SD Flash Memory to IDE Adapter vs HDD

OK, so which do you all think will be a faster gig:

A PC with an 8GB SD Flash Memory connected via SD to IDE Adapter


A HDD (also depending which kind), I was hoping to compare an older 8.4GB HDD, and also other lines of 5400rpm, 7200rpm, 10k rpm, and newer 3.0gbps SATA HDD types.

I wish I had the time to test and the spare equipment, but wanted to see what educated guesses and feedback everyone will give first.

I am thinking of throwing a simple PC together for the sole purpose of internet access in a summer house and it will need very trivial - basic WindowsXP, Office, Browser, antivirus, anti-spyware as a total list of installed apps.

You would first need a copy of Windows that is made for flash storage and most flash cards only use PIO as transfer mode so they’ll noticeably slower (even SSDs are in general slow).

it really depends on what flash card you get, AFAIK the fastest ones peak at ~20-30MB/s but cheapies are way slower, anywhere from 5-10MB/s

for HDD speed comparisons, I have an old 4.3gb 5400rpm drive that (off the top of my head) has a peak continuous read speed of ~17MB/s with a min of ~6MB/s and an average of ~12 or so, I had xp installed on this drive at one point for a folding rig and it was painfully slow for booting and loading programs. I think it would be more cost effective and you would be much happier with the performance of a standard HDD, you can get 80gb sata drives for ~$40 these days, which would be about the same price as a cheapie 8gb flash card + IDE adapter

Yes, it depends but very few cards supports UDMA or MWDMA.
I’d also go for a HDD, 2.5" probably if performance isnt important.

No real benefit to using SD card, and performance hit as mentioned before.

yup, if power consumption/noise is an issue a 2.5" drive would work well, albeit at a higher $/gb ratio than a 3.5" drive. the 80gb 5400rpm drive in my laptop runs xp surprisingly snappy, but vista is too much for it with all its precaching and what not