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

TSSDR TEST BENCH AND PROTOCOL

 SSD Testing at TSSDR differs slightly depending on whether we are looking at consumer or enterprise SSDs.  For consumer SSDs, our goal is to test in a system that has been optimized with our SSD Optimization Guide, although CPU C States have not been changed at all.  Benchmarks for consumer testing are also benchmarks with a fresh drive so, not only can we verify that manufacturer specifications are in line but also, so the consumer can replicate our tests to confirm that they have an SSD that is top-notch.  We even provide links to most of the benchmarks used in the report.

Although much of our testing was within the Lenovo Y510 itself, we thought our Test Bench should be mentioned as all SSDs get a run through this as well.  For instance, the Lite-On SSD that was provided with the system seemed to have significantly low performance, speeds that were confirmed only through the use of this Test Bench:

TSSDR-Test-Bench

SYSTEM COMPONENTS

This Test Bench build was the result of some great relationships and purchase; our appreciation goes to the below mentioned manufacturers for their support in our project.  Our choice of components is very narrow, in that, we choose only what we believe to be among the best available and links are provided to each that will assist in hardware pricing and availability, should the reader be interested in purchase.

PC CHASSIS: InWin D-Frame Open Air Chassis
MOTHERBOARD: ASRock Z87 Extreme11/ac EATX MotherBoard
CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K Haswell 3.5GHz Quad Core
CPU COOLER: Corsair H100 High Performance Liquid
POWER SUPPLY: be quiet Dark Power Pro 10 1000W PSU
SYSTEM COOLING: be quiet Silent Wings 2 PC Fans
GRAPHICS CARD: EVGA GTX 770 Superclocked with ACX Cooler
MEMORY: Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR3-1600Mhz Memory
KEYBOARD: Corsair Vengeance K95 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
MOUSE: Corsair Vengeance M95 MMO/RTS Laser Mouse
ROUTER: NetGear R6300 AC1750 Dual Band Gigabit WiFi Router
HBA HighPoint RocketU 1144C 4 x USB 3.0 20Gb/s HBA

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 BENCHMARK SOFTWARE

 The software we will be using for today’s analysis consists of ATTO Disk Benchmark and Crystal DiskMark, for the most part, as we are using this report to demonstrate the difference in cached vs non-cached SSD performance.  Stay tuned as we provide a complete review of the MyDigitalSSD Super Cache 2 in the near future.

INITIAL SYSTEM SETUP

Our sample Lenovo Y510 laptop contained a Seagate 1TB HDD and Lite-On SSD on receipt, the SSD situated as such:

Lite-On SSD

Before doing any modifications to the system, we were most interested in system performance as it was initially:

SYSTEM HDD

Y510 HDD ATTO

SYSTEM SSD

Not being very impressed with this performance, we ensured caching was shut down and then did a test of the base SSD:

Y510 LiteOn M2 SSD ATTO

Do you notice something strange with this scenario?  The Lite-On SSD had performance equal to what we might normally see in a small flash drive. We subsequently pulled the Lite-On M.2 24GB SSD and tested it on our own Test Bench:

TB Y510 LiteOn SSD ATTO

Most evident was the fact that something was not working correctly in the base system.  Even so, we ran the Lite-On 24GB M.2 SATA 3 SSD through several different benchmarks and final performance was always about 310MB/s read and 65MB/s maximum write data transfer speeds.  These speeds should be the ideal for the base Lenovo Y510 when purchased brand new, give and take performance as a result of OS configuration.

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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