Flash cache compatibility is Crucial to the Momentum of adoption

Subject: Storage | November 6, 2017 - 03:22 PM |
Tagged: crucial, Momentum Cache, NVMe, Crucial Storage Executive

The SSD Review noticed something very interesting in the latest update to Crucial's Storage Executive software, the Momentum Cache feature now works with a variety of non-Crucial NVMe SSDs.  The software allows your system to turn part of your RAM into a cache so that reads and writes can initially be sent to that cache which results in improved performance thanks to RAM's significantly quicker response time.  If you have a Crucial SSD installed as well as another NVMe SSD and are using the default Windows NVMe driver, you can set up caching on the non-Crucial SSD if you so desire.  Stop by for a look at the performance impact as well as a list of the drives which have been successfully tested.

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"Crucial’s Momentum Cache feature, part of Crucial Storage Executive, is unlocked for all NVMe SSDs, or at least the ones we have tested in our Z170 test system; the key here, of course, is that a compatible Crucial SSD must initially be on the system to enable this feature at all."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

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November 6, 2017 | 03:47 PM - Posted by James

This doesn’t seem like it should change performance much since the OS should already be keeping a lot of secondary storage in DRAM cache. Is windows not very good at this it’s something?

November 6, 2017 | 06:46 PM - Posted by DRAMsAsWriteCacheIsNotSoSafeWithoutBatteryBackup (not verified)

If It's DRAM Cache on the device then that's better but if it's in regular system DRAM then it's just a larger write buffer in memory and that's not so safe if the power goes out unexpectedly on a PC.

Really I'd rather see some XPoint Cache on the SSD itself and that NVM quality intrensic to XPoint there in case something goes wrong. Hell XPoint is denser than RAM even if it's a little slower and hopefully Micron will get some licensing wins with it's QuantX XPoint IP with the third party SSD driver makers like Crucial/Samsung/Others.

I'd rather that there be a new motherboard standard that provides a special MB socket/slot for NVM/XPont/Other NVM phase change IP so users could direct all their drive caching for Hard-drives/SSDs/SD-Cards/Thumb-drives and OS paging swap file space to the NVM/XPoint/Other NVM only Cache on a Motherboard NVM/XPoint chip and the OS in charge of caching from there for any drives plugged in locally to the PC/Laptop.

Laptops are a little safer than PC's with respect to power outages as laptop automatically switch to battery power but PC's need some form of UPS if drive memory cacheing into regular system DRAM is used. And the drive's middle-ware doing all that system DRAM caching better have some form of transactional atmoics drive write recording capabilities to try and reconsturct larger amounts of lost data write transactions if the power fails and a lot of DRAM cached writes are lost.

Crucial's Storage Executive software(middle-ware) better have some form of write transactional atomics and meta file recording of write transictions to system DRAM not yet written to any NVM/SSD or that's going to not be for any business dependent usage without the PC having UPS power backup. The more writes cached to system DRAM on a PC the more infromation/write transactions lost if the power goes out nad there is no UPS installed.

November 7, 2017 | 03:29 PM - Posted by Photonboy

I observe NO DIFFERENCE when I use the Samsung version of this, aside from benchmarks that are misleading when the feature is on.

SSD's already have a cache in them that stores data temporarily before writing to the slower main memory, so you need to fill that up to have any benefit from a DDR3/4 secondary cache.

Exactly what situations benefit?

Are there links to examples of it working with "proof" because I've looked and never found any, nor observed any benefit (though again probably not doing anything stressful enough in terms of sustained writes/reads which may need to write one SSD to another?)

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