As we found out in our Z68 review, Intel's SRT (SSD Caching) is basically a software tool baked into Intel's RST driver - there's no real hardware requirement in the chipset, just an artificial one. Diskeeper provides OEMs with software that's designed to do the same thing, it's called ExpressCache.

The driver loads at boot and can apparently speed up boot time. Like Intel's SRT it will filter out some operations to avoid polluting the cache (e.g. sequential accesses). Unlike SRT you can manually pin applications to the cache. Ultimately how well it performs will be up to the algorithms Diskeeper implemented.

The company was present at SanDisk's booth showing a quick boot time demo with an 8GB SanDisk SSD used as an ExpressCache vs. a standard 5400 RPM HDD. Obviously the SSD enabled solution was faster.
 
OEMs are expected to start shipping SanDisk + ExpressCache systems this year.
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  • aya2work - Wednesday, June 1, 2011 - link

    Anand, it'll be interesting to compare SRT Z68 caching with HighPoint RocketHybrid 1220. For example Toms Hardware tested it here:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/rockethybrid-1...

    But more interesting to see your review and test :) (for example, I think your idea to include in tests raptor drive are brilliant :))
    Reply
  • void2 - Wednesday, June 1, 2011 - link

    So you need an SSD plus paid software to actually get worse boot time than with free and software-only Boot Cooler (http://www.bootcooler.com)? Its just great.

    The problem is not with system boot time, it's with application launch times. This is where SSDs shine best (although adding more RAM and relying on SuperFetch etc may still be better investment)
    Reply
  • Zap - Wednesday, June 1, 2011 - link

    This seems quite flexible. Obviously the 8GB cache is smaller than the minimum 20GB that Intel requires, plus of course no artificial limitation to a certain chipset.

    I wonder how much this will cost (if available stand-alone) plus of course how much extra it will make motherboards as part of a bundle?
    Reply
  • Psignosys - Tuesday, September 4, 2012 - link

    In order for caching to work.. you need to "warm up" the cache right? So they must have pre-ran the workload(s) in order to see the benefit...

    that's like warming up a shitty car before you are about to show it for a potential sale... of course starting the ignition after warm up is gonna start up smoothly...
    So, the buyer thinks that the car has no issues... but of course hes not happy when he starts the car on a cold start...

    So I have to pre-run all of my apps to see benefit? Meh... no thanks... I'd rather pay the extra dollars for an SSD than have another tray icon on the task bar
    Reply

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