MyDigitalSSD Super Cache 2 M.2 SSD Review – Exploring M.2 With and Without FNet HybriDisk Caching

If you are one of the millions of Lenovo, or other M.2 SSD contained portable laptop owners, this article may be of great benefit to you; that is if you are looking for both a performance and capacity upgrade to your present system.  Our expected report of the MyDigitalSSD Super Cache 2 M.2 SSD brought forward possibilities that even we never expected.  Quite frankly, enabling a dual installation (as we will discuss in the report) may have altered my thoughts on SSD caching just a bit, although not too much I can promise you.

MyDigitalSSD SC2 M.2 64GB SSD Dual SSDs

Historically, all those who have followed along throughout our growth, know that I am not a supporter of SSD caching and that I am 100% pure SSD through and through.  The closest we have ever come to truly enjoying a caching solution was through our many reports on NVELO Dataplex, a solution that never really materialized once Samsung bought out NVELO.  To their credit though, the former NVELO Team, all of whom now are very happy Samsung employees, did a great job developing RAPID, a new caching utility that can be used in the Samsung 840 Pro and EVO series SSDs.

MYDIGITALSSD SUPER CACHE 2 M.2 SSD

The MyDigitalSSD SC2 M.2 SSD is available in capacities of 32, 64 and 128GB and they can be found now at Amazon for $40, $60 and $100. This is great pricing considering this is a brand new form factor and MyDigital SSD is one of the first to mark availability for M.2.  It is a SATA 3 SSD and presently available in only the 42mm length (2242) which limits its capacity somewhat.  Performance is variable, depending on capacity, and listed at 530MB/s read and 410MB/s write for the 128GB capacity, 545MB/s read and 380MB/s write for the 64GB version, and 540MB/s read and 380MB/s write for the 32GB capacity.

Power rating for the SC2 is listed at .5W idle and .9W active with a three-year warranty and advanced attributes to include sudden power-off recovery, battery backup function, high and reliable ECC capability up to 24bits/sector, S.M.A.R.T features optimized for SSD, bit error monitoring and management, dynamic and static wear-leveling, dynamic bad block management, SMART commands and additional SSD monitoring.  Perhaps the most interesting thing about MyDigitalSSD Super Cache 2 SSDs though is that they include a free copy of FNet’s HybriDisk Caching solution.

fnet-hybridisk-download-button

Other than NVELO Dataplex, we have never recommended any caching solution as we found them to provide little or no visible benefit. Dataplex, on the other hand, simply used caching to increase the performance of the hard drive to that of the caching SSD, pulling the performance of a typical hard drive up as much as 5x.  By all claims, FNet HybriDisk does much the same and we aim to validate…or put to rest those claims in this report.  Something very special about HybriDisk, however, is the ability to control the size of the cache, enabling the remainder of the SSD as a logical drive, displaying pure SSD performance.

SUPER CACHE 2 COMPONENTS

The MyDigitalSSD Super Cache 2 M.2 SSD is a 6Gbps SSD, driven by the Phison PS3109-S9 4 channel SATA 3 controller. and contains  two modules of Toshiba 19nm Toggle Mode NAND flash memory.

MyDigitalSSD SC2 M.2 64GB SSD Phison S9 Controller.png

Size and value presently limit the capacity of this SSD as there are no systems available, as of yet, that accommodate any larger than a 2242 size M.2 SSD.  As well, pushing the two flash modules to that of 128GB each, would be very cost prohibitive.

MyDigitalSSD SC2 M.2 64GB SSD Front Branding

We can also see below that the branding is not as straight forward as it we see most of the time.  Nevertheless, the product number on this memory still identifies what we need to know.

MyDigitalSSD SC2 M.2 64GB SSD BackLENOVO Y51O LAPTOP DISASSEMBLY

In addition to our Test Bench, we are going to be also using a Lenovo Y510 Ideapad for today’s analysis.  Although all Y510’s are not configured the same, this one contains the M.2 SSD connector and it connects to a SATA 3 Intel port.

Lenovo Ideapad Y510 Laptop

Unlike other HP and Lenovo laptops that take a bit of ingenuity to get apart, the Y510 base simply pops off with the removal of 9 screws.

Lenovo Ideapad Y510 Base Removed

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James
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James

Can I use this on Intel’s next unit of computing, ie the one mentioned on this video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xL4MX-0V8l4

Les@TheSSDReview
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I believe that is an mSATA no?

Matt Dawson
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Matt Dawson

MyDigitalSSD offers this same product in mSATA. Just do a search for Super Cache 2 mSATA.

Erik
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Erik

Intels Smart Response Technology caching solution also lets you set the cache size and use the rest of the ssd as you wish. I’ve had this setup for almost two years..

Matt Dawson
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Matt Dawson

Yes this may be true but one cannot simply buy that cache software without buying a computer/MB that supports it.

GiLL
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GiLL

How do you copy or image the windows OS boot section from the current HDD to the SSD?

John G.
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John G.

You need to use a cloning program. Also, you will need to remove the HDD and use a USB to SATA connector so that the drive is properly recognized for copying.

Les@TheSSDReview
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We typically use Paragon…

John G.
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John G.

I think I used Acronis. After I figured out what I was doing it was painless…I have to admit I hadn’t tried cloning an OS HDD since Win XP days, and figuring out how to contend with UEFI was a small challenge. BTW, Les, your review is really spot-on with the gains from implementing this arrangement.

Les@TheSSDReview
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Thanks John!

shaky
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shaky

Hello. I stand in front that procedure with a lenovo y510p. Do I really have to remove the 1tb hdd and connect it via usb? I have no usb/sata adapter. Could I make a new installation from the scratch if nothing goes? Thank you.

Les@TheSSDReview
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That system accommodates both SSDs does it not? Of course you can.

John G.
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John G.

It may depend on what cloning program you are using. With Acronis I had to remove the HDD, plug it in via usb/sata adapter, boot from an Acronis boot manager, clone the drive, change the boot drive in the BIOS to the SSD, and then reinstall the HDD. I wasted about 10 hours trying to clone the HDD in place, and was very frustrated!! Every time I tried with Acronis it kept giving me errors 🙁 I don’t know if the error was because of the cloning program, the UEFI boot loader (Win 8 Feature), or some sort of i/o… Read more »

shaky
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shaky

Ok I ve forgotten to say that it was Windows 7 I was going to install. I made also somehow the “lumber jack” method to prevent any Errors. Means: I plugged off the 1 TB HDD, plugged in MyDigital SC 128GB and switched on the Lenovo with the Windows DVD inside. After Windows was installed I replaced the HDD and wiped the (former) System partition. Everything is fine now. Just -it might be a stupid question – I wonder whether I ever need fnet hybrid Software since I have a pure SSD now with complete Windows 7 and Office 2007… Read more »

Jose
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Jose

Hi, planning to add this SSD to my y510p, however im not sure if should install the OS in this drive, having already a OCZ Vertex 4, which is faster ? which would you guys recommend to have the OS installed and why. Thanks

Les@TheSSDReview
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The difference will be minimal for the typical user. If you have the space available though, buying the larger SSD from this article, split partitioning it on say a 75/25 mix and using the lesser partition for a cache of your HDD that you just added for more capacity is ideal.

That is of course ONLY plan to add a HDD for capacity. If not, the two SSDs make that machine a monster.

shaky
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shaky

I use the SC 2 as System ssd in BIOS AHCI mode. I do not Need Intel Rapid Storage Technology, right? And: what adjustments should I make for Optimum Cache managment, and where?
Many thanks

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