List of ssd cache software?

cbn

Lifer
Mar 27, 2009
12,968
221
106
Here are the ones I know about:

Intel Smart response technology.

FNet Hybridisk (included on Mydigital SSD Supercache 2 SSD). Review here.

Romex Primocache

ExpressCache

eBooster

VeloSSD

Bcache (Linux)


Any others?

P.S. Something else interesting I found is Marvell Hyperduo which is a hardware/software method of creating a hybrid disk. Also see Enmotus Fuzedrive (a server software) which according to this link is being offered in a desktop version for Ryzen PCs. (EDIT: Link for Ryzen systems here)
 
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XavierMace

Diamond Member
Apr 20, 2013
4,307
450
126
Most modern OS's have SSD caching options built into their software RAID solution. The options vary between Windows, Linux, and Solaris but they're there.
 

razel

Platinum Member
May 14, 2002
2,337
89
101
Good old Windows ReadyBoost. Works great on my office HDD only computer. I was shocked to finally get an NVMe drive working on my old 2010 era Core 2 office machine, but Windows was still able to use it as a ReadyBoost drive and I was shocked at how well it works.
 

cbn

Lifer
Mar 27, 2009
12,968
221
106
Good old Windows ReadyBoost. Works great on my office HDD only computer. I was shocked to finally get an NVMe drive working on my old 2010 era Core 2 office machine, but Windows was still able to use it as a ReadyBoost drive and I was shocked at how well it works.
I didn't know Readyboost worked with SSDs? I thought it was just for usb flash drives.

P.S. Here are Readyboost benchmarks I did earlier today using two different usb flash drives (originally posted here).











4K read got a good boost on both drives. Surprising to see the Cruzer Glide do so well.
 
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Riok

Member
Dec 14, 2017
39
2
16
Hello,

I got a Z97 especially to use Intel Smart Response but got disapointed. It was not caching the right files and my windows boot speed and performance wasn't good. Maybe I did something wrong because I saw good reviews but that's my experience.
Simply having the SSD as the system drive is way better. Boot is fast and system is fast. Having all my games on a 80GB/s HDD doesn't feel bad and overall the system feels faster.

Intel Smart Response have a major problem because it can only cache the boot drive. It's also not good for geeks because the interface is way too simple and you don't get any stats on the cache usage.

So I became very interested in primocache but have yet to try it.
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
15,395
1,265
126
Hello,

I got a Z97 especially to use Intel Smart Response but got disapointed. It was not caching the right files and my windows boot speed and performance wasn't good. Maybe I did something wrong because I saw good reviews but that's my experience.
Simply having the SSD as the system drive is way better. Boot is fast and system is fast. Having all my games on a 80GB/s HDD doesn't feel bad and overall the system feels faster.

Intel Smart Response have a major problem because it can only cache the boot drive. It's also not good for geeks because the interface is way too simple and you don't get any stats on the cache usage.

So I became very interested in primocache but have yet to try it.
When I started fiddling with PrimoCache, the trial period was 90 days. More recently, it was changed to 60 days. But you should be able to do your evaluation in half that time, even so.

I like it because it's agnostic about which mode configures your storage -- RAID, AHCI or NVMe. There will be minor hiccups when there are Windows updates, but you would only need to reset the cache on the system drive. You can do two-tiered caching (RAM and NVME or SATA SSD), but you may have troubles with backup solutions like Macrium. But so what? Just by caching an SATA SSD to NVME, you would likely quadruple sequential read performance. If the caching equivalent of 2,000MB/s isn't good enough for you, then drop the SSD caching and cache exclusively to RAM.

Anyway, there shouldn't be any hesitation about trying it out. Uninstallation has no problems. It's a simple program.

The other things -- ISRT, HyperDuo -- they are all pseudo-proprietary solutions. I say "pseudo" because they don't have to be that way.

Also, there is one other program not mentioned here -- SuperCache by SuperSpeed of Massachusetts. It only does RAM-caching for persistent storage. The other option in the OP, ExpressCache, likely only does SSD-caching, but not RAM-caching.

Primo does it all . . . We can argue about this or that point, but I've been using it for three years now on four systems including a laptop. In that scenario, if there were any troubles or it fell below expectations, I would have stopped using it after the first year . . . .
 

Schmide

Diamond Member
Mar 7, 2002
5,487
496
126
Hello,

I got a Z97 especially to use Intel Smart Response but got disapointed. It was not caching the right files and my windows boot speed and performance wasn't good. Maybe I did something wrong because I saw good reviews but that's my experience.
Simply having the SSD as the system drive is way better. Boot is fast and system is fast. Having all my games on a 80GB/s HDD doesn't feel bad and overall the system feels faster.

Intel Smart Response have a major problem because it can only cache the boot drive. It's also not good for geeks because the interface is way too simple and you don't get any stats on the cache usage.

So I became very interested in primocache but have yet to try it.
You're doing it wrong. ISR can cache one drive from one SSD. It does not have to be the boot drive. You do have to have the system in raid mode. Could that be your issue?
 

Riok

Member
Dec 14, 2017
39
2
16
I'll add some extra info about the T7500 -
3. It accepts the H700 6gb/s raid controller both 512mb and 1gb. (Raid 0,1,5,10). The 1gb allows cachecade - I have one system running two 120gb SSD cache disks before writing to the raid 1...makes my 2tb raid 1, 7200 constellation drives behave like SSD's most of the time.
There are some updates on the "1366 Workstation" thread also launched by CBN and this quote about "cachecade" may be of interest here. As I understand It needs a specific dell card but then it's cachecade automating level 2 caching.
 

cbn

Lifer
Mar 27, 2009
12,968
221
106
Added Enmotus Fuzedrive to opening post.
 
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BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
15,395
1,265
126
I found that thread in my bookmarks:
Reliable SSD cache software

It mentions eBoostr and VeloSSD.
I had seen mention of those before, when I was doing my initial search and merely testing PrimoCache.

I looked at the forum exchange in the VeloSSD link, regarding Primo.

I disagree that, if properly configured, it resets the cache at every sneeze. It may do that when certain types of monthly Windows Updates are made. I've had it happen here and there, but not often. I suspect that pausing the (SSD) cache during the update might eliminate the problem -- if you could call it that. The same assessment doesn't apply to RAM caching. There are some minor cautionary procedures to follow, like stopping the caches, when swapping out hardware.

I've had a lot less trouble with Primo than I would've imagined initially. That's why I keep using it on some four systems. . . .

Truth be told, I'd noticed occasional hiccups using ISRT's SSD-caching. But either way, there was never any hard disk corruption or lost files.

Especially for the RAM-caching, probably no less for an SSD-cache, you should be absolutely sure your memory is flawless and that your SSD has no defect, uses the proper driver and so forth.

You depend on the hardware to make the caching software work reliably.

Also, forgot to mention the reason I posted in the first place. It may be "eBoostr" or some other, but some of the available options had never been revised and released in versions supporting newer OS systems beyond Win 7.
 
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Riok

Member
Dec 14, 2017
39
2
16
When I started fiddling with PrimoCache, the trial period was 90 days. More recently, it was changed to 60 days. But you should be able to do your evaluation in half that time, even so.
Well I couldn't :p I installed it but I was surprised because my system performed already very well with the system SSD and the old caviar drive. So I just continued like that and it was fast enough for me. When I came back to testing the trial period was over :(

You're doing it wrong. ISR can cache one drive from one SSD. It does not have to be the boot drive. You do have to have the system in raid mode. Could that be your issue?
Yep. I'll try that at next reinstall.
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
15,395
1,265
126
Well I couldn't :p I installed it but I was surprised because my system performed already very well with the system SSD and the old caviar drive. So I just continued like that and it was fast enough for me. When I came back to testing the trial period was over :(


Yep. I'll try that at next reinstall.
How did you configure it with your drives? What sort of SSD did you use for caching and what caching-volume size? Did you cache anything to memory? How much memory do you have?
 

Riok

Member
Dec 14, 2017
39
2
16
How did you configure it with your drives? What sort of SSD did you use for caching and what caching-volume size? Did you cache anything to memory? How much memory do you have?
I havn't tried romex's software. I installed it but... I didn't use it. Then my trial was over and here I am. I went over the trial period without doing any test with primocache.

My system has a 650Gb caviar green and two 64GB SSD. Installing windows on the SSD makes a huge difference. It boots lighning fast and the system is very responsive.

I am looking forward to test primocache in the future.
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
15,395
1,265
126
I havn't tried romex's software. I installed it but... I didn't use it. Then my trial was over and here I am. I went over the trial period without doing any test with primocache.

My system has a 650Gb caviar green and two 64GB SSD. Installing windows on the SSD makes a huge difference. It boots lighning fast and the system is very responsive.

I am looking forward to test primocache in the future.
Are the two 64GB SSDs set up in RAID? Do you have something like an Anvil Benchmark or CrystalDiskMark score for sequential read and sequential write speed? If possible tell me the file size in the test -- 1GB, 2GB, etc.

Those would be SATA SSDs. I would find out if the Z97 board you have supports NVMe in a PCIE x4 slot with a $20 adapter card. Even if the chipset won't allow you to boot from the NVMe, you could get a 250 GB NVME M.2 drive with a high performance showing in the sequential tests, and use it to cache to RAID-ed SSDs. But with that much of a cache volume, you could also cache the green drive to the NVMe as well.

PrimoCache doesn't make it easy to benchmark the SSD-caching, because it doesn't put the data in cache until the machine is at idle. So the benchmark wouldn't capture the improvement. Romex support says that version 3.0.x -- just released -- allows for benchmark measurement of the SSD cache. I just don't think I've done it yet. I just installed that version last week.

But if you run the benchmark -- like Anvil -- against a RAM-cached drive -- any one of those source drives (including the RAID0) would cache to RAM. In fact, I've cached an NVMe to RAM, and somehow scored between 12,000 MB/s and 20,000+ MB/s.
 

Riok

Member
Dec 14, 2017
39
2
16
Are the two 64GB SSDs set up in RAID? Do you have something like an Anvil Benchmark or CrystalDiskMark score for sequential read and sequential write speed? If possible tell me the file size in the test -- 1GB, 2GB, etc.
Nope, they are not in RAID. I had the idea that I could use the second SSD to cache the green drive, to speed up the loading of the games I am currently playing. I thought ok, I may have 100/200Gb of game files but there's really no need to have all of that on a SSD ! So I just want a system that watch out which games I am playing at the moment and cache that. My green drive having a read speed of 80Gb/s and my SSD of 500Gb/s I would expect loading times to be 6 times faster, something I should notice. What do you think about that ?

There's a post here on romex's forum that suggest this is not the best way to go and I would be better with manually choosing the games I play to store them on the SSD and then have a 4Gb RAM drive and 64K block size. The problem with this proposition is the word "manually" which doesn't appeal to me ! Here is the post: Tips needed to Create a Cache for PC Gaming My setup also have only 8Gb of ram, so anyway I cannot do RAM cache for the moment.

Your benchs are impressive. NVME+RAM Cache really gets to a totally different level !


As I am on a budget, then I would avoid NMVE cache or SSD storage for the time being, keeping to SSD cache and HDD storage. I should soon move to x99, so I will have 4x NVME available. Then for the future, If I get it correctly, I would buy a larger HDD for storage and the cheapest NVME I can get for cache. Does it sound like a good upgrade plan ? Can you feel any difference in gaming with RAM Cache ?

Thoose are the specs of my system drive:

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
CrystalDiskMark 5.2.1 x64
Advantech Industrial SSD 64GB MLC [SQF-S25M8-64G-S8C]
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
* MB/s = 1,000,000 bytes/s [SATA/600 = 600,000,000 bytes/s]
* KB = 1000 bytes, KiB = 1024 bytes

Sequential Read (Q= 32,T= 1) : 551.515 MB/s
Sequential Write (Q= 32,T= 1) : 104.184 MB/s
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 115.831 MB/s [ 28279.1 IOPS]
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 37.295 MB/s [ 9105.2 IOPS]
Sequential Read (T= 1) : 476.680 MB/s
Sequential Write (T= 1) : 104.031 MB/s
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 14.697 MB/s [ 3588.1 IOPS]
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 36.815 MB/s [ 8988.0 IOPS]

Test : 1024 MiB [E: 0.0% (0.0/59.6 GiB)] (x5) [Interval=5 sec]

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
CrystalDiskMark 5.2.1 x64
Advantech Industrial SSD 64GB MLC [SQF-S25M8-64G-S8C]
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
* MB/s = 1,000,000 bytes/s [SATA/600 = 600,000,000 bytes/s]
* KB = 1000 bytes, KiB = 1024 bytes

Sequential Read (Q= 32,T= 1) : 547.338 MB/s
Sequential Write (Q= 32,T= 1) : 103.896 MB/s
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 112.046 MB/s [ 27355.0 IOPS]
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 34.973 MB/s [ 8538.3 IOPS]
Sequential Read (T= 1) : 516.116 MB/s
Sequential Write (T= 1) : 103.817 MB/s
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 18.524 MB/s [ 4522.5 IOPS]
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 34.443 MB/s [ 8408.9 IOPS]

Test : 100 MiB [E: 0.0% (0.0/59.6 GiB)] (x5) [Interval=5 sec]

And here is the second SSD, welcome back to the past :p

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
CrystalDiskMark 5.2.1 x64
Samsung 475 64GB
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
* MB/s = 1,000,000 bytes/s [SATA/600 = 600,000,000 bytes/s]
* KB = 1000 bytes, KiB = 1024 bytes

Sequential Read (Q= 32,T= 1) : 275.393 MB/s
Sequential Write (Q= 32,T= 1) : 180.117 MB/s
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 130.787 MB/s [ 31930.4 IOPS]
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 40.736 MB/s [ 9945.3 IOPS]
Sequential Read (T= 1) : 259.874 MB/s
Sequential Write (T= 1) : 179.308 MB/s
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 17.687 MB/s [ 4318.1 IOPS]
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 40.236 MB/s [ 9823.2 IOPS]

Test : 1024 MiB [E: 0.2% (0.1/59.6 GiB)] (x5) [Interval=5 sec]
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
15,395
1,265
126
Nope, they are not in RAID. I had the idea that I could use the second SSD to cache the green drive, to speed up the loading of the games I am currently playing. I thought ok, I may have 100/200Gb of game files but there's really no need to have all of that on a SSD ! So I just want a system that watch out which games I am playing at the moment and cache that. My green drive having a read speed of 80Gb/s and my SSD of 500Gb/s I would expect loading times to be 6 times faster, something I should notice. What do you think about that ?

There's a post here on romex's forum that suggest this is not the best way to go and I would be better with manually choosing the games I play to store them on the SSD and then have a 4Gb RAM drive and 64K block size. The problem with this proposition is the word "manually" which doesn't appeal to me ! Here is the post: Tips needed to Create a Cache for PC Gaming My setup also have only 8Gb of ram, so anyway I cannot do RAM cache for the moment.

Your benchs are impressive. NVME+RAM Cache really gets to a totally different level !


As I am on a budget, then I would avoid NMVE cache or SSD storage for the time being, keeping to SSD cache and HDD storage. I should soon move to x99, so I will have 4x NVME available. Then for the future, If I get it correctly, I would buy a larger HDD for storage and the cheapest NVME I can get for cache. Does it sound like a good upgrade plan ? Can you feel any difference in gaming with RAM Cache ?

Thoose are the specs of my system drive:

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
CrystalDiskMark 5.2.1 x64
Advantech Industrial SSD 64GB MLC [SQF-S25M8-64G-S8C]
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
* MB/s = 1,000,000 bytes/s [SATA/600 = 600,000,000 bytes/s]
* KB = 1000 bytes, KiB = 1024 bytes

Sequential Read (Q= 32,T= 1) : 551.515 MB/s
Sequential Write (Q= 32,T= 1) : 104.184 MB/s
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 115.831 MB/s [ 28279.1 IOPS]
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 37.295 MB/s [ 9105.2 IOPS]
Sequential Read (T= 1) : 476.680 MB/s
Sequential Write (T= 1) : 104.031 MB/s
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 14.697 MB/s [ 3588.1 IOPS]
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 36.815 MB/s [ 8988.0 IOPS]

Test : 1024 MiB [E: 0.0% (0.0/59.6 GiB)] (x5) [Interval=5 sec]

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
CrystalDiskMark 5.2.1 x64
Advantech Industrial SSD 64GB MLC [SQF-S25M8-64G-S8C]
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
* MB/s = 1,000,000 bytes/s [SATA/600 = 600,000,000 bytes/s]
* KB = 1000 bytes, KiB = 1024 bytes

Sequential Read (Q= 32,T= 1) : 547.338 MB/s
Sequential Write (Q= 32,T= 1) : 103.896 MB/s
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 112.046 MB/s [ 27355.0 IOPS]
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 34.973 MB/s [ 8538.3 IOPS]
Sequential Read (T= 1) : 516.116 MB/s
Sequential Write (T= 1) : 103.817 MB/s
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 18.524 MB/s [ 4522.5 IOPS]
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 34.443 MB/s [ 8408.9 IOPS]

Test : 100 MiB [E: 0.0% (0.0/59.6 GiB)] (x5) [Interval=5 sec]

And here is the second SSD, welcome back to the past :p

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
CrystalDiskMark 5.2.1 x64
Samsung 475 64GB
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
* MB/s = 1,000,000 bytes/s [SATA/600 = 600,000,000 bytes/s]
* KB = 1000 bytes, KiB = 1024 bytes

Sequential Read (Q= 32,T= 1) : 275.393 MB/s
Sequential Write (Q= 32,T= 1) : 180.117 MB/s
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 130.787 MB/s [ 31930.4 IOPS]
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 40.736 MB/s [ 9945.3 IOPS]
Sequential Read (T= 1) : 259.874 MB/s
Sequential Write (T= 1) : 179.308 MB/s
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 17.687 MB/s [ 4318.1 IOPS]
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 40.236 MB/s [ 9823.2 IOPS]

Test : 1024 MiB [E: 0.2% (0.1/59.6 GiB)] (x5) [Interval=5 sec]
Well, I temper my views on Primo to avoid promoting it as a "must have," "must do," etc. In past years, some of our members cited things like "increased clock-cycles" and a desire to have "real speed" from drives that just physically performed better. But there's no doubt: once programs (OS or other) are previously in the cache, you will have lightning-fast speed.
This could change -- the benefits would change -- if you are reading extremely large files that exceed the cache size. But even if RAM today is pricey, even a 2x8=16GB kit would offer you an opportunity for RAM caching without cramping your OS and program operations.

Beginning with Intel's proprietary ISRT, you could expect to achieve ~ 80% of SATA SSD speed for a cached SATA HDD by caching to a 64GB SATA SSD. I would expect something similar for using an NVME as a caching drive. THAT IS: I'd expect to see ~ 80% of NVME speed for the cached drive, even if it's a 5,400 RPM SATA HDD. But that's just for SSD caching: a RAM-cached HDD could show an Anvil benchie close to 10,000 MB/s.

On the criticism about clock-cycles, I think that would only be relevant to SSD-caching for the most part, and Primo handles it by waiting for computer-idle periods to load the cache.

Whatever the recommendations from Romex's forum posts, I do the same thing you're contemplating. Even if I have plenty of room on my OS-boot NVME drive for programs, I have a set of "Program Files" directories on an SATA drive, and most of my games are on that drive in either those directories or "Steam Library" -- whatever. All of my X-Plane 9,10, and 11 scenery files and program files are on that drive.

And previously, I had done the practical thing and used a 2TB HDD for that SATA drive, cached to NVMe. I finally decided to replace the HDD with an SATA SSD!! And it is now cached to the small, spare NVME drive!!

But I don't think there's anything intrinsically wrong with your approach. You'd just be better off caching an HDD to SOMETHING -- an SATA SSD is still an improvement. If the performance % I cited is correct, you might expect to see the HDD sequential read rate at closer to 400 MB/s.

It's all a matter of what resources you have available, how easy you feel about spending more money, and whether you perceive the benefits to be marginal or significant. And the truth of the matter: you might not notice the performance difference in look and feel at speeds above SATA SSD. Me?! I "imagine" that I do. I'll say that it "seems" like an improvement.

But I can guarantee that the system works "smooth as silk."
 
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ratkiley

Junior Member
Feb 1, 2022
1
0
6
Intel CAS for Windows is free SSD Caching windows software. It works with SSD / NVME / M2 cards / SATA and presumably any brand of SSD / hard drive. It works on AMD processors or Intel CPUs. It is just free windows software, after registration. They also have an open source version for Linux.

Intel CAS for Windows
 
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