OCZ Synapse Cache SSD review
Posted by Hilbert Hagedoorn on: 11/17/2011 02:00 PM [ 0 comment(s) ]
Final words and conclusion
Where I was a tiny bit skeptical about the RevoDrive Hybrid I seem to enjoy this solution all the better.
So here's a little story, all our test system these days run of an SSD with applications running from a NAS storage solution. So I had to clone the Windows 7 test partition onto an HDD, once that was done I had to go back to the good old HDD performance.
The HDD is clicking and making noises, I hadn't noticed that in a while, then that bootup time of roughly a minute and then even browsing the web made me realize how quickly SSD performance adapted to me personally and how very much so I got used to that performance.
It honestly feels like a big step back, now granted I did use a 5400RPM 2TB HDD which is certainly not the fastest HDD opposed to a nice WD Velociraptor or anything, but I did not expect to notice the overall difference by that much (as spoiled as that might sound).
Once we installed the Synapse and activated the SSD cache the boot times quickly start improving, after running the standard applications a couple of times with them being cached, the operating system very quickly starts feeling fast and snappy again.
Surely with random writes the you'll notice the a fast difference in performance when that HDD is active, but the overall performance gain helps out in 70% of where you actually need the performance.
We do have to say that the idea and technology behind the Synapse and the DataPlex cache software is not far off from Intel's SRT. And their Z68/X79 motherboards offer this feature pretty much for free of course.
However comparing this product to say the RevoDrive Hybrid, then surely the peak performance of the the RevoDrive Hybrid is better. But at cached speeds of 400~500 MB/sec would you really notice that split second difference ? For that reason alone I like the Synapse solution very much.
The overall costs of this product then, it definitely is more expensive then just a regular SSD, the 64GB model for example will cost you 120 EUR. But comparing that to the RevoDrive Hybrid, well it just can make all the difference. We think that 120 EUR is a relatively small investment, to get the bigger part of your PC cached towards an SSD experience.
What we like is the chipset independence of this solution, you are not tied to Intel's most expensive motherboards, contrary, this runs on any PC that runs Windows 7, AMD systems included. The OS is a bit of an issue though, it's just Windows 7 that is supported, not XP not Vista and most certainly not any other operating system. So that is your one sheer limitation. Then again, if you are performance targeted, we assume that most of you guys already run Windows 7 -- right ?
Let's place things in perspective, the Synapse in really simple wording is a very fast SATA3 SSD with a software caching layer. And quite honestly it works out really well. So for those of you that need that big 2TB root/boot drive yet want that default applications to speed up to SSD levels, well that's where this solution kicks in hard. As stated, the overall Windows experience beats the overall HDD feel with factor 100. So for 120EUR for the 64GB version, really you can't go wrong as it will speed up your PC application load times significantly.
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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.