6 Replies Latest reply on Oct 23, 2017 11:12 AM by Intel Corporation

    Would like simplified explanation of cache mode and flushing options




      For starters, I work in application/software in the IT department of a midsized company, but my hardware knowledge is more at the "tinkerer" level. I try things to see how they work, even if I don't "need" them.  So, I have a mix of deep knowledge and newbie knowledge, depending on the area.


      I have a desktop PC that I built in 2012 with an Asus Sabertooth z77 motherboard, running Windows 10.  I have two 1 terabyte HDD in mirrored RAID config and two 500 gb SSDs also in mirrored RAID.  Not necessarily for a particular reason other than to have redundancy and "just because" and "because I wanted to learn how to do it in my free time."  So that's what I have.


      Along the way in the last couple of weeks after I replaced a SSD that was failing, I noticed in the Rapid Storage Technology configuration the options for write cache buffer flushing and cache mode and wondered if I should do anything with them.  Reading more, I saw that under Windows Device Manager, the same settings appear, but do not match the settings in Intel RST.


      I've been Googling, looking at forums, etc., and have started to understand what it all actually means, but I feel like I haven't found a great beginner's overview to what these do or what I should have mine set at.  Just piecing it together from various responses to other people's questions that are more specific problems/errors, rather than a general question about what it means.


      I'm happy with system performance/speed right now, and I'm generally more interested in reliability/stability than minor incremental improvements in performance right now.


      Right now, Windows has both RAID arrays set for: enable write caching on this device (checked), and turn off Windows write cache buffer flushing (unchecked)

      Intel RST has Cache Mode (Off) and buffer flushing (enabled)


      So, TLDR, in regards to cache mode and buffer flushing:


      1. Why don't the cache mode and buffer flushing settings match between Windows device manager and Intel RST, does this matter, and which one wins/controls?

      2. Does anyone have a good "for dummies" explanation of what these settings really do?

      3. Should I care at this point how these are set or just leave well-enough alone for now?


      Thanks very much to all who take time to help out on issues like mine!