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Laptop HDD vs. SD vs. Thumb drive and Battery Life

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March 25, 2010 6:58:14 PM

Hey guys,

Fed up with my pathetic 150GB laptop hard drive (SATA not sure which speed but its a Dell Inspiron thats less than a year old) and considering the fact that an upgrade costs over 200 bucks I decided instead to get a 32GB SD card (Class 6) ($30) and a 512GB (yes 1/2 a TB) USB Thumb Drive (USB 2.0) ($45). The SD card will stay in the compy at all times and the thumb drive will probably only go on vacations and stuff (I have a VERY large digital media collection). I was wondering

1. What is the comparison on battery drain between the 3
2. What are the relative speeds of all 3. I'm thinking USB>SD>HDD

Thanks for the help
-Charlie

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a b D Laptop
a c 415 G Storage
March 25, 2010 10:03:21 PM

Good luck with that $45 512GB thumb drive. Someone posted here a while back about thumb drives that had prices that were "too good to be true" and sure enough, they were (too good to be true, that is). The drives didn't work.

Thumb drives and SD cards will have less battery drain than an SSD because they don't have as many chips that operate in parallel or a sophisticated controller with RAM caching. And they'll definitely have much lower batter drain than an HDD. But they're also a lot slower for the same reasons.

Most thumb drives and SD cards are a lot slower than even a USB 2.0 connection, so the relationship will depend on the speeds of the units themselves and not how their connected (not to mention that a lot of SD card slots actually use a USB connection internally).

Both flash memories will likely be considerably slower than your hard drive.
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March 26, 2010 1:40:09 AM

Thanks for the reply... according to this guys e-bay rating the drives work just fine, even though its still a craps shoot. I figured with seek time factored in the hard drive would only end up being faster for large files (like over a gig)
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a b D Laptop
a c 415 G Storage
March 28, 2010 9:59:32 PM

I'm curious as to how this worked out for you.

In this thread it looked like there was some bogus company selling 128GB thumb drives that were actually 4GB drives with a hacked partition table to make them "look" like 128GB drives. Of course that just doesn't work...

Since there are no 512GB flash chips available yet, I'm thinking this is most likely what you're going to end up with.
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March 29, 2010 10:49:30 PM

You were right... except they were 32GB drives. I'm pretty pissed... but I have recourse via EBay.
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a b D Laptop
a c 415 G Storage
March 30, 2010 2:06:49 AM

OK - thanks for the feedback. Hopefully it'll help the next guy...
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April 9, 2010 1:40:57 AM

Best answer selected by S2Charlie.
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