- Packaging and Specifications
- Internal Impressions
- Installation and End-User Experience
- Test Setup and Benchmark
The Installation of the drive is pretty straight-forward, but do note that you will HAVE to note the product key of the SSD. After doing so you need to go Corsair Accelerator’s page, select the drive, scroll down and type the information they need from you:
While Dataplex software is available in Corsair Accelerator’s product page, its disappointing that no disc is provided with the Cache Drive. Maybe its because Dataplex/Corsair requires you to register your product key number (on the other side of the SSD drive) every time you download from Corsair’s Accelerator’s page? It’s a speculation but I don’t any other reason.
There are some restrictions in Dataplex. Its not compatible with 2TB drives. It doesn’t matter if your boot partition is with 2TB, it still won’t work. There were also more limitations:
These limitations are not even mentioned on the quick start guide, let alone on the packaging. Imagine the frustration of buying this and then knowing that your RAID setup/2TB drives are not working.
Do note that the above screenshot was taken when Dataplex software crashed and you’ll know why as you read further.
The SSD Cache drive needs to be connected to the motherboard and it works only with a single hard drive with an OS under 2TB. After installing and restarting the system, the Caching is installed, but you won’t be able to detect the SSD on CrystalDiskInfo or on Disk Management. Even if the Cache is disabled, you won’t be able to see the SSD space.
The drive worked the way it worked for couple days but then for some reason I was always on Windows Error Recovery screen and/or check disk run every time I booted after every restart since I’ve powered off the system while it was running windows. I’ve done restart and proper shutdown. Nothing made the error recovery screen and check disk screen to go away during boot. I did run a system defragmenter and shut the system down. When I started the test bench after a good night’s sleep I was greeted by Windows Startup repair screen.
After trying a lot of times, Startup repair failed. I had to do OS+ software installation all over again. I tried to bring the same issue to see if this issue comes again in a specific sequence but it didn’t work. So I tried to do something else.
After doing an OS install and reinstalled all the software+ drivers (Netgear WG111 Wi-Fi dongle, NEC drivers for USB 3.0 ports, AMD AHCI drivers and AMD Radeon Catalyst controls, CrystalDiskInfo, CrystalDiskMark, UTorrent, Avira Security Suite, PCMark 7 and boot racer, with upto 4 JPEG saved on the desktop). I was also testing the possibility of data that was deleted and not removed from Recycle Bin before cutting off power to the system and then booting up normally. I did 50 reboots in total and after 15th reboot I deleted 3 JPEG images, 2 of which have been removed from the recycle bin. 1 is in the recycle bin and 1 was on the desktop. After the 16th restart, I cut power to the system. When I booted the system back on and after passing normal boot through After turning it on I received Dataplex’s Improper shutdown notice before the operating system’s loading screen came up.
While it was restoring Cache, I had an option to disable Dataplex. I did not. While I wasn’t able to get back the windows error screen and check disk option again after every restart from this point, windows and software had multiple issues. Even pressing the start button during this point crashed explorer.exe and then there was the drive taken more than what it should (with the Cache drive) to boot the system. After the 50th reboot, I have shut down the system and switched off the mains. Restarted it and it worked fine the way it did. But just to be sure I am testing in its full potential, I uninstalled the drivers, did a secure erase using partition magic on the Cache drive and then re-installed Windows+ software+ benchmarks.
So it does work as long as the system is shut down properly, yes?
Well- that was my conclusion until I encountered an issue during benchmarking with 8MB ATTO test.
Usually when I run benchmarks, I run them 5 times with an interval of about a minute and use the benchmark scores of the 5th pass.
The 6th screenshot was done after dataplex crashed. For some reason, ATTO kept crashing on 5th attempt.