MyDigitalSSD Super Cache 2 M.2 SSD Review – Exploring M.2 With and Without FNet HybriDisk Caching

TSSDR TEST BENCH AND PROTOCOL

 SSD Testing at TSSDR differs slightly depending on whether we are looking at consumer or enterprise SSDs.  For consumer SSDs, our goal is to test in a system that has been optimized with our SSD Optimization Guide, although CPU C States have not been changed at all.  Benchmarks for consumer testing are also benchmarks with a fresh drive so, not only can we verify that manufacturer specifications are in line but also, so the consumer can replicate our tests to confirm that they have an SSD that is top-notch.  We even provide links to most of the benchmarks used in the report.

Although much of our testing was within the Lenovo Y510 itself, we thought our Test Bench should be mentioned as all SSDs get a run through this as well.  For instance, the Lite-On SSD that was provided with the system seemed to have significantly low performance, speeds that were confirmed only through the use of this Test Bench:

TSSDR-Test-Bench

SYSTEM COMPONENTS

This Test Bench build was the result of some great relationships and purchase; our appreciation goes to the below mentioned manufacturers for their support in our project.  Our choice of components is very narrow, in that, we choose only what we believe to be among the best available and links are provided to each that will assist in hardware pricing and availability, should the reader be interested in purchase.

PC CHASSIS: InWin D-Frame Open Air Chassis
MOTHERBOARD: ASRock Z87 Extreme11/ac EATX MotherBoard
CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K Haswell 3.5GHz Quad Core
CPU COOLER: Corsair H100 High Performance Liquid
POWER SUPPLY: be quiet Dark Power Pro 10 1000W PSU
SYSTEM COOLING: be quiet Silent Wings 2 PC Fans
GRAPHICS CARD: EVGA GTX 770 Superclocked with ACX Cooler
MEMORY: Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR3-1600Mhz Memory
KEYBOARD: Corsair Vengeance K95 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
MOUSE: Corsair Vengeance M95 MMO/RTS Laser Mouse
ROUTER: NetGear R6300 AC1750 Dual Band Gigabit WiFi Router
HBA HighPoint RocketU 1144C 4 x USB 3.0 20Gb/s HBA

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 BENCHMARK SOFTWARE

 The software we will be using for today’s analysis consists of ATTO Disk Benchmark and Crystal DiskMark, for the most part, as we are using this report to demonstrate the difference in cached vs non-cached SSD performance.  Stay tuned as we provide a complete review of the MyDigitalSSD Super Cache 2 in the near future.

INITIAL SYSTEM SETUP

Our sample Lenovo Y510 laptop contained a Seagate 1TB HDD and Lite-On SSD on receipt, the SSD situated as such:

Lite-On SSD

Before doing any modifications to the system, we were most interested in system performance as it was initially:

SYSTEM HDD

Y510 HDD ATTO

SYSTEM SSD

Not being very impressed with this performance, we ensured caching was shut down and then did a test of the base SSD:

Y510 LiteOn M2 SSD ATTO

Do you notice something strange with this scenario?  The Lite-On SSD had performance equal to what we might normally see in a small flash drive. We subsequently pulled the Lite-On M.2 24GB SSD and tested it on our own Test Bench:

TB Y510 LiteOn SSD ATTO

Most evident was the fact that something was not working correctly in the base system.  Even so, we ran the Lite-On 24GB M.2 SATA 3 SSD through several different benchmarks and final performance was always about 310MB/s read and 65MB/s maximum write data transfer speeds.  These speeds should be the ideal for the base Lenovo Y510 when purchased brand new, give and take performance as a result of OS configuration.

39 comments

  1. Can I use this on Intel’s next unit of computing, ie the one mentioned on this video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xL4MX-0V8l4

  2. Intels Smart Response Technology caching solution also lets you set the cache size and use the rest of the ssd as you wish. I’ve had this setup for almost two years..

    • Yes this may be true but one cannot simply buy that cache software without buying a computer/MB that supports it.

  3. How do you copy or image the windows OS boot section from the current HDD to the SSD?

    • You need to use a cloning program. Also, you will need to remove the HDD and use a USB to SATA connector so that the drive is properly recognized for copying.

      • We typically use Paragon…

      • I think I used Acronis. After I figured out what I was doing it was painless…I have to admit I hadn’t tried cloning an OS HDD since Win XP days, and figuring out how to contend with UEFI was a small challenge. BTW, Les, your review is really spot-on with the gains from implementing this arrangement.

      • Hello. I stand in front that procedure with a lenovo y510p. Do I really have to remove the 1tb hdd and connect it via usb? I have no usb/sata adapter. Could I make a new installation from the scratch if nothing goes? Thank you.

      • That system accommodates both SSDs does it not? Of course you can.

      • It may depend on what cloning program you are using. With Acronis I had to remove the HDD, plug it in via usb/sata adapter, boot from an Acronis boot manager, clone the drive, change the boot drive in the BIOS to the SSD, and then reinstall the HDD. I wasted about 10 hours trying to clone the HDD in place, and was very frustrated!! Every time I tried with Acronis it kept giving me errors 🙁 I don’t know if the error was because of the cloning program, the UEFI boot loader (Win 8 Feature), or some sort of i/o hardware configuration issue with the new M.2 interface . Can you borrow a sata to usb connector from a friend? Or buy one, use it, and return it to the store?

        You may be able to do a fresh install if you can create a window8 boot dvd (or other media). I didn’t pursue this route, though, because my Y510P doesn’t have an optical drive…so I can’t speak to its effectiveness.

      • Ok I ve forgotten to say that it was Windows 7 I was going to install. I made also somehow the “lumber jack” method to prevent any Errors. Means: I plugged off the 1 TB HDD, plugged in MyDigital SC 128GB and switched on the Lenovo with the Windows DVD inside. After Windows was installed I replaced the HDD and wiped the (former) System partition. Everything is fine now. Just -it might be a stupid question – I wonder whether I ever need fnet hybrid Software since I have a pure SSD now with complete Windows 7 and Office 2007 on it. So caching is already on SSD. Do I still need fnet for better performance ?
        Many Thanks!

  4. Hi, planning to add this SSD to my y510p, however im not sure if should install the OS in this drive, having already a OCZ Vertex 4, which is faster ? which would you guys recommend to have the OS installed and why. Thanks

    • The difference will be minimal for the typical user. If you have the space available though, buying the larger SSD from this article, split partitioning it on say a 75/25 mix and using the lesser partition for a cache of your HDD that you just added for more capacity is ideal.

      That is of course ONLY plan to add a HDD for capacity. If not, the two SSDs make that machine a monster.

  5. I use the SC 2 as System ssd in BIOS AHCI mode. I do not Need Intel Rapid Storage Technology, right? And: what adjustments should I make for Optimum Cache managment, and where?
    Many thanks

  6. Hello there!
    I wanted to consult you as techno geeks since I am just moderate in those things. Because you also seem to be familiar with the lenovo notebooks I wanted to summ up the many questions I have in your forum. I appreciate your aids.
    1. The situation: I bought a lenovo y510p recently. It had 1 bay with DVD and another with Nividia GT 755 M in it. I chosed the model with 1TB HDD only and bought an samsung mSATA 128GB EVO to implant it. But neither the salesman nor lenovos data sheet made it clear that the empty slot was a ngff or mSATA .2 slot!! I was really p..sed off! After a strong research I found out that there were no mSata .2 to buy which met my wishes of 128GB and short in length and also had only 1 notch (I didnt know to that time that a platine with 2 notches could be plugged into a port with 1 notch).
    Thanks god I found your nice review and was able to gather some technical descriptions of the different mSATA .2 form factors. SC 2 was the thing i needed!!! Unfortuanally it was not available in Germany and sold out in German Amazon. But one fine day I could order it as it was again in stock. I was so happy!! But now I want to gain maximum performance and a clean installation. I already built up Win 7 ultimative on the SC 2, together with office 2007.
    In BIOS boot priority is legacy and sata controller are set to AHCI. So far so good, but how should I procced? I dont know whether I should install fnet as first of all the manual says that fnet needs clean partitions, so it will wipe windows 7 and force me to reinstall?
    Is this correct? And another thing: do I need cache managing, since it is the SSD only which is used for the system (The 1TB HDD has only my media files and a buch of other “data only”.)?? Last not least: I have still lenovos hidden recovery partition on the HDD. I dont think it has any use anymore but cloning this partition onto the SSD would be quite handy. What is the correct way to do so? And Intel Rapid Share Technology…is it really neccessary?
    I know these are many questions but I really dont know what to do, especially the fnet issue. I made a Windows Image with the native Windows Backup feature. So I am able to start from the scratch if needed. Please advice me.
    Many thanks!

    • Ok I made up my mind by let the system as it is. On SC 2 128 I installed the system and let all doing windows. Neither i tweaked superfetch nor I established the system cache on HDD. I trust Windows to be smart enough to manage RAM SSD and HDD. All this tweaks to decrease the write access on the ssd are bullsh.. I think. I am a normal user and if the Supercache cant bear a write of say at least 200 TB (would be enough lifetime for me) than it is nothing worth as hardware anyway.
      Cheers

  7. Hi! I am wondering if the software is compatible with the Windows 8.1 The FNet Hybridisk caused BSOD during the boot process so I had to reinstall the Windows 8.1. I tried many times but after a while I got BSOD. In this way I cannot use my 64GB ssd 🙁

  8. I had the same problem with a Lenovo T540p running Windows 8.1 after upgrading the firmware to 1.7… I got the error driver_irql_not_less_or_equal_fnethybrmdsd.sys while trying to restart. It ran though chkdsk and windows recovery and my computer hasn’t run the same since. I’ll probably try to reinstall the OS also.

  9. I can suggest the primocache instead of the original software. It has been running for a while without problem!

  10. If any of you are following this discussion: They’ve updated the HybriDisk software and say that it fixes the 8.1 issues.

    https://www.mydigitaldiscount.com/fnet/

  11. Hy… I’ve read the review, bought this SSD disk with M.2 NGFF. I want to know, how can I install the OS on the SSD with a portion (and is maybe there some minimum portion so that it can work… if… how much?) allotted to HDD caching?

    • Of course you can. You can designate just how much you want for caching, and use the remainder as the main system drive if you like. So… you can use your ‘C’ drive for pure SSD performance, and then cache a hard drive to similar with the remainder.

      • Thanks for reply!

        I’ve already tried. I put 7GB for cache with FNET Hybrid, restarted and installed OS. When I did that, I couldn’t cache HD with the remainder (7GG). That is why I asked if I should use more than 7GB.

      • 7GB? Will it even cache that? How large is the drive?

      • The drive is 64GB (realistic size is 59GB). How much size to use for cache?. I Will only put OS on SSD.

      • How didyou come up with 7GB then? 20GB cache and the rest leave for the OS.

      • I just wanted to try with the least of cache possible. Ok thanks, I will try.

      • Hy, it’s me again. I had a clean install of my OS. I put OS on SSD (59.43GB) disk, I left 40GB for OS, and 19GB remainder for cache. I did that than put FNET program for cache, but nothing. OS is on SSD. I open Hybri disk, under Master it says SSD disk 59,43 GB and under cache I can’t use anything.

      • Under C: i have 40GB, under Disk managment it says for SSD (C:) 40GB and 19GB (OEM partition).

      • Sorry…the best I can suggest is to contact MyDigitalSSD or bring this up in our forums where I know they monitor.

  12. Just to add to the stats here. I bought one of the 128GB modules. It was at firmware 1.3. HybriDisk saw it, but MyDigitalSSD strongly recommended updating to v1.7 due to potential data-loss issues.

    I performed that update, and the device bricked. It was visible, and the updater could see it, but it was not a drive anymore.

    Support replaced it via email correspondence and me paying to ship it back to them. The replacement took about 10 days from when I dropped the previous one in the mail. It was a whole new retail package at latest firmware.

    This one showed up as a drive, and works as a drive; however, FNet’s HybriDisk doesn’t work with it. I’ve followed for a few months of “the newest version should work”, but it does not.

    As an aside, two other companies offer 22×42 form factor M.2 devices in 256GB size. That’s large enough for an entire OS and applications, without having to just cache the drive.

    I’m glad the reviewer here was able to get it to work; but it feels VERY pre-release, and simply does not work as advertised. I’m still working with support, so maybe it will all get resolved, but I am fatigued by this product’s poor quality.

    • A special tool was prepared and sent after a couple weeks.
      This modified the drive name so that hybridisk would work.
      No real perf difference on file copies, but we’ll see once I have some boot and app restart cycles on it.

  13. I cannot boot from the SSD. I cloned my hdd onto my ssd, but my lenovo y510p will not boot from the ssd for some reason. Any help?

    • Hate to say this but not a fan of cloning…more often than not something just doesn’t go right. I actually spent the weekend building a new system because my Z97 didnt translate to X99 as it should. Try a fresh install suggested…

  14. I tried to clone from one 250Gb Samsung EVO SSD to a 500Gb Samsung V-Nand SSD three days ago; and I am still in the middle that non-stop day & night process.
    The problem being that ‘a fresh reinstall’ of the gash Windows 8.1 Pro will not re-create the Links to my other 3 hard drives with all the thousands of files on them. I have tried 3 cloning software packs, and a clone box/hardware; and all fail fail fail fail fail fail fail.
    I have cloned dozens of times before. From hard-drive to hard-drive and form hard-drive to SSD.
    My first successful clone was in 1995. But now, with progress (and the new error options that brings), its been made almost impossible.
    The i7 Haswell is in the middle of what has been a five-hour re-boot process.

    Damn windows to hell?; where I had a 3-second boot up with LinuxMint 17; and that is a 10-minute clone process for a back-up.

  15. PRIMO Drive is best

    PrimoCache is a 2 level cache that lets you run your PC at virtual RAM Drive speeds.

    https://www.romexsoftware.com/en-us/primo-cache/index.html

    Hard Drive files are pulled into a RAM Drive cache, and also copied to SSD Cache. So a huge 4 TB drive runs at RAM Speed, with needed files also copied from & to our SSD.

    VERY FAST !

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