What on Earth is SSD Caching?

I found myself asking that above question to many people to no avail around the first time I was doing my research on Z68. I had assumed just from the name alone, this was a feature that meant having a Z68 board would probably benefit more from having an SSD drive over a traditional platter drive. And hey, I was half right; but you just need one SSD (bootable drive) and then your traditional huge storage drive for your data.

SSD Caching is officially named Intel Smart Response Technology (henceforth named SRT), which is used to cache frequently used applications on your SSD to improve system performance and responsiveness by up to 4x the speed of traditional HDD-only systems. That was literally me cutting and pasting the official wording, so I will just break it down to laymen’s terms.

Your PC will cache your most commonly used applications from your HDD to your SSD in order to load up faster. The SRT is supposed to monitor what programs you load most and prioritize them accordingly. This works excellently for games, Photoshop, or any other program that requires access to a lot of HDD files in a short period of time. So utilizing this hybrid setup along with SRT is the closest thing to “overclocking” your hard drive. Due to SSD size limitations, and most people already using this SSD+HDD setup, this technology just makes it even better.

(Side note: If you have not experienced the difference it makes to use an SSD as a bootable drive, I highly suggest you invest in a 64 GB one and use any other combinations of HDDs for data. It is ridiculously fast and the most notable upgrade you’ll see in a long time.)

Rajiv Kothari is an industry insider who moonlights as a computer enthusiast, providing a different perspective and insight to new technologies.