OCZ Synapse Cache with ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe

I bought a 128GB OCZ Synapse Cache SSD to speed up the disk performance on my ageing home PC, based around an ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe motherboard and running Windows 7 64-bit (upgraded from Windows Vista 64-bit).

Initially the everything seemed to work fine, SSD firmware 2.15 and Dataplex 1.1.0.9. Then I upgraded the Dataplex software to version 1.1.2.5 and started getting Windows bluescreens and “SSD is experiencing error, reboot now” messages from Dataplex. The bluescreens were BAD_POOL_CALLER, STOP 0x000000c2.

I logged support calls with both OCZ and Nvelo (who produce the Dataplex software). Nvelo were aware of an issue with Nvidia chipsets and version 1.1.2.5 of Dataplex, and suggested I upgrade to an even newer version, 1.1.3.0 which I did. The situation got a lot better, no more bluescreens but I did still get the occasional error from Dataplex.

I upgraded the SSD firmware to 2.22 – no change.
I upgraded Dataplex to 1.1.3.3 – no change.
I tried the SSD on a different port of the Nvidia SATA controller – no change.

Then I remembered that the motherboard has a second SATA controller, using a Silcon Image chip. I moved the SSD to this and have had no problems since.

A colleague with an Intel processor/Intel chipset is running SSD firmware 2.15 and Dataplex 1.1.2.5 with no issues at all.

Bottom line: Don’t use Dataplex if your SSD is connected to an Nvidia SATA controller, there is actually a footnote to this effect at the bottom of the OCZ website now.

I should point out that the support I’ve had from OCZ has been fine, and the support from Nvelo has been excellent. And when the Synapse/Dataplex solution is working (which it seems to be reliably for me now) it is brilliant. Gives SSD performance to an existing PC without having to re-install Windows, and gives you significantly more SSD cache than a hybrid drive like the Seagate Momentus XT.

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