Crucial Adrenaline Solid State Cache Review.

Posted 17 May 2012 11:21 CEST by Antonis Sapanidis

Real world tests

It has become clear recently that simply conducting endless benchmarks on SSD drives is pointless. Real users may run a few benchmarks when they first fit their SSD drive, but most users just want a drive that performs well in the real world. They want their drive to work "out of the box" and work fast and smoothly.

Most of the latest SSD drives can deliver very fast sustained reading and writing speeds, but these alone tell you very little about how the drive will perform in the real world.

If you intend to use your SSD as your primary system drive, with an operating system and applications installed and running from the drive, real world performance becomes much more important than just fast sequential read and write speeds.

Startup and Shutdown performance

Most of the times I use a stopwatch to measure the time, however this method isn’t very accurate and things get more complicated when it comes to mechanical drives. Even if you see the desktop you still can’t use the drive, mainly because of the slow performance of the drive and the poor access times. Therefore in this test I will be using the times that are logged in the Windows Event Viewer and I won’t compare them with any drives that I might have tested in the past.

So let’s see how much improvement you can get from the Crucial Adrenaline cache drive.

As we can see after a few start-ups Windows Event Viewer shows an impressive result. From almost 82 seconds the Crucial Adrenaline decreases that to 23 seconds.

After a few shutdowns we can see that there is also an improvement in performance, but this time it’s not as big as the start-up times.


As it was expected the performance when loading applications was also very impressive. In this test I used a stopwatch to measure the start up times. For games and applications I have only measured the time between the first click and the first welcome screen.

Below you can see the difference between the HDD and the HDD with the Crucial Adrenaline cache solution.




Far Cry 2

14 Seconds

9.94 Seconds

NFS Undercover

13 Seconds

7.46 Seconds

Adobe Fireworks CS3

10.05 Seconds

1.93 Seconds

Adobe Reader

3.11 Seconds

1.10 Seconds

MS Word

6.58 Seconds

Less than one second


6.90 Seconds

Less than one second

Extra notes.

I now that some will wonder what is going to happen if you have a BSOD or an improper shutdown. The answer is simple, absolutely nothing.

However, I wanted to see what happens if the drive fails, so I went ahead, and disconnected the SATA cable. Boot the system, and here is the message that I got.

As we can see the software finds out that the drive isn’t present, or it assumes that it failed, and prompts you to press D to make your HDD available again. As we can see what ever happens you will have your system running, with or without the Crucial Adrenaline cache solution.

After that I plugged the SATA cable back to the drive, started the system, and everything was working fine.


As we can see the overall performance of the Crucial Adrenaline is excellent, after the first three start-ups you have the same performance that you can get with and Solid State Drive.

Let’s now move to the conclusion ... settings

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