Diskeeper Corp developed "ExpressCache," software that enhances operating speed of personal computers (PCs) by using a small-capacity SSD as a cache for HDD, and demonstrated it at Computex Taipei 2011.
In the demonstration, operations such as booting Windows 7 and launching applications were compared between a PC equipped with a 500-Gbyte HDD (5,400rpm) and a PC using the same hardware in addition to an 8-Gbyte SSD for a cache (made by SanDisk Corp, connected via mSATA). As a result, the software and the SDD halved the time it takes to perform those operations.
ExpressCache is software that monitors the read/write operations of applications software and duplicates frequently-used data in an SSD. It operates as one of the components of Windows 7. Though an SSD with any capacity can be used as a cache, 4-Gbyte or higher capacity will be more effective than capacities lower than that.
"Considering the balance between the prices and effects of current SSDs, 8-Gbyte capacity might be the best," said Modesto Rodriguez, vice president, OEM Business Development of Diskeeper, which will sell ExpressCache to PC makers. "It's not that the operating speeds increase in proportion to the capacity of SSD. So, we expect that PC makers decide the capacity in consideration of the prices of SSDs."
At Computex Taipei 2011, Intel Corp announced a similar technology called "Smart Response Technology." Commenting on this technology, Rodriguez said, "ExpressCache has an advantage that it can be used with any types of SSDs and HDDs with any capacities and does not require any specific hardware configurations."
Intel said that Smart Response Technology can be used only with the Z68 chipset and is best used with a 20-Gbyte SSD.
"In addition, Intel uses SLC-based SSDs, which are expensive," Rodriguez said. "When ExpressCache is combined with an 8-Gbyte MLC-based SSD, the price of the SSD can be reduced to about 1/4."