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using SD card on 2.5" IDE adapter as an SSD, how long would it last?

atlaswing 260 200 June 26, 2011 at 05:08 PM More Amazon Deals
Anyone using an SD card in an 2.5" IDE adapter as a cheap SSD for their notebook/netbooks? I'm guessing it won't last long, but if anyone has firsthand experience?

This thing wasn't feasible a couple of years ago, but as it happens, cost has come down significantly, I've got several spare 8gb microSDs, and an old notebook sitting there with a dead hdd. Figured I could use this 1gbRAM P4 XP for basic web surfing at home, couple hrs a day. So instead of throwing a $40 SSD in it, I can just buy a $10 SD to 2.5" IDE adapter and find a use for my microSDs. Either this, or a similar CF to IDE setup, which I see lots of people using as a cheap SSD, except I don't have any CF cards, and cost would be the same as just buying an SSD by itself. So, anyone using a microSD SSD? How long can I expect this to last? couple years of daily use?

Amazon example (cheaper on fleabay):
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B003MN1H9U
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#2
I would advise against it. SD cards have far fewer write cycles than a true SSD. If you use one as your primary partition (operating system, applications, temp files, etc) it's not going to last very long.

Just save your money and buy a real SSD. Deals for ~$1 per GB pop up every once in a while, so if you aren't in a hurry it shouldn't cost you too much. It sounds like you're using it solely for Windows anyway so you could probably get by with something in the ~10-20GB range.
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Last edited by GolDRoger June 26, 2011 at 07:08 PM
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#3
Quote from GolDRoger View Post :
I would advise against it. SD cards have far fewer write cycles than a true SSD. If you use one as your primary partition (operating system, applications, temp files, etc) it's not going to last very long.

Just save your money and buy a real SSD. Deals for ~$1 per GB pop up every once in a while, so if you aren't in a hurry it shouldn't cost you too much. It sounds like you're using it solely for Windows anyway so you could probably get by with something in the ~10-20GB range.
How long, though? 1 or 2 years?
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#4
Quote from kakomu View Post :
How long, though? 1 or 2 years?
From what I understand thumb drives and SD cards today average around 100k write cycles, with very high end models (theoretically) capping at around a million. By contrast virtually all SSDs today have at LEAST a million write cycles (please correct me if I'm wrong).

Personally I think it's up in the air as to how long an SD card would work for the OP's purposes. It really depends on the quality of the card (a real SSD would of course have better build quality) and how the card is used. With just Windows installed for web browsing, my only concern would be if a particular portion of the card is always being used for temp files.

Imo the extra $ you pay for a real SSD is worth it just for the added peace of mind, let alone the increased read/write speeds, etc.
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Last edited by GolDRoger June 27, 2011 at 12:18 AM
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#5
you have 100,000 write/read cycles so you should be fine but going thru the adapter and the controller for the SD card you might not get the speed you expect.
http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/...p?cid=6007


The cost for SSD s have really come down compared to the small size of most sd cards
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#6
And to put the comparison to SD and SSD into perspective:

http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/...scale.html
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#7
Quote from redmaxx View Post :
And to put the comparison to SD and SSD into perspective:

http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/...scale.html
Great Site...good reading.Thanks
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#8
Quote from redmaxx View Post :
And to put the comparison to SD and SSD into perspective:

http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/...scale.html
say wha...? so a bona fide SSD has an average life of less than a year? in that sense, my idea of a microSD-cum-SSD will only have a lifespan of a few hours? oh well, there goes that idea to recycle my old pc...


edit: there's currently a 96gb sata ssd going for $96 at buy.com, but the thing is, my pos P4 XP itself is going for less than that on fleabay, and I paid over a grand for it when p4's were still hot back in the day, so I just cannot let it go. and even now, its specs are still better than most new netbooks. so, either i find a cheap ide ssd for it, or back in the drawer it goes...
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Last edited by atlaswing June 27, 2011 at 02:28 PM

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#9
Quote from atlaswing View Post :
say wha...? so a bona fide SSD has an average life of less than a year? in that sense, my idea of a microSD-cum-SSD will only have a lifespan of a few hours? oh well, there goes that idea to recycle my old pc...


edit: there's currently a 96gb sata ssd going for $96 at buy.com, but the thing is, my pos P4 XP itself is going for less than that on fleabay, and I paid over a grand for it when p4's were still hot back in the day, so I just cannot let it go. and even now, its specs are still better than most new netbooks. so, either i find a cheap ide ssd for it, or back in the drawer it goes...
Doubt you'll find an IDE SSD.
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#10
Quote from atlaswing View Post :
say wha...? so a bona fide SSD has an average life of less than a year? in that sense, my idea of a microSD-cum-SSD will only have a lifespan of a few hours? oh well, there goes that idea to recycle my old pc...


edit: there's currently a 96gb sata ssd going for $96 at buy.com, but the thing is, my pos P4 XP itself is going for less than that on fleabay, and I paid over a grand for it when p4's were still hot back in the day, so I just cannot let it go. and even now, its specs are still better than most new netbooks. so, either i find a cheap ide ssd for it, or back in the drawer it goes...
I realize this thread is old, but I wanted to point out the possibility of using a network drive and doing a netboot in order to make use of an old computer as a terminal when replacing its hard drive is infeasible. Also, many people boot from thumb drives. (Using a flavor of Linux, of course).

I have an interest in keeping old computers out of landfills.
Even if a computer is not worth fixing to you, someone will want it for parts and even the parts that seem to be worthless may be repurposed. For example, people are using the motors and magnets from dead hard drives to make stuff and an empty hard drive case is perfect for fitting in a Raspberry Pi or a Beagle Bone Black etc.

I found this thread doing a search for an SD card to PATA adapter because I was wondering the same thing. Now I know using such an adapter as a total HD replacement for temp files and swap area is not feasible, but I can still use my network drive for those purposes and still boot to the SD card as well as install program files on the SD card.

Now I need to find out if there is a PATA ram drive which I can use solely for temp files and swap space. Way back in the day I had a Tandy 1000 TX and a 2mb EMS ram card. I understand that a 32 bit OS can only map so much memory, and so a physical ram drive aught to be pretty useful to older systems.

Edit: I just wanted to add that a Raspberry Pi runs a version of Linux directly from an SD card and people use that for playing Minecraft and doing anything else you might want to do on a relatively slow computer. So it's not actually infeasible. It just depends on how it's used. Using a files system other than FAT could also extend the life of the SD card.
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Last edited by Kedwa30 October 16, 2014 at 10:30 AM
#11
I've done this- on a Dell laptop with a 32GB SD (I don't recall the speed, but it was one of the faster ones) and it worked well. I'm not doubting the comments about the longer life of the SSDs vs the SDs, have you tried to find a IDE SSD at a reasonable price lately? Are they even generally available any more? It was the slim availability and high prices that drove me to this and it worked- and, to the best of my knowledge, still is; there was a noticeable speed improvement from the old HD to this.
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#12
Alternatively if you're just browsing the net why do you need an ssd? you could do just fine with a bargain bin mechanical drive.
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#13
Quote from DylanS2308 View Post :
Alternatively if you're just browsing the net why do you need an ssd? you could do just fine with a bargain bin mechanical drive.
Because the operating system will load and run faster, even for just web browsing. Sure when you have your computer booted up, application loaded and ready to go, the drive doesn't make a ton of difference. SSD is the way to go for any computer, regardless of usage.
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#14
depends on if you can find a SD card with wear-leveling or not, and how much data is written - frequent full hibernations will kill it rather fast, and with adapters in the way the system may not detect it as a SSD (or equivalent) and thus not optimize correctly for it, thus causing write amplification issues

Quote from atlaswing View Post :
say wha...? so a bona fide SSD has an average life of less than a year?
that's from 5-6 years ago, SSD's have improved greatly in the past 8 years (plus you should have warranties for far longer than that if you aren't running enterprise-level workloads)
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Last edited by slapshot136 May 6, 2015 at 01:57 PM
#15
Quote from slapshot136 View Post :
depends on if you can find a SD card with wear-leveling or not, and how much data is written - frequent full hibernations will kill it rather fast, and with adapters in the way the system may not detect it as a SSD (or equivalent) and thus not optimize correctly for it, thus causing write amplification issues



that's from 5-6 years ago, SSD's have improved greatly in the past 8 years (plus you should have warranties for far longer than that if you aren't running enterprise-level workloads)
This thread is from 4 years ago. It was revived in December and commented on a few times by a few one post wonders. While their posts were moderately useful and written by actual humans, I wouldn't be surprised if these accounts are later used for spam or an attempt to get more sweepstakes entries.

As to this thread, sd cards are slower and less reliable than conventional drives. I would only consider using an SD card as a boot drive on a kiosk or thin client type machine.
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Last edited by jkee May 6, 2015 at 02:52 PM
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