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CF vs DOM vs SSD

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Reply 22 of 30, by squelch41

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What do people think about CF vs SD for IDE in windows 98 and 2k/xp?
I have a CF adapter in my pentium 3 at the moment, but only have 4Gb cards
I wanted to get 16gb cards but a 16Gb used CF 133x card is more expensive than a SD-IDE adapter and I have a load of SD cards knocking about that are 16-32Gb

There are a lot of posts around this over the years but I couldnt really find many 'head to head' comparisions - there is one which shows SD card doing terribly vs CF and another user showing CF and SD being about equal.

I dont want to use DOMs or real HDDs as I like being able to easily swap drives out to use different OSs and being able to easily image the drives before trying new things out so I can revert to a previous image if something goes wrong - with CF and SD nice and easy if mounting the card slot on the backplane.

V4P895P3 VLB Motherboard and AMD 486 133MHz CPU
64mb RAM, CF 4Gb HDD,
Realtek 8019 ethernet + XT-IDE bios ROM, ES1869 soundcard, VLB multi-io card Cirrus Logic GD5428 1mb VGA

440bx MSI 6119, modified slocket , celeron 1.1GHz, 256mb SD-RAM, CF 4GB HDD

Reply 23 of 30, by douglar

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squelch41 wrote on 2021-11-28, 12:37:
What do people think about CF vs SD for IDE in windows 98 and 2k/xp? I have a CF adapter in my pentium 3 at the moment, but only […]
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What do people think about CF vs SD for IDE in windows 98 and 2k/xp?
I have a CF adapter in my pentium 3 at the moment, but only have 4Gb cards
I wanted to get 16gb cards but a 16Gb used CF 133x card is more expensive than a SD-IDE adapter and I have a load of SD cards knocking about that are 16-32Gb
There are a lot of posts around this over the years but I couldnt really find many 'head to head' comparisions - there is one which shows SD card doing terribly vs CF and another user showing CF and SD being about equal.
I dont want to use DOMs or real HDDs as I like being able to easily swap drives out to use different OSs and being able to easily image the drives before trying new things out so I can revert to a previous image if something goes wrong - with CF and SD nice and easy if mounting the card slot on the backplane.

SD to IDE Adapters:
Pros
* Very common and affordable storage media
* Usually provides good response on application style work loads (small reads and writes) but can be limitted by slow SD devices
Cons
* The most popular adapter (Sintechi) is limitted to High Speed SD (25MB/s) regardless of your SD device 's capabilities
* The most popular adapter (Sintechi) has issues negotiating ATA protocols with some early ATA-2 and ATA-3 controllers
* Micro SD cards can be easy to lose or damage

CF Devices:
Pros
* Still very common
* Contains a PATA controller, so most adpters are inexpensive pass though adapters
* Very easy to transport between old and new systems
* Rugged form factor that is difficult to damage
Cons
* Devices have been made for a long by many different companies so there is a wide spectrum of performance between the best and worst devices
* Some CF devices are optimised for storing a few large files and perform slower than expected on rapid small file access
* Rare CF devices have issues negotiating ATA protocols with early ATA-2 and ATA-3 controllers
* Rare CF devices require 3.3v power, which requires an adapter with a voltage regulator

Disk on Module (Dom):
Pros
* Does not require an adapter or cable, sits right on the IDE block for a less cluttered case
* Most DOM devices offer better performance than Sintechi SD adapters
Cons
* Hardware mod (short pin 34) or Female-Female 40 pin cable necessary to negotiate speeds faster that ATA-4 / UDMA2
* Some DOM devices have issues negotiating ATA protocols with early ATA-2 and ATA-3 controllers
* DOM devices usually have ide latches to firmly connect to female IDE blocks. These latches can break brittle plastic on an old motherboard
* Not easy to connect to a new PC for pre-loading files

Writre Amplification and wear leveling:
* It isn't clear how these devices handle wear leveling
* Very few, if any of these devices support trim commands, but operating systems before < Windows 7 don't support it either, so no biggie
* Purchasing a device that is 100% larger than your storage requirement is often an effective way of dealing with this isssue
* For Win98, consider adding add "ConservativeSwapfileUsage=1" to your system.ini to reduce unnecessary swap file usage if you have > 16MB ram
* It isn't clear how these devices respond to an ATA Secure erase command

For Windows XP, consider getting a small SATA SSD that supports trim. They are usually price competitive.

Sata SSD:
Pros
* Best performance, expecially when the device has a write buffer
* Usually supports TRIM and wear leveling
* 40mm NGFF and M2 devices are price competitive for builds than need > 8GB.
* Usually responds well to an ATA Secure erase command to reset wear leveling
Cons
* You may need one or more adapters if you want to connect your device to a 40 pin IDE controller
* More convenient to move between systems than DOM, but not as easy as SD and CF

Edit: I fixed some typos and updated: https://www.vogonswiki.com/index.php/Storage

Reply 24 of 30, by squelch41

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douglar wrote on 2021-11-28, 15:24:
SD to IDE Adapters: Pros * Very common and affordable storage media * Usually provides good response on application style work l […]
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squelch41 wrote on 2021-11-28, 12:37:
What do people think about CF vs SD for IDE in windows 98 and 2k/xp? I have a CF adapter in my pentium 3 at the moment, but only […]
Show full quote

What do people think about CF vs SD for IDE in windows 98 and 2k/xp?
I have a CF adapter in my pentium 3 at the moment, but only have 4Gb cards
I wanted to get 16gb cards but a 16Gb used CF 133x card is more expensive than a SD-IDE adapter and I have a load of SD cards knocking about that are 16-32Gb
There are a lot of posts around this over the years but I couldnt really find many 'head to head' comparisions - there is one which shows SD card doing terribly vs CF and another user showing CF and SD being about equal.
I dont want to use DOMs or real HDDs as I like being able to easily swap drives out to use different OSs and being able to easily image the drives before trying new things out so I can revert to a previous image if something goes wrong - with CF and SD nice and easy if mounting the card slot on the backplane.

SD to IDE Adapters:
Pros
* Very common and affordable storage media
* Usually provides good response on application style work loads (small reads and writes) but can be limitted by slow SD devices
Cons
* The most popular adapter (Sintechi) is limitted to High Speed SD (25MB/s) regardless of your SD device 's capabilities
* The most popular adapter (Sintechi) has issues negotiating ATA protocols with some early ATA-2 and ATA-3 controllers
* Micro SD cards can be easy to lose or damage

CF Devices:
Pros
* Still very common
* Contains a PATA controller, so most adpters are inexpensive pass though adapters
* Very easy to transport between old and new systems
* Rugged form factor that is difficult to damage
Cons
* Devices have been made for a long by many different companies so there is a wide spectrum of performance between the best and worst devices
* Some CF devices are optimised for storing a few large files and perform slower than expected on rapid small file access
* Rare CF devices have issues negotiating ATA protocols with early ATA-2 and ATA-3 controllers
* Rare CF devices require 3.3v power, which requires an adapter with a voltage regulator

Disk on Module (Dom):
Pros
* Does not require an adapter or cable, sits right on the IDE block for a less cluttered case
* Most DOM devices offer better performance than Sintechi SD adapters
Cons
* Hardware mod (short pin 34) or Female-Female 40 pin cable necessary to negotiate speeds faster that ATA-4 / UDMA2
* Some DOM devices have issues negotiating ATA protocols with early ATA-2 and ATA-3 controllers
* DOM devices usually have ide latches to firmly connect to female IDE blocks. These latches can break brittle plastic on an old motherboard
* Not easy to connect to a new PC for pre-loading files

Writre Amplification and wear leveling:
* It isn't clear how these devices handle wear leveling
* Very few, if any of these devices support trim commands, but operating systems before < Windows 7 don't support it either, so no biggie
* Purchasing a device that is 100% larger than your storage requirement is often an effective way of dealing with this isssue
* For Win98, consider adding add "ConservativeSwapfileUsage=1" to your system.ini to reduce unnecessary swap file usage if you have > 16MB ram
* It isn't clear how these devices respond to an ATA Secure erase command

For Windows XP, consider getting a small SATA SSD that supports trim. They are usually price competitive.

Sata SSD:
Pros
* Best performance, expecially when the device has a write buffer
* Usually supports TRIM and wear leveling
* 40mm NGFF and M2 devices are price competitive for builds than need > 8GB.
* Usually responds well to an ATA Secure erase command to reset wear leveling
Cons
* You may need one or more adapters if you want to connect your device to a 40 pin IDE controller
* More convenient to move between systems than DOM, but not as easy as SD and CF

Yes, I saw that in the wiki, but I am not sure it is so clear cut - based on that CF is a clear win as my board supports IDE to 33MB/s and the SD card interface on the adapter is 25MB/s

However, if I speedsys benchmark in DOS
Transcend 4Gb 133x card - buffered read 5632KB/s, linear verify 171029KB/s, Linear read 5428KB/s
Indmem 4Gb [unknown] card - buffered read 5701KB/s, linear verify 17652 KB/s, Linear read 5628 KB/s
Actual IDE 5400 Hdd (ST340015ACE) - buffered read 10666KB/s, Linerar verify 16422 KB/s, Linear read 9718KB/s

Runninh Roadkill Disk Speed 2.0 in win 98:
Indmem 4Gb - max read speed 10.09MB/sec (acting as Drive C, windows 98)
IDE ST240014ACE HDD - - max read 22.5MB/sec, (acting as drive D, windows 98 - holds games)
[Transcend - cant test as has my 486 windows 98 install on it]

So that rather implies that the CF cards are way slower than they would appear on paper? (Or I am misunderstanding the benchmark)
That is why I was wondering what SD adapter *actual* performance was compared to *actual* CF rather than the theoretical.

Last edited by squelch41 on 2021-11-28, 17:05. Edited 1 time in total.

V4P895P3 VLB Motherboard and AMD 486 133MHz CPU
64mb RAM, CF 4Gb HDD,
Realtek 8019 ethernet + XT-IDE bios ROM, ES1869 soundcard, VLB multi-io card Cirrus Logic GD5428 1mb VGA

440bx MSI 6119, modified slocket , celeron 1.1GHz, 256mb SD-RAM, CF 4GB HDD

Reply 25 of 30, by douglar

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squelch41 wrote on 2021-11-28, 16:48:
However, if I speedsys benchmark in DOS Transcend 4Gb 133x card - buffered read 5632KB/s, linear verify 171029KB/s, Linear read […]
Show full quote

However, if I speedsys benchmark in DOS
Transcend 4Gb 133x card - buffered read 5632KB/s, linear verify 171029KB/s, Linear read 5428KB/s
Indmem 4Gb [unknown] card - buffered read 5701KB/s, linear verify 17652 KB/s, Linear read 5628 KB/s
Actual IDE 5400 Hdd (ST340015ACE) - buffered read 10666KB/s, Linerar verify 16422 KB/s, Linear read 9718KB/s

So that rather implies that the CF cards are way slower than they would appear on paper? (Or I am misunderstanding the benchmark)
That is why I was wondering what SD adapter *actual* performance was compared to *actual* CF rather than the theoretical.

I would ignore the linear verify benchmarks. Verify is an ATA command that is supposed to make the hard drive verify that the sector was written correctly. It was great command for benchmarking physical drives. However many solid state devices seem to shortcut the command and just return "good" without doing anything, so all you are seeing is the round trip speed over the ATA bus on these devices. That's what the 170MB/s results are showing.

Second note is that most DOS benchmarks cannot do UDMA speeds because the BIOS routines only do real mode PIO transfers. Nforce2 is the only Bios I have that is able to do UDMA transfers. You need to install a UDMA driver for DOS or run the benchmarks under windows 98 if you want to see better speeds. (Edit: or get a controller with bios extensions that supports UDMA)

Here's my stack of covid benchmarks I did back in 2020--

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1eukj2 … Bmso/edit#gid=0

I saw much better reults for the trancend x133 device.

Last edited by douglar on 2021-11-28, 17:08. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 26 of 30, by squelch41

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douglar wrote on 2021-11-28, 17:02:
I would ignore the linear verify benchmarks. Verify is an ATA command that is supposed to make the hard drive verify that the […]
Show full quote
squelch41 wrote on 2021-11-28, 16:48:
However, if I speedsys benchmark in DOS Transcend 4Gb 133x card - buffered read 5632KB/s, linear verify 171029KB/s, Linear read […]
Show full quote

However, if I speedsys benchmark in DOS
Transcend 4Gb 133x card - buffered read 5632KB/s, linear verify 171029KB/s, Linear read 5428KB/s
Indmem 4Gb [unknown] card - buffered read 5701KB/s, linear verify 17652 KB/s, Linear read 5628 KB/s
Actual IDE 5400 Hdd (ST340015ACE) - buffered read 10666KB/s, Linerar verify 16422 KB/s, Linear read 9718KB/s

So that rather implies that the CF cards are way slower than they would appear on paper? (Or I am misunderstanding the benchmark)
That is why I was wondering what SD adapter *actual* performance was compared to *actual* CF rather than the theoretical.

I would ignore the linear verify benchmarks. Verify is an ATA command that is supposed to make the hard drive verify that the sector was written correctly. It was great command for benchmarking physical drives. However many solid state devices seem to shortcut the command and just return "good" without doing anything, so all you are seeing is the round trip speed over the ATA bus on these devices. That's what the 170MB/s results are showing.

Second note is that most DOS benchmarks cannot do UDMA speeds because the BIOS routines only do real mode PIO transfers. Nforce2 is the only Bios I have that is able to do UDMA transfers. You need to install a UDMA driver for DOS or run the benchmarks under windows 98 if you want to see better speeds.

Here's my stack of covid benchmarks I did back in 2020--

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1eukj2 … Bmso/edit#gid=0

I saw much better reults for the trancend x133 device.

Sorry, was just ending by post to include win 98 speeds as you posted yours as wondered if DOS would be able to run drives in UDMA!

V4P895P3 VLB Motherboard and AMD 486 133MHz CPU
64mb RAM, CF 4Gb HDD,
Realtek 8019 ethernet + XT-IDE bios ROM, ES1869 soundcard, VLB multi-io card Cirrus Logic GD5428 1mb VGA

440bx MSI 6119, modified slocket , celeron 1.1GHz, 256mb SD-RAM, CF 4GB HDD

Reply 27 of 30, by squelch41

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Running the CFs in a USB2 card reader on my win10 system on roadkill disk speed, I get:
Transcend - max read 15.25MB/sec
Indmem - max read 14.50MB/sec

Your spreadsheet seems to show that the SD card readers are indeed quite a lot slower than CF if I understand it correctly?

V4P895P3 VLB Motherboard and AMD 486 133MHz CPU
64mb RAM, CF 4Gb HDD,
Realtek 8019 ethernet + XT-IDE bios ROM, ES1869 soundcard, VLB multi-io card Cirrus Logic GD5428 1mb VGA

440bx MSI 6119, modified slocket , celeron 1.1GHz, 256mb SD-RAM, CF 4GB HDD

Reply 28 of 30, by gerwin

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douglar wrote on 2021-11-28, 17:02:

Here's my stack of covid benchmarks I did back in 2020--
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1eukj2 … Bmso/edit#gid=0

Thanks for sharing.
I noticed half of the benchmarks are on an nForce2 chipset motherboard. I was trying to add a crucial 256 GB SSD to someone's nForce2 based laptop, about two years ago, but it was giving errors. It was native SATA without adapters. According to crucial support the nForce2 chipset cannot negotiate the required transfer speeds. Had to cancel the upgrade.

--> ISA Soundcard Overview // Doom MBF 2.04 // SetMul

Reply 29 of 30, by douglar

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squelch41 wrote on 2021-11-28, 17:09:

Your spreadsheet seems to show that the SD card readers are indeed quite a lot slower than CF if I understand it correctly?

The Sinitechi SD adapters max out at 25MB/s when talking to SD cards so there's a limit there, but you don't get to bring performance greater than that to bear unless you are using UDMA drivers and you have drives and controllers working at ATA/66 or faster. My point here is that while extra bandwidth is nice, it can be hard to actually achive that throughput on vintage hardware.

I think the "quickness" feel of a drive for loading applications in Dos or Windows is often more closely tied to the random access times, and random access time has impact regardless of your ATA mode .

SSD's had the best random access times in my testing, almost all were under 0.25ms
The Sinitechi SD adapter was pretty consistant over all of the SD cards I tried, coming in between 0.35ms and 0.60ms with one wierd outlier from a fake branded SD that didn't reliably store data
All the Doms were in that same range as the Sinitechi, between 0.35ms and 0.60ms
The best CF's were in the 0.25ms to 0.35ms range which is great. Others did substantially worse than 1.0ms. Hard to say that one CF brand was better than the others. Things shifted a lot from model to model, and (based on the drive BIOS version) looks like there are cases where two drives with the same make and model had very different innards. Maybe one was counterfiet. Don't know.
Velociraptor 10K was 6-7 ms
Fast 7200 rpm drives were 10-20ms
Older drives were 20-35ms.

I did a bunch of windows 98 boot timing on an VIA KT400 / Athlon 2800, using a batch file in the startup folder to put in the stop times.

I tested with and without DMA enabled in windows. There is a lot variability so I tested each config 4 times. Here are the ranges for the windows 98se boot times:

Crucial C300 SSD -- 0.15ms random access time / 68.3 MBs linear read
-- 12.6 to 14.1 seconds -- DMA Enabled in Windows
-- 13.2 to 14.1 seconds -- No DMA
Sinitechi with Samsung Elite SD-- 0.35ms random access time / 9.3 MBs linear read
-- 13.2 to 15.9 seconds -- DMA Enabled in Windows
-- 16.1 to 17.5 seconds -- No DMA
Lexmark CF -- 0.70ms random access time / 19.6 MBs linear read
--15.5 to 16.9 seconds -- DMA Enabled in Windows
-- 16.5 to 18.1 seconds -- No DMA
Hitachi Deskstar -- 17.2 ms random access time / 48.3 MBs linear read
-- 16.8 to 18.3 seconds -- DMA Enabled in Windows
-- 17.3 to 22.3 seconds -- No DMA

Notes:
* The Sinitechi did pretty well, but I imagine the fastest CF's ( WINTEC 0.27ms / 25.1MBs, TOPRAM 0.29ms / 28.6MBs,) would start windows faster than the Sintechi
* As the DMA results showed, having a correctly configured system can be just as important as good hardware
* Via 4-1 drivers made things a little slower. Not sure if it was because the disk access was slower or if it was because windows had to load additional drivers
* I did these windows boot benchmarks a year ago and left the raw data for a long time. There's a chance I mislabled something. I'll try to reproduce these results over the holidays.

Edit: copied some of my numbers wrong--

Reply 30 of 30, by creepingnet

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Have not used CF or DOM but Ive had luck with SSD in SATA converters. My 486 Desktop uses them from time to time. Also have used MSata to 44-pin ATA over a 40 pin converter and had luck there too. Problem with mSATA I had though was file corruption.

To use these I also needed a faster controller thats not as picky. My Versa laptops all use 44 pin 80GB ATA drives because they dont get along with the other options so well.

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