What's (where's) The Cache?

Dave McKeen

Aug 22, 2010
Here's a break from those difficult to solve problems. I've got a PC I built a year ago that's doing something I like. When I build a new system I'd like the feature in that one too.

When I close Outlook 2007 I back up the PST files including some PST archive files from C: to my data drive D:. I use GoodSync to control the transfer. I am backing up about 3GB. The transfer takes place far faster than the receiving Hitachi Ultrastar 2TB drive can cache/write. Sometimes I see a transfer rate of over 1 GB/s; hardly ever less than 350 MB/s. The Ultrastar remains very busy for 10-15 seconds after GoodSync says the transfer is complete. The source C: drive is a OCZ VTX3MI-25SAT3-120G. I have 16 GB of DDR3 1333 RAM. My system components are detailed below.

In what possible way could the caching be implemented? I would love to be able to set it up in a new machine to work the same way!

Thanks - Dave

CASE Cooler Master HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Mid Tower
CPU Intel BX80623I72600K Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost)
CPU Heat Sink Cooler Master GeminiII S RR-CCH-PBU1-GP 120mm Sleeve
DRAM 2x [8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory Model CT2KIT51264BA1339] for 16GB total
GPU ZOTAC ZT-40503-10L GeForce GTS 450 (Fermi) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
PSU Cooler Master Silent Pro Gold Series RS800-80GAD3-US 800W
DRIVE0 (O/S) OCZ VTX3MI-25SAT3-120G Vertex 3 MAX IOPS Edition 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
DRIVE1 (Data) Hitachi UltraStar A7K2000 0F10452 2TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0GB
DRIVE2 (Apps, Programs & Updates, Web site) OCZ VTX3-25SAT3-120G Vertex 3 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
DVD Burner (Y) Sony Optiarc, Inc. AD-7260S
BLU-RAY Burner (Z) Lite-On iHBS212 Firmware 5L09
O/S Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit, Service Pack 1
External Drive WD My Book 3.0 2 TB USB 3.0
Keyboard Rosewill RK-9000 Cherry MX Switch (Blue) Mechanical Keyboard
Monitor NEC LCD2190 UXi LCD 'twist' tech 1600 x 1200 ppi.
Printer Epson Stylus Photo R280

BIOS 1850 (beta) 2011.07.04 update

Dave McKeen

Aug 22, 2010
Do you suppose it's the file sync program that's facilitating the cache? I've been using a similar software setup for years, but only noticed the behavior on this machine. Maybe a certain version release implemented it. It would make sense. :eek:)

- Dave
If you enable write cacheing to the hard drive, writes will go to the 32mb cache before they are transferred to the drive.
For writes of <32mb, you will complete very quickly. But if you pump more than that to the drive, the drive becomes the slowest part, and that is the rate that you will end up transferring at.

What to do?

If the data will fit on a SSD, that will be very fast.

If you change to a Z68 based motherboard, or a Z77 based one, there is a capability to use a small ssd to cache accesses to a hard drive.

While a conventional ssd will do, a small(and more expensive) slc based ssd will be better because it can write faster.