In our past SSD articles, we've focused a great deal on SSDs targeting the high end enthusiast market. It's no doubt that they're speed demons, but as we all know, in the computer hardware market you pay premiums for things like higher capacity and top end performance.
Today we're going to the opposite end of the spectrum as far as SSDs go. Most of our readers are familiar with the OCZ Technology, a company with beginnings in the DRAM market, but a name now synonymous with power supplies and solid state drives. In the world of solid state drives, OCZ covers the whole spectrum including products targetting the enterprise market and performance enthusiasts. The product we'll be examining is one of their entry level mainstream products, the Synapse Cache solid state drive.
What makes this product interesting is it's paired with a piece of software from NVELO called Dataplex. When combining OCZ's Synapse Cache drive with Dataplex, the idea is that users will get to experience the performance benefits of a pure SSD while enjoying the storage capacity of an existing hard drive. Dataplex monitors a user's behaviour and caches frequently used data on the Synapse SSD so that it's available for quick access.
• MLC NAND Flash
While the Synapse Cache drive isn't utilized the same way as a traditional solid state drive, the differences lie primarily on the software side of things. Physically, the Synapse Cache drive looks like any other SSD in OCZ's current lineup. The same two piece metal & plastic enclosure is used across all of OCZ's current generation of SSDs, with only the label differentiating between the different models.
The Synapse Cache drive fits in the 2.5" drive form factor with a 9mm height. There are mounting holes on the bottom and sides of the drive at standard locations. Included in the package is a 3.5" adapter for mounting, should your case not have provision for mounting 2.5" drives.
The bottom of the drive has two stickers. One is an OCZ sticker with drive identifiers, and the other is a license key for the included NVELO Dataplex caching software (more on that later). Standard sized SATA data and power connectors are used for the Synapse Cache drive.