We have in our labs an SSD developed by Crucial, designed for accelerating your PC by taking advantage the fast read and write features of flash memory. Designed to work in conjunction with your standard hard disk drives (HDDs), the Crucial Adrenaline SSD is optimized for caching applications and files that you are frequently using in your daily tasks and provide you with SSD-level performance across the entire capacity of the HDD.
The SSD can work in any Windows 7 PC system without any demanding hardware requirements. The "caching" operation is controlled by a software and not your PC's hardware i.e. chipset, as you need in other caching solutions such as Intel's RST.
The SSD integrates the Dataplex caching software to dynamically manage the use of both SSD and HDD. This combination creates an environment where the most frequently used "hot" data stays on the ultra-fast SSD, while the "cold" data remains on your larger capacity HDD. Caching algorithms learn user behavior and adapt storage policies to ensure optimal performance for each individual user, maximizing productivity for the most demanded programs and applications. Crucial claims that the Adrenaline SSD enables your Windows 7-based PC to start up twice as fast and boosts access speed to data by up to 8 times.
While other caching SSDs such as the OCZ Synapse and Corsair Accelerator come in multiple capacity points, the Adrenaline comes in one 50GB capacity with a street price of $90. Crucial's solution is also based on the Marvell 9174 controller inside, while the other two leverage SandForce. So Crucial's SSD may be negated by the Marvell controller's ability to work well with incompressible data sets, but we'll see more on this one later during our tests.
Crucial Adrenaline is also simple upgrade that allows you to keep your existing hard drive, eliminating the hassle of transferring files and programs. Simply connect the SSD to your motherboard with a standard SATA cable, start the computer, and then install the caching software. Fully automated, the software then runs in the background and requires no user management.
Comprising a 50GB Crucial m4 SSD, a 3.5" adapter bracket, SATA cable and Dataplex software, Crucial Adrenaline is backed by a three-year limited warranty.
||SATA 6Gb/s (SATA 3Gb/s compatible)
||up to 500MB/s
||up to 95MB/s
|4K Random Read/Write
||45K / 20K IOPS
||ATA-8 w/TRIM, SMART Command Support, High-speed Micron Synchronous MLC NAND
||50GB allocated for caching, 14GB provisioned for performance optimization