Caching in with the OCZ Synapse SSD

OCZ Synapse Cache solid state drive

For those looking to get their feet wet in the world of solid state drives, the newly released OCZ Synapse Cache SSD is the ultimate solution for users in search of the fine balance of SSD speeds and HDD capacity. The Synapse cache SSD works in conjunction with HDDs to provide users with superb SSD performance across all the drives, while maintaining the larger capacities of traditional hard drives.  This option provides a low cost means of experiencing the exceptional benefits of SSDs without breaking the bank. Here are some ….

FAQs

What operating systems are supported?

Currently, the synapse only supports the Windows 7 operating system (32-bit and 64-bit).

Will the Synapse run as the cache drive for multiples HDDs?

The Synapse can support multiple HDDs, as long as the HDDs are configured into a RAID array.

Can I install it in my laptop?

Yes, the synapse can be installed in laptops that offer dual hard drive bays.

Will it run properly without the Dataplex Cache software?

No, the Dataplex software is needed to fully utilize the capabilities of the Synapse SSD. Even though the Synapse will still function as a standalone drive (without the cache software), the SSD will not be able to provide the performance it was engineered for without the proper accompanying software.

Does it matter if I’m running an Intel or AMD chipset?

No, the synapse will work with either (AMD or Intel) chipset, as long as the system is running on Windows 7 (32-bit or 64-bit).

What motherboards are compatible with the Synapse?

The synapse will work across all motherboards, as long as the system is running Windows 7 OS.

What if my SSD fails, will I lose all my data?

Since the Synapse functions as a cache drive, the data on the SSD is mirrored from the HDD, so in the event of an unexpected data/power loss your original data will remain safe on the HDD.

Do I need to install Windows 7 OS on the Synapse?

No, Windows 7 installation on the Synapse SSD is not required for the drive to function.  The operating system will reside on your HDD.

 

33 comments on “Caching in with the OCZ Synapse SSD

  1. Dany Thirganor on said:

    Still have a question about this part: “The Synapse can support multiple HDDs, as long as the HDDs are configured into a RAID array”.
    Does it means that it will work with my already configure 2x1TB SATA RAID1 Configuration, or the synapse has to be part of the RAID definition ?

    • Junior on said:

      Hi Dany,

      The synapse will work with your RAID configuration and you don’t have to install the synapse as part of your current RAID array. So it will work as the cache drive for your RAID1 configuration you already have set up.

  2. On a raid-controler you need a battery in order not to loose the lastest blocks written to disk. When Dataplex is configured for writecaching (not write through) and you loose the synapse ssd, then you loose your data. Can you have mirrored synapse drives (mirrored in the raid-controler) or is such a configuration not recognised by Dataples?

    • The cashe on a Raid controller is volatile memory (dram) and loses its state when voltage is lost.

      This is a FLASH drive, remember? Like your pen drive or memory cards? It’s nonvolatile memory, meaning it keeps its state even without applied voltage.

      • Cache on a raid controller is only volatile if does not have a battery (or flash) backup. The idea of using a flash drive for cache is to significantly increase the cache capacity, so that you can defer flushing of the cache for hours in stead of minutes – this makes you very sensitive to failures on the flash-drive (synapse) – I have had multiple ssd drives which failed after intensive testing, so I am concerned about using them in a production environment.

  3. help dataplex software not recognising licence code of drive help

    • Hi John,

      The licensing code looks at the following “soft” components to identify a PC:

      1) Ethernet card
      2) Memory
      3) OS
      4) Primary/boot Drive
      5) CPU ID
      6) BIOS

      If two or more components change, it is considered a “different” machine. If only one component changes, Dataplex automatically revalidates the license without issues, as long as the user is connected to the internet when the PC is rebooted after the change. Prior to changing two or more components, the user should uninstall Dataplex to release the license. Licenses cannot be released after the system is no longer valid. In this case, you will need to be in touch with OCZ to reset the license.

      • So, what happens if I want to sell the hard drive if it dosn’t work out? I can only install the hard drive on one computer than I must buy a license to have it switched to another? Please explain a little more in depth about this “licensing”.

        • Hi Ray,

          The licensing code looks at certain “soft” components to ID a PC:

          1) Ethernet card
          2) Memory
          3) OS
          4) Primary/boot Drive
          5) CPU ID
          6) BIOS

          If two or more components change, it is considered a “different” machine. If only one component changes, Dataplex automatically revalidates the license without issues, as long as the user is connected to the internet when the PC is rebooted after the change. Prior to changing two or more components, the user should uninstall Dataplex to release the license. Licenses cannot be released after the system is no longer valid. In this case, you will need to be in touch with OCZ to reset the license.

  4. Greetings. I almost understood everything about this SSD.
    I have a Raid 10 array, with 5 partitions: boot partition ( win 7 x64) + 4 data partition. I install games and software not in the boot partition, to have less problems and easier system backups. My question : Synapse SSD cache also software and data not installed on system partition ? Or I have to install all games and software to achieve best performance ?
    Thank you in advance.

  5. ok, so the synapse can be apart of a raid set-up but can the synapse themselves be raided? If so, can they then be attached to a pre-existing raid set-up?

  6. It states that it only works for the primary boot OS. In the case of a dual XP/WIn 7 install on 2 separate drives, do I choose which HD I whish to be selected or does it automatically default to the win 7 install (since it doesn’t work with xp).

    Thanks
    Tye

  7. I have 3 drives in my machine – SSD Synapse on primary master, SATA WD 3TB on secondary master, and a SATA WD 320GB on third slave. The last one boots up the Windows 7 x64.
    When I try to install Dataplex utility, it shows me a window “install two or mere drives”.
    What am I doing wrong?

    • The Sata it’s not master/slave .. every drive it is independent. As far as I understood OCZ synapse works only as a mirror for the Windows 7 boot drive. I think you may try this : disconnect all the HD but leave connected synapse and Windows 7 hd. Start Windows 7 and install Dataplex software. Restart the system 2 or 3 times as requested. Then switch off the system, reconnect the HD and reboot .. Let us know if this works..

  8. Hi Junior,
    What capabilities does the Synapse lose if Dataplex is not installed? I would like to use it as a cache, what it was designed for, just not with Dataplex. Does it work with Intel’s Smart Response Technology? Will it still swap out faulty segments from the reserve over time? Thx.

    • The synapse was designed with Dataplex in mind, using the drive with any other software will just compromise its performance levels. It will technically work with SRT, but performance will be lower.

  9. Do I need to reinstall Windows?
    Does it matter how many partitions are on my hard drive?
    Thank you. PS I have one ordered.

    • you don’t need to re install windows, and the synapse will cache all the “hot” data from the partitions, as long as they are on the same physical drive.

  10. I have the Synapse 128GB and I can see it in Windows 7 64bit. When I run the Dataplex software it always fails with an error message about my hard drive. Which options should I select in BIOS for my hard drive? It’s a 1TB SATA Western Digitial Caviar Blank. Windows 7 64 is working fine, new install. What settings do I need to use for BIOS? Do I need to format the SSD or give it a drive letter etc?

  11. Greetings. The more I read about Synapse the more I am confused. My question it’s simple : “hot” data are COPIED from boot/system/raid disk or MOVED from it ? Thanks to anyone who will reply.

    • its copied.

      • Thank you! So, in case of SSD failure I will lost the data “updating” in the moment of failure ( power loss or hardware failure ) but the system should be fine after disconnecting the ssd..
        Am I right ?

  12. I have a 1TB western digital black on a SATA II controler, will the
    SATA III connection on my mother board ( Gigabyte GA-890FXA-ud5 ) work at full speed with the Synapse? or do both drives have to be on the same SATA controler ?

    • Sergio on said:

      If connected to Sata 3 Synapse will run at full speed. No, they haven’t to be connected to the same controller.

  13. Wait! Did I read that right? The Synapse will only cache the drive the OS is installed on? Is this correct? My OS is installed on an SSD. I want to cache my 2 TB HD upon which all my programs and games are run from. Is this not possible?

    • Badhavox on said:

      have you recieved an answer?? i too have a raid0 ssd for op. sys. and wanted to cache my storage drive.

      • it will only cache a raid setup with the OS installed a HDD. Since you’re OS is already on a SSD it wouldn’t work since its meant to cache the HDD (w/OS installed)

  14. Help! I just purchased the OCZ Synapse 64gb and after following the instructions by installing the software and restarting the system I get a boot up message saying that dataplex can’t find the cache.
    I have tried uninstalling the software nearly 20 times but it won’t uninstall

  15. Octavian on said:

    hi,
    What if I want to install the OS on the Synapse SSD, and have the hdd as storage? Is it possible?
    Currently, my win7 has the boot reserved partition on hdd and the rest of it is on Synapse. Thank you.

    • Sergio on said:

      It is possible to use the Synapse as an “usual” ssd but it’s not why it was built for. It has to be used as cache for the primary boot disk or for a system boot raid array .. the same OCZ sells ssd of the same size ( and remember: synapse could use only half his size) at 40-50 $ less .. so why waste space and money ?

  16. Timweeble on said:

    hi i have teh ocz synapse 64gb installed on my computer using wd caviar blach 650gb hdd. Using crosshair iv formula motherboard and have hdd in sata 1 and ssd in sata 2. In the bios sata is set to ide. Installed dataplex fine and rebooted with no problems then next reboot system failed to start. Reset the system and the cache checks itself and will then boot fine but clearly with the cache empty. Using acronis on the boot drive as well but if this was to effect it i would have thought that on the first restart there wouldve been a problem. Any suggestions?

  17. George Runey on said:

    THX