Everything You Need to Know about Intel's New Z68 Chipset

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Restposten

Very interesting discussion glad that I came across such informative post. Keep up the good work friend. Glad to be part of your net community.

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Gunslinger11b

I just built a new system with an Asus P8Z68-V Pro board, a 1TB hard drive and a 64GB SSD. Since I'm new to SRT I didn't set the SATA mode to RAID before I installed Windows 7 Home Premium. When I try to set SATA mode to RAID now Windows won't boot. Is there a way to set up SRT short of an operating system reinstall?

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ALTRego

Hir Gordon, Thank you for the excellent review of the Z68 chipset and features.  I was wondering if you could test the SRT feature using an SSD as the main and another for the cache?  Thank you again.

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Philips

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iceman08

I know its an older article, but will z68 boards support Ivy Bridge?

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gordonung

Yes.

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stevenbatl

Reading this article gives me the impression that you can install the SSD for caching later. Is that possible? When initially setting up the PC with one drive, would I have to set the controller to RAID or would I start out with AHCI and then change it to RAID when I'm ready to add the SSD?

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maleficarus™

Even though I made a comment about this chipset not being that exciting I went and bought the Asus P8Z68-V PRO regardless as I was looking to upgrade anyway. Nice board!!

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Dave_MaxPC

Perhaps I missed the comparison, but is there much of a difference between having a SSD as the primary drive with OS installed and HDD as secondary drive vs. the primary drive being the HDD while the SSD is dedicated to the SRT?  It seems intuitive to me it would still make sense to just have the SSD as the OS drive unless I'm missing something.  Or does it only make sense if your SSD isn't big enough to be the primary OS drive?

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gordonung

Yes, the highest performnace willl always be from running a standalone SSD for primary boot/OS duties. The standard setup, SSD and secondary HDD, also doesn't have to cache anything to gain the performance of the SRT. Remember, you have to load it once for the SRT to cache it to the drive the first time. SRT is mostly intended for those who don't have large drives or can't afford them. A 240GB Vertex 3, while very nice, is still, what $500? However, I really do think SRT has utility for those who really don't like to have to deal with managing data. 

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Pball1224

It does not make sense to me why a power loss would cause data loss, this sounds like bad implementation of the technology to me. An SSD is persistent... why hasn't the setup been made smart enough so that upon system startup, if unwritten data exists in the SSD's write cache, then it is taken care of? I'm also curious why there's a 64GB cap, that's a little disapointing.

Now I wonder what would happen if someone set this up, and was also still trying to use win7's ReadyBoost, would win7 realize that pulling files from the HDD could actually be faster than the thumdrive, or would it still try to pull from the thumb drive? Something I'll probably never know the answer to...

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win7fanboi

Hmm.. Good point. I am sure the guys at Intel thought about this when they came up with the chipset but with write caching enabled they recommend that you use UPS. With SSD I wonder if there is a difference (advantage/disadvantage). Since it makes you switch to RAID I have a feeling that it will be more of a pain to recover your data if you have a powerloss/drive faliure. I could be wrong though. Also I don't know if the backup programs will work normally(especially the older version) since some let you create a partition, move stuff over and queue other operations, when you apply the changes it goes to work, reboots and grabs the drive before windows does. What if the SSD is trying to flush the changes to the drive but the file/folder is somehow locked. Please let us know if you find out more (although thanks to MPC I just finished my first build few weeks back - Sandy Bridge 2600K so am not looking to upgrade anytime soon).

Thanks

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gordonung

 

Here is the official response to your concern over file backups. It is as we thought, you are fine with any file-based backup tools that most of us run. If you run imaging-type backups, you'll need to run in Enhanced Mode, not Maximized Mode

 

"Intel® Smart Response Technology in either Enhanced or Maximized mode is fully compatible with backup tools that operate at the file system or volume level in Windows, or DOS. An example of this would be the Windows built-in backup tools.  Standalone backup and disk imaging tools that boot  versions of Linux and other operating systems that are not cache aware and therefore not compatible and should only be used with Intel® Smart Response Technology configured in Enhanced Mode."

 

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gordonung

Yes, you are correct. Recovering data would be a little more work then running a standard HDD-only or standard SSD only configuration. Let's say your machine's mobo blew up. To move your setup, you would have to move both the HDD and SSD that supports SRT to have a near uninterrupted recovery. With an HDD or SSD, you can drop it into any machine, reboot and hopefully Win7 will boot with the new hardware without a BSOD. 

 

And yes, a UPS is recommended as having a power outage while it's syncing a few MB of data would be pretty bad. For those folks, the Enhanced mode is probably recommended.

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win7fanboi

I think the biggest potential issue with SRT was overlooked. Backup. Its great that your OS is on a mashup drive but what happens when you favorite backup player tried to perform backup and some files that were modified are in the cache? What about when you want to move to a bigger SSD and try to clone the SSD? Lot of unanswered question (I really haven't cared to research). I am sure there will be ways to perform a backup of the drive but I wouldn't be one of the first ones to jump in with both feet until I knew the answer to some of these questions.

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gordonung

I do not believe it would be an issue. You cannot directly access cached data directly. A backup, would ask for a file and the SRT/RST would hand over a file. If it's in the cache, great, it gets read faster. If not, it comes from the hard drive. I am checking with Intel but I'm pretty sure there is no issue with doing a backup. In other words, think of the cache in your hard drive. It has a 32MB or 64MB cache. There is no risk of anything getting out of sync. 

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maleficarus™

Dosen't really seem to be that exciting of a chipset to me...

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Ryyan

" Since the Vertex 3 is SATA 3Gb/s, we also made sure it was running off of the Intel PCH’s SATA 6GB/s controller."

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gordonung

Fixed.

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d3v

Isn't IPT a privacy risk?

I bet SSD caching will be mainstream in ivy bridge chipsets.

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gordonung

I'm not fully abrest of all of the IPT features but I do not think so. It's not like the aborted processor serial number on the Pentium III. I believe the CPU works with the chipset to generate random passwords that can be used as one-time passwords. So, when a web site or service asks you to generate a one-time password to be used along with your password, the CPU/chipset generates a random number which is used to authenticate who you are. So, let's say you go to your bank, it asks you for your normal log in plus your one-time password that can only be generated by your CPU/chipset. If someone stole your info, they still could not access your account.

 

I would only think that it is a privacy risk if all web sites could check your identity without asking which I don't believe is how IPT works.

 

Of course, I could be completely wrong about how IPT works.

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