Crucial M4 Adrenaline 50GB Cache SSD Review – Watch Your Hard Drive Perform Like an SSD

COMPARATIVE BENCHMARKS

The hard drive we chose for testing is a Hitachi 320GB 5400RPM hard drive that was active in a laptop for some time.  The test procedure is simply the benchmarked performance before (left) and after caching (right). A click on the ATTO scores will bring them up to full size.

Initial ATTO results show our read transfer speeds to have increased by nine times and writes by two with the Crucial Adrenaline caching solution in place.  There is no mistake here and this is the first indication that, with your hard drive cached with the Adrenaline, your hard drive will perform simlar to that of an SSD.

The key metric that we wanted to point out with the Crystal DiskMark tests was the before and after specific to the low 4k random write performance, the cached difference being about 122 times faster than that of the hard drive alone.  Considering that this disk access method is a main contributor to the visible difference we see when upgrading from a hard drive to SSD, one can be confident in the visible upgrade of the Crucial Adrenaline Caching SSD.

Lets take a close look at Anvil Storage Utilities and see if we can recognize another key factor in performance with the Crucial Adrenaline.

In migrating from a hard drive to an SSD (or SSD caching solution in this case), there is a significant upgrade in things such as start times and application performance simply because the disk access, or speed it takes to retrieve applications and data, is so much faster in a SSD.  Take a look at the disk access of the hard drive above (Resp. Time) and then take a look at that of the cached hard drive below.

When we compare the Response Time, MB Written, IOPS and transfer speed (MB’s) of the Hitachi HDD and then that same HDD cached by the Adrenaline, there is a dramatic upgrade in every facet of the storage component.

START TIMES

A software program called Boot Racer was utilized to determine the difference of our systems start time before and after the HDD was cached.  Our initial start time prior to activating the NVELO Dataplex software was about a minute and a half which is pretty typical of a normal system with a hard drive in place.  Pay close attention as the caching goes to work.

By simply caching our present computer system, our start time reduced to thirteen seconds which is probably one of the largest complements of the Crucial Adrenaline.  That is a complete log on from press of the start button to the desktop being ready for use without any optimizations whatsoever.  The next time you start your computer, note how long your boot up takes after the first thirteen seconds.

21
Leave a Reply

avatar
8 Comment threads
13 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
10 Comment authors
Les@TheSSDReviewXacTactXRbarkleyCarl HillET3D Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
hamsteyr
Guest
hamsteyr

I find it funny how you say this is the game changer where the OCZ Synapse has been out for quite some time now.

I was looking forward to a comparison between this to the OCZ Synapse, It would be nice to have a comparison review on them, such that I can know as well the performance differences on a similar system.

Les@TheSSDReview
Guest

Did I say game changer? There is no comparison to the Synapse, or even the new Crucial for that matter, simply because the software (Dataplex) used in all is exactly the same and simply amplifies the hard drive speed to that of the SSD being used. If you want to run a comparison of both, simply examine both reviews. We choose not to do the comparison because the main point of interest is the caching solution and its effectiveness on the system in this case. Having said that, we could have probably run a caching comparison but I feel we… Read more »

ayle
Guest
ayle

Could you make a comparison with srt using the same drive?

Les@TheSSDReview
Guest

I don’t use SRT as there is no comparison. Dataplex simply changes the performance of the hard drive to that of the SSD in use, something that SRT has yet to match. Tx for taking the time to comment.

Carl Hill
Guest
Carl Hill

Also, if you like, i can upload my results with testing SRT, which, i have been using since z68 boards dropped, i have yet to see anything similar “match” IT!

Les@TheSSDReview
Guest

Carl,

I didn’t mean to upset you and only expressed my opinion and experience. Nice to have you jump in though.

XacTactX
Guest
XacTactX

Hi there Mr. Tokar. I’d like to thank you for two things, and I also have a question. One, thank you for all the reviews you’ve done, knowledge is power and this site has helped me tremendously with SSDs. Second, thanks for writing about your subjective experience with SRT. I have seen benchmark comparisons in the past but never had someone explain that Dataplex works better than SRT in the real world.

XacTactX
Guest
XacTactX

And my question is, if I have a caching SSD such as the Synapse or the Adrenaline, should I do the SSD optimizations? I’m talking about the articles that you guys have in the ‘beginner’ section that tell you to change Windows 7 settings for your SSD.

Thank you and take care.

Les@TheSSDReview
Guest

I am going to suggest not to do the SSD optimizations as the background of these was made through use of a primary recognizable drive, unlike the Adrenaline and other cached designs. Remember, your primary drive is still a hard drive, although it is cached.

Paulalcorn
Guest
Paulalcorn

wow that is some great improvement from such a small ssd, tbh i am really surprised at how well that works 🙂

ET3D
Guest
ET3D

Does the cache work for the entire hard disk or only the partition?

Les@TheSSDReview
Guest

The cache is et for the drive that it is identified, regardless of the number of partitions on the drive.

ET3D
Guest
ET3D

Thanks. That’s a decent deal, then. I usually have quite a few partitions on the disk and won’t want to have only one of them cached.

BTW, does this solution work with disk partitioning tools? If I change the size of a partition using such a tool, would it kill everything or work as if there was nothing behind the curtains.

GoldenGuy
Guest
GoldenGuy

Hello Les, may I ask you a favour? I only want to know if in SATA 2 it would be approximately the same boot time (slower it’s sure but how), because still now the majority of people are using SATA 2 in their computers and this solution could be very attractive for older computers.

Les@TheSSDReview
Guest

You will not observe a difference in the boot time as it is disk access which is instrumental in your boot time, regardless of whether it is SATA 2 or SATA 3.

Actually, I was shocked as heck to get such a quick boot time in these tests.

Mullmo1
Guest
Mullmo1

BUT HOWDO YOU ACTUALLY PLUG IT IN OR CONNECT IT TO WERE???

Les@TheSSDReview
Guest

You plug it n as you would any normal hard drive or SSD.