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Even though Intel Corp.’s X79 high-end desktop (HEDT) platform is formally the top-of-the-range desktop solution from the company, it does not support a range of technologies that are available on less expensive platforms. Asrock, a leading maker of mainboards, said it had managed to add support for Intel Smart Response technology to its LGA2011 motherboard.

Intel Smart Response Technology (SRT) is a special hardware/software caching mechanism for solid-state drives (SDDs) and hard disk drives (HDDs). The technology attempts to accelerate boot time and runtime reads and writes by caching the content of hard disk drive onto solid-state drive. Intel SRT is a cost-efficient way to boost performance of storage sub-system with a small capacity SSD to the level of a system with a high-end solid-state drive.

Theoretically, Intel SRT can be enabled on almost any platform as it is essentially a software and driver feature with minimum necessity for special-purpose hardware. Officially, Interl SRT is only supported on Z-series platforms, such as Z77 or Z68.

Asrock on Tuesday said that its X79 Extreme11 mainboard now supports Intel Smart Response technology through a new driver and a new BIOS version. Users can update the latest Intel Rapid Storage technology driver (version 3.5.0.1101 or 11.6) and P1.60 BIOS to witness the speed boost by Intel Smart Response technology.

While adding Intel SRT to LGA2011 HEDT platforms is a remarkable event, it does not seem that the technology is actually appreciated on such a high-end solution. The least expensive LGA2011 central processing unit costs over $300, Asrock X79 Extreme11 costs over $350, proper quad-channel memory kits cost over $150, whereas even high-end SSDs like OCZ Vertex 4 256GB cost starting from around $200, a fraction of a total system cost.

ASRock X79 Extreme11 is amond most powerful motherboard on earth that supports Core i7 Extreme "Sandy Bridge-E" central processing units. It features 24+2 power phase design, eight SAS2/SATA3 ports from LSI SAS2308, 2 PLX PEX 8747 bridge chips to support 4-way SLI or CrossFire in x16/16/16/16 mode and sports a number of other advantages.

Tags: Intel, Asrock, SSD, HDD, LGA2011, HEDT, Sandy Bridge-E

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