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I intend to setup a new computer with Windows 8.1/x64 using the following disks:

  • 2 2TB rotating disk drives
  • 1 or 2 SSDs (1x240GB or 2x120GB)

I need your help to decide whether to buy 1 or 2 SSDs, depending on whether my intended way of partitioniong/formatting the disks is supported with readyboost.

I understand Windows 8.1 will support REFS and readyboost, so I plan as follows:

  1. partition the 240GB SSD into 1x60GB and 1x180 GB
  2. install windows on the 60GB SSD partition using NTFS
  3. format the 180GB SSD partition with REFS as a data/application volume
  4. create a storage space from the 2 2TB disks
  5. format the storage space with REFS as a 2TB resilient (raid1 like) data/archive volume

  6. arrange a readyboost cache file for the 2TB REFS volume on the 180GB SSD REFS volume

  7. in future add more storage space/REFS volumes and also readyboost those with additional cache files on the 180GB SSD REFS volume

Can anyone tell me whether this is possible ?

Please NOTE that

I am interrested only in whether steps 6) and/or 7) are possible.

I am not interrested in alternatives, as I already have a long list of those ... ... for example otherwise I'd have to buy a smaller system/data SSD and one dedicated readyboost SSD, but I'd prefer to use only one data center grade SSD (Samsung SM843T)

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2 Answers

If you have a SSD, ReadyBoost is useless. The idea of readyboot is to cache small files to a flash based medium which has a fast access time so that traditional HDDs don't need load them (which often causes this HDD trashing sound). The main advantage of a SSD is that the random read is extremly fast, so ReadyBoost is not needed any longer.

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I'd rather like to see this answer deleted. The statement is irrelevant to my question and I even consider it contradictory/false: I intend to cache (on the SSD) the large amount of small files which will reside in subdirectories together with very large files on the 2TB rotational disks. How does 'having an SSD' automatically cache files from rotating disks on that SSD? Readyboost could do that and that's what I aim for. I.e. readyboost is only 'not needed any longer' if no small files are waiting to be cached from rotating disks. –  ThK Jul 24 '13 at 11:39
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After reading multiple information sources about readyboost with a different focus I start getting the impression that THE MOST IMPORTANT FACT IS NEVER CLEARLY STATED: readyboost can only be configured to cache WHERE but NOT to cache WHAT. I.e. if there is one SSD partition providing a readyboost cache, then it CANNOT be prevented that it is caching data from ANOTHER SSD partition. Is that true? That realy would void my initial plan. –  ThK Jul 24 '13 at 12:12
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I think you're misunderstanding what ReadyBoost is: it's a method for the operating system to automatically cache copies frequently used files on a faster removable storage to mitigate the slower read speed of spinning disks. It's not a replacement for the paging file, and you can't manually select which files are cached, Windows will decide this for itself over time.

I think you need to look at Tiering in Storage Spaces, which can combine SSD and HDD storage devices in to a single pool, allowing the SSD to store the 'hot' data (access more frequently) to optimise access times. This can be done automatically, but it also has the ability for you to manually 'pin' frequently used files to the faster SSD storage.

This feature is available in Windows Server 2012 R2, but of the top of my head I don't know if it is in Windows 8.1?

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