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  • zorxd - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - link

    Caching is a very good idea. However, this need to be implemented at the filesystem level. Not in the chipset (intel), not as an extra software (this), and not in the hard drive itself (seagate) Reply
  • Mjello - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - link

    I use a seagate hybrid drive in my notebook. It is excellent :). As fast a boot time and as snappy as any ssd and 500 GB storage. Reply
  • zorxd - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - link

    Still, you only have about 4GB cache. That's small. And its use can't be efficient without proper knowledge of the filesystem. Imagine if you defrag your hybrid hard drive, all sectors will be marked as used even if you didn't use a file in the last year. Reply
  • Fosters - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - link

    If you want a better version of what you have, there are caddies that convert your optical drive into a second hard drive. I run one on my laptop and like it. I have a 64gb ocz vertex 2 and the stock 320gb hdd (could really go a lot bigger, but haven't really needed it yet, all data sits on the desktop) in the caddy. A 29 dollar external usb powered optical drive fills in if I ever need it, but I've yet to. I shouldn't have spent the money... Reply
  • applestooranges - Thursday, September 22, 2011 - link

    You gotta be kidding. I've asked around, and gotten feedback that the Seagate Hybrid is only a 'tiny' bit better than similar HDD performance (sometimes worse), and way far aways from SSD performance... Reply
  • MGSsancho - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - link

    filesystem? ZFS is what your looking for then Reply
  • retrospooty - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - link

    Cool, if they implement on Windows it becomes useful. Until then, it does nothing for anyone. ;) Reply
  • zorxd - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - link

    ZFS has some good features indeed. I didn't know that proper cache on SSD handling was one of them however.

    Too bad it only runs on Solaris, a dead OS.
    Reply
  • Death666Angel - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - link

    And FreeBSD (hence also FreeNAS) and there is a working version for Linux (some people have said it's stable, some have said it isn't).

    If you are in the market of a software NAS solution, ZFS is probably the way to go.
    Reply
  • Paul Tarnowski - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - link

    I'm thinking the same. Years ago (out of sheer boredom) while sitting night-shift security I started working out more or less how a system that had 3 types of internal storage (SSD, HDD, Low-RPM HDD) and multiple external storage (NAS, other computers on the local network, cloud) would have to be designed. And to make caching effective on an SSD, you ideally want the OS running the show. It knows what is going to have lots of access (non-sequential, small read/write, frequent seeks). Other stuff can sit on the HDDs.

    Mind you, later I found ZFS, and that is nearly what I had in mind. Just less complicated for the laymen and working natively in consumer OS software.

    But with these caching systems, what we're going to need to see are built-in batteries, or bugger, standby caps. A computer should have enough time to flush all writes. With the way the grids in a lot of countries are going, and with the increase in storage, data integrity issues are going to kick the consumer market in the backside.
    Reply
  • Paul Tarnowski - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - link

    That was supposed to be BIGGER, standby caps. Although what I wrote works too. Reply
  • MrSpadge - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - link

    "And to make caching effective on an SSD, you ideally want the OS running the show. It knows what is going to have lots of access (non-sequential, small read/write, frequent seeks)."

    Intel's driver knows that stuff, too. Not sure if it get's it from the OS or does its own profiling.. which would seem unnecessary.

    "But with these caching systems, what we're going to need to see are built-in batteries, or bigger, standby caps. A computer should have enough time to flush all writes."

    If your cache works in the safe mode, i.e. no data is written exclusively to the cache, loosing power is just as dangerous as without the cache. If you're also caching writes one could argue that the chance of data loss in case of power loss is also reduced, because your cache SSD should be able to write faster than your HDD and thus reduce the time needed for the writing, which in turn reduces the chance of being caught by a power loss during a write operation.

    MrS
    Reply
  • MrSpadge - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - link

    Intel (and probably other software solutions) can cache frequently accessed parts of large files, which you can't at the file system level. With huge data files for games this is a huge plus for "not-filesystem".

    If it's done within the HDD it's very simple and reliable, works with any OS. But is less flexible, which I don't like.

    MrS
    Reply
  • Bob-o - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - link

    > Intel (and probably other software solutions) can cache frequently
    > accessed parts of large files, which you can't at the file system level.

    I don't think you understand how filesystems work. . .
    Reply
  • applestooranges - Thursday, September 22, 2011 - link

    I looked into this as well... I think what Spadge was saying is that its not always optimum to cache an "entire file" when the OS or App might only be using parts of it. Like my stupid .PST file for Outlook. It would be a waste of my cache capacity to save the whole .PST file in the cache, but a smart cache software solution would probably just cache the relevant accesses to that file (block level?). This is one reason why some of those other cache attempts at so-called "caching" are no good. Kind of like boot drives - kind of primitive to keep all that data on the SSD when only some of it, often a small fraction, is actually used very often (if at all), and thus you are wasting cache SSD capacity on static files. At least this is what I'm getting from looking at some of the whitepapers and presentations avaialbe. Reply
  • Bob-o - Thursday, September 22, 2011 - link

    And my point was, filesystems don't work with entire files. Go research what a "block" is. . . Reply
  • bunnyfubbles - Thursday, September 22, 2011 - link

    you're not thinking with too much tunnel vision

    caching is extremely useful for me

    OS and primary apps go on a SSD, everything else (mostly games) goes on a SSD + HDD cache array

    so really that sweeping need for this to be implemented on the file system level to be useful is a bit of an exaggeration
    Reply
  • bunnyfubbles - Thursday, September 22, 2011 - link

    whoops, shouldn't be a "not" in that first sentence, time for bed I suppose :P Reply
  • applestooranges - Thursday, September 22, 2011 - link

    Hey, if all I have to do is plug in the SSD and install the cache driver (Dataplex?), then that sounds pretty darn good to me. I just wish I could find it for sale? Anybody know where they are selling it? Not on Amazon or NewEgg yet... Reply
  • Visual - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - link

    Write IOPS are higher than read, how does that work? If it is just write-buffering them in some cache, that's really deceiving. If it is counting on grouping them up in bigger packets, even more so. Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - link

    I don't know why but that is completely normal. It's the same thing with Vertex 3 for instance

    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/350
    Reply
  • MilwaukeeMike - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - link

    I believe it has to do with read actions requiring the drive to know where the data is, while with writing it can put it wherever it wants. Like when I throw my clothes in the closet... it's much quicker to throw something in there, but slower to find it afterwards. Reply
  • josephjpeters - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - link

    I think the value of this caching method has a few key advantages.

    1) It will work on all machines. It's not just tied to Intel SRT-enabled motherboards. OS-level caching has been tried and failed and is one of the reasons why major HDD manufacturers stay away from Hybrid Systems all together.

    2) It's simple. No install is required. The OS isn't installed on the Drive so it's literally "plug and play".

    3) Files remain on HDD so there is less risk of a "catastrophic" failure. For many, this is one reason why people steer clear of SSD's.

    It's a cool product. OCZ will be shipping these in their mSATA drives as well. Synapse will be for the desktop User, mSATA (no name yet) will be for the Mobile User and RevoDrive Hybrid is for the "professional".
    Reply
  • applestooranges - Thursday, September 22, 2011 - link

    Yeah, all that makes sense, but WHERE CAN I BUY ONE! Reply
  • UrbanBurger - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - link

    These drives have 50% over provisioning making them 32GB and 64GB usable. I expect to see a SKU without the software for use with Intel's SRT. Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - link

    Oh, darn, I missed that! Thanks for the heads up, I've updated the article. Reply
  • FATCamaro - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - link

    I don't trust OCZ software to cache my filesystem for me. Reply
  • josephjpeters - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - link

    Software is written by Nvelo :) Reply
  • Troff - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - link

    I don't trust OCZ. Yes, I have a Vertex 3, why do you ask? Reply
  • josephjpeters - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - link

    I've got a Vertex 3 and no problems... Reply
  • josephjpeters - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - link

    Here's a presentation by Nvelo who writes the DataPlex software used in the Synapse.

    Looks as though Synapse is in fact noticeably faster then Intel's SRT technology.

    See Slide 13.

    http://www.flashmemorysummit.com/English/Collatera...
    Reply
  • groovermover - Thursday, September 22, 2011 - link

    I understand that Dataplex only supports Win7. Does it also support Mac OS? I've been looking for the new drive on Newegg and haven't seen it yet. I'm ready to buy for my home user setup to run a DAW. Will AnandTech be testing? I'm finalizing the shopping list for a late October or early November new build. The positive for me, besides the added speed of a SSD, is not having to setup the additional Hdd with such extreme care about which files live on which drive. I'm on a tighter budget than some, so if a 64mb drive will do the trick for me at home, then I'll spend the extra cash on more equipment for my home studio. I keep a lot of tracks open with virtual instruments and time based software effects (delays, compressors, expanders, etc) and in some cases have had to mix a midi file to an audio file to keep the processor from hanging up. Although the new build will include a significant higher number of CPU cores and nearly triple the Ram, faster read times are also a plus since the number of tracks you can use and the number of effects you can have open at one time are only limited by processing power. Lower latency is always the goal. This looks like an excellent alternative when dealing with a DAW that is extremely particular about where its virtual instruments or sound sets are stored. Reply
  • applestooranges - Thursday, September 22, 2011 - link

    I only saw support for Win7, but we'll know more when it actually gets released for sale (when? where?) I could see alot of applejacks going for this too though... Reply
  • dfghdfshhh - Friday, September 23, 2011 - link

    Come go and see, will not regret it Oh look

    http://www。benzlogo。com
    Reply
  • SIR-Blade - Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - link

    Bought this product last week, the 128Gb version. Can't recommend this baby enough.
    Reduced my Win7 64Bit boot time from 2Min 34Secs to 1Min 20Secs, and COD load up/map load from 1Min 2Secs to just 20 seconds.

    Been looking out for a while for an SSD cache, to work with my X58 Mboard, and my 5*1TB Samsung SpinPoints in a Raid1+0 array.

    Works a charm.

    I've already sent emails to OCZ/Nvello asking if they will pair the Dataplex software with the new Revo Drives. That would be just such an awesome combination.
    Best thing since sliced bread, and I'm a hard man to please.
    Reply
  • JimmiG - Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - link

    Just bought the 64GB version and so far I'm very impressed. It remains to be seen how it adapts to my usage pattern, but it has already cut my boot time from 4.5 minutes to under 30 seconds and all applications I frequently use start almost instantly. Very easy to set up, too. Just plug the drive in, install the software, reboot, and you get an instant speed bost. Not bad for a $129 upgrade.

    Will there be a full review of this product here at AT?
    Reply
  • tester1 - Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - link

    Hello,

    I am planing to use 64GB version on a latop as a 2nd drive. The issue is that I use Win Pro 7 64-bit with MCafee Endpoint Encryption, which will cause the Synapse SSD to be fully encrypted just like the boot HDD.

    Please let me know if anyone has experience using Dataplex/Synapse with Full Disk Encryption software.

    Thanks
    Reply

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