Solid State Drive options

I’m thinking about putting a solid state drive in my ATV1, if the pending OSMC release goes as well as I think it will. I’m wondering what the best options are currently.

Some of the suggestions I’ve read about include the Intel X25-E, mSata drives with Pata adapters, etc…

I just stumbled on to something new to me that seems like it could be a nice inexpensive option… and that is a horizontal “Disk on Module” but I’m having a hard time finding any discussion about using these in an ATV1.

Anyone successfully done this?

I’m also interested in upgrading the ATV1 with a SSD.

I think the easiest way will be swapping the drive with a PATA SSD like this one:

Anyone with this setup?


I have 3 ATV1’s using this drive:

Performance-wise it doesn’t seem noticeably faster. However, the ATV’s run much cooler. Installation of both Crystalbuntu2 and OpenElec was a breeze. For whatever reason, the Amazon link is showing $4549, not $45.49 as the price btw.

Already posted this, cheap works well and is tiny as. This has the added benefit that the mSATA drive can be used in any other hardware should the ATV1 die.

This is the 5V mSATA/IDE Adapter I use successfully (with OpenELEC) with a 32GB ADATA mSATA SSD:

The mSATA screws to the top of the adapter.
I would just buy another one, as they are so cheap.

I would recommend staying with USB, at least for the first few test builds.

I will update users on the development progress this evening.

ooh never thought of that! I was busy trying to shoehorn a replacement Sata drive in, along with adaptor…

Liking the look of this one…

Wonder if it’s worth the gamble - can anyone advise?? :smiley:


I don’t think there’s any gamble. I’ve seen plenty of threads indicating that this works. I’ve found the adapter in the U.S. for about $5, and less if you want to wait for the ship from China. I’ve seen an 8GB mSata SSD drive for as little as $12. To me this would be worth the time and effort to not have a thumb drive hanging out the back. I don’t need any on board storage. Just enough to hold the OS and a few add ons.

Haven’t seen the Disk on Modules that I started this thread about selling for that cheap either. Nor have I found more than one person claiming they work in this scenario. Yet, there’s something appealing about the simplicity of just plugging the module in to the IDE slot and not worrying about adapters.

I think I’ll eventually be going the mSata route but I’d always planned to wait and see how OSMC goes on a thumb drive first, as Sam has suggested.

For those wanting the best performance, an NFS root would probably be the best solution. This is supported in OSMC.


Does NFS root means that you boot the ATV from a network share?

Sorry is this is a silly question but I don’t know exactly what it means.

Can someone explain it? Will it be possible to set it up with a Synology NAS?

Thanks in advance!

Yes, you can do it with a synology. It means the USB stick starts the initial boot but the root filesystem is on an NFS share. Your ATV stays cool but you can get nice IO speeds.


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Nice! But I have a few questions.

You get nice IO speeds even with 100Base Ethernet?

Will the bandwith be sufficient even if I’m streaming an HD movie?

Can the initial boot start from the internal HD so I have the usb port free to connect extenal storage?

Sorry for my ignorance…

The way i was looking at it, It would be handy to Store local files on the HDD to also allow local playing when the local network isn’t available. Useful for traveling - Take the box, cable and remote and catch up on some tv that has been missed…

Using a NFS root with the ATV is probably the opposite of the smartest thing I’ve read in a while.

An SSD with the ATV gives about 60-66MBs and excellent seek times. It helps performance when playing videos by making access to the swap file/partition much quicker. It will also help boot a little faster, and general navigating and loading of artwork faster.

Wrxtasy’s solution is the one I’d recommend.

Hi Soli,

OK – but with a minimal rootfs, can you show me where these transfer speeds would be beneficial? It’s easy to post theoretical speeds, but how do they benefit the typical use case?

OSMC won’t need to swap out, at least not under a standard workload. Old versions of CB had a problem where you had to play a video once to achieve stability. This isn’t the case with OSMC.


Gday Sam,
Only just read your PM about usb testing. AMLogic platforms have kept me busy as lately.

This is good news indeed if we no longer need to use a swap file for the video playback, directly after booting. :smile:

These little mSATA’s also help with Heat dissipation, providing more room in the ATV1’s case.

If the ATV had enough ram, say 512mb, you could get away with a low speed NFS root. There would still be speed advantages (big or small) when loading artwork (espescially in some of the more advanced views), initial scraping of your movie collection (with all the background resizing and such).

Since the Atv only has 256MB, a NFS root is a bad idea. It’s bottlenecked enough as it is. And this is before you install other skins, services and plugins etc. Then you have to factor in samba, ssh, connman and/or other Linux stuff. Anyways this is purely academic because I don’t really see anyone running the atv as a thin client when using it for media server purposes.

As for OSMC not swapping… That’s not going to even remotely happen. I’ll be happy to be proven wrong, though.

Perhaps I was a little unclear last night. We’ll add a swap file, but we don’t need it as much as you may think. We did well on Pi with 256M – even when giving a sizable chunk of that to the GPU. Granted, we weren’t running X.

One thing that I have noticed is a swap can initially penalise – you need to play one video sometimes to get things to be smooth thereafter. I’m working on getting rid of that.

Also adding a command line parameter for allowing CHD to be overclocked, as I’m definitely seeing different levels of tolerance on two cards (I found another!).

Regardless, the NFS option will remain as an installer method as it does for other OSMC devices.


256MB would work fine, if you didn’t need X (with Nvidia libraries) , Nvidia blobs, and CHD drivers. It’s this exact combination that sucks up your RAM. The same optimized rootfs/Kodi but on a Intel/Vaapi platform would probably even work fine with 128MB ram.

Overclocking CHD might be a good idea for the 12 card. I know for sure that the 15 card doesn’t really need it. It plays even the famed “killah” sample perfectly, but needs a lot of ram to do so. So it works fine in my oldschool Mac mini but it’s a no-go on the ATV.

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Killer sample brings back some brilliant memories. I remember struggling with it on an NVIDIA ION


Question: Does this step down voltages on its own? Or is/are there some other steps required to get this in a state ready for use of a mSATA SSD?