SilverStone’s HDDBOOST seemed too good to be true: a way to combine an SSD with your existing hard-drive to ramp up performance by up to 70-percent without sacrificing capacity or having to reinstall your OS and software. Over the years we’ve grown suspicious of such claims, but according to HardwareCanucks the HDDBOOST really can deliver some of the speed increase it promises.
They found that a pretty mainstream system – a dualcore Socket 939 AMD X2 4400+ with 2GB of memory and a Western Digital 320GB HDD – when fitted with the HDDBOOST and a Kingston SSDNow V 40GB solid-state drive, booted into Windows XP in 72 seconds. From the HDD alone, the PC took 118 seconds. Meanwhile, loading up Adobe CS3 took 75 seconds from the HDD, but the SilverStone cut that down to 51 seconds.
So, it works, but there are the expected caveats to deal with. It’s slower than simply using an SSD on its own, and the HDDBOOST is apparently a little temperamental about which solid-state drive you fit; anyone wanting to save themselves a little more money by using an old, first-gen SSD could even see their performance drop. Still, the 40GB SSD HardwareCanucks used cost them $90 and the SilverStone caddy is $49, and you can’t get a huge SSD for that little money.