May 10, 2012, 11:22 AM — If you want to speed up your PC but don't want to deal with a new hybrid hard drive, one way is to simply add an SSD cache drive to your PC. These drives aren't meant to be mass storage devices; instead, they cache your most frequent application operations and thereby improve performance.
One of the newest SSD cache drives out there is the 50GB Crucial Adrenaline, which sells for $100. (The drive actually has a capacity of 64GB, but 14GB is used for internal housekeeping.) For no more work than it takes to pop open your computer, install the SSD and load some management software, Crucial says you can get up to an eight-fold increase in the performance of your existing hard drive on a Windows 7 PC.
In the box
Like almost all SSDs, the Adrenaline is a 2.5-in. drive, which can be problematic for most desktop computer cases because they're engineered for 5.25- and 3.5-in. drives. (The 2.5-inch form factor is typically associated with laptops and other smaller devices.) Crucial supplies you with a bay adapter and the data cable you'll need to install the drive.
There's no documentation or software included in the package, but you'll need both. A video and a PDF version of the installation guide can be found on Crucial's website. I would encourage you to download that PDF and look through the list of requirements and exclusions. They are more detailed than I could go into here.
The PDF includes a link allowing you to download Dataplex software. Dataplex is the caching algorithm that the Adrenaline drive uses to determine what you are doing on your computer and what should be cached as a result. You'll need the software key supplied on the small placard in the Adrenaline box to initiate the download and, later, to install the software. Don't try to install Dataplex until the hardware is in place.