Question SSD / HDD Cache Trouble

Jun 26, 2019
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Hi, new to the forums and hoping I can get some help with this problem. I've been searching all over but much of the information I find seems to be out of date.

I have just upgraded my PC with a new super fast NVMe M.2 SSD (Samsung 970 EVO Plus 500GB). I was previously using an older 250 GB Samsung SSD (not M.2). I had and still have) a 2TB mechanical HDD. My motherboard is an Asus Prime H370 Plus.

What I would like to do is repurpose the old SSD as a cache for the mechanical drive to speed it up using Intel's Rapid Storage Technology. Windows will be installed on the NVMe drive, along with programs and some games, and I want the remainder of games and all my data and other storage to go on the mechanical drive. (leftover space on the 250 GB SSD after caching can also be put to use).

I have installed the necessary RST driver/software and set the Bios settings to enable RAID / RST, but I am not getting the option in the RST software to accellerate the drive. The only thing I see there is the option to accellerate using Optane memory (which I don't have).

According to another post I came across, the RST software does not support this type of caching after version 15.7 I believe, so I downloaded an older version.

The only thing I am able to do is create a regular RAID volume, combining the SSD and HDD, but this isn't what I want from what I understand. I also tried ASUS's "EZ Tuning Wizard" from in the Bios, which seems to just do the same thing.
 

Lutfij

Titan
Moderator
I wouldn't go that route for speeding an HDD. Intel's RST technology was one uped by Intel with their Intel Optane platform. They also acknowledged that RST's caching technology was more of a gimmick. You're better off recycling the SSD you have left over as a game library drive or better yet drop it into a system that desperately needs the speed of an SSD during bootup and app load times.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Don't bother with the cache thing. Just use the 250GB SSD as its own drive.

Really, really don't do a RAID thing with the SSD and the HDD. There is no combination of those drives that make a good RAID array of any type.
 
Jun 26, 2019
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Thanks for the qucik replies. I spent the better part of a day trying to get it to work, so was hoping to get it working even just to satisfy my curiosity.

Is there really no real difference in performance? I understand the tech is a bit dated now, but it seemed like all the rage when it came out and I can still find people saying how much it sped up their drives.

Other than the time spent doing it, would there be any disadvantages to doing this? I understand I'd lose 64GB (or less) of a usable 250GB SSD, but the leftover space could still be put to use.

Could you explain a bit how it's a gimmick? Admittedly when it first came out I glanced it over thinking the same thing, and haven't thought about it in years.

If it's really no good I guess I'll use my drives normally and count down the years until large capacity SSDs no longer cost as much as a whole PC.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
You're adding complexity for not a lot of real gain.

With a cache like that, only that data which is most often (or recently) used ends up in that cache space.
It was a thing when SSD's were new and small, and the manufacturers wanted to promote usage.

In certain use cases, it can help. A database server, when the transactions end up residing in that SSD space.
For general use? Not so much. Write speed happens at typical HDD speed. Some new game level or application happens at HDD speed.

Just use it as a 250GB drive, all on its own.
 
Jun 26, 2019
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I hate leaving problems unsolved like this, but I guess I'll take your advise here and ditch the cache idea then. Keen to get my main computer up and running again.
 

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