Mushkin Announces Catalyst Cache SSD

133a Mushkin Announces Catalyst Cache SSD

Mushkin may not be the first to the market with cache-SSDs, but its latest Catalyst series seeks to address the problem of low capacity in this class of SSDs, by being available in higher than usual capacities, to hold more "hot data."

Mushkin may not be the first to the market with cache-SSDs, but its latest Catalyst series seeks to address the problem of low capacity in this class of SSDs, by being available in higher than usual capacities, to hold more "hot data."

134a Mushkin Announces Catalyst Cache SSD

Cache SSDs traditionally come in capacities of 16-32 GB, with the most capacious ones available till now, the Crucial Adrenaline, being available in sizes up to 50 GB. Pure capacity isn't a major factor beyond a point, if you understand how cache-SSDs work. A cache-SSD is that which temporarily holds frequently-accessed data on your hard drive. The frequency of access, and eligibility to reside on the cache-SSD is governed by the cache software (such as Nvelo Dataplex or Intel Smart Response Technology). Data that is accessed frequently enough to be eligibe to be stored on the cache SSD is called "hot-data." The bigger the cache SSD, the more hot data can be stored (or more data can be deemed eligible for SSD storage). The OS accesses hot-data from the SSD, and hence most common usage on your PC becomes fast. As data on the cache SSD loses access frequency below a threshold, it is kicked out of the drive, to accommodate more hot-data. A full copy of all data on the cache SSD is available at all times, on the hard drive. SSD caching thus serves as a potent middle-ground between cheap and slow HDD and fast but expensive conventional SSDs.

134b Mushkin Announces Catalyst Cache SSD

Mushkin's approach to the concept circles around "high" capacity. Its Catalyst series of cache SSDs start at 50 GB, available at capacities as relatively high as 100 GB. Nvelo DataPlex is the caching software, the drive comes with a license to use it. The drives appear to be based on SandForce SF-2281 controller.

134c Mushkin Announces Catalyst Cache SSD

The 100 GB Catalyst cache SSD from Mushkin offers sequential speeds as high as 550 MB/s reads, with 525 MB/s writes, with 90,000 IOPS 4K random write performance. The 50 GB variant offers up to 550 MB/s reads, up to 495 MB/s writes, and up to 85,000 IOPS 4K random write performance. The drives are built in the 2.5-inch form-factor, with SATA 6 Gb/s interface. Commenting on the launch, Mushkin's Brian Flood (director of product development) said "The Catalyst Cache SSD really is the best of both worlds. Users will experience amazing speed while maintaining large amounts of data on their computer. The best part, it's an upgrade that wont break the bank." Unfortunately, the bank-saving prices that Flood is talking about, are still under the wraps.

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