Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

The $99 dollar SSD has arrived

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • halfmanhalfamazing
    started a topic The $99 dollar SSD has arrived

    The $99 dollar SSD has arrived

    *EDIT* Pics up now. http://www.angelfire.com/rpg2/tweakit/index.html

    *EDIT2* New benchmarks. http://www.phoronix.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7988

    I just got this thing up and running, and I'm very excited. I'll try to be as thorough as possible, so expect a long read. This won't read like a standard review, but more of observations I've come across, as well as the benefits I've got for my own personal reasons.

    Sandisk Extreme 4
    http://www.sandisk.com/Products/Cata...pactFlash.aspx

    Yes, that's right. Compact flash. I'm not sure if most people realize, but compact flash cards are native ATA/IDE devices.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compact_flash

    I got my CF/IDE adapter here:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822998002

    And the card itself here:
    http://www.jr.com/JRProductPage.proc...AD+SDCFX440969

    Now, the Sandisk Extreme 4 card is a special CF card in one particular reason. This card supports ATA/66 natively, with expected transfers of 40MB/s. That's fast. Lexar also has a UDMA enabled card; the only two I'm aware of on the market currently. (compact flash 3.0 spec)

    I'm currently running SuSE 10.2, and the first thing that's immediately noticable is the massive increase in boot speed. My boot speed was well over 2 minutes on a hard drive, that includes auto login of user to KDE. Using this compact flash drive it's around 50 seconds.(neither time includes BIOS times, this is from bootloader to usable desktop)

    Other things I've noticed is YAST performance.(for those who are familiar with SuSE) It opens up within 2-3 or so seconds, on the hard drive it was around 8-10. Other applications also are notably faster.

    I've also noticed an increase in web browsing speed. I don't have a particularly high speed connection to the net, it's 768k down, 128k up. But just browsing through webpages has also become faster.

    I'm thinking that the hard drive was actually bottlenecking web browsing, as surprising as that is or not. But it makes sense, most webpages are made up by hundreds of tiny little files, the millisecond access times of a hard drive just can't keep up. I'd love to try web browsing on this thing with a 10MB connection, I'd bet it'd be instant as if the page were actually on my computer. But right now, it's pretty close. Most pages come up very similarly to the google page. Even pages that have a fairly high amount of content such as apple or redhat.com are noticably faster.

    If you clicked the link, you've already become aware that my drive is 4GB in size. But I run linux, so who the heck cares? I've still got about 2GB of usable space after OS install, and I have a spare hard drive that's for etc data only.(be it music, games, or anything else) There's also an 8GB version of this card, and I expect larger sizes in the future.

    For any windows users who may come across this, I have bad news for you, I don't think this will work for you. I couldn't even boot windows with this thing hooked up to my IDE port. I'd like to know how a Mac would handle this, but I personally find both win/mac to be extremely bossy...... So I doubt that the mac would handle it any differently.

    But how about the BSDs? Solaris? And any other OS out there? I'd like to see some people try this and post their results if any wish to try this out.

    I bought this mainly for performance reasons, but I also like how it does not generate any heat at all. And it uses next to no power. It's also noiseless.

    This would be especially useful for you linux/laptop users. And I have seen CF/IDE adapters which are aimed at the laptop space which have two CF ports on it. Which means two drives for you, possibly adequate space for average day to day usage as you fly around the country.

    Now, in order to get this working properly, I had to pass a kernel option at bootloader time, otherwise it wouldn't completely boot. That being "IDE=NODMA".

    I have no clue why I had to do this, but I imagine that because this isn't a traditional drive, Sandisk had to make their DMA controller somewhat different. Hopefully someone will get in touch with them and update some drivers accordingly. I think there's still some potential left in this thing for more performance, more room to grow. I've also had a chance to play with an Extreme 3 card on suse 10.2, and the boot speed difference is about 5 seconds. The thing to consider here is that most motherboards do not support PIO modes 5 and 6, which is how Sandisk got 20MB/s out of the EX3 cards. So going from the EX3 to the EX4 card I didn't see a huge difference. I know for certain that my own motherboard doesn't support PIO 5 and 6, my bios tells me so. So I was limited to 10MB/s transfers, and still only got a 5 second increase. Like I said, I think there's room to grow here.

    So any questions, comments on this? I know there's *ALOT* of people who have been looking forward to SSDs in their computers that are not dynamic. I've looked at rocketdrives and qikdrives, but using DRAM doesn't work well if there's a power outtage and you lose all your data.

    Behold....... the power of linux. :-)

    *EDIT* For those wondering, here are my main system specs.

    Duron 1ghz, FSB O/C'd to 333
    512MB Geil PC 433
    ATi FireGL 8800
    Abit NF7-S
    Lian Li PC 70(yes, full tower)
    And my flash drive. :-D

    And please don't ask why I still run a Duron. I had a personal matter that demanded my barton. I'll be getting another one from Ebay shortly.
    Last edited by halfmanhalfamazing; 02-23-2008, 07:24 AM.

  • ZoolChile
    replied
    Thanks for the pictures, rlly !

    Leave a comment:


  • humpty
    replied
    eSata USB combo

    Well it's been more than a year now. I thought some might like to know
    about an eSata USB pendrive I stumbled upon a few months back.

    http://petepr.drivehq.com/tests/review_aolab.html

    Leave a comment:


  • DeepDayze
    replied
    Originally posted by Svartalf View Post
    YES.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/2005/08/...compact_flash/
    http://shopper.cnet.com/flash-memory...-32510515.html

    I'm eying one for myself to some of the same sorts of cute tricks with more modern machines.

    Let me know how the SATA version of the CF reader works compared to the IDE version. Perhaps I may make use of this as well in my own system for backup purposes

    Leave a comment:


  • Kano
    replied
    Well because of the more or less useless V Ready Boost feature you may even get USB sticks for direct motherboard connection. Why don't you try Kanotix on USB? Up to 2 GB you can run the "normal" live version - if you want with added packages and preloaded with 3d drivers. With 4 GB and more you can do a real hd install - in advanced mode when you change the hd0 grub entry to match the USB device. In both cases it uses full USB 2.0 speed to boot - just your device limits the speed. In case of installing 3d drivers in live mode using nvidia/fglrx cheatcodes these devices really work nice, because of the much lower seek time. The same is true for hd install from USB instead of a cd.

    Leave a comment:


  • paulsiu
    replied
    I have tried Puppy Linux off a USB drive. It works well enough on a lot of the newer PC's, but the boot can be problematic.

    I think the boot time is always a bit slow because initial loading of boot sectors are using usb 1.1 for maximum compatibility.

    The BIOS is often at fault. Some pc will boot from a fat32, some only fat16. Some will boot only if the drive has a MBR, some will only boot when the drive is formatted like a floppy. Some will boot only on cold start, etc.

    I also don't like to have an USB sticking out the side of the machine.

    It would be nice to be able to boot from Compact flash or SD, but only a few laptops (mostly tablets) have that capability.

    I would not use the flash for swap, it may burn out the card.

    Leave a comment:


  • Kano
    replied
    I never check CPU use with dual core But I can tell you Kanotix runs good from USB sticks. There are even highspeed sticks out there with 30 mb/s, standard ones are about 10-15 mb/s.

    Leave a comment:


  • paulsiu
    replied
    Originally posted by Kano View Post
    Why don't you use usb? Much faster than your old ide interface and with a good bios no problem to boot.
    Now, why would you say that? When I use a USB drive, the speed has always been slower than the internal ide drive and uses more cpu utilization.

    Leave a comment:


  • Kano
    replied
    Why don't you use usb? Much faster than your old ide interface and with a good bios no problem to boot.

    Leave a comment:


  • halfmanhalfamazing
    replied
    Originally posted by paulsiu View Post
    It may be a driver issue, but I was under the impression that most of the distro pretty much use the same set of code.

    In the case of the compact flash, it's just emulating an IDE controller, so one would assume tht the device would look just like a drive to the OS. Have you talk with the vendor to see what they recommend?

    Have you try to do this under a different OS like Windows or BSD?

    Paul
    I only own a copy of windows 2000 but with the compact flash card plugged into my ide win2k wouldn't boot. I brought out an old HD and installed w2k, just having it plugged in after the OS is installed freaks it out. Starting off of the CD gives the same result. It did the same thing when I had the extreme 3 card, which does not support UDMA.

    Yes, I emailed Sandisk for any information they could provide but all i got was crickets.

    I honestly never even thought of giving BSD a try. I'll do that when I get a chance.

    Leave a comment:

Working...
X