Halfway through this past year, intel released the z68 chipset. This brought to us the facility to set up ssd caching with any hard drive + ssd set-up. There are a couple of things that caused the prerequisite for ssd caching, and since then a few things have occurred to cause ssd caching to develop into something totally different.
Prior to z68, ssds were starting to make their way into the regular consumer market, with smaller sized ssds becoming cost-effective. The trend started with mid sized ssds in the 240 gb range being around 500 bucks, then 120 gb ssds the tiniest you can have to run a system and your programs without any issues this day in age – these were about half that. But with 1tb drives going for 80, it was difficult to justify spending 250 on a ssd solely to have a speed boost loading programs.
In came ssd caching. SSD caching takes advantage of The speed of the ssd, and the lower price and bigger size of the hdd. SSD caching lets an ssd sit between an hdd and the ram – the ssd caching software caches frequently used memory blocks on the ssd so that when they are loaded into ram, the loading times are shaved by as much as 50 percent. This is all possible with a far smaller and less expensive 20 gb ssd.
Since that time, ssd prices have dropped. This is partially due to the rapid pace at which ssd makers are coming out with new ssds, but also because of the flooding in Thailand in 2011. This flooding shut down almost all of the major hdd manufacturer factories and shot hdd costs through the roof. 1 tb drives went from being close to 60 bucks to hitting over 200 if you might find them. This brought about a boost in interest with ssds – ssd manufacturers took advantage and pushed out more and newer ssds, lowering prices. Now your 240 gb ssd can be achieved for 250 bucks instead of 500, and your 120 gb ssd can be grabbed for just over 100. Not such an awful deal. So what does this mean for ssd caching.
No longer requiring the price advantage with ssd caching – the caching has become even more of an indulgence. Now rather than utilizing ssd caching to simulate having ssd spee din your system, you can get a full sized ssd to run os and programs, while using a larger hdd, but then having another little ssd as a cache for the hdd to hurry things up.