OCZ has released a new series of SSDs called Synapse Cache today. This announcement is a bit different from normal SSD announcements since OCZ will be bundling Dataplex caching software with these SSDs, hence the "Cache" in the series name. As for the other specs, you are pretty much looking at yet another 2.5" SF-2281 based SSD. 

OCZ Synapse Cache Series
Raw Capacity 64GB 128GB
Available capacity 32GB 64GB
Read Speed 550MB/s 550MB/s
Write Speed 490MB/s 510MB/s
4KB Random Read 10,000 IOPS 19,000 IOPS
4KB Random Write 75,000 IOPS 80,000 IOPS

Capacities are limited to 64GB and 128GB, but there is 50% overprovision, meaning that only 32GB and 64GB will be usabe. It wouldn't make much sense to use a bigger SSD for caching though, and Intel is limiting their Smart Response Technology (our review) to 64GB as well. To briefly summarize the idea of caching; the software analyzes your usage and moves the most frequently accessed files to the SSD, while keeping the less frequently used files in the HD. Especially with smaller SSDs like 64GB, caching can be very useful because it can be hard to decide what goes to the SSD and what doesn't - now software does that for you. 

As a whole, SSD caching with OCZ Synapse might be a good option for people without Intel Z68 chipset. Which is more effective, remains to be seen though. Pricing is unfortunately unknown, so it's hard to say how attractive Synapse really is. Keeping the price close to regular SSDs is important because most people probably won't be ready to pay tons of extra for caching software. OCZ is claiming immediate availability but none of the biggest retailers have Synapse listed as of today. 

Source: OCZ

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  • zorxd - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - link

    Caching is a very good idea. However, this need to be implemented at the filesystem level. Not in the chipset (intel), not as an extra software (this), and not in the hard drive itself (seagate)
  • Mjello - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - link

    I use a seagate hybrid drive in my notebook. It is excellent :). As fast a boot time and as snappy as any ssd and 500 GB storage.
  • zorxd - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - link

    Still, you only have about 4GB cache. That's small. And its use can't be efficient without proper knowledge of the filesystem. Imagine if you defrag your hybrid hard drive, all sectors will be marked as used even if you didn't use a file in the last year.
  • Fosters - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - link

    If you want a better version of what you have, there are caddies that convert your optical drive into a second hard drive. I run one on my laptop and like it. I have a 64gb ocz vertex 2 and the stock 320gb hdd (could really go a lot bigger, but haven't really needed it yet, all data sits on the desktop) in the caddy. A 29 dollar external usb powered optical drive fills in if I ever need it, but I've yet to. I shouldn't have spent the money...
  • applestooranges - Thursday, September 22, 2011 - link

    You gotta be kidding. I've asked around, and gotten feedback that the Seagate Hybrid is only a 'tiny' bit better than similar HDD performance (sometimes worse), and way far aways from SSD performance...
  • MGSsancho - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - link

    filesystem? ZFS is what your looking for then
  • retrospooty - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - link

    Cool, if they implement on Windows it becomes useful. Until then, it does nothing for anyone. ;)
  • zorxd - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - link

    ZFS has some good features indeed. I didn't know that proper cache on SSD handling was one of them however.

    Too bad it only runs on Solaris, a dead OS.
  • Death666Angel - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - link

    And FreeBSD (hence also FreeNAS) and there is a working version for Linux (some people have said it's stable, some have said it isn't).

    If you are in the market of a software NAS solution, ZFS is probably the way to go.
  • Paul Tarnowski - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - link

    I'm thinking the same. Years ago (out of sheer boredom) while sitting night-shift security I started working out more or less how a system that had 3 types of internal storage (SSD, HDD, Low-RPM HDD) and multiple external storage (NAS, other computers on the local network, cloud) would have to be designed. And to make caching effective on an SSD, you ideally want the OS running the show. It knows what is going to have lots of access (non-sequential, small read/write, frequent seeks). Other stuff can sit on the HDDs.

    Mind you, later I found ZFS, and that is nearly what I had in mind. Just less complicated for the laymen and working natively in consumer OS software.

    But with these caching systems, what we're going to need to see are built-in batteries, or bugger, standby caps. A computer should have enough time to flush all writes. With the way the grids in a lot of countries are going, and with the increase in storage, data integrity issues are going to kick the consumer market in the backside.

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