Intel 311 Larson Creek 20GB SLC SSD Review

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Intel’s Smart Response Technology

By the time I got an Intel Z68 Express chipset platform and the Intel 311 ‘Larson Creek’ 20GB Solid-State Drive (SSD) up and running, Joe Evans already had his article dealing with Intel’s Smart Response Technology (SRT) completed. I was going to hurry up and run some benchmarks of Larson Creek to include in his article, but we had two totally different platforms and rather than confuse people I held onto the numbers and tried to think outside the box for an article I could do using this new SSD. Companies absolutely hate when you think outside of the box as PR people always want you to follow the dotted line that makes their products look the best. Every so often we like to go off the beaten path, to see how something works when you don’t read the instructions or try something that you aren’t told to do. Today, I am going off the beaten path to show you some things about Intel SRT that you might be wondering about, but more than likely haven’t seen the answer to.

Gigabyte GA-Z68-UD3H-B3 Test System

To test out Intel SRT you have to have an Intel Z68 Express chipset, so I built up system around the Gigabyte GA-Z68-UD3H-B3 motherboard. I tried to build it up like a gamer/enthusiast would, so here is what I ended up with.

  • Processor: Intel Core i7-2600k
  • CPU Cooler: Intel DHX-B (BXXTS100H)
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z68-UD3H-B3
  • Memory: Kingston 8GB HyperX T1 Black DDR3 1600MHz
  • Hard Drive: WD VelociRaptor 600GB
  • Caching SSD: Intel 311 20GB / Firmware 02M5
  • Power Supply: Corsair HX850W
  • Operating System: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit

So, what am I going to do with this system? Well, for starters I am going to go over the new Larson Creek SSD. Then I’m going to go into installation information including how to convert an AHCI OS install over to a RAID install with some registry edits.  After that I’m going to test the performance of of the hard drive and the SSD by themselves and then with SSD caching enabled in both enhanced and maximum modes. Then I’m going to try out SSD caching on an SSD instead of a hard drive, so sit back and get ready to absorb some information!

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