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System Builder Install/HP 32GB mSSD HDD Acceleration Cache

  1. #1


    Posts : 2,156
    Win7 Ult on DIY; Win8 Pro on MBP/Parallels; Win7 Ult on MBP/Boot Camp; Win7 Ult/Win8 Pro on HP

    System Builder Install/HP 32GB mSSD HDD Acceleration Cache


    HP Envy Ultrabook 4t-1200 comes with:
    a. 500 GB HDD and
    b. 32GB m(SATA)SSD Hard-Drive Acceleration Cache.

    Does anyone know how this setup works? Specifically, what would happen if I installed system builder software--obliterating the OEM Win8 install in the process. Would the hard-drive acceleration cache function automatically? Could it be made to function?

    In this regard, think about the way ready boost works. You choose to use, for example, a flash drive to serve essentially the same function as the hard-drive acceleration cache. In the first case, the OS (plus a driver), not OEM proprietary software (plus a driver), governs whether ready boost is to function. I am trying to figure out what governs whether HP's mSSD hard-drive functions. Is it an OS/driver combination, HP OEM proprietary software (plus a driver), or something else.

    Note that I have not yet found an explanation on the HP site. Still looking.

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  2. #2


    We have some Dell XPS 14's at work that utilize this exact same setup. A 32gb caching drive, as well as a 500GB standard mechanical hard drive. Like all machines at work, i played with the default setup a bit to figure out if everything was working and then proceeded to format and reinstall the operating system.

    In order to have this combination work, you have to have the BIOS set to use the Intel Smart Response Technology enabled, and once the OS is installed, you have to install the Intel Rapid Start Technology Driver.

    With the Dell, the 32GB SSD was broken down into an 8GB OEM hibernation partition and the remaining space was dedicated to the caching portion. When I reloaded my OS, i simply ignored the SSD entirely and deleted the partitions on the 500GB SSD and recreated a partition on the 500GB drive in which to install Windows.

    Once Windows was running, I installed the Intel Rapid Storage software (iRST). I went in and clicked on the SSD and choose to "Enable" acceleration. That was all there was to it.


    You might find this whitepaper interesting, it's what I found on the Dell website when I was investigating these technologies;
    Dell Whitepaper: Intel Responsiveness Technologies Setup Guide - Direct2Dell - Direct2Dell - Dell Community
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  3. #3


    Posts : 2,156
    Win7 Ult on DIY; Win8 Pro on MBP/Parallels; Win7 Ult on MBP/Boot Camp; Win7 Ult/Win8 Pro on HP


    What a great reply. Thank you very much. Given your reply, I found what's below for the machine of interest on the HP site. And, given the iRST, the acceleration cache drives are "turned on" akin to the way ready-boost is "turned on."


    Intel Rapid Storage Technology Driver
    2013-01-14 , Version:11.5.12.1002, 5.29M
    This package contains the Intel Rapid Storage Technology Driver for the supported notebook models and operating systems. The Intel Rapid Storage Technology is designed to provide functionality for the ... (More details)
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  4. #4


    Posts : 2,156
    Win7 Ult on DIY; Win8 Pro on MBP/Parallels; Win7 Ult on MBP/Boot Camp; Win7 Ult/Win8 Pro on HP


    @pparks1

    Should have ask. Do you have a feel for whether or not the SSD hard-drive acceleration caches are effective in accelerating.
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  5. #5


    They do help, however they are nowhere near as effective as a straight up SSD drive. We moved away from the XPS 14's with the combo drives, and have moved to the new Latitude 6430u's which offer a 256GB m-sata drive.
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  6. #6


    Posts : 2,156
    Win7 Ult on DIY; Win8 Pro on MBP/Parallels; Win7 Ult on MBP/Boot Camp; Win7 Ult/Win8 Pro on HP


    Thanks much. Suspected as much.
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  7. #7


    Posts : 2,156
    Win7 Ult on DIY; Win8 Pro on MBP/Parallels; Win7 Ult on MBP/Boot Camp; Win7 Ult/Win8 Pro on HP


    @pparks1

    If still around (sure you know), but please consider the following (Fast Startup - Turn On or Off in Windows 8):

    "Fast Startup (aka: hybrid boot or hybrid Shutdown) is a new feature in Windows 8 to help your PC start up faster after shutting down. When turned on, Windows 8 does this by using a hybrid shutdown (a partial hibernate) method that saves only the kernal session and device drivers (system information) to the hibernate (hiberfil.sys) file on disk instead of closing it when you shut down your PC. This also makes the hiberfil.sys file to be much smaller than what hibernate would use (often 4GB or more). When you start your PC again, Windows 8 uses that saved system information to resume your system instead of having to do a cold boot to fully restart it. Using this technique with boot gives a significant advantage for boot times, since reading the hiberfile in and reinitializing drivers is much faster on most systems (30-70% faster on most systems tested). If you have a motherboard with UEFI, then fast startup will be even faster."

    How well do you think the SSD acceleration cache would work for me, relative to an SSD, if I turned fast startup off, and I used hibernate. Note that on a Win8 computer, I tend to use very few instructions (e.g., word, excel, Chrome, Office photo viewer, general system operations, etc.).
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  8. #8


    Quote Originally Posted by znod View Post
    "Fast Startup (aka: hybrid boot or hybrid Shutdown) is a new feature in Windows 8 to help your PC start up faster after shutting down. When turned on, Windows 8 does this by using a hybrid shutdown (a partial hibernate) method that saves only the kernal session and device drivers (system information) to the hibernate (hiberfil.sys) file on disk instead of closing it when you shut down your PC.
    Yes, I make use of this feature on my laptop. It really helps speed up the boot time, even with an SSD.

    Quote Originally Posted by znod View Post
    This also makes the hiberfil.sys file to be much smaller than what hibernate would use (often 4GB or more).
    Um, not in my experience. With 16GB of RAM, my hiberfil.sys is around 13.5GB.


    Quote Originally Posted by znod View Post
    When you start your PC again, Windows 8 uses that saved system information to resume your system instead of having to do a cold boot to fully restart it. Using this technique with boot gives a significant advantage for boot times, since reading the hiberfile in and reinitializing drivers is much faster on most systems (30-70% faster on most systems tested). If you have a motherboard with UEFI, then fast startup will be even faster."
    My laptop has UEFI and I've got it setup and am using it. It did make a difference with my startups. Mine is around 30% faster.

    Quote Originally Posted by znod View Post
    How well do you think the SSD acceleration cache would work for me, relative to an SSD, if I turned fast startup off, and I used hibernate. Note that on a Win8 computer, I tend to use very few instructions (e.g., word, excel, Chrome, Office photo viewer, general system operations, etc.).
    On a straight up system with an SSD, with fast startup enabled...I don't use hibernate at all. I simply shut off the computer.

    On the XPS 14 machines, I also enabled the Intel Rapid Start system which is like hibernate, but it's part of the Intel toolkit which allows the box to suspend directly to that SSD cache drive and then the box powers off. So, it's faster to resume than hibernate. Intel says it's about 2x faster than Microsoft hibernate. I don't know if it's 2x faster, but it certainly IS quicker.
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  9. #9


    Posts : 2,156
    Win7 Ult on DIY; Win8 Pro on MBP/Parallels; Win7 Ult on MBP/Boot Camp; Win7 Ult/Win8 Pro on HP


    Thanks much; I'll keep those things in mind.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

System Builder Install/HP 32GB mSSD HDD Acceleration Cache
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