Dreaming of building your own super-high-capacity flash drive? Addonics has this nifty-looking little adapter that lets you sandwich two flash drives together and then replace the 2.5” hard drive in a notebook.
It’s not cheap. Kevin Tofel at JKOnTheRun has priced out the pieces for a 32GB solid-state drive (two 16GB cards at $250 each) and has the details. I think I’ll wait until they’re down in the $50 range, which should be about this time next year. (I’m kidding, I think.)
I’d love to try it as the system partition on a Windows Vista machine. How wicked fast would it be? I’m guessing it would cut Vista’s load time to about 12 seconds. If anyone wants to donate the parts – or at least pitch in for the flash cards – I’ve got my stopwatch handy.
6 thoughts on “A 32GB flash drive?”
Only downside is that each CF card looks like a seperate drive.
Fast? haha Seriously, this is Compact Flash, it’s SLOOOOOOOW. This isn’t flash memory like in the context of some big RAM drive. This is a very slow, very expensive hard drive replacement.
CF is great in computer systems for some specialized things, but installing a normal full OS on them isn’t one of them. The cards have a very limited write lifetime, around 1 million writes and they’re dead. It would take little time to rack that up with a full OS install, maybe a few months tops.
Performance wise, you’d be doing good to get 6 MB/sec out of CF. Not quite a 3.0 Gb (~384 MB/sec) typical SATA drive, eh?
Hope your stop watch can count really high – it might be a 12 day boot time, not 12 seconds. 🙂
Yeah, I can’t see it being all that fast either, no matter what speed CF card you use.
The main advantage would be lower power consumption, hence longer battery life.
3.0 Gbit/s is the SATA interface speed. Hard drives don’t run anywhere near that speed. The fastest consumer hard drives are the Western Digital Raptor series, which max out at about 87 MB/s sequential read speed.
The fastest compact flash cards run at a quarter of the sequential read speed (20 MB/s) of the Raptor, but 8 times the random access speed (1.0 ms). Whether or not flash memory is faster depends on what you’re doing. New drives will actually use a combination of flash and hard drive technologies, so you get the best of both worlds.
Actually the fastest CF card I think is 40 MB/s, which is the Sandisk Extreme IV. Sandisk announced a 32 GB flash drive and I think they mentioned it could boot Vista in 30 seconds while the normal drive booted at 48. They said it can do 67 MB/s sustained read speeds. Sounds pretty fast.
i have tried this with a 2 gig card but there are problems with windows it expects there to be a delay and often hangs when loading files fastest i have ever gotten was maybe 30 secs for windows 2k on a 133x card.
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