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Inexpensive options for solid-state storage?

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#1 Gullible Jones

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 14:42

I'm tentatively looking at solid-state alternatives to laptop hard drives, and wondering what is available in that arena. Inexpensive options are obviously preferable, but not if they mean I'll have to buy another in a year...

What I've found so far:

- Small SSDs. I don't need more than ~32 GB of storage space, especially if I put Linux on it (which I probably would), so small makes sense. These are still relatively expensive though.

- CF card to SATA adapters. These are cheap and apparently fast, but CF cards themselves seem somewhat expensive, about twice as much as SD/MicroSD cards.

- SD card to SATA adapters. These are cheap, and so are SD cards, but they don't look very fast...

The other possibility would be putting my system on a large USB stick (and possibly removing the hard drive to improve battery life). That would be cheap and easy. It would probably get very slow under I/O load though, USB 2 bandwidth is not impressive.

Which of these options seems most sensible, from a standpoint of reducing power consumption and improving desktop performance under normal loads, without busting my wallet?

#2 Crisp



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Posted 24 April 2013 - 14:46

Which of these options seems most sensible

#1 - if you ever go Windows, I wouldn't go smaller than 60.

#3 +goretsky


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Posted 25 April 2013 - 09:30


As +Crisp noted, a lower-capacity SSD is your best bet, but I'm confused, exactly, about what kind of system you have and what you are trying to do with it, since you mentioned laptop drives (for notebook computers, obviously, but used in desktop and SFF PCs these days as well), battery life (traditionally associated with notebooks) and desktop performance (which implies, well, a desktop).

I am not exactly sure what you consider wallet-busting (over $100?) as you increase in capacity, the price per GB drops dramatically. As an example, I just looked at the pricing for the least expensive drive in each capacity on Newegg, and here's what I came up with today:

60GB	  (1×N)		 $69.99	        $1.17/GB
120GB	  (2×N)		 $89.99         $0.75/GB
240GB	  (4×N)		 $169.99	$0.70/GB
960GB	  (16×N)         $599.99	$0.62/GB			
While you might not want to go with the least expensive model, and you probably don't want to go with the highest capacity, either, it does give you an idea of the relative value.

These prices change over time, and usually in nice downward curve that favors you. If you are not planning on buying until 2014, though, I'd say wait until then to start looking at pricing. The marketplace is going to be completely different, then.


Aryeh Goretsky