by January 2, 2013 0 comments

O ne simple way to boost performance of your old machine is by adding more RAM. But then, you can’t keep on adding RAM indefinitely. Plus, if you’re using Windows 7, 32-bit, then you can have maximum of 3 GB of usable memory no matter how much physical memory you add. One solution is to upgrade to a SSD. This method, besides having cost implications also requires you to do a fresh reinstall of Win 7 OS which may be problematic.

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To overcome all these issues, SandDisk has come up with an innovative solution called ReadyCache SSD. You simply have to attach this SSD to an available SATA port (SATA 3 is supported by this SSD) and download ReadyCache software by the name of ‘ExpressCacheSetup.exe’ from Install this software, which is 132 MB and activate it using the activation key that ships with the drive. Once activated, you need to restart your machine three times so that installed software knows which all packages are readily used by you and cache them on the SSD. The software also allows you to delete the cache. One critical point to note here is that ReadyCache works only with Win 7 OS, and does not support other OSs, which limits its usability. [image_library_tag 975/72975, border=”0″ align=”right” hspace=”4″ vspace=”4″ ,default]

To test this SSD, we started out with conventional drive test using HD Tune 2.55 where this drive clocked average transfer speed of 326.5 MB/s. This speed is lower than Intel SSD 335 Series we tested in this issue which clocked 375.5 MB/s, but comparable to Intel SSD 520 Series which clocked 318 MB/s. All these tests were performed using SATA 3 interface.

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To see the difference in performance pre and post installation of ReadyCache, we took a Win 7 32-bit based machine with a conventional HDD and 3 GB RAM, and ran our performance tests on it. We ran 3DMark for graphical performance, PCMark Vantage for overall PC performance, and finally we checked boot up timing. In our tests we found that before installation of ReadyCache, the machine took on average 60 seconds to boot, but with ReadyCache, this time reduced to just 25 seconds. There was no significant difference on graphical and overall performance front. Pre and post ReadyCache results of 3D Mark were 21345 and 21353 while that of PC Mark Vantage were 9179 and 9207 respectively. But here again, we want to point out that the machine had a fresh installation of Win 7, and not one that had slowed down over time. We’re sure that the ReadyCache would make a difference to a machine that has slowed down over time.

Bottomline: The fact that this SSD can give a significant boost to system performance of an existing Win 7 based system makes it a lucrative option.

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