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OCZ announces 2.5-inch Synapse Cache SSDs

The new SSDs can work dynamically with a separate HDD, providing SSD-like performance levels across both capacities combined

Popular for its lineup of mainstream Agility and performance Vertex series of SSDs, California-based computer manufacturer OCZ Technology has announced through a press release the Synapse Cache 2.5-inch SSD. This new series is SATA III compatible and uses the SandForce 2281 NAND controller, which is similar other drives such as the Kingston HyperX, Patriot Memory and even OCZ’s own Agility 3.

The new Synapse Cache drives, however, differ from many SSDs in that they are optimized with software to cache applications dynamically with standard mechanical HDDs. In other words, the caching system adapts with user behavior to automatically store the most frequently accessed files onto the SSD itself, while less frequently used data is stored on the larger capacity HDD instead. It only takes a couple of file runs before the full benefits of the caching system can be utilized, as the OCZ graphs below depict. Ultimately, this should “provide users with SSD-level performance across the entire capacity of the HDD.”

Indeed, the idea of being able to obtain SSD-like speeds out of a high capacity HDD could be an intriguing proposition to users who demand both the performance advantages of a SSD and the capacity advantages of a HDD. “We see the Synapse Cache SSDs integrated with Dataplex™ software as a big win for a large number of customers who value SSD performance but still require HDD capacity,” said OCZ Director of Product Management Tobias Brinkmann. “We are proud to be the first to offer this no-compromise approach to enabling high-performance and high-capacity storage for virtually any PC platform.

As for specs, the OCZ drive provides maximum read and write speeds of 550MB/s and 510MB/s, respectively, a maximum 4KB random read and write speeds of 75MB/s and 320MB/s, respectively, and is 256-bit AES-compliant. Two initial models will be made available at 64GB and 128GB. Their performances differ slightly, so be sure to check out the official product sheet (PDF) for more information.

The Synapse Cache SSDs are available now through OCZ’s global channel, at least according to the press release. Unfortunately as of this writing, major online retailers such as Newegg and Amazon are yet to have any in stock. Regardless, each drive will be backed with a 3-year warranty and includes a 3.5-inch adapter bracket for desktop use. An actual HDD to pair with the SSD is sold separately, of course.

The official product page for the OCZ drives can be seen here.


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Allen Ngo, 2011-09-22 (Update: 2012-05-26)