Is the flash drive going to be layer of landfill just above the optical media sediment?

Subject: Storage | June 24, 2014 - 04:43 PM |
Tagged: usb, flash drive, obsolete

A high capacity USB flash drive used to be the definition of great swag, a company could put whatever tools, media or programs on a promotional USB drive but what really counted was the size.  As 128GB and larger drives started to become more common and more reasonably priced may got in the habit of dumping all their optical media to be replaced by a handful of flash drives, some bootable and some not.  Take the Patriot SuperSonic Rage XT 128GB up for review at NikTech, for $80 you get 128GB of storage that can hit 200MB/s random or linear reads and is rather durable.  There is nothing wrong with the drive until you realize you can pick up a 128GB Crucial MX100 and an eSATA cable for the same price or double your storage for an extra $30.  Those SSDs are roughly twice as fast and every bit as rugged, so why pick up that flash drive in the first place?

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"Storage capacity needs increase on a daily basis and with them so does demand and thus in the end those two result in more competition between companies and lower prices (at least most of the time). Think about it, just two years ago i was running around carrying an 16GB USB flash drive with my keychain while now i have attached a permanent 32GB one which i sometimes replace with an 128GB one if i need to carry way too much data with me."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

Source: NikkTech
June 24, 2014 | 05:45 PM - Posted by willmore (not verified)

I just picked up a 64GB Patriot Blitz drive at Fry's for $19. Reads at 150MB/s in my testing.

June 24, 2014 | 05:57 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

What about the write speeds, the F-ing write speeds, the GD F-ing write speeds, who needs to waste their time waiting for large transfers, waiting, waiting, usually at 5MB per sec. To hell with thumb drives, get a inexpensive SSD and stick in in a $10 dollar enclosure, the write speeds will be much better! GTFO thumb drive makers!

June 24, 2014 | 07:32 PM - Posted by willmore (not verified)

Well, the simple testing I just did shows 35MB/s on writes. That's not SSD rates, but it's not 5MB/s, either. Also, $19 for 64GB.

June 24, 2014 | 08:47 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Well get PcPer to run some stress testing, because all thumb drives show fast write times at first, try saturating the controller on the drive with a 20GB transfer and see how long it takes, better yet, get the benchmarking software, and run that thumb drive through some testing, because most tech websites are not doing anything but mostly repeating ad copy, and little else when it comes to thumb drives! Some of my laptops system image backups will fit on a 64 gig thumb drive, try transferring a system image backup from a hard drive to the thumb drive, that should put the thumb drive through some paces. With the costs of SSDs so low, thumb drives are dumb drives, it's better to buy an regular SSD and put it in an enclosure. Yes those thumb drives start out writing faster, but they always end up around 5MB per sec. after the controller starts choking on some GBs, not so with regular SSDs that usually have multiple controllers, and memory channels.

June 24, 2014 | 05:50 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

"200MB/s random or linear reads and is rather durable", but that only half of the story, What about the writes, why do these things have such crappy write speeds, and why are thumb drive makers always talking reads, and never mentioning writes! The 128GB Crucial MX100 is definitely better for the write speeds, but doubling the size also increases the channels, if the same size memory chips are used to double the space. And why does windows not allow striping of two or more thumb drives to get better write speeds, I have a drawer full of 64GB thumb drives, Why can't I stick them in a USB 4 port replicator, stripe them raid 0 and get better write speeds. Why does the FTC allow the makers of thumb drives to get away with not publishing their write speeds, in ads and on the retail packages, always reads, not writes. This is a longer running scam than that Kingston kerfuffle, read speeds without write speeds on thumb drives!!!

June 24, 2014 | 07:21 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

They usually have crappy write speeds because NAND memory is already somewhat limit per die and package. I'm sure Allen could break this down, but there's usually only one NAND chip with multiple packages/cells inside. Depending on the density used, controller, and packages there's something like a 25Mbps limit per chip.

Hence why SSD's, RAM, and other technologies load up on chips to maximize bandwidth via parallelism.

June 25, 2014 | 12:11 AM - Posted by biohazard918

An sdd does tend to be a might incovenient to hang off ones key ring. I got enought shit I carry around in my pockets with out adding 2.5 inch drives into the mix.

June 25, 2014 | 06:31 AM - Posted by Jason (not verified)

I wouldn't mind seeing pc per or another tech site do a test of the patriot ventura series of thumb drives. At least do them on a asus mb with the USB 3.0 enhnancement of theirs. I want to see how they perform next to patriot specs.

June 25, 2014 | 06:32 AM - Posted by Jason (not verified)

I meant the ventura ultra drives, not the ventura basic drives.

June 25, 2014 | 06:41 AM - Posted by Goofus Maximus (not verified)

Thumb drives and SSDs are two different market segments. Thumb drives are pocket-portable sneaker-net storage. SSDs are not-pocket-portable, don't move it around much storage.

Thumb drives are at the convenience end of the speed/convenience scale, and SSDs are at the speed end of the scale.

Over time, the lines may blur into non-existence, but for now thumb drives rule for sheer grab-it-and-go utility.

June 25, 2014 | 08:14 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

And for grab and go 16gb is fine, but try getting more data on a large capacity thumb drive, and it's more like grab and wait for the transfer to complete, then go! these high capacity thumb drives are just not very efficient as far as write speeds go. Someone needs to tape out a device with the controllers and memory sharing a small enough die, and maybe not so much memory, something custom designed to have the bandwidth of a regular SSD with all the extra bus/channels etched out on the die, then maybe 128GB thumb drives could be fast enough to be considered grab and go. There are a few thumb drives out there with high write speeds, but they cost too much.

June 25, 2014 | 09:27 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

In terms of portability, microSD rules. It is much smaller than a USB drive. I just use my phone as a card reader wherever i go. 128 GB and 30MB/s is not so bad http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IIJ6W4S/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=U... although a bit expensive.

June 25, 2014 | 01:00 PM - Posted by collie

I saw 1gb thumb drives at the dollarama for 3$

June 25, 2014 | 06:22 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Oh Jeremy, you crack me up! SSDs require power, an esata connection, and are not even all that portable.

A thumb drive is universally compatible with any pc made in the last 20 years. I put esata connections on my pcs and still never used them since esata doesn't work all that well. Sometimes drives require a restart to show up, they don't always give the safely remove option so you better hope they write all data before you try to unplug it.

With USB3 esata is basically dead in the water. I have a 64GB version of that patriot and it does 90MBps writes, and over 160MBps reads. By they time you find a free outlet to plug in your power adapter I can probably have the file transfer already completed.

June 26, 2014 | 11:22 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

You are a Butthurt manufacture's damage control spin doctor, if the write speed is so great why did they not publish the write speeds. FOAD thumb drive scammers, and if a USB enclosure can power a enclosed hard drive it sure can power an enclosed SSD, it's time for the Federal Trade Commission to crack down on Thumb drive makers, and require them to get their products independently tested for true Read and write speeds, and the FTC need to force the thumb drive manufactures to post the independently verified read and write speeds on the retail packaging, and in any Advertising!!

Thumb drives suck for write speeds, and Any that do not cost too much!

Regular SSD are better, and less costly per GB, with much higher write speeds! so GTFO, thumb BUM!

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