PortableApps.com needs your help: Please consider making a donation today.
300+ free and legal portable apps (over 9GB), up-to-date, & new apps regularly (Apr 3: GPU-Z).
Get the encrypted PortableApps.com Carbide, the fast PortableApps.com Companion, or carry your KeyZ.
PortableApps.com lead developer recovering from injury/surgery (Latest News Mar 19th)

SD Card vs USB Drive for Speed

EwanG - September 21, 2008 - 9:39am

Getting ready to start doing the "ride the bus" commute again, and this time planning to take the laptop with. I was thinking my 8GB SD Card would have a lower profile (not stick out as much) as my USB stick. But what would the speed be like? Should I assume similar or... ?


( categories: )

First of all, the 8GB is

First of all, the 8GB is called SDHC card. The speed of cards differ much depending on the brand and version. There are special 'high speed' versions available for cards that offer higher read/write speed.

For exact information you should search for compare tests and tables which will give you a bit more insight into the performance of read/write/erease speeds of different cards.

I don't know if these cards handle faster max speeds than USB connectors though.

So I have an SDHC Class 6

So I have an SDHC Class 6 Transcend Card versus an 8GB Micru Cruzer USB stick. From looking on Google, it looks like no one has actually done speed tests of this sort since about 2005 (when the sizes of each were different). So I guess I just have to try it and see...

According

to Wikipedia class 6 means at least 6MB/s which is a fair bit slower than many USB drives. You might also want to check out the speeds bit further up the page.

Well, one man's opinion here,

Well, one man's opinion here, but having copied the files and done the experiment, the SD card certainly feels snappier. Whether that says something about how my HP is setup, how Transcend rates their SDHC cards, or how the Micro Cruzer works is another story.

In any event, I'll try to update here if after a couple days I notice any change. At least for the moment, I'm rather pleased with this setup. Again, it's not just that it appears a tad faster, but the card barely sticks out compared to the USB stick.

FWIW...

Unfortunately.....

Unfortuntely there is no easy answer. What I have found is that SD card readers vary considerably. My HP laptop has a built-in SD card reader and I have a number of external readers. Using the same card in each of them I have seen a wide variation in read speed. What I found was that the built in reader was among the slowest.

What I would suggest is to try both and see if you can live with the SD card speed relative to the stick.

Clair

SD vs USB

SD is faster at writing (that's why they are used for cameras) and USB is faster at reading. I use my [mention of illegal software suite removed] with a Panasonic SDHC card, class 4 on my netbook MSI Wind 100 and am happy as it does not stick out as much, as a USB key, as you already mentioned. Look at the video on youtube on a small test someone made http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-yud6CU10U and another one explaining SD card classes http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsJozPFloRU that explains that the higher the SD card class, the faster it should be.

using a SDHC card with portableapps on liberkey.com own apps folder

Not all flash drives are the

Not all flash drives are the same. That first video compares a SD card with a Sandisk Cruzer. The low-end Cruzers have terrible write speed.

An 8GB Cruzer that I bought has a tested sequential read speed of 19.17 MB/s and a write speed of 4.30 MB/s.

My OCZ Diesel (Still a fairly cheap usb 2.0 drive) gets speeds of 31.23 and 14.93 MB/s respectively. That's quite a bit faster write speed than any SD card that I've tested. It's still very slow compared to some of the new USB 3.0 drives.

Of the dozen or so drives I've tested, the Sandisk was second slowest. The only one worse was an old PNY flash drive.

Spend an extra buck or two, you can get much better performance.