Corsair Accelerator Series 30GB Cache SSD Review – A Second Wind For Your System

TESTING SYSTEM AND METHODOLOGY

The secondary test system was used for this review as it uses a platter hard-drive as its OS drive. As with the Momentus XT, keep note that we are not testing the Accelerator SSD itself; we are using two drives, an SSD and HDD, and melding them together to create our cache setup. Overall, then, this classifies our disk as a hybrid medium. As such, many of the usual test results are omitted, primarily due to the fact that they do not read our setup as a hybrid setup, but rather as its two separate parts (SiSoftware Sandra, for example, required a non-partitioned, fully formatted drive and gave wrong performance values).

But enough about that. Here are the synthetic benchmark software suites that had no problems assessing our system:

– Anvil Storage Utilities Pro
– AS-SSD
– ATTO Disk Benchmark
– CrystalDiskMark
– Futuremark PCMark Vantage

Real-world benchmarks included a batch of files and folders with capacities of 250MB, 500MB, and 1000MB respectively to test file transfer performance. Windows 7 boot times were also monitored and timed starting from the OS load screen to Steams login window (the last program to load).

For consistency, each test was run three times for the cache to kick in, utilizing AHCI as the storage mode. The average of all three was taken as the final result.

Of the three color types (green, blue, black) in Western Digitals Caviar series, the black flavor is definitely the most popular due to its excellent performance and reliability.For consumers they are certainly the go-to platter drives that are capable of being great boot/OS drives, instead of singularly serving as storage. I chose the 500GB over the 1000GB as a good mediate between price/performance and general size of space needed for the average user.

INSTALLATION

The drive installs like any other; attach the power and SATA connectors, and go into Disk Management. There, you format it and assign a drive letter. Once you go through the Dataplex installation, the software will hide the drive, removing the drive letter and any trace of the Corsair Accelerator from Disk Management until Dataplex is uninstalled. For my setup, the (D:) assigned Corsair Accelerator was incorporated into my main (C:) WDC Black OS partition, becoming a true hybrid/raid-like system.

If you recall, the packaging at the back of the Corsair Accelerator has a serial number. This number is needed to download NVELOs Dataplex caching software off of Corsairs website. Keep the code handy, as the Dataplex software requires it too during installation:

Once it is installed, you can check the status of the Accelerator by opening up Dataplex’s Status utility, which is a simple command prompt window:

Everything is good to go. Pretty easy, right? Well, no so fast…

8 comments

  1. I got this SSD and I think that with time there is a degradation in term or performance (probably from NVELO). I bought it more than 2 months ago and this week I uninstalled NVELO and reinstalled it.

    I did run ATTO Disk Benchmark, before that I change anything, after while I was on my HDD only and after the reinstall.

    Before the reinstall: 94MB/s read and 144MB/s write (50MB/s more in write? Seems strange to me)
    On HDD only, I got : 76MB/s read and 75MB/s write
    After the reinstall: 205MB/s read and 208MB/s write. (I also have a lot more reactivity, and game are loading faster)

    I would like to know, if you have ever got a loss of performance with NVELO (Corsair, Crucial or OCZ)!

    • Hi Golden,

      Sorry for the late reply. I have been running Dataplex/Accelerator for about a month now. I took a quick test and here are the results: https://bit.ly/MypDRZ

      Not a big loss of performance, and everything seems to be running well for me. As I’ve said in the review, I’m not a big fan of Dataplex and it still needs some work, because there are bugs like the one you have. I noticed that after waking-up from sleep/hibernation, and after a system restore, the cache gets messed up and starts under-performing and bogging down until you’re forced to reboot.

      I do neither of those on a regular basis. I always shut-down my computers, and I tried system restore to mimic your performance. I can say that there is a bit of a performance loss (again possibly due to the way Dataplex handles the cache), but not as extreme as yours.

      Like you, I also found that reinstalling Dataplex after a system restore, or anything directly affecting the system for that matter, will give you the performance back.

      I believe it’s a good idea to reinstall Dataplex every month or so. Takes about a minute total, and it’ll ensure it runs properly. It’s a hassle, and keep in mind Dataplex is somewhat new, but hopefully the beta/newer versions take this into consideration.

      I’ll keep you updated if I find anything new.

      • Hi Deepak,

        My computer is regularly in sleep mode so maybe that’s why it got so slow. But when I did the test it had reboot before so it’s just strange. It looks like when a computer got in sleep mode even if rebooted it still got a little loss and with time it becomes a big loss. For me, my loss are not from a system restore since I have not use that for more than a year.

        Thanks for the information.

      • No problem, and yes that is very unusual.

        The only answer I can think of is, perhaps the system considers the hybrid set-up as a hard-drive set-up (since the SSD isn’t present in disk management), and still uses the normal healthy functions meant for a hard-drive (defragmentation, for example), which could be leading to drive/cache degradation.

        I can’t really say as I don’t know how Dataplex is built from the ground up, but just theorizing.

        The good thing is that the new version is released (1.1.3.7):

        https://www.corsair.com/accelerator-software/

        https://www.nvelo.com/dataplex-download/corsair/ReleaseNotes_v1.1.3.7.txt

        My favourite updates:
        – Dataplex Collect Logs – System information collection utility
        – DR – Dataplex Recovery utility (bootable USB)
        – Resolved: Incompatibility issue with Acronis.

        Give it a shot. Hopefully it fixes your issue. I will update as well. Remember to uninstall the previous version first.

        Good luck!

  2. I bought a 30Gb Corsair Accelerator a few weeks ago and changed the SATA to ACHI as recommended and installed Dataplex etc. At first all was ok untill one day the PC would not boot. I treid all ways to fix it but in the end rebuilt it from an image I created before installing Dataplex. The problem now is that the Dataplex software will not allow me to use the SSD. It says ‘not recognised’ but it is recognised by the PC. There is obvious a block on using it twice and that is unfair to anyone who has to rebuild their system. Therefore I would not recommend using it at this time.

  3. I’ve got a stupid question about this test and Dataplex. When you mention “primary drive” or “single drive”, you’re speaking about logical and/or physical drives (hard drives and/or partitions). If I have 1 single HDD but 2 partitions on it (C: and D:), I can only cache one of these. Not both. And it must be the boot one. Is that correct?
    What if I have my system on C: and my games dir on D:? (I think I can guess the answer to this one).
    Thanks in advance to anybody who takes the time to answer to this one.

    • At present, this caching software ONLY caches the boot drive of the system.

    • I would like to mention also that partitioning a hard drive while it may prevent fragmentation it also will slow down the overall performance by increasing the average seek rate. Using the right software you can place your files that you use the least often to the inner tracks. It is estimated that people use 20% of their files 80% of the time. Partitions are great for storing back up images or similar files but overall are going to be unwanted if you access that partition on a daily basis.

      It’s a similar concept to windows “superprefetch” and the caching that occurs with these accelerators.

      It is also worth mentioning that you can create a ramdisk from installed memory that will be faster than any other possible option. It is recommended to have 6+GB but if you want to run a game and have the fastest possible speeds I recommend looking into the software that creates a virtual disk out of extra ram and loading it within that. Of course data loss can be expected if any sudden power outages occur.

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