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Boot some MacBook Pros via an ExpressCard solid state drive
Authored by: bkr on Dec 17, '09 05:50:54PM

64GB? and fast? and bootable? Can you elaborate?
Pretec has a 128 GB one, but it seems to use the USB interface embedded in the ExpressCard slot.



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Boot some MacBook Pros via an ExpressCard solid state drive
Authored by: robg on Dec 17, '09 05:57:44PM

The ExpressCard slot does *not* use a USB2 interface, at least based on my testing. The card I bought has a USB2 interface, and if I plug that through the USB2 port on the Mac and test, I get read/write speeds that are very low: 32MB/sec and 19MB/sec, as I recall.

Plugged into the ExpressCard slot, the figures are 123MB and 72MB, respectively.

As for real-world speed, I have all of those tests, and I'm writing them up for Macworld now -- the article should be online tomorrow, and I'll post a URL when it's ready. Suffice it to say that I'm thrilled with the results, and can't imagine going back to the internal boot drive now.

-rob.



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Boot some MacBook Pros via an ExpressCard solid state drive
Authored by: bkr on Dec 18, '09 04:35:49AM

Hi Rob,

sorry, I think I was a bit tired when I wrote that, so it wasn't very clear.
I wasn't questioning your speed report, I just wanted to know which
brand you found that offers 64G+bootable+fast(PCI interface).

The ExpressCard port includes an USB 2.0 Port as part of its
specification. There are cards on the market sold as ExpressCard SSDs
which just use this to connect. They are recognizable by transfer
speeds that don't exceed the USB 2.0 range.
For example, the "128GB Express Card USB SSS" by PreTec is
specified with "High read/write speed up to 38/30MB/s" - I am pretty
sure this one uses the embedded USB2.

Maybe you want to point that out to your readers so they don't rush out and buy cards
which are slower than hard drives.

Kind regards, Bjoern



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Boot some MacBook Pros via an ExpressCard solid state drive
Authored by: robg on Dec 18, '09 06:27:22AM

Agreed -- no point to do this if the card you buy is using the USB interface in the ExpressCard slot. I linked to the one I bought in the hint itself -- the 48GB FileMate drive. Buyers should do their research, though, and make sure the read/write figures for the drive reflect a true ExpressCard PCI connection, and that the drive will be bootable in their Mac.

-rob.



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