Nowadays you can use an SSD as cache (64GB max) to boost the transfer rate of a normal hard disk (Sata II or Sata III). This feature can increase the performance of large capacity disks. We'll walk you through all the steps in this article.
To use SSD caching technology, there are some prerequisites before beginning:
SSD - You will require a SSD with a minimum capacity of 64GB (optimal size).
HDD - Use a large capacity disk - 2TB.
Motherboard - Your motherboard must support the SSD Caching Technology (Asus, MSI, ASRock, Gigabyte).
Softwares - Based on the motherboard and SSD you are using: Intel Smart Response:
Connect two hard drives
- Warning: both HDDs must be connected to the same controller, e.g Marvel or Intel ...
Configuring the Cache
The default option, named "Enhanced" is less efficient but more secure than the "Maximized" option (risk of data loss). The Intel driver allows you to switch from one configuration another at any moment.
- Minimum Cache: 19GB
- Maximum Cache: 64GB
If you use a SSD with a capacity greater than 64GB, then the rest of the available space will be wasted.
The transfer rate of the hard disk
- For a 2TB HDD with a speed of 140MB/s, SSD caching on Marvell controller will reach 250MB/s. Knowing that the SSD has a default speed of 550MB/s alone.
- According to benchmarks, it appears that when working on small files, the SSD cache is particularly effective.
As for the remaining space of the SSD Cache, we notice a lower transfer rate:
- Optimize the performance of high capacity storage disk.
- Depending on the type of controllers and SSD used, the performance may be limited.
- If you want to install Windows on the SSD, it's better to avoid using SSD caching, as it will drop the default transfer rate by half.