Ever since OCZ last year released the OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid file caching became all of the sudden became much more hip. A lot of people do not want to chunk out massive amounts of money for a large storage partition, but do want the speed that SSDs bring. As such using a HDD and an SSD for caching became a bit of a trend and emerged with mediocre success really.
Mushkin now introduces the Catalyst Cache solid state drive. It's in fact an optional 50 or 100 GB SSD intended just for caching. Combined with Dataplex cache application software and your own HDD, the combination could be just what you have been looking for, all at a much better price as well with no limitations to your hardware setup opposed Intel's SRT implementation.
So for 109 USD you can pick up the Catalyst 100GB SATA3 SSD, it's armed with a SandForce 2281 controller and the means to use it alright, as alongside the SSD you get to use the very same cache software layer the competition uses, Dataplex. A cache in combination with the Synapse SSD offers read speeds of up-to 550MB/s and write performance of up-to 510 MB/sec and presumably 4KB Random Write: Up to 90,000 IOPS
So you can create your own hybrid solution now, take your massive sized HDD and then have the SSD cache it, regardless of hardware platform (as long as you are using Windows 7 ).
It is an interesting concept with both positives and negatives really, so we'll look at the SSD as it where a single entity, and we'll obviously check out cached performance as well. Head on over to the next page where we'll startup this review.