9. Closing thoughts
The Crucial Adrenaline is a Marvell-based SATA3 SSD with a software caching layer. It has been designed to accelerate your Windows 7 PC system working in tandem with your existing HDD, offering you dramatically enhanced operations like boot, frequently used file/application loads - sometimes rivaling some SSDs.
Without the Dataplex software, the Adrenaline will generally offer high sequential readings and slower writings, especially with compressible ones. Generally, the drive us in line with the performance of a Crucial m4 64GB drive, which is 500MB/s & 95MB/s read/writes. Priced at $90, it will cost a little less than a typical 128GB SSD but you will still get limited capacity. In case you already own a Z68-based system with a non-cache solid-state drive, you may also prefer to take advantage of Intel's Smart Response Technology and enjoy high performance as well.
But without a doubt, the Adrenaline will offer the performance of an SSD to your PC system without the hassle of reinstalling your software. After some time using your system, the Dataplex caching will offer you improved boot times, your applications will run faster and snappier and your system - even if it uses an HDD as a boot disk - will perform almost 3X- faster than without the SSD.
While the Adrenaline does not always take the top spots away from the "rival" OCZ Synapse cache SSD, remember that Crucial's solution is backed by Micron, who makes both the the NAND and firmware. It is also is based on a Marvell controller - in case you need something other than a SandForce controller - and offers more usable cache space than similarly priced Corsair or OCZ caching solutions.
Unless you have a high-performance SSD already installed as your primary drive, the Crucial Adrenaline SSD is a great upgrade, which will offer the most noticeable overall performance increase to your Windows 7 system. For your peace of mind, they offer a three year warranty to cover all drive defects. And until larger SSDs become affordable to the masses, such a solid-state cache solution is a wise purchase.
- High performance gain when paired with a typical HDD drive
- Could be used without DataPlex software
- Can be used with all systems that support SATA2 (or SATA3) technology
- Supports TRIM
- Simple installation
- Includes 3.5" mounting bracket
- 3 years of warranty
- Generally slower than a standalone SSD
- DataPLex Software needs a new licence in case you change system components
- Compatible with Windows 7 OS only