Posts Tagged hardware

SanDisk 200GB MicroSD, Linux, and the PSP

๐Ÿ“… July 20, 2016
200g1What? 128GB is not enough space for your camera? How about something larger…

The ubiquitous, tiny memory card format is becoming available in increasing capacities. While 256G versions are available, they are expensive due to their recent entry onto the market.

What to do? Why, use a 200G capacity card, of course! Its much lower price point (compared to a 256GB card) and larger capacity over a 128G card offers plenty of space for digital goodies.

The SanDisk Ultra 200GB MicroSD card is a class 10, UHS-1 card that has received much favorable praise for its fast read speeds and reasonable price per gigabyte, but is it compatible with Linux? If so, what are benchmarks like?

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co2CREA Portable Hard Drive Case

๐Ÿ“… June 30, 2016

case01So, you have a portable hard drive, such as the Seagate Ultra Slim+, and you want to protect it from possible mishaps? It sounds like you need a small hard drive carry case!

Many portable hard drive cases flood the market, so I took a chance with the co2CREA travel case for its hard, aluminum shell. It is a worthy purchase?

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The Seagate 2TB Ultra Slim+ and Linux

๐Ÿ“… June 1, 2016
ultra01What’s this? A slim 2TB USB drive?

Seeking more storage capacity for your portable data? Here is a device that works well with Linux: The Seagate Ultra Slim+

While 2TB external drives have been available for a while, this is unique because it packs a full 2TB (1.8 TB after formatting) of storage space in a small, silent, thinย package that connects via USB 3.0.

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Motherboard RAID or Linux mdadm: Which is Faster?

๐Ÿ“… May 24, 2016
mobo-mdadm-raid1-2-100x10MMost SATA motherboards today feature a “RAID Mode” in BIOS. Does it really make a difference compared to mdadm?

I got my hands on a consumer-grade desktop motherboard: MSI Z87-G45 Gaming. Like many other motherboards that contain SATA ports for connecting hard drives, it supports RAID.

I have been using RAID in Linux for many years using mdadm, which is available for free from the Ubuntu repository. This dandy little program allows you to configure various RAID arrays in software whether or not the motherboard supports RAID. It’s reliable, and it works well.

Is there any performance increase from using the RAID supported by the motherboard? What are the differences?

I performed my own simple tests with Linux Mint 17.3 to see if the motherboard RAID offered any advantages over mdadm. Here are the results…

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The Weme External USB 3.0 Enclosure vs. the Sabrent

๐Ÿ“… May 12, 2016
weme01Does the type of USB 3.0 enclosure affect speed?

I really liked the Sabrent USB 3.0 external enclosure. Simply insert a 2.5″ SATA drive, screw it together, and plug it in any USB port. Presto! You have recycled a SATA drive into a portable USB drive!

The Sabrent cases have worked well for me, but I wantedย to try a different brand to see if it made any difference in data transfer rates.

After running some benchmarks, it turns out that there is definitely a difference in speed between the two enclosures.

Here are my results with CrystalDiskMark and Disks in Linux Mint 17.3.

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Speed Up Your Hard Drive with Flashcache

๐Ÿ“… May 9, 2016
comparisonDo you have a spare SSD? You can use it as a dedicated hard drive caching device using Flashcache.

Flashcache is software that allows you to use a block device, such as a solid state drive (SSD), to cache the most frequently accessed data from a slow, mechanical drive. It runs on Linux, and it is free.

Most hard drives possess built-in cache memory, but it is usually small — about 64 MB or so. SSDs can hold gigabytes of data, and you can use the entire drive to act as a cache. For example, if you have a 120G SSD, then you can have 120G of dedicated hard drive cache.

Of course, SSDs are not as fast as RAM, so you will be limited to the SSD read and write speeds. However, an SSD is much faster than any mechanical hard drive, so the speed increase is noticeable.

Here are my Flashcache results with 7200RPM hard drives, a Samsung 840 SSD, and Linux Mint 17.3.

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The Samsung 950 Pro 256G and Linux. Does it Work?

๐Ÿ“… April 20, 2016
950boxWhat? You say your 6Gbps SATA SSD is too slow? You have to wait an extra second or two?

Good news! M.2 solid state drives (SSDs) offer faster I/O speeds than SATA, and the fastest of these (at the moment) is the Samsung 950 Pro.

This little wonder opens up a new realm of speed reaching or exceeding multi-gigabyte per second transfers — far faster than existing SATA SSDs.

But the real question is, “Will the Samsung 950 Pro work with Linux?” Information about Linux compatibility is scarce as of the time of this writing, so I decided to perform my own tests that answer questions such as,

“Will Linux Mint recognize the NVMe SSD?”

“Will it work with older motherboards and chipsets, such as the Z87 and Z97?”

“What are the Linux benchmarks like?”

“Can I install and boot Linux from the 950 Pro?”

Here are the details…
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