7. Final words
The Synapse Cache Series is a SandForce-based SATA3 SSD with a software caching layer. The concept is not very different than Intel's Smart Response Technology, which also uses an SSD to accelerate your Z68-based system. However, the OCZ Synapse Cache is addresses to a wider audience since it can be used in any system that supports SATA the technology and run Windows 7 x32 or x64bit.
The Synapse series is aimed for caching and there is no reason to buy if you plan to use it as a typical SSD, without using the Dataplex software for caching. Priced at $155, it will cost you more than a typical 128GB SSD and will also offer you limited capacity as it uses half of the available NAND for overprovisioning. Our benchmarks with the SSD without using the Dataplex software revealed a typical behavior of a small Sandforce-based SSD, which behaves well while accessing compressible data and lags behind other SSDs with incompressible data.
The great things happen after installing the DataPlex software. It works silently in the background and keeps caching data that you are frequently using under Windows, for example, Chrome, gaming, office applications etc. 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 at and above the level of a PC running off an SSD. According to our tests, the Synapse Cache will give you a performance boost comparable or even higher that Intel's Smart Response Technology.
Unless you have a high performance SSD already installed as your primary drive, the OCZ Synapse Cache SSD is a great upgrade, which will offer the most noticeable overall performance increase to your Windows 7 system, while retaining the capacity of your mechanical drives.
+ High performance gain when paired with a traditional HDD drive
+ Faster than Intel Smart Response Technology
+ Can be used as a regular (no-cache) SSD drive
+ Can be used with all systems that support SATA2 (or SATA3) technology
+ Supports TRIM, SMART and 128/256-bit AES Encryption
+ Has a MTBF 2 million hours
+ Includes 3.5" mounting bracket
+ 3 years of warranty
- Available capacity is half than advertised
- Works only with as a primary (boot) drive
- DataPLex Software needs re-licencing in case you change system components
- Requires Windows 7 to operate
- Price could be lower for easier user adoption