MBP ExpressCard/34 speed? SSD ExpressCard?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Consultant, Feb 4, 2008.

  1. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Two questions, wondering if anyone knows the answer:

    1.Looking for maximum bandwidth of ExpressCard/34 slot in MacBook Pro.
    (Since eSATA raid is supported with ExpressCard, the bandwidth should be there. Looks like it has at least 70MB read/write?)

    2. Are there ExpressCard/34 SSD disks that runs faster than internal SATA drives? (Mtron seems to make only 2.5" and 3.5")
  2. Consultant thread starter macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007

    The ExpressCard SSD on newegg are fairly inexpensive, but they seem to be regular flash because they are fairly slow... All this SSD drive thing on MBA is making think about getting a fast SSD drive for scratch disk!

    The really fast 111 MB/s Read, 90 MB/s Write
    (and really expensive) high speed SSD drive is only in 3.5" format for now.
  3. capoditutti macrumors 6502


    Nov 11, 2006
    Double bump! ExpressCard/34 SSD as Scratch Disk!!!

    I too have been exploring this option but i can only find 32GB transcend SSDs with paltry speeds - what have you found that can do the business speed-wise?

    Anyone know if there are other makes out there making much faster Read [18MB]/Write[8MB] ExpressCard/34 cards?
  4. ou lumberjack macrumors newbie

    Sep 20, 2008
    I too am looking at utilizing my express card slot with a fast SSD solution...or maybe even replacing my HDD..! But it's been tough finding out what is available/compatible with my machine. I have the 2.4 macbook pro penryn....any ideas?
  5. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    The ExpressCard slot is x1, but most ExpressCard SSDs run off USB, so you're limited to 480Mbps theoretical. In reality it's probably going to be around 20MB/s, so which is pathetic by all means. This is not to mention the fact that ExpressCard SSDs use MLC only which equates to poorer reliability.

    Did I mention you can't boot from an ExpressCard?

    If you want a SSD to replace your HDD, get a 2.5" SSD; the new Intel ones are pretty fast. If you want reliability and performance, I would consider the Mtron or Memoright SSDs, but they also cost a fortune.
  6. capoditutti macrumors 6502


    Nov 11, 2006
    Awwww shucks!

    Ah well, it'll have to be SSD replacing my standard HDD, or a much faster but still cool+efficient mechanical drive..

    I honestly thought ExpressCard was faster - bummer!
  7. NS31 macrumors newbie

    Dec 7, 2008
    How about the Mtron express 34 SSD SLC - PCI

    I have a MBP penryn 2,4 and I'm tempted by this express card. They say its SLC, works with PCI not USD, 16go memory and write/read at about 100mo.
    It cost about 130 EUR.
    2 questions though:
    1- will the MBP boot from express card (key point)
    2- will it fit nicely and discretly in the port (no way to have an ugly thing on the left side on my MBP, dam...!). :eek:

    Anyone has an idea?
    Thank you very much.
    Best regards,

    You can check the "thing' here:

    Or here:

  8. kleinishere macrumors member

    Sep 13, 2006
    That's a really great find. I had no idea Mtron made ExpressCard SSDs with such great performance. Like the above posts indicate, almost all of the ExpressCard SSDs you find on Newegg right now have pathetic read/write times that are comparable to a USB key.

    I don't know the answer to your question about booting for sure, but many people have indicated that you cannot boot from the ExpressCard port, although I'd still love to see someone say you can.

    As for sticking out, it certainly appears like this would be a problem. The picture has that black tab at the end which has two lights that must reflect activity.
  9. Ampidire macrumors 6502


    Feb 1, 2007
    The reason they all have pathetic read/write is the space constraint.
    I have no idea what the Mtron is using, but probably a higher density chip to fit a high performance controller; the price shows that too, wow.

    1. No, the new MBP's can NOT boot from ExpressCard/34
    2. It probably will stick out with that whole black portion.

    I'm looking for an eSATA ExpressCard/34 1-port card, and they're all huge because they need the controller inside the card and it's so small. So maybe later down the road we'll see better/smaller technology for it.
  10. NS31 macrumors newbie

    Dec 7, 2008
    I'm currently asking several websites and Mtron (as soon as their "contact us" thing works). The reason its going faster is due, I think, to 3 things:
    1- SLC instead of MLC
    2- probably a home brewed efficient controller
    3- main reason: it uses PCI not USB to plug into the mac.
    I keep you posted about the important boot question :).
  11. NS31 macrumors newbie

    Dec 7, 2008
    Hi there,
    pls find below the answer I feqred to receive: not botable. Too bad!:confused:

    "Hi Nicolas, no unfortunately our Mtron ExpressCard is not bootable in your MBP 2,4 Penryn. Mtron is working on the drivers and we expect them to be released in the 1st quarter of 2009.

    We don't have any pictures available for you. There is only a small amount of the ExpressCard that sticks out of the ExpressCard slot, just a little bit longer than 1/2 inch about 1.5 centimeters. "

    Lets wait for 2009, I would love to put OSX on such a stick (discret & cheaper that big and efficient SSD) and keep a regular uptodate hard drive like the last Samung 500go.

  12. n8236 macrumors 65816

    Mar 1, 2006
    I actually looked into utilizing my Express slot as well and wasn't able to find any SSDs worthy of purchasing.

    I own the first gen MBP Core Duos and one day decided to stick something in it, so I bought a SD card reader lol.
  13. bg002h macrumors newbie

    Mar 7, 2006
    mac book pro's can boot from ssd in express/34 slot

    pre and post unibody macbook pro's can boot from SSD in the express/34 slot...I'm doing that right now with a fast (~100 mb/s for some reads) express 34 card ssd...? email bcg dot junk _@at_ gmail

    see http://forums.macrumors.com/search.php?searchid=16025787
  14. Sehnsucht macrumors 65816

    Sep 21, 2008
    I just got an ExpressCard MemoryStick Duo adapter...I'm going to enjoy using it more than the large, clunky USB adapters that stick way out, and can get snapped off easily or when I don't want to lug around my 1394 12-in-one.

    I've been wondering about eSATA ExpressCard adapters. Wouldn't the ExpressCard interface cause a huge bottleneck as far as transfer speeds? I'm thinking yeah, probably. ;)
  15. bg002h macrumors newbie

    Mar 7, 2006
    pcie-1x bottleneck

    yeah, the bottle neck is at 2.5Tb/sec for a pci-1x interface....which is a lot faster than current fastest hard drives
  16. mikes70mustang macrumors 68000


    Nov 14, 2008
    Ah, the age old question of what to stick in the ol' express slot ;)
  17. Leo72 macrumors member

    May 14, 2009
    Ankara, Turkey
    Verbatim introduced some models a while ago . As far as i remember, they can be booted.
  18. tkjazzer macrumors 6502

    Nov 30, 2004
  19. Jaro65 macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    I have this (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...cm_re=filemate_solidgo-_-20-161-325-_-Product). It is only 48GB, but that's plenty to boot off from. I kept the OS X on my main HD, and so when I'm rebooting I simply need to hold an option key and select the ExpressCard drive as a boot drive. That's it. You can definitely feel the difference in speed as compared to the regular HD.
  20. Jaro65 macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    Both my 15" and my 17" MBPs happily boot off the ExpressCard slot. Perhaps you have the last revision of MBP and something was changed?
  21. guzhogi macrumors 68030


    Aug 31, 2003
    Wherever my feet take me…
    Looks pretty cool. Might get it if I had the money.
  22. mattwolfmatt macrumors 65816


    Jun 7, 2008
    Have you guys seen this Macworld article yesterday? It peaked my interest in getting a 48GB expresscard SSD to boot off of, along with several of my programs.

    One question I'm not sure about . . . can I use the SSD and the internal HD simultaneously? For example, use the SSD to boot and most programs, but perhaps keep photoshop and movies and music on the internal HD? Can I keep the itunes program on the SSD but keep the music on the HD?

  23. someguy2054 macrumors newbie

    Jul 9, 2009
    Definitely, I suggest this Highly. I've been booting off of my 48 HD for about 7 months now and it's fantastic. and in my opinion it is imperative to keep the Applications on the SSD and the what i call " slow Large format files" on the internal hdd. The applications on the SSD allow them to boot near instantly.

    One suggestion is with the Boot on the SSD, use a pointer to point to a Home Directory on your internal HDD or do the following:


    My experience with this is to always at least have a SSD boot drive... they are fantastic.

    This stuff has been happening for a while, I think it's just now catching some wind. See this other thread for more:
  24. capoditutti macrumors 6502


    Nov 11, 2006
    Model Identifiers are key!

    Please could everyone who has got this solution working let us know what their Model identifier is?

    should be located in system profiler

    (Applications/Utilities/System Profiler) or Spotlight: Profiler

    The Model Identifier will be in the Hardware Overview.

    The reason this is worth knowing is because it seems some of the older Macbook Pros cannot boot from ExpressCard, so it would be useful to know which ones can..

    Also, supplementary thread here

  25. Jaro65 macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    I have it working on MacBookPro4,1 and MacBookPro5,2.

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