ExpressCard & SSD?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by donbenjy, Jun 12, 2009.

  1. donbenjy macrumors 6502

    Oct 15, 2008
    Right, so FINALLY the verbatim SSD Expresscards are available (Here) that were announced in January. To my knowledge, these are the first SSD cards which use the PCI bus (as opposed to the USB2 one). This is exciting (for those of us with expresscard slots at least) because I can install OS X and my apps on a fast, separate drive to hopefully increase system speed, and separate my OS from my files! Before I take the plunge, however, I'm kinda worried about the 30MB/s write doesn't sound fast compared to 120 for read, and I can't find any data on 5400rpm sata drives - anyone got any idea?

    Also...I can do this right? It will boot I hope?

    Oh, and by no means a dealbreaker, but do you think I'd be able to boot "my system" on my friends MBPs? Obviously it'd work with the same model (late '08 unibody) but any chance of it working with the classics as well? Not an issue if not, but it would be awesome to be able to do that! :D

    Why isn't anyone else as excited as me about this?!
  2. Ploki macrumors 68020

    Jan 21, 2008
    its actually a great idea... would be nice to see it in 64gigs.
  3. mandoman macrumors 6502


    Nov 8, 2005
    I've been waiting on the Verbatim cards to hit the states forever, but they are still not available here. We do have this card though:
    Reviews say it works on MBP as a boot drive. Only complaint is heat.

    I'm waiting for the price to go down or the capacity to go up before taking the plunge on one of these cards though. I think I will wait until I go to snow leopard when I'll do a clean install of the OS.

    I am a bit nervous though about investing in expresscard as new uMBP 15" does not have it. Grumble, grumble, bitch and moan.
  4. donbenjy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 15, 2008
    Yeah, I don't think the verbatim ones are very well publicised - I just google it every couple of months on the off chance :cool: Pity about the write speed as the one you posted has 60mb/s :confused: But the heat sounds abit dodgy!

    Yeah, I think I'll wait for SL too, and hopefully the price will have dropped

    Ploki: I think there's a 64gb one, but 32 suits my needs just fine, especially considering SL reduces the system space used over Leopard's 8Gb or so!
  5. Ploki macrumors 68020

    Jan 21, 2008
    thats true yeah :)
    ill think about it, thanks for the thread.
    its an interesting solution ! very interesting for that matter.
  6. sMaX macrumors newbie

    Aug 11, 2009
    I have a 32gb verbatim and tried installing the last SL beta on it.
    I first installed Snow Leopard to a firewire external hard drive and then made an image from that fresh install onto the express card.

    Problem is it won't boot. Even when selecting it from the pref pane. It does show in the list to chose from mind you.
    A 16GB SD card via an expresscard card reader did work as a boot device.
    I think the problem is interface related...
    Also tried to install the verbatim driver on SL on the fw disk but that didn't work, because it won't install. Maybe this will be fixed with the offical release of snow leopard.
    Going to try again with that release soon.
    Strange thing I ve noticed now is that the card also shows in system profiler under the ATA three

    Give me your thoughts?
  7. Gen macrumors 6502a


    Jul 15, 2008
    So neither of those cards will work as a Windows bootcamp drive?
  8. Dorkmonger macrumors newbie


    Nov 3, 2005
    I have the Filemate that I bought from Newegg. I would have to say that it is the single best thing that could have sped up my Late 2007 Macbook Pro. The speed increase comes when loading programs and accessing data on the drive.
  9. UltraNEO* macrumors 601


    Jun 16, 2007

    ExpressCard SSD's ain't bootable are they?
  10. Dorkmonger macrumors newbie


    Nov 3, 2005
    I hear that booting Windows 7 is problematic as well as XP on an expresscard SSD. It is a problem with the way Microsoft boots and looks for peripherals :(

    However, both Leopard and Snow Leopard boot fine. It is about 30-40 second bootup time which is really nice :)
  11. sMaX macrumors newbie

    Aug 11, 2009

    So I've tried installing the official snow leopard to the verbatim card.
    No luck.
    When installing from within leopard, it comes up as an option to install SL to.
    Continuing with the card as a target:
    when busy installing after a few minutes it gives an error saying the install dvd isn't working, try cleaning and try again...
    Got the same error when trying to install to a firewire harddrive...???

    When booting from the installer 'dvd':
    The card doesn 't come up in the target disk list. So that 's not an option.
    Installing to the firewire disk did work however. Problem now is that the verbatim driver for the card isn't snowleopard compatible. So cloning the firewire install to the card isn't going to work either.
    Maybe even with a working SL driver, it still won't work.

    If anyone gives a comment, please state what card you are using. Because now it 's kind of clear to me, that the used internal interface of the cards are the main reason why this doesn 't work.
    -True express cards like the verbatims and sony sxs have a kind of pci interface I think. They both need a driver to work...
    -The others use a sort of bridged usb interface (transcend has those), probably why those do work. Just like the SD cards will work.

    Of course speed is the main reason why I 'd use it, so the only good ones are the first kind. They are at least 2x faster writing and even faster reading....
  12. John89 macrumors regular

    Dec 23, 2008
    I have the Filemate 48gb ExpressCard SSD, and it boots with SL installed no problems. I have tried Windows 7 too for Bootcamp. Windows 7 recognises it as a bootable device but it requires a me to change some BIOS settings. Since macs don't have a BIOS, I guess it can't be done.
  13. sMaX macrumors newbie

    Aug 11, 2009
    So the filemate really seems the way to go then. Do you need a driver for it? I guess not.
    Looking at the speeds of the filemate it looks like it's not one of those usb bridged sort... But then how come that one works and the others don't?
    The sony sxs s even make SL kernel panic apparently...
  14. twitchgreen macrumors newbie

    Jun 14, 2009
    I also bought the 48GB Filemate. I got it as an intermediate step before pulling the trigger on a 2.5" SSD; I was pleased enough to go ahead & get a Crucial M225 256GB SSD.

    I installed SL on the booted & ran like a champ. I was also able to WinClone my Bootcamp partition onto the SSD. I could boot into XP on the expresscard via refit (I could see both SLs & both WinXPs). However, the WinXP SSD partition would not boot once I erased the original WinXP bootcamp partition on my hard drive.

    I also tried booting into SL on the SSD & then creating a bootcamp partition from scratch on the SSD...but SL will not let you create a bootcamp partition on an external drive.
  15. John89 macrumors regular

    Dec 23, 2008
    Hmmm thats weird. I wonder if anyone else could shed some light as to why this is happening...?

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