SanDisk ReadyCache 32GB SSD Review

SanDisk enters the caching solution market with the SanDisk ReadyCache 32GB SSD. This SSD provides instant acceleration to users' computers through intelligent software provided by Condusiv Technologies and hardware from SanDisk. By adding two tiers of data storage, both SSD and RAM, this solution looks promising.

continued...

Specifications

The choice of Condusiv Technologies as the provider of the caching software for the SanDisk ReadyCache SSD is definitely a sound one. This company used to operate under the name Diskeeper and has a long background in both the OEM space and the commercial realm.

The software engine behind the SSD, SanDisk’s ExpressCache, consists of several layers, the first being the I-FAAST caching algorithms. This identifies commonly accessed data and places it in one of the two caching layers, which consist of both the SSD and RAM cached data. This is a block-level caching algorithm, so not all components of hot files and applications are cached. Only the most commonly accessed blocks of data requested will reside in the cache.

The system also keeps a copy of all data on the HDD at all times to negate the possibility of data loss. Typical desktop user access is 70-80% read, making this data a clear candidate for acceleration. The write data is also cached, but is immediately passed down to the HDD to prevent data loss.

RAM is by far the fastest cache layer and the hottest data is placed there for ultra low latency. The system can address up to 1GB of RAM on a user's 64-bit operating system, or 768MB on a 32-bit OS. This RAM is used dynamically, meaning if it is needed for the underlying system that the RAM cache can be dropped immediately so that it does not interrupt overall system performance.

"InvisiTasking" is the buzzword for the method that Condusiv software uses to process and maintain the cached data. This process is carried out in the background only when there are spare CPU and I/O cycles to negate any performance loss.

One of the software components that other solutions do not offer is the Titan Defrag Engine. This keeps the underlying HDDs tidy, organized, and performing well; by not only optimizing the layout of files and folders, but also doing free-space consolidation. This shuffling of user data on the HDD does not utilize the cache layer to avoid excess wear on the SSD. Considering that good defragmentation software can cost a bit of money, this is a nice inclusion.

Article Image

There is some level of compression utilized by the system for the cached data, though specifics are lacking. The explanation is simply that data that exhibits repeating patterns is expanded in the memory of the system.

This host of features provides users caching for multiple HDDs, which is one of the most lacking areas of other solutions. As long as the ReadyCache SSD isn't a member of a RAID volume it can also accelerate RAID volumes.

Finally, the system supports both MBR and GPT volumes to cover all the bases.

The SSD sips power at .05 Watts idle, but the power of the entire software solution would surely be hard to figure. We will see firsthand why it is such a low power solution once we pop off the top on the following page.

PRICING

One of the complaints that we do have for this caching SSD is the fact that it comes in only one capacity, a 32GB model for $51.98 at the time of publishing.

As per usual, prices fluctuate considerably for SSDs, so keep your eye out for the best bargain.

Features

  • آ• Available capacities: 32GB

  • آ• Dimensions:0.28 in. x 2.75 in. x 3.95 in. (7.0 mm x 69.85 mm x 100.5 mm)

  • آ• Operating temperature: -32آ؛F to 158آ؛F (0آ؛C to 70 آ؛C)

  • آ• Storage temperature: -67آ؛F to 203آ؛F (-55آ؛C to 95آ؛C)

  • آ• Interface: SATA Revision 3.0 (6 Gbit/s)

  • آ• Shock: Resistant up to 1500 G @ 0.5 m/sec

  • آ• Vibration (Operating/Non-operating) : 5g RMS, 10-200MHZ / 5g RMS, 10-200MHZ

  • آ• Power Consumption (active): 0.5w

  • آ• Support: Three year limited warranty

  • آ• System Requirements: Desktop computers running the Windowsآ® 7 operating system.

  • An open SATA port must be available on the motherboard to install the SanDisk ReadyCache SSD