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Flash Drive Question, USB 3.0

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June 27, 2009 9:51:58 AM

I'm thinking of grabbing myself an 8-GB flash drive, but I'm wondering if I should wait until USB 3.0 is around. I don't need the flash drive this instant, and I've read that USB 3.0 is going to be significantly faster, so I'd rather get something decent for my money. Do you guys have any idea how much an 8-GB USB 3.0 flash drive will cost? Just wondering if it'll be significantly higher, because if so it's not worth the wait just yet. Thanks for any information, appreciate it.
June 27, 2009 1:25:03 PM

itll be significantly faster but the flash drive will only be as fast as the memory inside it
there are already esata flash drives that get pretty fast but you have to remember that ull only get usb 3.0 speeds if the usb controller in your system is 3.0 certified and the flash drive is 3.0 certified and the memory inside the flash drive has to be pretty darn fast to take full advantage of the full bandwith 4.8 gbps
a c 126 G Storage
June 27, 2009 1:52:01 PM

Yeah not really something to wait for...

USB3 will be nice for external harddisks for systems without (powered) eSATA. It may be nice for USB3 gigabit adaptors and other high-bandwidth devices.

But flash? Those flash sticks get little more than 2MB/s. This is not because the memory chips are so slow, but because USB flash sticks do not have a controller that can use flash chips in parallel; this is where the SSDs get their very high speeds from; and there is no reason why you can't go more than 1GB/s speeds if you have enough flash chips. So the speed of the flash chips themselves is not really important.

Also, the flash sticks often have no or very rudimentary wear levelling, causing more wear if you plan on using flash sticks as an OS-drive.
Related resources
December 30, 2009 3:53:04 PM

Many of the newer flash drives now have both ECC and wear-leveling. Buffalo, Super Talent, and Pretec all have parallel flash chips.

Sources:

USB 2.0 NAND in Parallel

http://www.buffalo-technology.com/products/flash-memory...

http://www.pretec.com/epages/Store.storefront/?ObjectPa...

USB 3.0 NAND in RAID 0 Array:

http://www.supertalent.com/products/stt_usb_detail.php?...

I just called Super Talent...for those who are interested, the 32GB Super Talent RAIDDrive as linked above will run $232....a bit high for my reach....but in time, it will come down. :-(
December 30, 2009 7:49:15 PM

cheap USB 3.0 flash drives do about 90MB/sec and high end 3.0 flash drive (like the above Super Talent) are doing 300MB/sec read and 200MB/sec writes
December 30, 2009 9:20:21 PM

Do you know of any others besides the PQI and Super Talent?
!