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You are here: MacNN Forums > Enthusiast Zone > Hardware Hacking > SSD in express 34 slot or mini pcie

SSD in express 34 slot or mini pcie
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serr
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Mar 24, 2010, 09:53 PM
 
I'd like some advice/opinions on installing a SSD either in the express 34 slot or the mini pcie slot. There are 64GB SSD's made for either interface. I see a lot of people writing about kernel panics when using the express 34 SSD's. Maybe some of the SSD's available are just junk?

Any opinions on the better choice between running the system in the express 34 vs the mini pcie? Of course I'd have to replace the airport card with something in the express 34 slot if I did that (meaning this choice would need to be manditory before I did that).

Here's an express 34 version:
FileMate SolidGO 64GB Solid State Drive (SSD) ExpressCard 34 with Mini USB 2.0, Model 3FMS4U64M-WR

Here are 2 versions of mini pcie:
64GB OCZ miniPCI-Express SSD (SATA) OCZSSDMPES-64G
64GB OCZ miniPCI-Express SSD (PATA) OCZSSDMPEP-64G
OK, here we need to choose between internal architecture of sata vs pata.

I have the early 2008 machine. I'd really like to install a SSD for the system (keeping the 500GB 7200 SATA HD for data). I use this for audio recording so it needs to be 100%.
     
mduell
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Mar 25, 2010, 04:57 PM
 
What machine has both an ExpressCard slot and a miniPCIe slot to make this an option?

AFAIK the only Macs with ExpressCard slots are some MacBook Pros and the only Macs with miniPCIe slots are the Mac Pro and tv.
     
serr  (op)
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Mar 25, 2010, 05:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
What machine has both an ExpressCard slot and a miniPCIe slot to make this an option?

AFAIK the only Macs with ExpressCard slots are some MacBook Pros and the only Macs with miniPCIe slots are the Mac Pro and tv.
the airport card uses a mini pcie slot - there's only one, so I'd have to remove the airport card to use it for something else
     
hookem2oo7
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Mar 28, 2010, 09:49 PM
 
I have the filemate 48GB in my Expresscard34 slot. I have had no issues whatsoever except faster reads/writes for my system/application folders. I moved my users folder to the internal drive. The only kernel panic I've had occurred when my son removed the card while the machine was on.
     
Parsa
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Apr 16, 2010, 02:23 AM
 
Keep in mind that the Wintec Filemate 48GB "Ultra" is much faster than the larger 64GB.
48GB Ultra: Read 115MB/s Write 65MB/s
64GB SSD: Read 35MB/s Write 30MB/s
     
Parsa
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Apr 19, 2010, 06:42 PM
 
I read a forum post from a Wintec support person that said using the SSD ExpressCard drive as a boot drive will continually eat away at the overall file size of the drive. It has something to do with reading and writing to the same part of the disk.
Has anyone actually experienced a loss of storage space?
     
hookem2oo7
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Apr 21, 2010, 09:46 AM
 
I haven't noticed any significant loss of storage. I've had it for about 6 months now, so that may not be enough time to tell...
     
vmarks
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Apr 25, 2010, 02:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by Parsa View Post
I read a forum post from a Wintec support person that said using the SSD ExpressCard drive as a boot drive will continually eat away at the overall file size of the drive. It has something to do with reading and writing to the same part of the disk.
Has anyone actually experienced a loss of storage space?
I don't have this drive, but it makes sense.

Normally, flash media has a limited number of read/writes available to it. When using SSD, a system is supposed to write data in different places on the drive, intentionally fragmenting, so that it balances the wearing out of the drive over time.

I would think OS X would know how to do this, since MacBook Air ships with SSD, but it is possible that if it's not a drive that OS X knows (one apple shipped?) that it doesn't know what to do to balance wear - or that Apple figures it's not an issue if the read/write number is in the millions before failure, that the laptop will be at the end of its life by the time the drive wears out - or that even if it does wear out, its average time before failure is higher than the 3 years that people expect for spinning hard drives.
     
reader50
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May 10, 2010, 12:40 AM
 
Flash SSDs do use wear leveling, in which new data is written (whenever possible) to the least-used block. Each flash memory block can be reliably written to a certain number of times, so wear leveling insures the drive will go as long as possible before it loses blocks. Every SSD also comes with spare blocks, to map into play if a regular block fails.

Wear leveling and spare blocks are all handled by the drive firmware - the computer does not see any of this. So far as the computer is concerned, all the blocks are in order. They are fragmented internally, but the drive remaps them back into normal order for the computer. Since there is no random access penalty with an SSD, this isn't anything to worry about.

Around a year ago, some Intel SSDs had a defective wear leveling algorithm which caused the drives to get slower and slower with use. Since the problem was all internal to the drive, there was nothing the computer could do to fix it. Intel presently released firmware updates which solved the problem. This may be what Parsa is recalling.
     
   
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