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Seagate Backup Plus Slim External USB 3.0 2TB Hard Drive Review

Beginners Guide: Intel Smart Response Technology and Intel 311 Larson Creek SSD

Beginners Guide: Intel Smart Response Technology and Intel 311 Larson Creek SSD - PCSTATS
Abstract: With the launch of the Intel Z68 motherboard chipset, Intel also unveiled a novel addition to its Rapid Storage Technology v10.5 disk storage and RAID management tool called Smart Response Technology. What's interesting about Intel Smart Response Technology (SRT) is that it can designate a single SSD to cache frequently accessed I/O data in a sort of hybrid RAID 0 arrangement.
 81% Rating:   
Filed under: Hard Drives/SSD Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Intel May 12 2012   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Hard Drives/SSD > Intel Intel 311 Larson Creek

PCMark Vantage HDD Test Suite Continued

On a related note, PCSTATS saw no difference in transcoding times with Media Show Espresso 6 between SSD caching enabled and disabled. A 450MB 1080i MPEG2 video file transcoded to 640x360 MP4 in 48 seconds regardless of SSD/HDD/HDD+Cache system configurations. On Intel Z68 motherboards with IGP video ports, Intel Quick Sync can be used to improve transcoding speed dramatically, in this example from 48 to 14 seconds!

PCSTATS Benchmark ReportFuturemark PCMark Vantage - HDD Suite
Media Center: (MB/s) Points Ranking
SSD 244.554
HDD 56.621
HDD + Cache SSD (Enhanced) RUN 1 49.527
HDD + Cache SSD (Enhanced) RUN 2 115.429
HDD + Cache SSD (Enhanced) RUN 3 114.929
HDD + Cache SSD (Maximized) RUN 1 49.929
HDD + Cache SSD (Maximized) RUN 2 150.816
HDD + Cache SSD (Maximized) RUN 3 141.989

Again, more differences in SSD caching impact between Enhanced and Maximized mode for video-focused content.

PCSTATS Benchmark ReportFuturemark PCMark Vantage - HDD Suite
Adding Music: (MB/s) Points Ranking
SSD 107.371
HDD 14.347
HDD + Cache SSD (Enhanced) RUN 1 13.186
HDD + Cache SSD (Enhanced) RUN 2 74.547
HDD + Cache SSD (Enhanced) RUN 3 76.779
HDD + Cache SSD (Maximized) RUN 1 14.428
HDD + Cache SSD (Maximized) RUN 2 100.079
HDD + Cache SSD (Maximized) RUN 3 90.766

Vantage's Music sub-test sees some differences between Enhanced and Maximized modes, but not as pronounced as the previous examples.

PCSTATS Benchmark ReportFuturemark PCMark Vantage - HDD Suite
Application Loading: (MB/s) Points Ranking
SSD 163.113
HDD 4.461
HDD + Cache SSD (Enhanced) RUN 1 6.057
HDD + Cache SSD (Enhanced) RUN 2 83.073
HDD + Cache SSD (Enhanced) RUN 3 83.817
HDD + Cache SSD (Maximized) RUN 1 7.024
HDD + Cache SSD (Maximized) RUN 2 89.018
HDD + Cache SSD (Maximized) RUN 3 85.457

Last but not least is the holly grail of computer users complaints - slow loading applications.

It seems there's not much of a difference between Intel SRT set to Enhanced or Maximized mode. There is a great deal of difference between the native HDD system and SSD system results here, on the order of 4MB/s to 163MB/s! Intel SRT improves things to about 50% of the speed you'd get from installing the OS and programs onto a solid state drive.

FAST Cache, Economical Choice

To sum up, Intel Smart Response Technology (SRT) is a neat little addition to Intel Z68 motherboard toolkit.

To take advantage of this feature users will need to pick up a dedicated cache SSD on top of whatever was spent on the Intel Z68-based motherboard. Gigabyte for its part is suggesting the 20GB Intel 311 Larson Creek SSD which runs ~$100 be selected. With its GA-Z68XP-UD3-iSSD motherboard (full review), Gigabyte simplified the process by bundling an integrated mSATA Intel SSD right on board.

Why this path? Well, according to Vincent Liu of Gigabyte; "Intel has leveraged its own supply chain and will be offering mSATA modules with 20GB single-level cell (SLC) Flash specifically designed for this use. As you may know, not all NAND Flash chips are equal. You can get SLC, multi-level cell (MLC), and triple-level cell (TLC) designs. SLC chips offer faster access times and better durability than the other types, but naturally carry a high premium. The main benefit of using an mSATA module is cost."

Intel SRT requires a few painless moments of configuring, the rest is entirely transparent to the computer system. Once set up, Intel SRT quietly goes about accelerating system responsiveness by caching frequently accessed disk data to the SSD where it can be accessed much more quickly than data on the hard drive.

In PCSTATS tests we saw a nice improvement to application performance after enabling Intel SRT, so broadly speaking we think it's a good tweak. It's an economical way to implement storage I/O caching and boost system "responsivness", application load times and maybe even shave a few seconds off your PCs boot time though the results can vary. Go for it!

In some regards the system is ultimately a band-aid solution until SSDs achieve sufficient storage density and affordability. If you don't like it, at the end of the day the cache SSD is easily converted back to useful storage.

The best-in-class solution remains a solid state drive of sufficient capacity to install Windows 7 and your applications.

Keep in mind that Intel SRT had absolutely no impact on copying files to and from USB storage devices or copying within the system itself in PCSTATS tests. Your Feedback is welcome.

Find out about this and many other reviews by joining the Weekly PCSTATS Newsletter today! Catch all of PCSTATS latest reviews right here.

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< Previous Page © 2017 PCSTATS.com Hard Drives/SSD News»

 

Contents of Article: Intel Intel 311 Larson Creek
 Pg 1.  Beginners Guide: Intel Smart Response Technology and Intel 311 Larson Creek SSD
 Pg 2.  Setting Up Intel Smart Response Technology
 Pg 3.  Benchmarks: Testing Intel SRT
 Pg 4.  PCMark Vantage: Testing Intel SRT
 Pg 5.  PCMark Vantage HDD Test Suite: Testing Intel SRT
 Pg 6.  — PCMark Vantage HDD Test Suite Continued

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