Wednesday, November 5th 2008

Sharkoon Introduces Flexi-Drive S2S: DIY SSD

Solid State Disks (SSDs) are all the rage these days. The robust flash based hard drives offer many advantages to typical magnetic storage solutions. Silent operation, minimal electricity requirements, almost no heat build-up and fast read/write rates. Because of their high resistance to shock and impact damage, SSDs are especially suited for mobile computers. Disadvantages include their high price and relatively low capacity--at this time capacities greater than 128GB are hard to find.

Sharkoon is now introducing an alternative that allows users to build a Notebook SSD themselves. The Sharkoon Flexi-Drive S2S is an SSD adaptor with the size and connections of a 2.5 inch SATA hard drive. The necessary flash memory is provided by the up to six SDHC cards that can be installed in the enclosure. Users can select the manufacturer, number, chip type (SLC or MLC) and capacity of the memory cards according to their needs.

As the installed memory cards use Raid-0, the performance and capacity of all installed cards should be the same. At this time the maximum available SDHC capacity is 32GB, allowing for a maximum of 192GB to be installed in the Flexi-Drive S2S. Testing with HD-Tune, six 8GB SDHC memory cards with Class 6 speed ratings had a read speed of 140 MB/s and a write speed of 115 MB/s.

End customers will find the Sharkoon Flexi-Drive S2S available immediately from authorized retailers for the suggested retail price of 79 euros.

For more information regarding the Sharkoon Flexi-Drive S2S, please go to Sharkoon.com.
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17 Comments on Sharkoon Introduces Flexi-Drive S2S: DIY SSD

#1
King Wookie
Nice to see someone thinking outside the box.

I like!:toast:
Posted on Reply
#2
Wile E
Power User
Now this is an idea I kinda like, but will it have a real cost benefit?
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#3
lemonadesoda
I cannot see the rationale for this product at all!

It will always be slower and more expensive than a true SSD.

And it is fiddly to set up, not for the "average" user.

Product without a market :nutkick:

(except for one or two techie nerds like us)
Posted on Reply
#4
King Wookie
Well, using smaller capacity cards it would make a cheap paging file drive.
Posted on Reply
#5
lemonadesoda
If you have some "old cards" lying around. BUT the old cards arent too fast, and also are NOT designed for multiple (as in paging file, very very multiple) write. Remember how inefficient "random" write speeds are on SD cards. One byte write requires a whole block delete and a a whole block write.

Those high write speeds we see advertised on SD are for large blocks of sequential data, not for pagefile and/or "transaction" type use.
Posted on Reply
#6
Mussels
Moderprator
if you used 2-8GB SD cards, you could have a 12-48GB SSD for a cheap price.

The only concern, is whether or not it would be reliable for long term use. Dont these kinds of flash technology suffer poorly from repeated use?
Posted on Reply
#7
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: Mussels
The only concern, is whether or not it would be reliable for long term use. Dont these kinds of flash technology suffer poorly from repeated use?
They do. Especially if users choose cheap SDHC cards to cut costs. What's more, out of the six SDHC slots this 'drive' has, even if one of the member SD cards fails, the whole volume is dead.
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#8
tcorbyn
LOL, I have been looking at building an SSD for fun but I’ve got say I really can’t find an excuse to do so... Ok so it’s tougher in a laptop but that doesn’t make it quicker or cheaper and I do a lot of work on laptops but I’ve still never seen a lappy HD fail from a knock or drop. Still neat idea though!

Check out this link how to make a £20 SSD...

http://www.custompc.co.uk/howtos/602646/make-your-own-ssd-for-less-than-20.html
Posted on Reply
#10
PVTCaboose1337
Graphical Hacker
I would rather have a real SSD. This is a clever idea, but the comments above are correct: If one fails, they all fail.
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#11
PCpraiser100
I like this alternative alot since I have some SD cards stowed away in my basement..
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#12
iStink
seems like the start of a great idea. I won't be a first one to jump into this though.
Posted on Reply
#13
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
I think the idea is good, but it is way overpriced. With the price of the unit, and by the time you factor in the price of the cards, you might as well just buy a real SSD.
Posted on Reply
#14
theJesus
Price and RAID 0 make it a no-go for me. I'd prefer it to be RAID 0+1 or RAID 5. Or even better: have an option for which RAID mode you want it to operate in. And what if a user wants more than one of these units? How would RAID work then? :confused:
Posted on Reply
#15
roofsniper
by: newtekie1
I think the idea is good, but it is way overpriced. With the price of the unit, and by the time you factor in the price of the cards, you might as well just buy a real SSD.
even if the device was free the cost of all the sd cards would be similar to a ssd with similar performance. its a nice idea but doesn't really work unless you already have all the sd cards.
Posted on Reply
#16
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: theJesus
Price and RAID 0 make it a no-go for me. I'd prefer it to be RAID 0+1 or RAID 5. Or even better: have an option for which RAID mode you want it to operate in. And what if a user wants more than one of these units? How would RAID work then? :confused:
RAID would work just like RAID with any drive. The unit appears as just a single SATA hard drive, the computer has no idea it is really a RAID-0 array of SD cards.

But that does add a little interest, two of these in RAID-1, or even 3 in RAID-5, would make me feel a little more comfortable as one SD card failing wouldn't cause me to lose all my data.

by: roofsniper
even if the device was free the cost of all the sd cards would be similar to a ssd with similar performance. its a nice idea but doesn't really work unless you already have all the sd cards.
Not necessarily, a 16GB SD card is only $30. So if you get 4 of them, thats only $120 for 64GB. A 64GB SSD would cost your about $160, and if the numbers provided for this device are correct, the read and write speeds would be pretty similar.
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#17
WhiteLotus
As already said it is a nice idea - maybe as an expandable removable drive but certainly not a main C: drive.
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