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Intel Smart Response Technology Detailed

Discussion in 'News' started by btarunr, Apr 28, 2011.

  1. btarunr

    btarunr Editor & Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Remember the very first strains of Ibex Peak LGA1156 platform motherboards such as this one? Remember that small memory slot next to the bigger DIMM slots? That was Intel's ambitious "Braidwood" technology, a NAND-flash based hard drive assist feature. Fast NAND flash memory would be installed onto the motherboard in the form of removable modules, and those modules would quicken system booting, and act as a fast cache for the system drive. Alas, Braidwood was axed for reasons unknown till date. Maybe it made Ibex Peak platform a lot faster than it should be, or maybe its design wasn't perfected or flawed. Regardles, it disappeared.

    Two platforms (Ibex Peak and Cougar Point) later, a similar technology is making its way through Intel's pipes, this time it has a proper market name: Intel Smart Response Technology, and comes with another new development, Larsen Creek. Larsen Creek is the codename of Intel's upcoming line of solid state drives. However, it is targeting entry-level, low-capacity markets, and what better way to sell it than club it with Intel's new platform technology, Smart Response. Instead of NAND flash modules (Braidwood), Intel's Smart Response technology uses SATA SSDs to accelerate hard drives. The SSD can be of any size and speed, it's just that Larsen Creek is the most appropriate given that it will come in capacities as low as 20 GB, and be quite inexpensive.

    [​IMG]

    Smart Response provides a middle ground between capacious but slow and inexpensive hard drive storage, and fast but small and expensive SSD. With it, one can retain a high-capacity hard drive, and speed it up using a small SSD. The technology uses the small SSD's low access times and high speeds to make it work as a cache of the HDD, it might even store copies of key parts of the HDD such as the boot volume and system files, to make booting faster, and the system more responsive overall. The technology that goes into this, however, isn't ground-breakingly new. It builds upon some principles of Windows ReadyBoost that lets you use flash-based storage devices as system caches, and similar HDD/SSD hybrid storage solutions such as SilverStone HDD Boost.

    Intel put its new technology to test with PCMark 05 where the test system saw over 350% jump in HDD score. A more real-world test such as Windows startup time, saw close to 20% reduction. Intel's Smart Response Technology will be provided with the upcoming Z68 chipset and future Panther Point chipsets.

    Source: NordicHardware
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2011
  2. RejZoR

    RejZoR

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    Basically it's what Seagate has designed long ago with Momentus XT drive. A Hybrid SSD+HDD drive.
     
  3. micropage7

    micropage7

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    yeah like that but its interesting when intel that launch it, just waiting what will come next
     
  4. mastrdrver

    mastrdrver

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    What comes next?

    More marketing and a lot of fail. :laugh:
     
  5. RejZoR

    RejZoR

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    They have introduced the FLASH on board thingie years ago but it never cought up.
     
    1c3d0g says thanks.
  6. happita

    happita

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    Exactly what I was thinking. Conventional SSDs already improve booting times, so I don't really know where they are heading with this.
     
  7. Jonap_1st

    Jonap_1st New Member

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    so basically they put a *little* thing on the harddrive to make your system boot up faster?
     
  8. Jizzler

    Jizzler

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    What kind of alternative reality is this? Where people boot up more than once/month and don't benchmark daily???

    Anyhoo, will wait and see how well this scales. RAID-0 a couple SSD's on the 6Gbps ports to cache your 4 x xTB RAID-5 array? Would certainly go beyond Silverstone's and Highpoints's solution while being much cheaper than Adaptec or LSI.
     
  9. TheLaughingMan

    TheLaughingMan

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    The tech can't be ground breaking when its built on top of ReadyBoost and designed to work like something released well before it like SilverStone HDD Boost and Seagate's Momentus XT. Its like saying the iPhone 4 was ground breaking.

    Congrads Intel, you have given us technology we already have in 2 different forms.
     
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  10. Rexter

    Rexter New Member

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    I think its pretty good, and also a cheap method in boosting speed.

    With this, i can re-use my "old" sata harddrive, buy a compactflash to sata adapter on ebay, buy a 2-4gb flashcard and bam, instant speed boost.
     
  11. mastrdrver

    mastrdrver

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    L!!11!!11ESSSSSS!!! :laugh:

    Don't worry, that's why we have Intel marketing.

    Which reminds me, I think AMD should have just settled with Intel by getting their marketing team. They could convince the world that nVidia gave your dogs and cats cancer and that AMD processors only seem slow because they constantly time warp without the user knowing it. :laugh:
     
  12. micksh New Member

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    Wrong. You can't. 2-4GB is too small. But it's OK for ReadyBoost which you could use 4.5 years ago if you wanted. And you need to know what card to get, with slow one you get bam, instant speed knock.

    Source link doesn't work. It appears that vr-zone reported this 3 days earlier than NordicHardware with more information.
    http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-ssd-caching-feature-for-z68-chipset-explored/11953.html
    For example, "The SSD can be of any size" doesn't seem to be true. While it can be of any size it won't make any sense unless SSD is at least 18.6GB.

    “Cache SSD” must have 18.6GB minimum capacity. The max. cache size is 64GB so any capacity over 64GB will be used for user data

    And yes, it most likely won't be that helpful.
    Writing speed will be limited by the slowest component (unless you want to sacrifice reliability). Cheap small SSD won't allow fast sequential write. HDD won't allow fast random write.
    The only benefit is faster reading. Since there is no OS support it probably won't be that efficient - wrong files can be cashed on SSD.
    And then there is SuperFetch which reduces the need in fast reading.
    Reportedly it will be priced around $45-60. Add $20 and you can get 32GB SSD boot drive that surely will give better performance.
     
    Jizzler says thanks.
  13. micksh New Member

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  14. enterco New Member

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    I'm not too happy about the limitations

    I tried to use Intel Smart Response with my 'Matrix RAID' setup, and I'm very disappointed about the following limitations:
    "To enable acceleration, the maximum number of volumes in an array can't be greater or equal to 2"
    "only one volume can be accelerated on a system"
    I understand that someone using two data volumes per array can't use Smart Response. Also, if I build two arrays from 4 (or more) hard disks, I won't be able to accelerate more than one volume.
    I assume that the best scenario to preserve data integrity AND accelerate the platform should be the following configuration:
    - Buy 4 hard disks, a SSD and a Z68 motherboard
    - Configure an array using RAID5
    - accelerate the RAID5 volume with SmartResponse
    Otherwise, only 'simple configurations' (a single mirrored volume) can be accelerated.
     

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