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Intel Smart Response Technology capabitities


I have a Crucial M4 256Gb SSD
I intend to put Windows 7, my programs and some of my data on the SSD.
The overflow I was going to put on a multi terabyte mechanical drive.
I was hoping to use Intel Smart Response Technology to also cache the most used mechanical disk.

Is this possible?
There are lots of posts about putting OS, programs and data on ssd.

There are some posts about using SSD as a cache however this appears less popular as the gains are less. The cache is apparently limited to one volume (which maybe a raid volume but if the volume is on a single disk the disk must contain only one volume ie not partitioned), the cache must be 20-64GB, the rest of the SSD being usable as a Raid 0 disk. There must be at most 4 disks connected and all on Intel controller. Rather restricted conditions actually when all listed like this.

By using both I was intending to ensure boot up and programs start should be fast (always on SSD) and the overflow data should also be mostly fast or at least have to wait for disk spin up less often. I'm yet to find reports of others doing this which makes me wonder if it is possible. My initial attempts have not be successful. Loading the OS on SSD was uneventful, as was creating a unassigned partition of 64GB to use as a cache. However I'm unable to get the "Accelerate" button to show in Intel Rapid Storage Technology under Windows 7 64bit. Only the "Create" raid volume button is visible in addition to the standard ones.

Is this a limitation of the current version of Intel Smart Response Technology or user error? If it's a limitation of the current software are there plans to add this capability as hybrid systems using SSD and larger mechanical drives are surely going to be common for the next few years so combining the capabilities as listed above will be desirable for some time.

While talking about enhancements to Smart Response Technology, are there plans to enable caching of more than one volume? Ideally I would like to cache two partitions on a 3TB power efficient drive, to enabe selective backup of my data (image backup of one volume only). Alternatively I could use two physical mechanical drives so caching more than one physical drive would also be of value.

Btw I have a Z77 mobo (ASUS P8Z77-M PRO), i5 3570k and 8GB ram running Windows 7 64bit

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I am not an expert on the Smart Response Technology, but from quickly reading through the user guide, it seems like the usage of SSD as a cache is intended as a general intermediary between rotating media and the physical memory which doesn't require customized placement.

The idea of caching is that the system will figure out dynamically what needs to be cached without the burden of users allocating OS or applications to specific partitions. The evaluations I saw seem to use a single ssd as a general cache for 1 or more HDD. The caching agent should be smart enough to keep the frequently accessed parts of the OS, application files and data cached.

I would be skeptical that partitioning the SSD would get you much additional performance beyond the recommended usage model.

I hope this helps,

Hussam, thank you for taking the time to respond.

Your suggestion Intel Smart Response Technology could use one SSD to accelerate more than one disk is intriguing. My reading was it was limited to one volume which if that was a raid volume could be implemented as several disks but without forming a raid volume only one disk, containing one volume could be accelerated. However I would be very happy if my interpretation was incorrect and Intel Smart Response Technology was capable of more than this.

As for the performance gain of using a SSD directly over caching in SSD I thought that was well established. I was only using a mechanical disk as it was cheaper per gigabyte than SSD. True under optimal conditions the cache scheme can approach a SSD only solution but it is slower particularly for disk writes.

I was actually mostly interested in if a hybrid system was possible with Intel Smart Response Technology where a single SSD was used to contain the OS, program files, page and other temporary files, most data files, as well as cache a multi terabyte mechanical disk containing the data which does not fit on a SSD I can afford.

After searching the internet I found a very helpful thread
Which described how to do it, common problems and likely performance implications.

The summary of which is

  1. You can't set up acceleration / cache on a system disk from that disk, the solution is:
  2. Install windows on a mechanical disk (bios raid mode, intel controller, only one disk connected).
  3. Connect your SSD, boot from the mechanical disk and enable SRT (Accelerate/cache). Choose desired size, unused space will become a "Raid 0" disk (into which system can be later be installed).
  4. Unplug all but SSD and install windows on raid 0 partition. To access this partition you will need to install current Intel raid driver at the select disk screen (from USB Drive, otherwise raid 0 partition will not be visible, get driver from mother board manufacturer as Intel no longer provide updates to public).
  5. Install Intel Rapid Storage tool, reconnect a mechanical drive and you should see the cache drive is up and running and can be configured as desired (choose/change which drive to accelerate).
  6. Trim is probably not supported with older Intel Rapid Storage tool on system "raid 0" drive, but maybe with later versions. Unclear how much this impacts on garbage collection of more recent SSD with their improved internal garbage collection.
  7. There appears to be some performance degradation to the system disk if it is also being used as a cache. Apparently more severe for larger cache on a smaller SSD but seams to be in 10-50% performance hit range here and here
  8. Cache corruption / inconsistency can happen if BSOD / system crash / power loss. Fixed by disabling then re-enable cache forcing a cache rebuild

Hope this helps anyone else looking at doing the same

Hello, long time I used a Windows 7 + 64 GB SSD + 2 TB HDD system with Intel Smart Response Technology and the tool Intel Rapid Storage Technology for SSD caching. It's working perfect. Now Windows 8 is coming in my live and I make a dual boot system with running Windows 7 and Windows 8 to switch from time to time beetween them. Whats about SSD caching, can I us this on the 2 systems sequentially, to support booth systems with SSD caching ?

this is what i'm looking to do, i have my i7 2600k on a gigabyte z68x-ud3h-b3, and since my 64gb ssd is full, i mite as well start over, but this time do it right, i think this time i'll switch to a 2 tb hdd for a longer lasting system; so i'm looking for some step by step set ups, and what ever tips i can get, i;m no tech i just put parts together  so what ever help i can get will be highly appreciated   


well i try installing and now i have rapid storage with no accelerate button ; can someone help. thanks


after re downloading and turning windows fire wall off was able to get a new version rst but the middle button says performance and no " enable acceleration " under it or under status.