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

SYNAPSE CACHE BENCHMARKS

We had tested immediately after the installation of the Synapse Cache SSD and Dataplex Software and have to admit, the results were favorable.  These results, however, wouldn’t assist in answering the question as to how the system would perform when there wasn’t a ‘hot cache’, a situation such as one might have when turning on their computer for the first time in the day.  With respect to this, these tests reflect the systems performance first thing in the morning after we turn it on for the first time.  In this instance, the computer had been shut off just over 10 hours.

GREATIS SOFTWARE BOOTRACER

The initial boot of the morning was probably the one evaluation I was looking forward to most as I truly wondered whether the Synapse Cache would improve boot time from the original 1 minute and 40 seconds to something bearable. After all, this is a cold boot.

This result is probably the highlight of the test.  I never expected the new Synapse Cache system, which is no more than the Samsung hard drive cached, to equal the start time of a typical SSD solution.  The first time I started my computer this morning resulted in a 13 second boot which was subsequently confirmed in four other runs.

ATTO DISK BENCHMARK VER. 2.46

Our next test was to run ATTO once again which seemed to start the ball rolling:

CRYSTAL DISK BENCHMARK VER. 3.0 X64

ANVIL STORAGE UTILITIES PROFESSIONAL (BETA)

These results validate OCZ’s claim that the Synapse Cache SSD will make ones hard drive perform just like a solid state drive, but with the extra capacity.  Performance results top out at 552MB/s read and 491MB/s write with 75400 IOPS, the 4k random disk access has been pulled up to 66MB/s and we can also see disk access averaging 0.1ms.  These results actually beat out some top tier new generation SSDs we have reviewed.

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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.