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DIY Hybrid Drive options?

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Helgaiden

Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2003
Was watching some tech review videos and one youtuber was confused as to what HyperDuo was. This reignited my interest in doing a higher performing hybrid drive setup than an off the shelf option. The seagate hybrid drives don't have as much SSD portion as they could, and my younger brother doesn't have a whole lot of money but does have a 500gb HDD and a 128gb SSD i handed down to him. I tried to cheat and make that 128gb SSD a ReadyBoost drive in windows 10, then it turned out that Windows Store apps, gears of war 4 specifically in this case, will fail to run with that drive set as a readyboost drive because of permissions or something. No matter how many permissions i added or adjusted on that drive. Prior to that, i tried to make that SSD an intel Smart Response cache drive, but apparently that system specfically requires the CPU to be a named intel i-series as opposed to a Xeon (even if its the same architecture and socket). Odd. So now it just holds BF1 and thats pretty much it. I feel like it can be much more beneficial if it could be used as cache for the main spinning drive like the hybrid drives work.

I had originally given up on a hardware based trick for these, but am interested in it again after SSD prices shot up again. Marvell HyperDuo looks like the answer: http://www.marvell.com/storage/system-solutions/sata-controllers/hyperduo/

I see this online for $23 and it interests me (lightning deal, usally its over $50 i think:
https://www.amazon.com/Vantec-Chann...&qid=1485284945&sr=8-3&keywords=hyperduo+card

but im not sure of going with that one over the Highpoint Rocket 620AP for less as the newegg reviews on it are less favorable, mostly of people giving 1 star because the drive ONLY works with an SSD + HDD, though i can't find any info that says the drives need to be the same sizee or not. I dont think they have to given how HyperDuo works, but it sucks not being totally sure.
https://www.amazon.com/HighPoint-Ro...&qid=1485284986&sr=8-2&keywords=hyperduo+card

Then there is this more expensive model.
https://www.amazon.com/Syba-SD-PEX4...&qid=1485284986&sr=8-8&keywords=hyperduo+card

The plan is to eventually get a single large SSD, but his motherboard only has SATA II despite its adeptness in gaming still. So looking at SATA 3 cards to ensure the full performance of an SSD was a possibility either way, but maybe going with an add-in card to add some cool Hybrid-Drive functionality in the meantime would be nice too.


Anyone have any feedback on this? If having to wipe the drives is necessary to set up HyperDuo, im a little less interested but i guess i can always make an image of the OS first to make it easier.
 

dejo

Senior Moment Senior Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2001
why not just use the intel smart response and call it a day
 

knoober

Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2015
Sounds too good to be true.

I dont know that I believe it either, but at less than $20 its not a huge gamble. OP is also stuck on SATA II and is already considering a PCI expansion card. I didnt see anything on there about speeds, but it probably depends on the drive. I also dont know if you can boot from a drive hooked to a PCI/PCIe card?

Edit: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/7-hidden-windows-caches-clear/
Is #3 where game data is cached/written to? Maybe that could be moved to where you want it to be on the SSD? But then again maybe if the game doesnt find it it will create it?
 
OP
Helgaiden

Helgaiden

Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2003
From my research, HyperDuo has a software suite where you can even configure folders to permanently reside in the "cache area" (that being the SSD). Reviews on someone actually using HyperDuo are actually a little bit hard to find. My brother just wants to keep things simple and single volume would be the easiest for him to deal with, regardless of how easy setting folders/game installs on a larger secondary drive might seem to everyone else. I've talked at length with him about this. Seems he no longer cares to continue tinkering with alternative options and is just going to save for a single large SSD, so i guess this HyperDuo stuff is off the table.

But as a curious tech guy, this topic still heavily interests me and im sure others as well.



As far as intel Smart Response caching, i tried this. I ran into some incredible issues trying to use newer intel drivers for this that cost me hours of work to fix (manually replacing AHCI drivers after they somehow got stuck on versions that wouldn't let windows 10 boot in AHCI mode and the only solution was to set bios to IDE mode then manually update the IDE drivers with AHCI ones, then reboot and set to AHCI mode.....yes i tried the registry fixes multiple times...man it was rough). Anyways, after all was said and done and failure accepted, it turned out that Smart Response caching only works with intel i-series named CPUs. The build in question uses a xeon x5687 which is the same architecture as the i-series CPUs of socket 1366, but faster and better still. But because its a Xeon (no other reason), the function is not supported.

I don't imagine booting from the add-in card would be an issue though. I had a marvell SATA card in an old build, a socket 775 EVGA nforce 680i board, and it was basically plug and play as far as booting up. NVMe over PCI-E is a different beast altogether though.


Not entirely sure why the RAID card was slower than onboard sata in some of the tests, maybe it was plugged into a slower PCI-E slot or something and not operating at full capacity...who knows...but heres a review that said good things about HyperDuo
http://www.cdrlabs.com/reviews/star...controller-cards-with-hyperduo/all-pages.html
 
Last edited:

HankB

Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2011
Location
Beautiful Sunny Winfield
My first SSD went into a Thinkpad T500 which only supported SATA II. The improvement was astonishing! You won't get full performance from a modern SSD but the reduction in latency still puts the SSD far ahead of spinning rust.
 

dejo

Senior Moment Senior Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2001
I find that you do lose some of the small read/write capability with only using sata2 speeds. But for the most part its not real noticable unless you do alot of large file transfers or opening large files.
I could see it helping with when you run out of pagefile space as well
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
I find that you do lose some of the small read/write capability with only using sata2 speeds. But for the most part its not real noticable unless you do alot of large file transfers or opening large files.
I could see it helping with when you run out of pagefile space as well

But this is basically true when comparing SSDs with spinners even with SATA III I think. Spinners can basically keep up with SSDs in large sequential file transfer situations. It's the random seeks where SSDs shine and that is what most of us do most of the time, especially when booting and loading programs.
 
OP
Helgaiden

Helgaiden

Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2003
Yeah, i've seen noticeable improvements even with an IDE SSD. Im sure running a single large SSD on SATA II wont be a problem for average use/gaming.


But if anyone tries a HyperDuo setup, let us know your experience...!
 

sno.lcn

Senior2 Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2005
Location
Atlanta, GA, USA
If you're running Windows 10, you may be able to use Storage Spaces to set up a hybrid storage pool. Basically, writes go to the SSD, and are then transferred to HDD as needed. The most frequently used data will automatically live on the SSD, and less-frequently used data lives on the HDD.

I have some Windows Server 2016 file servers set up like this at work, and it works great!
 
OP
Helgaiden

Helgaiden

Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2003
If you're running Windows 10, you may be able to use Storage Spaces to set up a hybrid storage pool. Basically, writes go to the SSD, and are then transferred to HDD as needed. The most frequently used data will automatically live on the SSD, and less-frequently used data lives on the HDD.

I have some Windows Server 2016 file servers set up like this at work, and it works great!

Well that's certainly something I need to look into for my brother. Any reformatting necessary or any long term issues by any chance?
 

sno.lcn

Senior2 Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2005
Location
Atlanta, GA, USA
I believe the drive has to be empty to add it to a Storage Spaces pool, unfortunately. As far as long term issues, I did a huge amount of testing before moving our production file servers from hardware RAID to Storage Spaces, and no issues so far! I'd still rather be using ZFS though :p