Does a SSD cache preclude the installation of a full SSD?

Posted on 2013-10-04
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2016-11-23
Take a look at the following specs for a Dell XPS14.

XPS14 Specs
The user may be happy with this configuration. They may, however, want the speed associated with a full SSD. Does the presence of the 32GB SSD cache preclude me from replacing the 500GB HDD with a 256GB or 512GB SSD? (I may be using the wrong vernacular describing the 32GB SSD shown above as a "cache.")
Question by:jdana
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Expert Comment

ID: 39547890
Those are 2 seperate drives...the 32GB mSata is a drive itself and will host the OS...the 500 is another drive for your data etc...

See here for example of an mSata - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Crucial-CT032M4SSD3-32GB-mSATA-Internal/dp/B0082PVK8Q
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Accepted Solution

Gary Case earned 612 total points
ID: 39547992
No, that doesn't keep you from replacing the drive with an SSD.   It won't then use the cache unit -- but that's obviously not something you'd want to do anyway.
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Assisted Solution

kode99 earned 608 total points
ID: 39548052
It is likely configured as a readyboost cache,  using the 500 GB drive as the main drive for the system,  32GB is the size limit for readyboost on NTFS.  A 32 GB system drive is a bit too small once anything else is added and not likely the way it would be factory configured.

If you replaced the main drive with a sizable SSD you would no longer need the cache drive at all.  The cache is to help to improve the performance of the slow 5400 rpm drive.

If you are going to replace a drive I might suggest you replace the cache drive with a larger mSATA drive which could be used as a proper sized partition.  Then keep the regular drive as a data only drive for the user.  mSATA is not as mainstream but you can get a good sized unit,


I've used quite a few in compact systems.
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Expert Comment

ID: 39548060
Apologies my mistake...I've a 128GB mSata in my laptop which is the system/os drive...but yes 32GB seems too small to be a regular OS drive...so agree with others on this one...

Author Closing Comment

ID: 39615376
Great advice. Thanks!

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