Samsung's caching technology unlocks an insane speed boost on select SSDs
One thing we didn't cover in Samsung's earlier unveiling of a 1TB 840 Evo mSATA solid state drive (SSD) is the immediate availability of the company's Magician (version 4.3) software. This is notable because it introduces two big upgrades to Samsung's current SSD product lineup, including RAPID (Real-time Accelerated Processing of I/O Data) Mode for Samsung's 840 Pro family of SSDs, and a security features for the company's Evo SSD line. It's the RAPID Mode that really excites us, however, as it offers a significant speed boost to an already insanely fast SSD lineup.
We touched on this technology in our examination of Samsung's standard size Evo 1TB review back in July, but to recap, what it does is a take a portion of the host system's DRAM and CPU and uses those resources for caching purposes.
"RAPID Mode performs host level read acceleration and write optimization by utilizing free DRAM system memory and is designed to dramatically increase overall PC performance," Samsung says. "Previously only available on the 840 Evo, bringing this to the 840 Pro will enable current and future 840 Pro users to achieve storage subsystem performance faster than the SATA 3.0 interface allows."
What kind of speed boost? Samsung says by enabling RAPID Mode, users will see over 1,000MB/s sequential read speeds, or twice that of typical high-performance SATA SSD (and tens that of an average HDD), in certain situations. It achieves this by caching frequently used files in system memory. You can switch the mode on and off in software, but since it only requires 50MB of RAM and an 840 Pro or Evo drive to be activated, you might as well leave it on.
As for the security upgrade, the Magician software also enables TCG/OPAL on Samsung 840 Evo SSDs, It's a security specification defined by Trusted Computing Group that allows for better manageability and multi-level authentication.