With the release of the Z68 chipset Intel introduced a new SSD caching technology that pairs an SSD and an HDD for improved performance.

For the past few months, we’ve seen rumors upon rumors of a hybrid combination of the H67 and P67 chipsets into a ‘Z’ series. As the storage editor, I don’t normally focus on a chipset update unless there is a corresponding increase in SATA bus speeds and/or ports available on the newer product.

This time things were different. While the Z series had the same SATA bandwidth specs as its older brothers, there was an extra feature that was rather huge in the storage world: Smart Response Technology.

The bottom right section of the Block Diagram includes a seemingly innocent added ‘SRT’ block. Trust me – this is not something to overlook. It is potentially a very big deal for anyone serious about the performance of their storage subsystem. So big in fact that I’m wrapping this article around it.

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