If you haven’t heard of SSD caching as of yet, get ready for a technology that will definitely catch your eye. SSD caching is a very simple computer upgrade that will see your system run like a race horse without any technical ‘know how’ or need to reformat whatsoever.
Follow along as we work our way through an analysis of the Corsair Accelerator 60GB Caching SSD and examine just how effective of a solution this may be for its low advertised price. It may be a move that you cannot afford to pass on any longer.
SSD caching is the process of adding an inexpensive SSD to your computer system where your ‘hot’ or frequently accessed data is stored for very quick retrieval. If you are a builder, it is like having all of your tools in the room next to you rather than out in your truck. The trick to this has always been to create a solution where the cache or ‘hot’ data was stored in the cached SSD, even after the system has been turned off for some time. Without this, system caching would have to start all over again each an every time the system was rebooted.
With this, however, amazing things are possible. If you are reading this report right now on a normal computer with a typical hard drive, shut it down and monitor how long it takes to start and get back to where we are right now. I’d bet for most, it took more than two minutes. Now imagine how much better things would be if we could start your computer in twenty seconds and that’s not even considering system performance yet.
The Corsair Accelerator is a SATA 2 caching solution that can be found in capacities of 30, 45 or 60GB with prices advertised at $44.99, $69.99 and $84.99 with present manufacturers rebates. Performance for the SSD is listed at 280MB/s read and 270MB/s write which means that, depending on the hard drive in your system, you just might see your PC running as much as five times faster. It comes with a standard three year warranty.
The package contains the caching SSD, a desktop 2.5″ to 3.5″ adapter and instructions that walk you through download of the NVELO Dataplex caching software and installation of the SSD and software.
The exterior case of the Accelerator is a painted black metal and this is the first SSD we have encountered that never required a screw driver for disassembly. The base plate of the drive simply slides into the top case where there are three recesses on each side that match with the top case. There is a security sticker on the bottom which will be damaged and void your warranty, should you elect to unscrew the printed circuit board (PCB) from the base plate.
The PCB contains the SandForce SF-2181 SATA 2 processor and there are four modules of Micron 25nm 8GB asynchronous MLC (multi-level cell) NAND flash memory (29F664G08CBAAA) on each side of the half-height PCB.
Although there is a total of 64GB RAW memory available, 4GB remains proprietary to SandForce’s firmware needs, hence the advertised capacity of 60GB.
I’m intrigued. Migration is much easier than transferring OS and programs to a boot SSD drive, but I wonder what happens when things go wrong. The system crashes, power is interrupted at an inconvenient time, etc. Will a cache recover as gracefully as a dedicated SSD boot drive?
I thought I might test your theory and crashed my system in the middle of working as Dataplex is still installed. On reboot, it took a few seconds to validate the cache and all was back to normal. Unfortunately, I couldnt take a screen shot to display the procedure.
Thanks for the quick input. This may be the way to go. Not quite the performance of a boot drive, but ample for the kind of work I do … photo editing, etc.
Stop spreading those “observe, use timer stuff” for boot time. Use the event viewer id 100 for boot time. It’ll tell in extreme precision aka milli seconds
Understand your point, however, we like to keep our reviews very easy to understand and feel that the software use has ideal results and presentation for our reviews.
Thanks for the comment!
Hehe, softwares actually use the event viewer’s information. I know there is a program called bootracer. It uses event viewer. What else? Oh there is windows performance tool. It uses event viewer too.
What I want to tell is don’t be using timers to measure boot and shutdown time. Just in case if you don’t know, take your time and have a look.
Sure you didn’t mean to say that the software uses the same performace counters that are used by Event Viewer?
Les, do you think that the 30gb give near the same performance?
What would you chose between the Crucial Adrenaline running in SATA 2 and this one (60gb version)?
The Crucial Adrenaline is fully compatible in SATA 2 and both perform to their specs regardless of their size; the difference would be lifespan of the SSD which is still a very long time.
Still using the Accelerator in my system as I did the Adrenaline…both great caching solutions.
these look great but i wish they came in 128GB for longevity (less writes) and general purpose reasons, for me which is gaming… A few modern day mmos and FPS games would probably eat up 64GB fast
OCZ Synapse PricesType your reply…
Hi Les, just curious, would using a really fast SSD (e.g Intel 520 or something equivalent) and then using the corsair accelerator as a caching solution, drop your boot times further?
No that would not occur. The SSD alone will always be faster but we are talking seconds. The fastest full boot I have ever reached was 7 seconds whereas any NVELO caching solution can get to 14 seconds. IMHO, it would not be a financial viable alternative just to grab back those very few seconds.
AS well, the caching solution alone is not available as its own entity and all instances of caching sales have that software tied into the specific SSD so you could not simply exchange the SSD.
Thanks for the reply Les. Wow! A 7 sec boot! That’s pretty amazing. Was it from the time you switched the computer on to usability? What config were you using for that 7 sec boot?
Can still be done and it is from the press of the button to desktop usability. Many of done well with our Optimization Guide but, to reach this, maximum optimization is necessary.