Sata SSD OS + 16GB optane acceleration (primocache)

Hi everyone.

I am looking to do some upgrades.
I just bought 4 of 16GB optane drives and a few pcie 1x adapters.
It was not that expensive.

Some are going into my server & backup machine, but have use for one maybe in my main machine.
As boot drives in a home server, are cheaper and more reliable than the cheapest sata SSDs.

So my main machine is dual boot windows/linux.
Windows is for gaming, and linux for all else.
Presently it has 2x 256 nvme for boot drives and 1/2Tb nvme as a cache drive.
My home network speed is 2.5Gb.

The nvme with windows 10 presently is past warranty.
I will be upgrading to windows 11, so will get another drive for the windows OS.

The nvme to replace is going to my server as an L2arc for truenas . When it fails in there, there will be no data loss. It is mostly larger files with 1MB block/record sizes, so the l2arc memory overhead is nothing to worry about.

So having looked at drive specs & prices, perhaps a sata SSD is a viable for a windows boot drive.

I already have the primocache personal license.
The 1/2 TB nvme caches my games on truenas accessed through ISCSI.

The drive that seems appealing is the crucial MX500 sata SSD - model CT500MX500SSD1.

It apparently has dram cache and decent slc caching.
Similar priced nvme drives are not so impressive.

So it will be for the OS only, with hopefully most writes through slc, where the slc cache rarely fills up.
The plan is also a 16gb optane as a read only cache with 4k block sizes.

I found a youtube video with someone also buying 16GB optane.
it showed the crystaldiskmark results for the 16GB optane drive.
The Q1T1 random 4k read results are quite impressive, apparently better than most nvme drives.
It is 159.43 MB/s

The updated caching setup would be:
A 1/2 TB nvme to cache games on ISCSI.
A 16GB optane drive to cache the sata SSD with windows 11.

So is anyone else doing this?
What is the cache hit rate?

Useful info is appreciated.


Lenovo had a similar config where they used Optane accelerated NVME drives
Data recovery becomes a monster when the NVME fails since Windows will start caching sys files on the cache drive

So far as hit/miss rate, you’re best off placing your most used programs/files directly on the drive if they can fit.

The 16GB Optanes are fine for netbooks or Linux installs, but honestly the PCIe lane is often better used for a full NVME

even an entry level NVME will be significantly faster than the best SATA SSD due to the controller limitations.

As you know, 16GB is too small for most games, but fine for cache accelerators or VM’s in small NAS applications.

I run multiple drives for dual booting so Windows can have it’s own little playground to mess up with each update (KB5034441 comes to mind)

Throw Linux on the optane and move on. Do not rely on Windows caching as it will cache bizarre things and break itself when devices enumerate out of order.

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