VOGONS


SD vs Compact (converted from IDE)

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First post, by infiniteclouds

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Up until now I've only tried SD cards but is there any downside or factors that make them any better or worse than Compact? For the many DIY'rs out there I know this sounds stupid but part of the allure for switching to Compact is that Startech makes an IDE to Compact adapter that comes in an 3.5 enclosure (https://sgcdn.startech.com/005329/media/produ … CF2IDE.Main.jpg) and I can find no such comparable one for SD cards. I currently have a bracket mounted SD/IDE adapter but that's taking up a PCI expansion that I'd like to free up.

Reply 3 of 25, by Super_Relay

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spiroyster wrote:

You can get SD -> CF converters (i.e plug SD card into CF card).

this does work, i have a windows 98 install on a MicroSD card inside an SD to compact flash adapter plugged into a compact flash to IDE adaptor that plugs straight into the motherboard and completely eliminates the need for an IDE cable. the IDE port is not enough to power this by itself so i have to run external power to it. I made up a cable to run to a spare +5v and ground pin on a header on the motherboard

iy2Vlldl.jpg

Reply 4 of 25, by eisapc

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I can confirm the Adapter in Adapter solution too.
I remember CF-cards being more reliable than SD, due to different wear level management, not sure if there might be any performance issue as well.
Some actual CF-cards on sale seem to have problems, if used as a boot device, while Kingston ones seem to be still bootable.
An other solution I did not finish testing yet is mSATA SSD to IDE converter.

Reply 5 of 25, by Jo22

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infiniteclouds wrote:

A converter inside a converter... interesting!

Magic. 😉

In essence, a CF to IDE device is -in most cases- just a mechanical adapter.
The SD->CF adapter is a real converter, however. It contains a silicon piece (chip).

So the chain SD->CF->IDE is effectly same as going the SD->IDE "adapter" route.

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Reply 6 of 25, by derSammler

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infiniteclouds wrote:

Up until now I've only tried SD cards but is there any downside or factors that make them any better or worse than Compact?

SD cards are slower, use serial transfer, and die faster, since they are not really made for professional use. CF cards are faster, more durable, and use a native IDE interface. The latter means that there's no additional hardware in the chain that can fail, unlike with SD card adapters. Cheap SD card adapters may even have bugs in the firmware or driving the card with 5V - risking data loss. There's really not a single advantage that SD cards have over CF cards.

Reply 7 of 25, by Pabloz

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Super_Relay wrote:
this does work, i have a windows 98 install on a MicroSD card inside an SD to compact flash adapter plugged into a compact flash […]
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spiroyster wrote:

You can get SD -> CF converters (i.e plug SD card into CF card).

this does work, i have a windows 98 install on a MicroSD card inside an SD to compact flash adapter plugged into a compact flash to IDE adaptor that plugs straight into the motherboard and completely eliminates the need for an IDE cable. the IDE port is not enough to power this by itself so i have to run external power to it. I made up a cable to run to a spare +5v and ground pin on a header on the motherboard

iy2Vlldl.jpg

from what amazon link did you buy that?
i have been searching on amazon and there is a few of them, and some got comments regarding not working on a pc

Reply 8 of 25, by Super_Relay

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Pabloz wrote:

from what amazon link did you buy that?
i have been searching on amazon and there is a few of them, and some got comments regarding not working on a pc

I think linking might get me in trouble.

I just got a couple for ~$10AUD on ebay taking the gamble that 1 in 2 would work, they both did

if you search sd to compact flash on there they will come up similar to the one in my pic

Reply 9 of 25, by eisapc

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derSammler wrote:

There's really not a single advantage that SD cards have over CF cards.

The only advantage of the SD-cards is they sell much cheaper, as they are used in every smartphone or portable music player nowadays. Even considering the price for the second adapter this might be the only reason to use SD over CF. For me it was just curiousity if the combination is working and it is actually bootable, what is not even guarateed using generic CF cards. But you get what you pay for, considering speed and reliability.

Reply 10 of 25, by Jo22

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What speaks for CF cards also is the coolness factor.
It's much much more futuristic, durable and practical
(haptic, form factor, versatility), IMHO.

a2Qbx.jpg
Source: Picture

Oh, and unlike some SD's you can't breath them in by accident. ;)

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Reply 11 of 25, by svfn

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Super_Relay wrote:
spiroyster wrote:

You can get SD -> CF converters (i.e plug SD card into CF card).

this does work, i have a windows 98 install on a MicroSD card inside an SD to compact flash adapter plugged into a compact flash to IDE adaptor that plugs straight into the motherboard and completely eliminates the need for an IDE cable. the IDE port is not enough to power this by itself so i have to run external power to it. I made up a cable to run to a spare +5v and ground pin on a header on the motherboard

In my search, I came across dual microSD slots ones, I don't suppose these work?

Anyway, how's the reliability of microSD with Win98 installation? and is there a limit on the capactiy on these microSD -> CF converters?

Last edited by svfn on 2019-08-06, 18:59. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 12 of 25, by Tiido

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My experience with SD cards has been fairly slow as far as writes go, they hiccup (seconds long) a lot during bulk writes that happen during installations and file copies. Once that is done they're pretty ok though, reads are not a problem. CF cards I have don't do this but they're all very fast CF cards.

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Reply 13 of 25, by The Serpent Rider

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Why not skip them and use regular IDE disk-on-module? Low capacity SATA SSD via adapter are great too.

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Reply 14 of 25, by Srandista

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derSammler wrote:

There's really not a single advantage that SD cards have over CF cards.

Well of course there is. And a pretty big one: price. SD cards nowadays are laughably cheap, and you definitely can't say that about CF cards. You can buy SD card for 1/4 or even 1/5 of the CF card price, and that's pretty drastic difference. Especially, if you want use that storage for some not-so-often-used machine with let's say Windows 98.

The Serpent Rider wrote:

Why not skip them and use regular IDE disk-on-module?

This is great for some used cases, like a thin client. But with increasing size, price is also going rapidly up, and often because of port orientation it isn't usable for notebooks.

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Reply 15 of 25, by Rawit

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Super_Relay wrote:
spiroyster wrote:

You can get SD -> CF converters (i.e plug SD card into CF card).

this does work, i have a windows 98 install on a MicroSD card inside an SD to compact flash adapter plugged into a compact flash to IDE adaptor that plugs straight into the motherboard and completely eliminates the need for an IDE cable. the IDE port is not enough to power this by itself so i have to run external power to it. I made up a cable to run to a spare +5v and ground pin on a header on the motherboard.

I've ordered that adapter and see how it goes. No luck with my Addonics CF adapter in combination with a Delkin SD to CF adapter.

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Reply 16 of 25, by derSammler

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Well of course there is. And a pretty big one: price. SD cards nowadays are laughably cheap, and you definitely can't say that about CF cards. You can buy SD card for 1/4 or even 1/5 of the CF card price, and that's pretty drastic difference.

I don't see cheapness as an advantage. And the question by the thread starter does not seem to imply that the price is a factor at all.

Also, while SD cards are cheaper, the adapter you need is not. You can get a CF->IDE adapter for 2 bucks whereas SD->IDE adapters are 8 to 10 bucks, since they are not just passive adapters.

Reply 17 of 25, by The Serpent Rider

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But with increasing size, price is also going rapidly up

Price between 512mb and 8gb DOM modules overall is negligible. Although DOM modules in 256mb-1gb range can be found for "peanuts" price.
Personally, I found 256-512mb DOM modules to be the best solution for a 286-386 machine, but it's certainly less appealing if you want to swap data often.

and often because of port orientation it isn't usable for notebooks.

For notebooks, you need vertical 44-pin DOM module anyway. Which isn't the case here.

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Reply 18 of 25, by appiah4

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2-3 years ago I stocked up on some CF cards and they are serving me well but checking the prices today I would probably switch to SDCARDs if I decided I needed more flash storage.

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Reply 19 of 25, by red_avatar

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My Pentium 75 uses an SD card, the other two PCs use CF. The reason why my Pentium 75 uses the SD card is simply because I tried THREE different CF adaptors and NONE allowed me to have a CD drive on the same ribbon cable. During boot up, it would either hang, not see the CD or CF drive or it would not detect the drive properly causing all sorts of problems like read/write errors. Two of the three CF adaptors had "master/slave" pins but that didn't help one bit so if anyone runs into a similar problem, realise that a SD card adaptor MAY be a solution.

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