For this review, we will be testing the SanDisk ReadyCache using our storage testbed, but with a few tweaks. Here’s the specifications of our testbed:
- Intel Core i5-2400 (3.1GHz)
- MSI Z68A-GD80 (Intel Z68 chipset)
- 2 x 4GB DDR3-1600 memory
- MSI GeForce 8600 GTS
- Windows 7
To test how effective the SanDisk ReadyCache is, we’ll be using a few variations. First, we’ll obtain a baseline score using our storage testbed and an ordinary Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB HDD. We will then use this along with the SanDisk ReadyCache SSD to see how much of a performance gain we can get. Next, we’ll see how this setup performs with Intel's Larson Creek kit. Larson Creek is Intel's own kit that took advantage of its Smart Response Technology and was released earlier with the Z68 chipset.
Additionally, to see how a traditional hard disk and SanDisk ReadyCache combo matches up against a pure SSD solution, we’ll mate our testbed with a 240GB Intel SSD 520 Series SSD - one of the finest enthusiast-grade consumer SSDs in the market today. Finally, as a sort of a wild card entry, we also paired the Intel SSD 520 Series with the SanDisk ReadyCache SSD. It’ll be interesting to see if this setup can net any performance gains.
To summarize, here are the different setups we will be testing:
- HDD (baseline)
- HDD + Intel Larson Creek
- HDD + SanDisk ReadyCache SSD
- SSD + SanDisk ReadyCache SSD
To test the performance of our various setups, we will be using a combination of benchmarks and timing tests. We will benchmark the setups using PC Mark 7. We will also time the system’s boot up and restart times, and the time it takes to open Adobe Photoshop CS6. Finally, the last test we would conduct is to time how long it takes for the system to load the S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat benchmark.
While testing the setups that were boosted by the SanDisk ReadyCache SSD and Larson Creek, we made sure to run them at least twice to ensure they are "cached" before taking their results.
As mentioned, here's the list of benchmarks and tests we will be using and conducting:
- Futuremark PC Mark 7
- Cold start timing
- Reboot timing
- Adobe Photoshop CS6 start-up time
- S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat start-up time