Using SD Card as an SSD?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by LoneWolf121188, Jul 1, 2010.

  1. LoneWolf121188 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    Location:
    Longmont, CO
    #1
    I just had an interesting thought...I don't have any devices that use an SD card (my DSLR uses CF cards), so the SD card reader on my new MBP will mostly go to waste. But then I thought, "what if I use a 32GB SD card as an SSD?" It should be much faster than even a 7200 RPM HDD, right? And 32GB SD cards can be found for less than $100, which definitely beats the cost of an SSD. Anyone heard of anyone doing this?

    Does anyone know what the maximum read/write speed of the SD reader on the MBP is? Just wondering what the potential bottlenecks are...
     
  2. MacModMachine macrumors 68020

    MacModMachine

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    Location:
    Canada
    #2
    they have limited write cycles,

    a sd card will not last much longer then a week as a os drive.
     
  3. neondrgns macrumors regular

    neondrgns

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2010
    #3
    a lot of people have this same thought. it cant be done, theres no controllers on a sd card slot like a ssd hard drive does. also #2, which annoys the crap outta me is that your sd card does not sit flush with the machine, like maybe 10-20% of the SD card sticks out of the slot.
     
  4. tatical macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2009
    #4
  5. karohan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    #5
    Yeah, if I'm not mistaken, normal flash memory is typically slower than hard drive speeds. What makes SSD flash memory faster is because the writing occurs in a parallel fashion via the controller, so it utilizes the speed of essentially multiple flash memory modules.
     
  6. petsk macrumors 6502

    petsk

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2009
    Location:
    Northern Europe
    #6
    I have the fastest SD card around (16 GB Sandisk, class 10, 30MB/s) and it's many times slower than my 2.5" external FW800 drive wish reaches about 60MB/s.

    I'm having mostly small files on the SD card (php-files, pdf's, documents, pictures..) and therefor I was hoping that the SD card would perform better than a HDD, but surprisingly it's 3-5 times slower than HDD, even with small files!

    Forget running a OS from a SD card, it's waaaay to slow.
     
  7. aeboi macrumors 65816

    aeboi

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2009
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #7
    my sandisk extreme reaches speed of 30mb/s but that's beside the point

    can't match the 250 mb/s of some ssds
     
  8. pjcforpres2020 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    #8
    Actuality it is really common to use an sd card to expand the ram on android phones... As for using it as a rom drive to boot the os, et al, not possible beyond moving parts of an app, aka app2sd, but not everything is transfered over to keep load times livable... For a computer I doubt either use would boost performance. Also, used as a rom device, aka app2sd et al, It would last years, as ram on a phone it lasts about a year.

    Edit, I just remembered windows mobile users boot android off a sd card, and use the sd card as the primary rom and ram storage device.
     
  9. kernkraft macrumors 68020

    kernkraft

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2009
    #9
    If you want OS on an SD card, you'll have to destroy a 32GB one.

    For the same amount, you might get a very good external HDD or maybe even a 30GB SSD.

    Writing speed is an issue with SD, so is the way, an OS operates. An SD card is unable to access data the same way. Besides, writing cycle is so limited that that on its own risks the whole project.
     
  10. rotobadger macrumors 65816

    rotobadger

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    #10
    I had this idea too. After a ton of research I found that it really isn't possible. I'm still toying with idea of a Express Port drive though. I have the Intel 160GB SSD and need as much storage space as I can get.
     
  11. chown33 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    #11
    SD cards are frequently limited by I/O speed on the SD interface itself.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secure_Digital#Speeds

    Cards of all kinds are also limited by the speed of the card reader they're plugged into. I have two CF card readers, and one is about 50% faster than the other, with the same CF card plugged into it.
     
  12. miscend macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #12
  13. Mac.User macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2013
    #13
    Dell sells enterprise level servers that include two SD cards in RAID0 for your OS drive.
     
  14. nateo200 macrumors 68030

    nateo200

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Location:
    Northern District NY
    #14
    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1342319572/the-nifty-minidrive

    The Nifty Drive is coming soon and at every Best Buy I've been to they sell a short SD card that sits flush on a MBA in the form of a 64 or 128GB option. Either way I will wait for the nifty drive and throw in a Sandisk Extreme Pro to get 80+ MEGABYTES a second :D I'd encourage everyone to invest in the Nifty drive, its beautifully crafted and while SD cards have limited read/write cycles you can get a really fast one and it will last a long time, besides I would only use it for storage that didn't need to be accessed nearly as much as say an external scratch drive.
     
  15. ROLLTIDE1 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2012
    #15
    Didn't they start this like 5 years ago ? I will believe it when I see it
     
  16. Mac.User macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2013
    #16
    I have 3 of them.

    The issue is that when they released then the Retina came out and they and to remodel it for an even more shallow port so they had to redesign it from scratch.
     
  17. nateo200 macrumors 68030

    nateo200

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Location:
    Northern District NY
    #17
    Yeah I was wondering about the Retina version...
     
  18. ABSjazz macrumors member

    ABSjazz

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2013
    Location:
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    #18
    UHS-1 SD cards can reach nearly 100MB/s for what it's worth. Have a SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-1 card for my DSLR and it absolutely screams when importing photos to my computer.

    http://www.sandisk.com/products/memory-cards/sd/
     
  19. RngRngBananaRam macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2013
    #19
    The issue with spinning platter drives is latency, not bandwidth. An SSD with less bandwidth than a HDD will feel significantly quicker, though some operations (like copying large files) will actually take longer.
     
  20. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #20
    Okay, let's say I'm buying a new Mac I'm deciding between a 128GB or a 256GB SSD...

    Why would anyone want a 64GB microSDXC that costs $120 a pop, is slower, and requires me to buy some adapter that uses one of my SD card slot?!

    That's not to mention my 11" MacBook Air doesn't even have a SD card slot!
     
  21. actuallyinaus macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2013
    #21
    seriously?

    ok if you are 'buying a new mac' then it's not the best idea

    but if you already have a macbook then it's your best option for some ultra portable extra space (unless you sell and rebuy your macbook but your going to spend more than $120 in this process)

    and some people also rarely use the SD card slot, so they wouldn't mind it being used for extra storage
     
  22. MacModMachine macrumors 68020

    MacModMachine

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    Location:
    Canada
    #22
    windows ?

    i would say thats most likey ESXi which is not an os.
     
  23. Mac.User macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2013
    #23
    The machines come preloaded with Windows Server.
     
  24. MacModMachine macrumors 68020

    MacModMachine

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    Location:
    Canada
    #24
    not on the SD card , dell does not load windows on SD card's.
     
  25. kaltsasa macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2002
    Location:
    Kellogg IA
    #25

Share This Page