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USB flash drive or SD card with SLC flash

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April 19, 2012 4:08:33 AM

I'm wanting to put a small Linux installation onto either a USB flash drive or SD card. This will be used on a daily basis, so for the sake of longevity I want one that uses SLC flash. However, most drives and cards don't specify what kind of flash they use, and MLC flash is pretty prevalent nowadays, so I'm not sure which drive to go for. I'd like to get the cheapest drive or card I can get that's 8GB or greater and comes from a reputable manufacturer.

You fellows know of any individual drives/cards or series of drives/cards that use SLC flash?
a b G Storage
April 19, 2012 5:36:17 AM

Sharkoon Flexi-Drive Extreme Duo USB 3.0
April 19, 2012 7:17:35 AM

Any word on places that sell those or pricing? (For a buyer in the US.)
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a b G Storage
April 19, 2012 7:48:23 AM

No idea where to get them is USA. Try Amazon, newegg or ebay. There are some left in AUS (Umart), $96 AUD for 32GB.
a b G Storage
April 19, 2012 8:24:29 AM

If you're struggling to get an SLC based device, don't fret over MLC. Reason being is SLC is soon to completely go extinct. MLC isn't too bad these days, with new garbage collection and wear-leveling techniques.

If you're heavily configuring this Linux build, just try to cache as much as you can, to offload the work from the USB drive, and as long as it's not only small but "light" in workload, most reputable USB drives will work. Formerly working for a "name brand", I know said name brand, standard issue MLC-USBs are used in Dell and HP servers to load VMWare ESX with a lifespan expectancy of no less than 5yrs.
Again, keeping with MLC, don't completely fill the USB drive; e.g., if your build is 4GB, go with at least 8, if the build is 8, go with 16, etc.

Whatever you do, DO NOT go with an SD card. The IO for an SD card is not friendly with OS thrashing and you'll burn through them pretty quick or find that your data is regularly being corrupted.
The new "MLC" to avoid is "TLC". MLC=2 bits a cell, TLC= 3.
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