What is AMD StoreMi or how to transform your HDD into an SSD.
One of the unexpected surprises that has come with the release of motherboards with the X470 chipset is an application called AMD StoreMi. According to AMD, this application allows you to create storage categorized between an SSD drive and a mechanical hard drive, considerably speeding up the operations carried out with the latter.
Before going on to explain what AMD StoreMi is, we must explain what categorized or tiered storage is. This type of storage system is the one that is usually used in the IT industry, where storage devices are divided by categories / levels, forming a pyramid.
Thus, at the top of the pyramid, the fastest devices are placed, which is where the data that is used most frequently by users is usually stored. Then, there is a second level where the files that are not used as frequently are placed, and that does not matter a little more, as long as their access is not very fast. At the third level is the data file, where data that is almost never used is located. It is normal for this data to be removed from the servers and end up being stored on other types of media.
AMD StoreMi is a technology from the IT world applied to user computing
AMD StoreMi does something similar to what we just explained a moment ago. The fact is that the original technology was not developed by AMD, but by a company called Enmotus, which has been marketing this type of solution to the business IT world for many years. What AMD has done is buy a license for its simpler storage solution, so that users of X470 chipset motherboards (and we wouldn’t be surprised if it could also be used with the following B450 chipset motherboards) can use it. A similar technology from Enmotus, called FuzeDrive, is also available for users of 300-series chipset motherboards, though you have to pay to use it ($19.99).
In essence, AMD StoreMi creates categorized storage between two system storage drives. On the one hand, we would have the SSD, where the data and programs most frequently used by the user would be stored, while the data and programs that are accessed less frequently would be stored on the mechanical hard drive. For example, when you install a game, the first time it will run at the speed of the mechanical hard drive, but the next time it will run at the speed of the SSD. And if one day we stop using the game, the program will take care of moving it to the mechanical hard drive, since it is no longer important to have quick access to it.
One of the great advantages that AMD StoreMi has is that the entire process of joining both drives does not require formatting or any kind of extra action by the user. Just select the two units you want to join and that’s it. Over time, the program will learn which apps you use the most, and move them to the SSD, while the ones that are rarely used, will be moved to the mechanical drive. However, one limitation of this technology (at least in this free version) is that it only allows the use of drives no larger than 256 GB for the SSD (there is no limitation on the size of the hard drive).
And just as you don’t have to do special operations when creating the new unit, you don’t have to do them when you want to undo the unit that has been created: the program then takes care of redistributing the files between both units and , once this process has been completed, the user will once again have two independent units.
Of course, the results we got when we tested the new 2nd Generation AMD Ryzen processors clearly speak for themselves.
In this case, we used a Samsung 950 Pro NVMe SSD per M.2 slot, along with a 3TB Seagate mechanical drive. And, as we said, the results are obvious. And yes, we are aware that the write speed is quite slow, but this is because we couldn’t have our test system for a long time, so the drive was most likely not optimized as it should, since the AMD StoreMi software has to learn how we use our system and what files should go on each unit.
Another aspect that AMD StoreMi allows is to create a hard drive with RAM with a maximum capacity of 2 GB. This virtual disk would work as a cache disk for the system. And, as I have already said, the user can choose to create it, or to do without it. In fact, Enmotus encourages users to experiment with their creation, because in certain cases it can be useful and in others, not, depending on the type of use they make of their equipment.
As a final note, comment that this technology is also compatible with Intel’s Optane technology.