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Thread: CF vs CF Microdrive?

  1. #1
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    CF vs CF Microdrive?

    I'm planning on going the CompactFlash route for booting into XP, with a 2.5" laptop drive as a secondary drive for program files and data.

    Basically booting from the CF slot in my LV-671 (when it arrives..), and installing a customized copy of XP where the "Program Files" and "Documents and Settings" folders get installed to the laptop drive as D:, and using EWF to protect the CF (C drive.

    Here's the question:

    Why should I go for a solid state CF card with a limited capacity (~512M-1G) instead of a 4GB CF+ Type II Microdrive?


    Such as this:
    http://shop4.outpost.com/product/420...H:MAIN_RSLT_PG

    Pros/Cons:
    • Cost for 4G ($180), vs solid state CF (4GB $330, 1GB ~$90)
    • 3600 RPM, slower than most other 2.5" laptop drives.
    • Sustained Data Rate: Up to 7.2MB/sec (48x)
    • Possible head crash risk due to moving parts.
    • No need to use EWF to protect the Microdrive, although it could help with speed, preventing unecessary writes.



    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    FLAC SFiorito's Avatar
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    I haven't read great reviews on the speed of microdrives. If you're going to use a microdrive why not just use a laptop drive to begin with (unless it's just for space issues). You may find that an UltraII, Extreme, or ExtremeIII will boot much faster than a microdrive. The Extreme is rated at 12-14MB transfer rate, while the ExtremeIII at 20MB, plus no seek time.

    *EDIT*: here's a comparison database: http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/mul...?cid=6007-6133

    That Hitachi Microdrive is rated at a whopping 5MB/s....

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by SFiorito
    I haven't read great reviews on the speed of microdrives. If you're going to use a microdrive why not just use a laptop drive to begin with (unless it's just for space issues). You may find that an UltraII, Extreme, or ExtremeIII will boot much faster than a microdrive. The Extreme is rated at 12-14MB transfer rate, while the ExtremeIII at 20MB, plus no seek time.

    *EDIT*: here's a comparison database: http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/mul...?cid=6007-6133

    That Hitachi Microdrive is rated at a whopping 5MB/s....
    Hmm..

    The LV-671's CF slot is rated at PIO mode 4 up to 16.6Mbps, but the IDE ports are ATA/100, so I'm not sure if that limitation is with the CF slot, or the CF cards that Commell chose.

    I'm planning on getting a 7200 RPM laptop drive anyway, but I'll still look into the Extreme CF cards.

  4. #4
    FLAC SFiorito's Avatar
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    the sandisk cards run in PIO Mode 4 as well, but the microdrive is just plain slower. There's also the new M-Systems uDOC coming out "soon" which may be even faster than an ExtremeIII.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator. If my typing sucks it's probably because I'm driving.... turbocad6's Avatar
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    the main advantage of cf is the solid state for cold boots & no head crashes, etc, using a micro drive defeats this purpouse & I would think it isn't as durable as a laptop drive either, I would avoid microdrive unless you have a specific reason to spec it that way...

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    Quote Originally Posted by turbocad6
    the main advantage of cf is the solid state for cold boots & no head crashes, etc, using a micro drive defeats this purpouse & I would think it isn't as durable as a laptop drive either, I would avoid microdrive unless you have a specific reason to spec it that way...
    Well, I was planning on installing a 5400 or 7200 RPM 2.5" laptop drive anyway, if only for program files and application data.

    Makes me wonder if I should just go with a single laptop drive and forgo CF for booting...


    Of course, on another tangent, there's the thought of how to mount the laptop hard drive.

    There are shock absorbing grommets and foams, but there seems to me that there's evidence that the drives should be firmly mounted, either horizontally or vertically.

    This is an interesting read:
    http://www.arcade-tech.com/arcade/ap...vibration.html

  7. #7
    Constant Bitrate gubon13's Avatar
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    i'd stick with horizontal mounting, although in theory, there should be no reason why vertical is bad... and medium-hard grommets are the way to go, IMHO. the softer the padding, the more drive skips i had, even though there were very few.
    "Is Wayne Brady gonna have to choke a b@$#*??!!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by gubon13
    i'd stick with horizontal mounting, although in theory, there should be no reason why vertical is bad... and medium-hard grommets are the way to go, IMHO. the softer the padding, the more drive skips i had, even though there were very few.
    Some people maintain that vertical mounting is better because it prevents head crashes on vertical impacts (potholes, etc.), but there are others that say horizontal is better because in a vertical configuration, the r/w heads have to work against gravity in one direction..

    Most 3.5" hard drive installation manuals say that the drives can be mounted horizontally or vertically in any orientation, but not to mount the drives diagonally or anything non-vertical or non-horizontal.

    I would assume the same goes for 2.5" drives.


    What grommets did you use, and where did you get them?

  9. #9
    Constant Bitrate gubon13's Avatar
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    yeah, i've just had bad experiences with mounting 3.5" drives vertically, so i don't do that any more.

    as for the grommets, i took them out of a case that had them built into it. can't recall the exact case. sorry, not terribly helpful...
    "Is Wayne Brady gonna have to choke a b@$#*??!!"

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giuliano
    Makes me wonder if I should just go with a single laptop drive and forgo CF for booting...

    Of course, on another tangent, there's the thought of how to mount the laptop hard drive.
    You may want to look into this thread...
    Automotive harddrives.

    For example the IBM drive handles 100G and temperatures from -20 to +85 degrees.
    I ended up getting a Fujitsu drive (mht2030ac 30GB) with about the same spec.
    The drives are made for automotive use.

    I'm going to use the laptop drive for programs, OS.... and then a regular drive for media files.

    /M

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