OCZ Synapse Cache SATA 3 64GB SSD Review – Top Caching Solution At a Great Price

BENCHMARK PROTOCOL AND THE TEST BENCH

This is The SSD Review Test Bench Number One. A quick click on the photo will give you a better look.

In testing, our main objective is to obtain results as pure and as accurate as possible and we want to ensure that no anomalies slip through. Simply put, we want to provide you with the absolute best results the tested hardware can provide. Repetition in testing is standard and, if necessary, we may conduct specific tests in Windows 7 safe mode to ensure the OS has little to no influence on the end result.

In order to validate and confirm our findings, testing is supported by industry accepted benchmark programs. All results are displayed through capture of the actual benchmark for better understanding of the testing process by the reader.

We would like to thank Gigabyte, Corsair, MSI, OCZ, Fractal-Design, and Icy Dock for sponsoring components of our Test Bench.

The hard drive used is the Samsung M8 1TB 5400RPM hard drive.

BENCHMARK SOFTWARE

Software used for testing by The SSD Review consists of ATTO Disk Benchmark, Crystal DiskMark, Anvil Storage Utilities, along with FutureMark PCMark Vantage.

All do a great job of showing us the numbers that we want to see, or dont want to see in some cases, while PCMark Vantage x64 is an excellent program which recreates tests that mimic the average users activity, all the while providing a medium to measure each.

Benchmark software used by The SSD Review is can be obtained by clicking on the title of each application as all may be downloaded without cost to the consumer.

TEST METHODOLOGY

Those who know me are well aware that I have never been a great supporter of disk caching as I didn’t believe anything prior to the Revo Hybrid showed a marked improvement in performance.  The Hybrid changed that but was limited to performance of the boot drive, leaving the consumer with a solution, albeit not a perfect one.

To me, the perfect caching solution enabled a ‘VISIBLE’ performance upgrade while retaining my present hard drive as a boot drive, enabling the same performance on secondary drives where one might store photos, music or video, and be one that did its job from the second I turned the system on. After all, why would I want my hard drive enabled computer to still take almost two minutes to load?

With these thoughts in mind, we migrating our present system onto a hard drive and did subsequent tests of the hard drive which took just under two minutes to load!  I suddenly remembered my former habits of turning on the computer and grabbing my coffee while it booted up.

The Synapse Cache SSD and Dataplex Software was next installed and tests conducted while the cache was active.  Paramount to this was the question of whether data would be retained in the cache once the system was started the next day.  As a result, we turned the system off for ten hours and tested again.  Get ready for a shock!

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Anonymous
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Anonymous

Nice review. I immediately thought I need to get one 🙂 Then I realized that it might not work for me as I have a number of drives in my PC. I only really need to cache two drives for this to be effective. Can you confirm that it can only cache one drive?

Les@TheSSDReview
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When you install the Dataplex software, it asks you to identify a single hard drive to cache. It was only through experimenting that I learned that all logical drives on that hard drive are cached as well.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Thanks for the review. This is a nice product. As an HDD user I still find the price a little high for my taste, but it’s a more convincing product than an SSD for me, because the size of the virtual SSD can be as large as the HDD I install, which means I can don’t have to worry how I arrange my disk, and if I upgrade the HDD to a larger one I get more cached space. So I’ll try to remember to keep an eye on this for when the opportunity arises to get something from the… Read more »

Anonymous
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Anonymous

From OCZs website: Your Dataplex licensing key is only valid on one machine. Dataplex uses various components to identify a PC (memory, OS, CPU Id, BIOS, Ethernet card); if two or more components change, it is considered a different machine. If you wish to change only one component, Dataplex will automatically revalidate the license as long as there is an internet connection when the PC is rebooted. You must uninstall Dataplex to release the license prior to changing two or more components in your system. Licenses cannot be released after the system is no longer valid. Please contact OCZ tech… Read more »

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Thanks. This doesn’t discuss changing the drive that is cached, but I assume from this that you can uninstall and reinstall and change drive that way. If that’s possible then it’s possible there’s also a simpler way to do it.

Ryan Lewandowski
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Thank you so much for the review. I have been waiting for a review before picking on of these up. The only last question! Is it worth it to get a 128gb drive? or is 64gb sufficient? I have a 1tb hdd. Will the 128gb give better performance?

Les@TheSSDReview
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The only benefit one may gain between the 128GB and 64GB is overall lifespan of the drive IMHO as the 64GB provides just under a 30GB cache which is plenty to ensure the hard drive reaches top SATA 3 speeds.

Egoroff
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Egoroff

Would you consider the Synapse in a new build. The price difference between a Synapse 64GB and Vertex 3 90GB is only $20 locally. I’ve been considering the Vertex 3 90GB as a boot/application drive with HDD as file storage, with a new Z68 MOBO. Can you imagine any advantage using the Synapse to cache via Intel SRT instead. It seems the cache setup would make disk management easier as one wouldn’t have to monitor disk space on the SSD as boot drive or configure the file system to store on HDD only, as all practices with the cache setup… Read more »

Les@TheSSDReview
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The3 key is that the cache is tied to the drive you identify. The benefit is that it provides SATA 3 performance over the entire hard drive, whereas, otherwise only the boot drive and its contents enjoy the speed of the SSD and any hard drive would not.

As a comparison to Intel SRT, we did not do any comparison in the Synapse review.

Egoroff
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Egoroff

Using Synapse for cache in a new build rather than an SSD as boot drive is starting to seem more and more reasonable, kind of elegant really. Also way more cost-effective than having to go high-end on price for a large capacity SSD to get full effect of SSD performance. Cool. Hopefully the licensing policy doesn’t turn out to be a hindrance. Thanks for your reply.

Shamsc
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Shamsc

what happens if you remove the Synapse Cache drive after using it for few days but do not uninstall the software? The system will continue to work as it was working before the drive and software was installed?

i am basically wondering if I can use it as an external cache drive, i will hook it up when i am at home and disconnect it when i take the laptop outside. 🙂

Les@TheSSDReview
Guest

If you remove the Synapse cache drive once all is installed, the system will not boot and this is the same if you elect to remove the hard drive. Dataplex ties both together for the computer to function properly.