Make your own solid-state hard drive and save

CF enclosure allows for making your own SSD from CF cards

The CR2T has the same form factor as a regular 2.5-inch SATA hard drive. Dong Ngo/CNET Networks

No moving parts, shock resistant, and incredibly short seek time are some of many benefits you get from a solid-state hard drive . However, for now, the price for a SSD is so incredibly high that calling "insanely priced" might not be an over statement. It's hard to justify (or to afford for that matter) spending about $1,000 for only 64GB when you can pay about 10 percent of that cost for a regular 200GB laptop hard drive.

So how about making our own SSD?

Sans Digital just released the CR2T CompactFlash card enclosure that might make this possible. The enclosure has the same form factor and works the same as a regular 2.5-inch SATA hard drive. It can hold two CF cards and can even configure them in either RAID 1 (mirroring) or nRAID (spanning), where the two CF cards are combined into one.

The enclosure can take two CF cards in RAID 1 or nRAID configuration. Dong Ngo/CNET Networks

The enclosure costs $99, and a 32GB CF card costs about $150 that would make your homemade SSD's price about $400, which is about half the price of regular 64GB SSD. Of course, you can choose to use smaller size CF cards for much cheaper.

However, there's a catch. Currently the fastest CF card only offers the speed of 40MB per second, which is very fast compared with ATA hard drives, but it is still slower than SATA SSDs (up to 100MB per second or more). So the CR2T is probably not a good choice to be the main hard drive for your laptop. However, it can make a great secondary hard drive or be turned into an external hard drive where data integrity is the main concern.

About the author

CNET editor Dong Ngo has been involved with technology since 2000, starting with testing gadgets and writing code for CNET Labs' benchmarks. He now manages CNET San Francisco Labs, reviews networking and storage products, and also writes about other topics from online security to new gadgets and how technology impacts the life of people around the world.

 

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