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Old March 6th, 2007, 05:03 PM   #1
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express card slot speed?

I am in the market for a new computer. How much faster will the Express card slot in the new macs be with the adaptor verses the PCMCIA slots in the old computers?Will it be twice as fast?
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Old March 6th, 2007, 07:05 PM   #2
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It'll be faster, but P2 cards won't transfer any faster.
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Old March 6th, 2007, 07:41 PM   #3
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get the best of both worlds and grab a lappy with both...

expresscard is still very new though and here arent many options availabel for it at this time..

as for p2 not having the ability to be faster than pcmcia, i doubt that very much.. considering the actual data transfer rate of teh card, vs the data throughpput rate of pcmcia, expresscard should theoretically be about twice to 3 times faster than pcmcia (in throughput when considering teh data transfer rates of the P2 card as it is.. )..
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Old March 7th, 2007, 01:35 AM   #4
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What are you guys talking about??? You can't use P2 cards in ExpressCard slots. Doesn't work, completely incompatible.

As for transfer rates, ExpressCard is based on PCI-Express and is several times faster than the best 32bit PCMCIA TypeIII CardBus. A Type II PCMCIA CardBus has a max bandwidth of 1032Mbps or 129MB/s. Current 8GB P2 cards top out at about 500Mbps (62MB/s) in most practical situations. Panasonic has claimed up to 640Mbps (80MB/s) for P2, but as I've said, it should be able to scale beyond that based on the capability of PCMCIA.

If you were to buy a new notebook system, most of the new stuff is including ExpressCard. Some larger PC notebooks do have both types of slots, which would be handy. Budget and business oriented notebooks still tend to come with PCMCIA for broader device compatibility. IMO, what to buy depends on your needs. And it's also a gamble as to whether or not you want to wait for a PCMCIA to ExpressCard adapter. A couple providers are working on such a thing... It will be a card that plugs into the ExpressCard slot and has a short cable to a small external device that looks like a flash reader or disc drive, but it's really a fully functional PCMCIA interface. One company that is currently in beta test of such a device is Duel Systems. Do a search here in this forum for more info on it.
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Old March 7th, 2007, 04:51 AM   #5
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Express slot speed with a duel adaptor

How fast would it be? Would it be limited by the P2 speed?
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Old March 7th, 2007, 08:19 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Kilgroe View Post
What are you guys talking about??? You can't use P2 cards in ExpressCard slots. Doesn't work, completely incompatible.
obviously, however many manufacturers, are creating expresscard to pcmcia adapters to take advantage of the speeds offered.
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Old March 7th, 2007, 08:26 AM   #7
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Jeff, we assumed Paul was considering getting the Duel Adapter (PCMCIA>Express Card) when it comes out.
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Old March 7th, 2007, 10:26 AM   #8
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Peter, I did mention the adapters in my post, specifically the one from Duel Systems. I only know of one other one that may be coming to market. Realistically, there is very little market for such a product, most PC card devices such as audio, network, peripheral interfaces / USB2, Firewire, SCSI, eSATA, etc.. are all available as ExpressCard with many more to come. Outside of niche products like P2, there is little reason to even produce such an adapter and Duel Systems has said that they're using the beta program to guage interest in the product as it may not even be economical or profitable to produce.

Jon, that's fine the assumption was made about using the Duel adapter. I didn't gather that from reading the initial posts.

Paul, the P2 cards will in fact be the limiting factor for the time being -- as I posted in my last reply. Currently, P2 cards are operating about 62MB/s at the top end, Panasonic claims they will have them up to 80MB/s in the near future. PCMCIA 32 bit CardBus interfaces support up to 129MB/s -- If you want to get real technical, CardBus actually can do 1066Mbps (133.25MB/s) in a unidirectional stream. So P2 cards at this point in time are only utilizing about half of the bandwidth available to them over this interface.

ExpressCard interface is several times faster than PCMCIA. In fact, it's capable of 2.5Gbps (312MB/s) on the base end and can scale beyond that with the same principal of PCI-Express "lanes". Currently I'm unaware of any 4-lane, let alone 16-lane ExpressCard interfaces, but they are coming. There are currently two form factors of ExpressCard slots/devices. EC34 and EC54. Both use the same 26-pin interface, but the number specifies in mm how wide the slot is. The 54mm slot is wider and can support larger cards so device makers can pack more stuff in there. However, it's not really catching on. Seems most computer makers are opting for the space-saving EC34 form factor.

Anyway, with an adapter sucth as the Duel Systems ExpressCard to PCMCIA unit. You don't gain any speed advantages of EpressCard. You're simply mounting a standard PCMCIA 32bit Cardbus interface onto the ExpressCard bus. It still has the same 1066/1033Mbps top-end bandwidth and P2 cards in turn can only run as fast as their internal FLASH memory and controlling ASICs allow. In the world of FLASH, P2 is rathe quick compared to other SD style memory (on which P2 cards are based) because of the interleaved, multi-channel arrangement. However, as far as other FLASH technologies go these days, SD chips and P2 are rather slow. New techniques for manufacturing CF style media as well as upcoming formats like NAND FLASH are a lot faster. At CES some FLASH makers demonstrated CF media capable of 300MB/s. SanDisk and Transcend introduced FLASH based "hard drives" and other standard form factor storage that will have 30MB to 120MB per second rates and will be available later this year. Current NAND tech operates at about 70 to 100 MB/s, but has much lower latency and doesn't deteriorate over time like typical FLASH does. While current CF/SD style FLASH has a long-life, the 250,000 to 1M writes per cell do not meet stringent guidelines for mission-critical military and aerospace applications. NAND does... You can buy a 2.5" 160GB NAND FLASH hard drive righ now for your notebook that can sustain 70MB/s across the entire data volume. The price is just under US$20,000. A real bargain considering the 30GB version was just under $70K when it was released a couple years ago.
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Old March 8th, 2007, 03:53 AM   #9
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The adapter you guys are talking about is out now, you can order it here: http://www.duel-systemsadapters.com/
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