The default setting of the Intel RST 10.5 software is enhanced mode, which only mirrors data to the hard drive. If the SSD ever fails you won’t lose any data as it is running like a RAID 1 array (mirroring) with only the most accessed data being copied into the cache. The other method is maximized mode, which is where performance is highly improved, but cached data may be lost in the event of hardware removal or hardware failure much like a RAID 0 array (striped) where one drive goes bad. For our testing today we used a Western Digital Green 500Gb hard drive and a Kingston SSDNow 100 96Gb SSD.
To see what kind of speeds boosts that we would see with SSD Caching enabled we first fired up CrystalDiskMark. The Western Digital 500GB hard drive was limited to ~90MB/s sequential read and write. The Intel Series 311 SSD is rated for 200MB/s read and 105MB/s write, and was able to hit the rated speeds with relative ease. Once we fired up the Intel Smart Response technology we saw some significant speed improvements. The Sequential Read jumped from 90.39MB/s up to 173.9MB/s that’s a gain of 92.4%. The Sequential write jumped from 90.32MB/s to 108.1MB/s which is nearly as fast as the Intel SSD alone. The 4K read and write went from .443MB/s read and 1.208MB/s write all the way up to 22.67MB/s read and 43.86MB/s write. All of the gains we have seen in CrystalDiskMark 3.0.1 x64 were much closer to the speeds of the Intel Series 311 SSD than they were to the WD Green Hard Drive.
When we fired up the ATTO Disk Benchmark, our results were quite comparable to the ones we saw with CrystalDiskMark. Looking at the 4MB test, the pair of drives combined in Maximized mode we saw a much more significant gain it the read rates than we did in the write. Compared to the WD Green hard drive the read rate was 87.6% faster when accelerated by the Intel Series 311 SSD. The Write speed was 21.4% faster.