OCZ Synapse Cache SSD review
Posted by Hilbert Hagedoorn on: 11/17/2011 02:00 PM [ 0 comment(s) ]
What's that CACHE series all about ?
OCZ's recently released a PCI Express solid state drive that is based on a hybrid design which combines a regular HDD with an SSD.
You as an end-user will be able to benefit from the large storage capacities offered by today's platter-based HDD drives, as well as the high speeds and low access time provided by SSDs, as that SSD will be used as a fast memory cache for the HDD.
Intel offers fairly similar technology on their SRT supporting products and now next to the Hybrid solutions you can create a 'Hybrid' setup yourself.
All you need is a PC with a HDD, you seat this Synapse CACHE SSD next to it and then install Dataplex software that manages and functions as the cache layer. The Dataplex caching software layer is used to create an environment where the most frequently used "hot" data stays on the fast SSD, while the "cold" data remains on the larger capacity HDD (sold separately).
That means with 1st reads you are working in with HDD access times and speeds, but after that 1st run, if the data is frequently accessed, you'll see performance speedups at SSD levels.
Since the Synapse SSD is a fully fetched Sandforce 2281 based SSD it guarantees performance levels of close to 500 MB/sec on reads and writes (over SATA3). Lets have a look at some of the specs:
- Available in 64GB and 128GB capacities
- Interface: SATA 6Gbps / Backwards Compatible 3Gbps
- MLC NAND Flash
- Native TRIM support
- Integrated Dataplex caching software
- ECC Recovery, Data Encryption
- Slim 2.5" Design: 98 x 69.9 x 9.1 mm
- Lightweight: 79g
- Operating Temp: 0°C ~ 70°C
- Ambient Temp: 0°C ~ 55°C
- Storage Temp: -45°C ~ 85°C
- Low Power Consumption: 2.7W Active, 1.5W Idle
- Shock Resistant up to 1500G
- Included 3.5" Desktop adapter bracket
- Compatible with Windows 7 32-bit and 64-bit
- MTBF: 2 million hours
- 3-Year Warranty
- 64GB Max Performance
Max Read: up to 550 MB/s
Max Write: up to 490 MB/s
Random Write 4k: 75,000 IOPS
- 128GB Max Performance
Max Read: up to 550 MB/s
Max Write: up to 510 MB/s
Random Write 4k: 80,000 IOPS
- 64GB (32GB cache capacity): SYN-25SAT3-64G
- 128GB (64GB cache capacity): SYN-25SAT3-128G
OCZ will launch with two models, a 64 and a 128GB cache SSD version. Honestly the 64Gb version is plenty for a data-cache. Mind you though that the SSD has 64GB of NAND flash storage (25nm MLC), however the Synapse Series uses 50% NAND flash for over provisioning to accommodate performance and software features. So the reality remains that roughly 32GB is used as an actual cache and formatted as such, the rest is for redundancy and performance enhancements.
As far as performance is concerned, the model we test comes with a Max Read of up to 550 MB/s and a Max Write: up to 490 MB/s.
Now, please do understand that these are always best case scenarios and based on peak performance. Your non-cached sustained and linear writes will show a somewhat different picture. Read performance on modern age SSDs is however bitching fast alright.
We'll pair today's product with a HDD with some serious booty, the 2 TB Samsung 5400 RPM drive to see where we end up in performance.
While OCZ just released the Revodrive Hybrid, they now also launch a seriously fast SSD just for caching. Combined with their Dataplex cache application software and your own HDD, the combination could be just what you are looking for, all at a much better price as well with no limitations to your hardware setup.It's armed with a SandForce 2281 controller and the means to use it, as alongside the SSD you get to use the very same cache software layer the RevoDrive Hybrid uses, Dataplex. A cache in combination with the Synapse SSD offers read speeds of up-to 550MB/s and write performance of up-to 490 MB/sec.