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st8ofmi9d st8ofmi9d is offline
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Default Additional storage - fastest options - 04-22-2009, 01:51 PM

I just ordered the Vostro A90 and I would like to know the options for the fastest types of external, highly portable storage.

Is there a difference in speed using a microSD card through the SD card slot (w/microSD to SD adaptor) or through the USB port using an adaptor like http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.11294 ? Do both options equally support the various classes of SDHC cards? How will these methods compare in speed to the SSD 8GB drive that comes with the A90? How do these options compare with an external HD?

Thank you!
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reflex reflex is offline
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Default Re: Additional storage - fastest options - 04-22-2009, 03:17 PM

You ordered one with Linux? I think Linux drivers don't support the highest SD card speeds, since the full SD card spec is proprietary. So, my SD cards are faster in my SanDisk MicroMate USB reader than the onboard reader, since USB readers have their own hardware "drivers".

As for the reader you linked to, it could be slow, or it could be fast. It does appear to support microSDHC, judging by the comments on that page. But microSD/microSDHC cards are usually slower than full-size SD/SDHC cards, even ignoring the reader.

The onboard reader supports high capacity SDHC cards. As for SD card speeds vs the onboard SSD: I expect the fastest SD card (the SanDisk Extreme 30MBps) in a fast reader will be competitive or potentially superior to a slower SSD (like my 4GB STEC). But in general, SD cards will be clearly slower.

And compared to external hard drives, most SD cards also won't be able to read or write as quickly, but the low seek times may help them win on some workloads (like reading many small files).

I hope I've helped you understand your storage options better.


Mini 9 | Intel 5100 Wifi | Ubuntu 10.04 Netbook
Mini 1012 | SSD | Intel 6200 Wifi | Ubuntu 11.10 64bit
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st8ofmi9d st8ofmi9d is offline
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Default Re: Additional storage - fastest options - 04-22-2009, 08:40 PM

Thank you for the tremendous reply. Yes, I ordered the Ubuntu version and I will be upgrading it to 9.04 shortly after getting my hands on the machine.

It sounds like there is no real easy 100% answer. I guess I will just need to play with and test out all of the options and see which gives me the best balance between cost, performance and ease of use. I carry around microSD cards on my key chain so that's the easiest option for me but I also want to make sure that I don't feel like everything slows to a crawl if I'm grabbing data from the memory cards. Also, chances are that I'll be upgrading the SSD when SSDs go down even further in price.

Thanks again!
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bmhome1 bmhome1 is offline
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Default Re: Additional storage - fastest options - 04-22-2009, 11:10 PM

Some micro SD>USB readers are faster than others, the Sandisk is particularly fast paired up with their 16GB micro SD rated class 2 but performs like class 6: +10MB/sec writes and 18MB/sec reads. The Transcend P3 micro SD reader is nearly as fast. Both are really tiny and protrude very little plugged in.


Black Mini 9 (free with DSL package) | 2GB Patriot RAM | 32GB RunCore | 16GB Transcend 6 SDHC | TWO internal 16GB microSDHC on USB controller | EETI Touchscreen | Windows XP
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reflex reflex is offline
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Default Re: Additional storage - fastest options - 04-24-2009, 12:22 PM

I've upgraded to Ubuntu 9.04 Netbook Remix, and it seems that Linux is no longer slow at directly accessing SD cards, at least when my Mini 9's internal reader is paired with my Class 6 Kingston or my SanDisk Extreme. The internal reader now even outperforms my SanDisk USB reader.


Mini 9 | Intel 5100 Wifi | Ubuntu 10.04 Netbook
Mini 1012 | SSD | Intel 6200 Wifi | Ubuntu 11.10 64bit
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