to, though it will still reserve space on disk for one.

Like you said, turning off the page file doesn't mean Windows won't use one if necessary.

Atheus
09-07-11, 07:48 PM
Turning the page file off isn't worth it. Windows 7 is good enough about memory management that it won't touch the page file unless it needs to, though it will still reserve space on disk for one.

Like you said, turning off the page file doesn't mean Windows won't use one if necessary.

So in your own opinion, keep the page file fully active on the OS drive? Or partition the 64GB cache dive? I could give it 4...8...12gb?

The size of my small SD (64GB) is the max for SRT caching of the storage drive so i'm fine with the a small page file on the bigger Vertex OS drive if that's the fastest option.

---


As a side note - something which just popped into my head - most mechanical HDDs these days come with 32/64MB of 'cache', which I assume is specialist RAM, and they seem to be able to produce it in large quantities for next to nothing... wouldn't 64GB of cache on the HDD be way faster than a 64GB SSD cache anyway? Why does this improve performnce?

[just a thought...]

johan851
09-07-11, 08:05 PM
So in your own opinion, keep the page file fully active on the OS drive? Or partition the 64GB cache dive? I could give it 4...8...12gb?
I'd just leave it on the fast OS drive. 2GB? Shouldn't really matter that much, and it's easier than partitioning your cache drive.

Again, not a big deal for speed since Windows 7 won't really touch it - it's just good to have it enabled and a place reserved for it somewhere.

The cache on an HDD is just a RAM chip, exactly the kind of stuff that ends up on system memory sticks. It is getting much cheaper, but most HDDs won't benefit a ton from a lot more storage in memory without adding a lot of cost and complexity that users don't want. The HDD manufacturer would essentially have to implement Intel's caching technology on the HDD itself, and I imagine that would be a pain.

There is one HDD that uses a 4GB SLC NAND cache from Seagate, and it performs pretty well for a laptop drive.

McGondy
11-22-11, 03:24 AM
So what was the SSD life like with the caching enabled vs. SSD as OS/ HDD files?

Mordachai
11-22-11, 11:55 AM
From what I understand the general thinking is that the worries about SSD life are not really connected to reality.

SSDs will last longer than your HDDs in all but the rare case of an SSD that has manufacturing defects, more or less.

johan851
11-22-11, 12:01 PM
From what I understand the general thinking is that the worries about SSD life are not really connected to reality.

SSDs will last longer than your HDDs in all but the rare case of an SSD that has manufacturing defects, more or less.
This really should be the case. At least theoretically the NAND should last longer than most HDDs. And it probably does. We've been seeing a lot of controller-related failures, though, and that's annoying.

Mordachai
11-22-11, 12:52 PM
Yes, seems that the controllers are still a bit of a moving target. Only time will tell.

But the early SSD's w/o trim I think are what caused most of the concerns. Anything with trim should be fine (as long as you put it into a system that supports the trim feature!).

Intel RAID can still function with TRIM, but I'm not aware of any other controller's RAID that still allows TRIM to function properly.

ratbuddy
11-22-11, 05:54 PM
I have been running an M4 64GB as a cache drive since just after Z68 came out, under Vista so no TRIM. Haven't seen any performance drops, and I'll probably disable the cache for a bit to check SMART status on the drive just out of curiosity. What's a good free program for checking it?

Mordachai
11-28-11, 09:39 AM
There might be better, but here's one that I just started messing with:
http://ssd-life.com/

It wants money eventually, but for the short term useful.

ratbuddy
11-28-11, 10:02 AM
I used Crystaldiskinfo to check it. The flash has seen an average of 10 writes per cell. Safe to say any warnings over SRT killing SSDs are pure FUD.

Bobnova
11-29-11, 10:50 AM
Linux can be used with Z68.
Intel Z68 SSD Caching may or may not be linux compatible.

Robmoo
04-28-12, 06:29 PM
Thank for the info!

EarthDog
05-21-12, 11:47 AM
Stay with us TB...

RE: Going a step further. That has been covered before... yes, you can do that. Its a bit more of a convoluted process, but yes it can be done (finish reading the thread its covered in here or the other one by Eldonko).

I do not think you can partition a SSD for an OS and cache. That doesnt make sense actually as you would be caching an SSD which doesnt need it.

johan851
05-21-12, 11:54 AM
That got me to wondering also, if the SRT caching function could be used with the OS on the same SSD. (I haven't read this this whole thread yet.)
Like Earthdog said, it's convoluted but technically possible.


Going a step further, I wonder if the SSD SRT cache would work if the OS were on a separate SSD?
You can have two SSDs, put the OS on one, and use the other to cache a mechanical drive. That would work fine.