Corsair Accelerator 30GB & 60GB Caching SSD Review

One of the hottest applications for consumer SSDs is using data caching to accelerate the performance of traditional spinning hard disks in your PC. We look at Corsairs Accelerator Series of caching SSDs to test the performance of these value-centric approaches to providing you a better computing experience.

Corsair Accelerator Series 30GB and 60GB Basics

Many users are unsure what path to take, if any, when it comes to transitioning to Solid State Disks, a.k.a. SSDs. There are a number of reasons that keep these customers on the fence, and the new line of Corsair Accelerator Series caching SSDs are designed to address this group of customers.

When I ask a "normal" user what type of computer they just purchased, usually they reply with something along the lines of; "It it a Dell with 2 Terabytes." Some aren’t even sure what that means, let alone whether they are referring to the capacity of the RAM or the HDD. While this may seem weird to us nuts-and-bolts guys, we have to realize that not all consumers even care about what type of HDD, RAM, or even CPU that they have in their computer. They just want something that is fast, reliable and relatively cheap.

Convincing these customers to make the jump to SSDs and the performance benefits can be difficult. Price is a major concern, and usually many do not consider an SSD due to having a limited budget for their new or existing computer. The upfront investment for an SSD is large, even though it is much lower now than in the past. The small capacities of SSDs do not help, especially if you are measuring the net worth of the computer by the size of the storage. For some that is just the reality that keeps them from purchasing an SSD.

Complexity is also an issue for many users who are willing to use an SSD as the primary drive and the HDD as the storage volume. Taking the time to learn how to configure the computer is something many simply aren't willing, or care, to do.

The perception of SSDs as a new technology that is unreliable is also a big concern. People do not want to lose their data, and rightfully so. The large amount of all-digital content that even casual users generate today is precious. Losing data can be a disaster if it is the only copy of your child's first steps, or their first birthday party. Some still have the perception that SSDs are unreliable, but in reality these are more reliable than traditional spinning hard drives. Still this perception keeps many uninformed consumers from making the jump.

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So there are many reasons that users will forgo integration of an SSD, but only one main motivator for them to go out and "take the risk," and that is speed. SSDs are much faster, and just about any "HDD vs. SSD booting" YouTube video is about all it takes to convince someone that there are major improvements by installing an SSD. The promise of faster boot times, faster program loading, and game loads are enough to instill the desire to install an SSD, but not always enough for the casual user to actually grab a screwdriver, install the SSD, and re-install their operating system and programs.

What is needed is a class of SSD device that addresses all of these concerns. This is the driving force behind the Corsair Accelerator caching SSDs. Small capacities, from 30 to 60GB, keep the price very low. No re-installation of the operating system is key. Integrated software is needed that is easy to install, and requires zero user configuration after the initial set up. Keeping the data safe by saving it to both the SSD and the HDD helps to soothe the fear of data loss, while the large capacity of the HDD is still being used will keep users happy with their 2TB of storage.

Finally, the user must gain that tangible feeling of speed when they use the computer. There has to be that snappiness that is the primary reason for purchasing an SSD in the first place.

Remarkably, the caching SSDs that many manufacturers are releasing do all of this to address the concerns that users have about the integration of an SSD into their system. Let’s take a look at the process, from installation of the SSD, configuration of the program, and then the performance results.