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I am looking forward to buy a laptop and while configuring online from HP's site for model dv6tqe

https://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/shopping/cart_detail.do?pageLink=true&bvLoadCart=1&action=add&disp_msg=0

one of the configuration option was

32GB mSSD Hard Drive Acceleration Cache and it costs $50

I have no idea what mSSD Hard Drive Acceleration Cache is used for and how it will improve the performance of the laptop.

for hard drive there are two options I can choose

  1. 5400 RPM 1TB hard drive
  2. 160 GB SSD for $200

is mSSD Hard Drive Acceleration Cache of no use if i choose to include SSD drive?

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3 Answers 3

The 32 GB mSSD is used to cache frequently used data and program files, speeding up access to them. Essentially it works the same as hybrid drives like the Momentus XT, except the cache is larger.
Edit: I believe it's basically an implementation of Intel's Smart Response Technology, the successor to Intel Turbo Memory.

If you choose an SSD for primary storage, then the cache is probably useless, yes, unless you can somehow use it as a regular hard drive, in which case it's up to you to decide whether 32 GB of extra solid-state storage is worth $50.

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I think calling SRT the 'successor' to Turbo Memory is a bit of an understatement, but I guess it's technically accurate. :) –  Shinrai May 16 '12 at 14:40

The operating system is stored on the 32GB mSSD flash memory. This enables the PC to boot up in seconds rather than minutes.

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My guess is that they build in a small SSD (likely the equivalent of an SD card) to be used as a cache.

The thing is that Windows 7, and later Linux kernels can use the SD card as a cache for commonly used small files.

Where this helps is in reducing latency on reads. So for example, there may be hundreds to thousands of small DLL files needed to start and run the OS, but they are scattered all over the disk. Regardless of defragmentation, they still need to be found each time.

An SD card might not be all that super fast on reads, compared to a 15K spinning drive, however the seek time is still WAY faster.

With Win 7, all you need to do, to do this on your own is pop in an SD card, a USB stick, whatever, and one of the options you will get asked, is whether you wish to use ReadyBoost, and if so, how much space on the device do you wish to use. It makes a monolithic ReadyBoost file as big as you specify.

However I have heard that the benefit does not help much beyond 2-4 GB. So for the price of a 4 GB SD card (less than $5 around here) you can test this performance booster.

If you already have an SSD drive for the boot driver, then Windows will not offer ReadyBoost as it offers no benefit in that use case.

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Even a budget SSD will have a MUCH greater transfer rate than an SD card –  Hugoagogo May 31 '12 at 8:37
    
@Hugoagogo The key point is, that if your machine has an SD Card reader, you can pop in a $5 4GB SD card (get a Class 10 if you can, unlikely to be $5 at that point) and get a performance boost right away. Of course an SSD is faster, but also costs a lot more. And to get a benefit would require moving stuff or reinstalling. –  geoffc May 31 '12 at 14:41
    
There are a few systems now where you run with the SSD as a cache in much the same way as you described ready boost, intel SRT is one such solution and as far as i can find does not require a reinstall –  Hugoagogo Jun 1 '12 at 9:42

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