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Windows 7: Flash Drive or External HDD?


19 Feb 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit
 
 
Flash Drive or External HDD?

Hey guys. me again. I thought i ask, which is better? I wouldnt mind saving money to get a higher capacity storage over a lower capacity but im a speed hog. I was wondering, which is better and faster when it comes to data transferring, a external hdd or a flash drive? I like a 32gb flash drive because its flash memory and high capacity for a flash drive but for a price like that i can get like a 250gb external hard drive. Which is better and which brand/model of external hdd/flash drive is top notch? Thanks in advance ^_^

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19 Feb 2011   #2

Windows 8 Pro
 
 

From a price perspective you can't beat an external drive. There are many manufacturers putting out pocket size drives as well. I've had luck with Western Digital and Seagate. Try to stay away from drives that use propriatory automatic back up software.

Look for a nice 500gb external drive on sale, and with the money saved pick up a 16gb flash drive for pure convenience.
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19 Feb 2011   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 OEM --> RTM clean install
 
 

Bare in mind that defragging / multiple writes will kill a flas drive a lot quicker than a 'normal' spinner...
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19 Feb 2011   #4

Windows 8 Pro
 
 

Defragging flash drives is useless. If you're that worried about it, transfer the data off, format it and load everything back up.

Most of the time you lose the damn thing before the write cycles are used up.
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19 Feb 2011   #5

Windows 7 x64
 
 

From a brand quality perspective, definitely Western Digital for external HDD, good value for money and extremely reliable. (I've a My Book for around 3 years now, never any problems), you probably want to go with the My Passport model (for portability's sake) and to be honest I'd go with a bigger external HDD than a 32GB flash drive, I don't think you'd notice THAT much difference tbh.....
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19 Feb 2011   #6
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Flash drives are generally slow, particularly for writing large files. The WD here is a cheap bare bones Elements, size of a pack of cards.
Name:  Lexar8G.JPG
Views: 4
Size:  47.4 KB

Name:  WD500G.JPG
Views: 4
Size:  49.2 KB


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19 Feb 2011   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit
 
 

thanks guys. Looks like external hard drives won this battle after all. I thought flash drives would be a bit faster since its flash memory.
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19 Feb 2011   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate (x64)
 
 

Let me add, that the speed is determined by the actual connection. The flash drives are usually USB 2. This is a slow (or at least, nowadays slow) connection, although mjf's numbers look way slow to me, my SanDisk Cruzer something gives 20 MB/s on average, but that's besides the point. Internally, both the HDD in external drives and flash memory are way faster than USB 2, so that's your bottleneck.

Personally I use external HDD for backup and storage, and flash drives for smaller files, video (to play on Blu-Ray player) and so on. I use external HDD with eSATA connection, that's way faster than USB 2. In fact, I can't understand why most external drives sold on the market are USB 2 instead of eSATA. Now comes USB 3, it's faster than eSATA but not by much. In any case, the theoretical speeds of both eSATA and USB 3 can probably only be achieved on solid state drives, as usual HDDs are slower than that.
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19 Feb 2011   #9
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

USB 2 speed limitations are a factor particularly for external HDDs. Most of them are actually sata drives inside the case. I think there is more going on with USB flash drives. My tentative conclusions are that the R/W storage devices in the USB flash drives are the main speed limiting factor. Also I notice that speed can vary for different flash drives.
Here is my result for SanDisk Cruzer 4GB. Somewhat faster than the Lexar but still not a substitute for the external HDD for general mass storage.
Name:  SanDisk 4G.JPG
Views: 2
Size:  48.4 KB


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 Flash Drive or External HDD?




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