no rest – two more storm possibilities after dorian

Captured from the National Hurricane Center (https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/) a little after 9pm EST. Two more hurricane possibilities are on the map. That’s what those little yellow exes mean. There’s one in the Gulf right on the norther tip of the Yucatan peninsula, and the other is right off the western edge of Africa and the Cabo Verde Islands. The one off the edge of Africa is the one to keep an eye on, as it has a 60% chance of intensifying over the next five days. Tomorrow is the first day of September, and historically September is always the most intense month for the number and strength of hurricanes.

adding a 500gb solid state drive to a raspberry pi 4b

While waiting for Hurricane Dorian to pass by Florida, I received a brand new Crucial MX500 SSD from B&H Photo, along with a StarTech USB 3.0 to 2.5″ SATA SDD adapter cable w/UASP (USB3S2SAT3CB). SSD drive prices have been tumbling rather steeply these days. This one cost US $67, and the adapter was another US $13. An equivalent 512GB USB 3 thumb drive would have cost more, to a lot more. I’ve already got it attached and formatted as a single EXT4 attached drive.

I ran a quick-and-dirty throughput test, to compare performance between the MX500 and the micro SDXC drive I boot from, a SanDisk Extreem PLUS 126GB V30 XC I A2. Here’s the two tests I ran and the results.

pi@raspberrypi:~ $ sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/media/pi/cmx500_1/test1.img bs=1G count=1 oflag=dsync
1+0 records in
1+0 records out
1073741824 bytes (1.1 GB, 1.0 GiB) copied, 7.3128 s, 147 MB/s
pi@raspberrypi:~ $ sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/tmp/test1.img bs=1G count=1 oflag=dsync
1+0 records in
1+0 records out
1073741824 bytes (1.1 GB, 1.0 GiB) copied, 34.3216 s, 31.3 MB/s
pi@raspberrypi:~ $

Limited as it is, the throughput is telling. Writing to the SSD is almost five times faster than to the SDXC card. I’m going to assume that the reading from the SSD will be fast, but not nearly the same difference as when writing.

I bought this drive to build on. I’m going to put the swap file on this drive as well. Then I’m going to do some fairly serious (for a Raspberry Pi) native compilations using the SSD.

If you need to save some money, the Crucial 250 GB MX500 is only $50, and I even found some other brands at that capacity as low as $30-$35. SSDs are no longer the hideously expensive things they once were when they were introduced. My only wish is that Raspbian could be updated to boot directly off the SSD. Perhaps there is a way to hack the current Raspbian Buster to bootstrap from the SDXC to the SDD, but for now, this is more than adequate for my needs.