OCZ this week unveiled its Synapse Cache Series 2.5-inch solid state drive family. These aren't like most other SSDs in that they're not meant to stand on their own two feet. With the aid of built-in Dataplex cache software, OCZ's Synapse Series works alongside your existing hard drive and intercepts frequently accessed data to speed up system performance.
That sounds an awful lot like a hybrid HDD/SSD solution, and in a way, that's precisely what it is. The only difference here is that the Synapse is a standalone SSD and isn't built into a specific hard drive, so it's ready to rock and roll with whichever mechanical HDD you already have installed in your system.
"The industry has shown that it craves the performance advantages that SSDs provide, however, many users still value the high capacities associated with HDDs," said Tobias Brinkmann, Director of Product Management, OCZ Technology Group. "We see the Synapse Cache SSDs integrated with Dataplex software as a big win for a large number of customers who value SSD performance but still require HDD capacity. We are proud to be the first to offer this no-compromise approach to enabling high-performance and high-capacity storage for virtually any PC platform."
Advanced caching algorithms comprise OCZ's Dataplex software, which is supposed to learn user behavior and adapt accordingly. So called "hot" data, or the most frequently used data, gets shoveled over to the Synapse SSD where performance improves over time. OCZ's internal benchmarking revealed the following gains in PCMark Vantage.
The Synapse Cache series employs multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash memory and will be available in 64GB (up to 550MBs read, up to 490MB/s write, 75,000 random write 4K IOPS) and 128GB (up to 550MB/s read, up to 512MB/s write, 80,000 random write 4K IOPS) capacities. No word on price or when they will ship.