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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Hardware
USB Flash Drive Speed
Moderators: Flash, Ian, JohnMurga
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gcmartin

Joined: 14 Oct 2005
Posts: 6730
Location: Earth

PostPosted: Mon 12 Sep 2016, 20:54    Post subject:  

Before @BarryK highlighted the hdparm command, I had always tested using the time command as a wrapper to the command to read or write data.
Code:
# time cp  write-RAM-file    to_some_partition
# time cp  read_some_partition-file    to_RAM-file
I would compare the outputs for various drives to gain a perspective on system I/O performance and in most cases, where I should place my SWAP partition.

I have about a dozen+ of both USB2 and USB3 sticks with a few SD/microSD/microSDSX cards. Additional I have 5 USB enclosures which are USB2 and a couple USB3 for ATA and SATA drives.

At the moment, I only have desktops which have USB2 connections and a NUC which has USB3s plus 1 USB2.

I find that USB sticks are easy for transporting information and was the primary reason I began acquiring them.

I rarely have used USBs for Frugal use as I have found many years ago, that there is NO system performance difference whether I boot from DVD, USB or HDD/SSDs. The systems run in RAM and as is the case with many in the forum, systems are 2GB+. Lastly for my production use I rarely shut those PC down and when I do, I save to the DVD. So the ONLY benefit to me is transporting and this is where my DVDs and my USBs benefit me.

There is a lot of fondness for USBs. And, I see users benefiting.

So, I wonder if there is benefit if we adopted a standard measurement utility/approach for reporting and measuring USB behavior on PUPs.

This thread can be useful if it is leading to some measurement tool which can be used to present a consistent picture. And a consistent command use, as well.

Here is one report I just did 2 days ago for one of my systems that I booted Slacko7a3; data obtained using hdparm command:
Code:
Linux Slacko7a3-onSLI 4.1.32 #1 SMP Sat Sep 10 22:20:07 AEST 2016 x86_64 AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 4600+ AuthenticAMD GNU/Linux

40GB SATA MSDOS
/dev/sda:
Timing buffered disk reads:  153 MB in 3.01 seconds = 51946 kB/s

1.5TB SATA MSDOS
/dev/sdb:
Timing buffered disk reads:  294 MB in 3.00 seconds = 100263 kB/s

2GB USB GPT STICK
/dev/sdc:
Timing buffered disk reads:   54 MB in 3.03 seconds = 18230 kB/s

10GB USB MSDOS ATA
/dev/sdd:
Timing buffered disk reads:   75 MB in 3.04 seconds = 25197 kB/s
This is just a manual representation of something I was looking at back then.

Although I have never tested, I think @Smokey is right and there very well may be some differences in how the sticks/cards/drives are setup. The 3 primary issues are manufacturer and unit tested, the disk layout types (namely GPT or MSDOS), and the partition filesystem that is present. Now, which tool would be best to expose performance?

I dont believe hdparm commands cares and I am not sure how it actually is obtaining his data. What exactly is he reading? (of course this is not the primary question in determining performance)

Lastly, in looking over this site, it appears that Lexar's Jump has it over Sandisk Extreme. But both seemingly are best in what they provide.

Just a few ideas. FYI

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smokey01


Joined: 30 Dec 2006
Posts: 2649
Location: South Australia

PostPosted: Mon 12 Sep 2016, 22:40    Post subject:  

I think the f3 utility does a pretty decent job of determining write and read speed. It writes files in 1GB sizes which you can read back. By default it will fill the avaiable space on the drive with these files. Large drives can take some time to test. I think this will be my benchmark for the near future.
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anikin

Joined: 10 May 2012
Posts: 956

PostPosted: Tue 13 Sep 2016, 07:13    Post subject:  

Never mind.
Last edited by anikin on Wed 14 Sep 2016, 14:37; edited 1 time in total
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BarryK
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Joined: 09 May 2005
Posts: 8280
Location: Perth, Western Australia

PostPosted: Wed 14 Sep 2016, 06:27    Post subject:  

TyroBGinner wrote:
I swear that I have seen, surprisingly, what appear to be 3.0 connections without the characteristic blue color of the plastic inner tab. Has anyone else encountered this?


Yes, you are right.

I have an Asus baby laptop that I purchased a few months ago. It has one USB3 socket, and the plastic inside it is black.

I asked the guy in the shop about this, and he said, yes, some laptops do not have blue in the USB3 sockets.
He pointed out that it has lettering beside it, "high speed" I think it said, something like that. Also the manufacturer's specs identified it as USB3.

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BarryK
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Joined: 09 May 2005
Posts: 8280
Location: Perth, Western Australia

PostPosted: Wed 14 Sep 2016, 06:38    Post subject: Re: USB Flash Drive Speed
Subject description: What are the fastest USB flash drives?
 

smokey01 wrote:
Recently I was reading Barry's blog.
http://barryk.org/news/?viewDetailed=00402

I had a few questions about this drive so I bought one from MSY today for $AUD57.00.


Hey, you beat me to it!
I ordered mine from the Eastern States, and it is still on its way. I think that they have sent it surface mail, that's why the postage was so cheap.

Currently I am using my Emtec 64GB USB3 stick for building Quicky using woofQ and for compiling packages, such as SeaMonkey, on my Pi2.

Apart from the fact it is like watching grass grow, and I wonder how long this stick is going to last, getting flogged like this.

There was another post about a 128GB stick for AU$40. Yeah, that was a sale at Australia Post. Ended now. I bought my Emtect 64GB stick for AU$38 from Officeworks.

So I reckon the Sandisk Extreme for around the $50 mark is an excellent buy, considering the speed improvement.

Note, I was using a Lexar 8GB stick as a swap partition. It is near-new. Anyway, something has gone wrong with it, it now flashes continuously. Will do a reformat, see if that fixes it.

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mavrothal


Joined: 24 Aug 2009
Posts: 2881

PostPosted: Wed 14 Sep 2016, 07:24    Post subject: Re: USB Flash Drive Speed
Subject description: What are the fastest USB flash drives?
 

BarryK wrote:

Note, I was using a Lexar 8GB stick as a swap partition. It is near-new. Anyway, something has gone wrong with it, it now flashes continuously. Will do a reformat, see if that fixes it.

As shown in the list below (from userbenchmark) anything else besides the (expensive) Mushkin Ventura Ultra and SanDisk Extreme sticks have write speeds for small files under 2MB/Sec (and 60% of the sticks under 500KB/s!). Both of them are using SSD controllers that makes all the difference.
Anything else will be problematic for an OS and really bad for swap.
Sticks.png
 Description   
 Filesize   99.12 KB
 Viewed   189 Time(s)

Sticks.png


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gcmartin

Joined: 14 Oct 2005
Posts: 6730
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PostPosted: Wed 14 Sep 2016, 17:13    Post subject:  

I wonder if USB3 or USB2 storage drives have better performance. I still have 2.5 USB2 drive that has provided faithful service on a laptop whose drive died in 2006. It 40GB but still solid and robust, while providing portability when needed.

I have not tested this versus any sticks as the laptop ports are currently filled with it and its mouse+keyboard. Again, any test would still be limited to USB2 tests.

There are better small form factor USB storage that is available in the 2.5 size that bring longevity to the table along with storage access speed. This is not a match in size, of course, but would yield portability. Saw a recent ad for 1TB USB at a ridiculously cheap cost.

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gcmartin

Joined: 14 Oct 2005
Posts: 6730
Location: Earth

PostPosted: Thu 15 Sep 2016, 01:50    Post subject:  

This thread's discussion peaked my interest in USB transfer speed.

Real test
Tested Samsung 250GB SSD 750 SATA3 in a USB3 enclosure. On an in-store PC 366MB/sec. Test your laptop with this at the PC store. If it doesnt exceed anything else you've seen on USB, return it. I think for the cost, you will take it home. $70 on Amazon.

Store did not have this

And the small Samsung T3 250GB is rated at 450MB/s read-write over a USB 3.1 interface. Reviews are here.

Available free shipping direct from Samsung with a fair return policy.

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Pelo

Joined: 10 Sep 2011
Posts: 12591
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PostPosted: Thu 17 Aug 2017, 05:19    Post subject: I always use 4GBs pendrives  

I always use 4GBs pendrives (because 2Gbs are no longer provided).. It the same ideaa why i am used to Puppy Linux, and my Pupsaves at 500MB maxi.
I prefer many Flash drives, each one with three puppies maxi on it.
So speed to read 4GB, even if slow, is not very important..
But when a check disk is done at boot, i don't waste minutes to wait for control is finished.
I would wonder about speed is speed was to slow for my convenience.. I'll feed back numbers soon.
Something important if what you do with your computer, games videos or only... programming Smile , then 32 bits would be enough. And speed depends on the number of fingers you type with.

However i bouhgt an 8GB for XenialDog,

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