Over the years, consumers have demanded and pushed manufacturers to develop SSD toolboxes to use when they install an SSD in their system. Offering a SSD toolbox has become almost a necessity in today’s SSD market. These toolboxes offer features such as drive health monitoring, feature activation, manual secure erase and TRIM triggers, as well as firmware update abilities and drive benchmarking. One such company that recognized this trend early on and helped shape the way toolboxes are today is Samsung; their software utility being the Samsung Magician. Something that sets Samsung Magician software apart from other toolboxes is its RAPID mode (Real-time Accelerated Processing of I/O Data), this having been introduced with the release of the Samsung 840 EVO.
RAPID mode is a RAM caching feature. Samsung’s RAPID white paper states that RAPID works by analyzing “system traffic and leverages spare system resources (DRAM and CPU) to deliver read acceleration through intelligent caching of hot data and write optimization through tight coordination with the SSD.”
Basically, it takes hot files and frequently accessed files such as a Microsoft Outlook email database or commonly used parts of files and stores them into the system RAM for future requests. And on top of that, it optimizes writes to the SSD for the fastest performance. Pretty sweet, eh?
There is a catch, however, and that is that there will always be a risk of data loss when caching files in the RAM. To minimize this risk, Samsung created RAPID to strictly adhere to the Window’s flush commands. This results in a data loss risk that is identical to that of Windows OS cache or HDD cache. Furthermore, it uses up to 25% of system RAM and RAPID 2.0 increased the maximum limit up to 4GB, well above that of RAPIDs first release. Because it was designed to only make use of excess system resources though, it will scale back resource usage and turn back to a pass-through mode if the system is working on higher priority tasks.
In this report, we are focusing on the latest revision of Samsung Magician’s RAPID mode V2.1. This version builds on the previous by offering enhanced error handling and fixed compatibility issues with IRST. From the Reviewers Guide on the 850 EVO, it states, “you can get almost 1.8x performance gains at Windows start up and application loading” from RAPID mode. So essentially, by enabling RAPID mode, we should see almost double the performance out of our storage. That seems pretty good to read on paper, however, what does it mean in real world? Let’s find out…
In order to use RAPID mode the system, you will need a Samsung 840 EVO, 840 EVO mSATA, 840 Pro, 850 EVO, or 850 Pro. You will also need Windows 7 or above, a CPU capable of 1GHz or better speed, the drive needs to have NTFS as its file system, at least 2GB of RAM, and a minimum of 50MB of free disk space.
Once that is all verified, setup can begin. RAPID mode setup is rather simple and it only takes a couple of seconds once Samsung Magician is installed.
1. Download and install the latest Samsung Magician Software from Samsung’s website here.
2. Once installed, open Magician and go to the RAPID mode tab under where it says “Advanced Feature” on the left side of the window.
3. Choose the RAPID compatible SSD and then click Enable. Once you do this, it will prompt you with a few warnings and ask you to restart.
Once the system is booted back up, RAPID will be working.
Now that it’s all setup, let’s begin testing and see what this RAPID mode is really all about!