The Adrenaline can only be used as SSD cache for the primary boot drive as the Dataplex software will only select C:\ as the primary storage drive, this makes sense for the most part and was also the case when testing the RevoDrive Hybrid last year.
The drive doesn't require any special drivers as it uses the SATA interface. Furthermore, the Adrenaline can be installed at any point and can therefore be fitted to any computer without the need to reinstall Windows.
You might recall some of the nuissances we went through when using the Dataplex software the first time we touched it, but here's a reminder. Undoubtedly the software is a central component to enable the caching feature and the Adrenaline ships with a one-time use product key that will be rendered invalid if any major hardware changes occur.
Instructions indicate that if you uninstall the software before making any hardware changes and then reinstall afterwards, this will avoid the key invalidation. However we tried this to the letter, and after uninstalling the software we then attempting to re-install on another system we could not get past the key activation screen as we were hit with a license in use error.
Even worse, the system we uninstalled the software from and removed the Adrenaline become corrupted. Upon boot up we were hit with the “Press CTRL+ALT+DEL to restart” error message as the partition had been damaged.
On a brighter note when we reviewed the RevoDrive Hybrid we were told that the Dataplex software monitors network controllers, memory configurations, operating system, primary boot drive, CPU and BIOS for any changes. If two or more of these components are changed the key becomes inactive and the user is forced to contact the manufactures tech support department for a manual reset.
Before benchmarking the OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid, we decided to test how fussy the software was regarding hardware changes. RAM is one of the most commonly upgraded components in my computer, so we swapped out a pair of 2GB sticks for two 4GB sticks and then disabled one network controller and enabled another.
Having booted back into Windows everything seemed fine, but after about 10 minutes a popup message said the license was in use by another computer. We uninstalled the Dataplex software and attempted to reinstall it after a mandatory reset.
However, because we didn't uninstall Dataplex before the hardware changes, we couldn't reinstall the software using the same key. After acquiring a new key from OCZ, we were able to reinstall the Dataplex program and continue benchmarking. We were again hit with the "license is in use by another computer" error after running a number of Windows 7 updates.
This was a nightmare and it was one of the contributing factors for why we disliked the RevoDrive Hybrid. So does the Adrenaline suffer the same fate? We had expected that it would give it uses the same Dataplex software. However it seems NVELO might have made some changes to the security of the Dataplex software we found the Crucial Adrenaline much more forgiving.
In fact we were able to update the system BIOS, change video cards, memory and processors without tripping the Dataplex security measures. There has been more than half a dozen updates made to the software since we first tested it so we wonder if NVELO has made changes here or were we just lucky? Based on previous experiences we suspect they have lessened the security measures.
Overall, the installation process is very easy and once installed, the Dataplex software need never be opened again -- unless you wish to make any serious hardware changes, of course.