I've been building NAS boxes and have used the direct insertion card in all of them. No need for any mounting hardware and the physical size of the card takes up very little space. Will continue to use this type of card for all my custom built NAS boxes
PROS: The direct insertion boards make it easier for building a NAS box, Just plug it into the IDE connector, attach power cable from floppy drive, insert pre-programmed compact flash card and you are ready to boot..Uses very little power
I have a Dell GX150 desktop form-factor computer so I do not have much extra space to work with. I am using that box to run FreeNAS and wanted to install the software on a compact flash card so the hard drive would be able to only have my data on them.
I bought a SanDisk Ultra 2GB Compact Flash (CF) Flash Card and this controller and everything worked better then I expected. It all fit together without a problem and as soon as I remembered to plug in the power to this controller the FreeNAS software saw the card as a 2GB hard drive just as it should.
The short of it is that it works exactly like you would want it to without any configuration needed.
Didn't work with Gateway TBR2 450 PIII and compact flash card TS2GCF133. I think it's more the old mother board than anything. (Motherboard is DMA ) I tried it with FreeNas 7 and 8. Also tried Ubuntu Sefver 11.04 with no luck. I was able to boot each OS from a regular old hard drive. After few days of playing around with the jumpers on the adapter and the pc BIOS I just think they aren't compatible.
I gave it 4 out of 10 because I'm sure the adapter would work in a more up to date configuration.
PROS: Really neat idea. Simple installation if you can get it to work. No moving parts so it reduces noise and heat. Also would free up a hard drive bay.
CONS: Just didn't work for me in my rig. The price is too low to RMA. I plan to hang on to it and try it in another build.
This little device seems to work quite well. I used a Kingston CF card in it and tried it in a couple computers. One only detected it in the secondary IDE port, but the rest detected it fine as a UDMA capable hard disk. I haven't loaded any operating systems with it yet, but eventually I'll get around to building a mini-itx router with it.
I got this to boot my Sun Blade 2500 from, so I could get rid of hot and noisy ( and lately, quite expensive ) SCSI disks. Unfortunately the Blade's firmware doesn't support any SATA controllers ( and good luck getting a SATA card with fcode ROM that works with Sun OpenFirmware which doesn't cost an arm, a leg and your firstborn son ). So in order to get an inexpensive, ROM-less PCI-X SATA card to work I needed something else to boot from and this little adaptor gets the job done beautifully.
PROS: Gets the job done without cables all over the place
CONS: none, unless you need a slave on the same ATA channel
Performed exactly as expected. Installed in IDE slot, inserted CF card, booted from CD and installed OS. This was a NAS box I built. Computer power consumption only dropped by a couple of watts but now noticeably quieter, despite the other installed drives and fans.