6 Replies Latest reply on Mar 3, 2018 1:23 PM by N.Scott.Pearson

    RAM Disk for RST/SRT?

    MarieWatsons

      Hi all, I have a question about whether to a configuration.

        • 1. Re: RAM Disk for RST/SRT?
          MarieWatsons

          Sorry, my message is not finished. I am going to explain below.

           

          In my office, I have a computer which has been in service since 2011. Its general configuration:

          1. CPU: Intel Core i5-760

          2. MB: ASUS P7P55D-E (I guess the chipset is P55 in Intel's 5 Series. Please correct me if I am wrong.)

          3. RAM: 8GB (Corsair 2GB x 4)

          4. OS: Windows 7, 64-bit (Installed on C:\ partition of a HDD)

           

          Actually it has been working very fine since its day one, except in these few years I found that it has to wait for minutes while booting up and entering Windows, before its user can start working on it. About weeks ago, I discover an idle device in the office. It is a hardware RAMDisk/DDR-SSD called HyperDrive5M (Reference Link: http://www.hyperossystems.co.uk/07042003/products.htm). Together with all those DDR2 RAM sticks collected from the abandoned old computers in the office, I think I can configure a 12GB RAMDisk. I am wondering if this 12GB RAMDisk can be installed into the computer mentioned above for acceleration. Here are my questions and I am looking for your kind advice.

           

          Q1: With its SATA2 connection and power-off backup feature, if I setup this RAM drive as a secondary drive, can it act as a SSD to accelerate the OS that is already installed in HDD?

           

          Q2: I know there is a feature called Smart Response Technology (SRT) in Intel's RST. But from my finding, it seems it does not support the chipset P55 and it needs at least 18.6GB SSD space. Does it mean that there is no way SRT can be installed on the RAM drive to help acceleration in this case?

           

          Q3: From Q2, if SRT is really not feasible in this case, does it still beneficial to the system to install RST anyway?

           

          Q4: If the answer of Q3 is "Yes", to install RST in the RAM drive, does it mean I need to switch the connection of all computer's drive to RAID mode? And will it risk my existing OS and data stored in HDD?

           

          Thanks in advance.

          • 2. Re: RAM Disk for RST/SRT?
            Intel Corporation
            This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

            Hello MarieWatsons,

            I understand that you are interested in using Intel ® RST and also Intel ® SRT.

            Regarding that, please see the answers to your questions below: 

            Q1: We cannot guarantee you will be able to use RAM drive to accelerate the OS due to the chipset does not support Intel ® SMART Response Technology 
            Q2: Intel SMART Response Technology requires Intel 7 series chipsets or newer to work fine.
            Q3: If you do not have a RAID volume Intel RST will allow you to monitor status of the drives
            Q4: If you switch the SATA mode to RAID then the operating system needs to be reinstalled from scratch

            Hope you find this helpful.


            Regards,
            David V

            • 3. Re: RAM Disk for RST/SRT?
              N.Scott.Pearson

              I still have an X58 system running as well. Yes, it does take a long time to boot. No, there is not much you can do about it in a machine this old. This really shouldn't be an issue unless you are regularly shutting it down or rebooting it a lot. In that case, my question in this case is: Why? Mine runs for weeks at a time (with occasional reboots because of Microsoft Update installing security fixes or me installing driver/software updates).

               

              Here are my responses to your questions:

               

              1. No. SRT will only work with SATA-based SSDs (or SSHDs).
              2. Correct. The SRT feature was supported in 6 Series and later chipsets; 5 Series chipsets support RST but not SRT.
              3. There are people that argue that the Intel RST Storage driver is better performing than the default Storage driver provided by Microsoft. I personally have not found this to be compelling; performance appeared to be a wash. If you want to explore this for yourself and build your own opinion, change the SATA Mode in BIOS to RAID, install the O/S and then the RST package. If you never create any RAID arrays, the Intel RST Storage Driver will simply be used as a replacement for the Microsoft Storage driver.
              4. I sort of answered this in #3. Yes, I believe that, if you just want to use the Intel RST Storage Driver as a replacement for the Microsoft Storage Driver, you need to set the SATA Mode to RAID. There is no support for RST/SRT in AHCI mode.

               

              Hope this helps,

              ...S

              • 4. Re: RAM Disk for RST/SRT?
                MarieWatsons

                Thanks for your answers. It confirmed my assumption and SRT is not an option for such case. I probably will use the RAM drive for program caching or Window's page file. Thanks a lot.

                • 5. Re: RAM Disk for RST/SRT?
                  MarieWatsons

                  Thanks for your answer. After reading all the replies, I would rather use the RAM drive for program caching or OS's page file in Windows, since now I know SRT is not feasible in my case.

                   

                  About RST, I may consider after checking how much effort is required in order to switch to RAID.

                   

                  Finally, for your question on why shutting down or rebooting the computer, actually in my office, all computers assigned to the colleagues (i.e., except the server) are necessary to be shut down when they leave at the end of the day. And they will be switched on in the next morning when the colleagues are back for working. The admin of the company considers it as a practice for, such as, saving electricity (esp. for long leave during holiday), security issue (e.g., no one can access a switched off computer in off-hours outside the company), or something like that. Therefore, it is not my call but the company's policy.

                   

                  But after all, waiting for a few minutes every morning is not a big deal at this moment, as long as this computer is running smooth in the rest of the day. But if it gets worse in the future, we may consider adding a OS installed SSD to it. We have tried it before on another machine and it works fine to extend its life span.

                   

                  Again thanks a lot for your advice.

                  • 6. Re: RAM Disk for RST/SRT?
                    N.Scott.Pearson

                    The biggest issue in most X58 systems is that the chipset only supported SATA II (3 Gb/s). Unless a separate SATA III (6 Gb/s) controller is included on the motherboard (which is rare), you're stuck with only SATA II support. To extend the life of my X58 system, I wanted to add both a SATA III controller and a SSD. I found a PCIe card that provides a 2-port SATA III controller, allowing me to use SATA III to communicate with both the SSD and a 2TB data HHD. The card I purchased provides a location to mount the SSD directly to the card (avoiding the need for drive bay adapters, etc.) plus a separate SATA connector for a second drive. Here is the card that I purchased: Amazon.com: SEDNA PCIe SATA III SSD Adapter with additional SATA Port.

                     

                    it is important to note two things:

                     

                    1. It is important to purchase a card that provides a BIOS Boot ROM. This is crucial if you want to boot from the SSD.
                    2. While adding this card and SSD significantly sped up Windows 7 operations, it really did not result in any significant shortening of the overall power on and boot process. Most of the delay is in BIOS POST and thus occurs ahead of the actual Windows boot process.

                     

                    Hope this (also) helps,

                    ...S