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RAshc
Beginner
456 Views

Regarding Intel Rapid Storage Technology Acceleration using SSD - how are Windows updates handled and can the HDD be defragmented?

I have Intel Rapid Storage Technology installed on my Dell 8700 (it came with the PC) but it's nearly 5 years old now. However, I think, due to an HDD replacement a while back, the SSD acceleration has been disabled. Before enabling it I would like to know how does IRST Caching handle Windows updates and can the HDD that's being cached be defragmented?

 

Also, the version if IRST I'm using is 14.5.0.1081 is this the latest viable version that I can use on my PC?

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8 Replies
AdrianM_Intel
Moderator
231 Views

Hello RAshc,

 

Thank you for submitting your question on this Intel® Community. 

 

Intel Rapid Storage Technology Acceleration using SSD:

  • Intel® Smart Response Technology is an Intel® Rapid Storage Technology (Intel® RST). This technology is a caching feature that improves computer system performance. Intel® RST allows you to configure computer systems with a Solid State Drive (SSD), used as cache memory between the hard disk drive and system memory.

 

  • Based on the specs of your computer the latest driver version available and supported for Windows 10 is 14.8.16.1063 (generic driver) since the driver version will depend on the chipset of your motherboard however Intel recommends that end-users utilize driver updates provided by their system manufacturer 14.5.0.1081 the one you have, System manufacturers regularly customize Intel generic drivers to meet the needs of their specific system design.

 

  • Intel® Smart Response Technology will help you with the performance of your system but Windows updates will depend on internet speed connection, not Intel® Smart Response Technology.

 

  • Regarding your question about can HDD that's being cached be defragmented, I will recommend you to ask this question to the HDD manufacturer since we have not validated it.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Best regards,

 

Adrian M.

Intel Customer Support Technician

A Contingent Worker at Intel

RAshc
Beginner
231 Views

Hi Adrian,

many thanks for your reply. There are one or two points I'd like you to clarify if possible. Firstly, the version of Windows 10 I have on my computer is Windows 10 Pro Version 1909 (OS Build 18363.592). I was worried about a conflict between the version of IRST that I have (14.5.0.1081) and this version of Windows 10 because of the following link:

 

https://www.dell.com/support/article/uk/en/ukbsdt1/sln318140/windows-10-may-2019-update-build-1903-f...

 

Although the link refers to Windows 10 version 1903 I don't know if there would be a problem with version 1909. Do you know if there would be any problems?

 

Secondly, I understand that the SSD holds 'static' OS files as a cache but wouldn't Windows updates overwrite those files on the HDD? And wouldn't defragmenting the HDD potentially move those files to a different location of the HDD. If so, then how does IRST update its cache?

 

Kind regards,

 

Robert A.

AdrianM_Intel
Moderator
231 Views

Hello RAshc,

 

 

Thank you for your response.

 

Regarding your question, you are right there was an issue while updating to Windows® 10 May 2019 Update (Version 1903) on Some Systems Running Intel® Rapid Storage Technology (Intel® RST) Drivers. The newer version (1909) should not have problems.

 

About your second question, please allow me some time to confirm some information.

 

Regards,

 

Adrian M.

Intel Customer Support Technician

A Contingent Worker at Intel

RAshc
Beginner
231 Views

Hi Adrian,

 

thanks, once again for your reply. I look forward to receiving your info about my second question but I think I'll hold off enabling caching until I've read it. I'm most definitely not a PC hardware expert and I really don't want to mess things up by mistake.

 

Kind regards,

 

Robert A.

Ronny_G_Intel
Moderator
231 Views

Hello RAshc,

 

Let me try to address your question but I am not 100% positive that I fully understood this issue so please feel free to correct me or add more details and we will look into it.

 

If you are using Intel Optane Memory, you are probably aware that it is a caching device for HDDs that intelligently learns which applications you run most frequently and over time speeds up how quickly they load.

Intel RST does the intelligence part so that your system can boot-up faster, launch programs more quickly, and find or save files in a snap

 

I am not really aware if data is overwritten by Windows update and if it works that way, I am not aware of the process, this may be a question for Microsoft*. In regard to defragmenting the HDD, yes, data is potentially moved and RST/Optane will have to adjust to it.

 

Thanks,

Ronny G

RAshc
Beginner
231 Views

Hi Ronny,

 

many thanks for your reply. First of all, I don't think I'm using Optane Memory. To be fair, I don't actually know what Optane Memory is but my Device Manager says that my SSD device is a 'SAMSUNG SSD CM851 mSATA 32GB'.

 

 

What I don't understand is this; as far as I can see Intel RST is responsible for maintaining the content of the SSD cache. If this is the case then I wanted to know how it kept its cache in the SSD up to date with what was happening in the 'normal' HDD i.e. what happened when Windows Update installed new OS files and when the disk defragmentizer moved stuff around. If RST doesn't keep the SSD cache up to date with the HDD then surely this could lead to system corruption, couldn't it? So, my question is this; does Intel RST keep the SSD cache completely in step and up to date with the HDD?

 

Kind regards,

 

 

Robert A. 

Ronny_G_Intel
Moderator
231 Views

Hi Robert,

 

Intel® RST mainly offers protection, performance, and expandability, this is especially important if you are using more than 1 storage device (SSD or HDD).

 

If you are not using Intel Optane Technology <https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/architecture-and-technology/optane-technology/optane-for-per...> and only a Samsung* SSD CM851 mSATA 32GB you won't get much of the protection and expandability offered by RAID options because you would need more drives (at least 2), in your non-RAID system, Intel RST is essentially an alternate SATA AHCI controller and by using technologies such as Native Command Queuing (NCQ) your system performance is improved as well as your power management (for the hard disks). It also offers a nice interface for disk information and status.

 

When the Windows operating system updates files, nothing special is happening because there is no RAID and no additional cache such as Intel Optane or other SSD, Also, since you have an SSD we would recommend trimming instead of defragmentation (this can increase the wear down of the drive), see the following information that is applicable to Intel SSD: https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/articles/000006425/memory-and-storage.html, if you have a Samsung* please reach out to their support for further information

  

Here is some additional documentation that may be interested in reading:

 

https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/articles/000005610/technologies.html

https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/articles/000005501/boards-and-kits.html

 

Regards,

Ronny G

 

 

 

RAshc
Beginner
231 Views

​Hi Ronny,

 

many thanks for your reply. I'm getting a bit confused by all of this. I have the Intel RST software installed on my PC (it came with my PC originally) and I understand that RAID options would not be applicable to my PC. When I run the RST UI it offers me the facility to enable caching. Now, as I understood caching (and I realise I may be wrong here), the static bits of the OS (Windows 10) would be copied from the HDD to the SSD and accessed from the SSD from then on via, presumably, the Intel RST software. This is what made me ask the question about how the cache would be updated when the Windows 10 installation on the HDD gets updated (i.e. files replaced or removed) or when the HHD gets defragmented.

If Intel RST doesn't work like this could you tell me how RST caching does work and if it is worth me enabling caching?

 

Kind regards,

 

Robert

 

 

 

 

 

 

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