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Thumbdrive vs Notebook HDD

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Anonymous (not verified)
Thumbdrive vs Notebook HDD

Well.. I've read some post regarding issues such as if a thumdrive can occupy all these apps and if my thumdrive can last longer.

I'm also thinking about this issue.

Notebook HDD (in portable case)
- 40 GB
- Small but of course a lot bigger than a thumbdrive.
- Long lifetime span.
- Can hold a lot of read-write activities.
- No headache thinking that my thumbdrive is getting hotter.
- $80 (RM300 well, I'm a Malaysian)

- 1 GB
- Can be attached to your keyring (and I have lost mine once Sad )
- Long but not so long lifetime...
- Can also hold a lot of read-write act but far below a HDD.
- Arghh!!! It's getting hotter!!!
- $60 (RM220) Maybe in Dollar it doesn't differ much.. buy hey.. in RM (or MYR) its like $80 different.

Haha.. I'm thinking of which to buy after I lost my old 256MB thumdrive (which cost twice than now). The criterions are:
- Can it occupy a lot of incoming portable apps (plus work files that you carry around too)
- Portability.
- Durability (unless the apps can be made to have min read-write act as possible).
- Uhh can't think of others..

Okay.. just for some discussion.

John T. Haller
John T. Haller's picture
Last seen: 6 hours 49 min ago
Joined: 2005-11-28 22:21
A thumbdrive

Will last you more than enough time to make it worthwhile. And none of the 4 I have get hot running apps off them. In two years, 8GB thumbdrives will cost what 512MB ones do now.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

Last seen: 6 years 3 months ago
Joined: 2006-01-17 15:56
HDD are much better value for space & performance

Just wondering what the pluses are for a thumb drive, except for the size?

mexter (not verified)
Wouldn't a HDD be much

Wouldn't a HDD be much slower with small files? I mean, it has to spin up and so forth. There's also battery life to consider, assuming you don't have it plugged in. (And if you do have it plugged in, there's also that extra hassle)

While my USB drive is getting replaced, I'm running from an Entempo Spirit, which is a (bad) MP3 player that uses a standard notebook HDD. I've tried running PFF from it, and it wasn't a pretty experience. It worked, but it was REALLY slow. (So instead I've written a script that uses xcopy to copy anything that's been updated to the documents directory on whatever computer I'm sitting at, and a second one to copy everything back.) It could just be my unit, but I doubt that there is all that much variation between different HDD enclosures, which this player basically is.

- me -

Last seen: 6 years 3 months ago
Joined: 2006-01-17 15:56
Thank for the reply. Spin up

Thank for the reply.

Spin up may be a prob, but how often would that 4sec delay be a prob?

Is that HD USB 2.0?

Do you mean the battery Life on the USB stick?

From what I've read, the sustained transfer speed of Notebook Hard drives (21MB/s with write 17.1MB/s, and a full-disk read averaging 18.4MB/s) is better than USB Drives (eg. 16MB/s sustained for Corsair USB with 13.1MB/s reads and 9.7MB/s writes, Nb there's Large variations in speeds of various USB drives too)

With a 100gig hard disk, I can take a Hard disk backup with me plus my 2gig of emails.


Let me know if i'm off track here,

mexter (not verified)
I think the problem is when

I think the problem is when you're dealing with an application like Firefox that is writing a whole lot of small (below 512B) files. A drive that has to deal with spin up could slow things down significantly unless it's spinning constantly, and that can't possibly be good for it.

As for battery life, I'm referring to an HDD and not a USB drive. A portable hard disk will either have to be plugged into the wall, or will be running from a battery built into the enclosure. If the former, then it's just an extra hassle when transporting it around, particularly if you can't find a free outlet. If the latter, then you have to worry about it running out of power, and since there are moving parts it *will* run out of power at some point.

One other factor with an HDD is that it's (generally) more delicate. Anything with moving parts is going to be. (Of course, I'm the guy whose USB drive tip broke off, so what do I know?) It's also more susceptible to things like extreme cold, though that may or may not be an issue for you.

I'm currently using a HDD to transport PFF and other apps. But instead of running them directly I wrote a one-line script to copy them from the drive onto whatever local computer I sit down at:

xcopy *.* "%USERPROFILE%\My Documents\Applications" /D/E/C/H/K/Y

And when I'm done for the day:

xcopy "%USERPROFILE%\My Documents\Applications" F:\applications /D/E/C/H/K/Y

Not a perfect solution, but better than running out of power. Still can't wait to get my replacement Corsair.

- me -

mechir (not verified)
Thanks for reply

Thanks for reply. Before, I though that this topic might be so dull that nobody want to discuss it. Haha...

Ok some pro of USB stick over HDD (by reading and experience):
- If USB stick, in any way or cause, drop into a bucket of water (in your trouser's pocket Smile ), we can still recover the files in it but make sure it's completely dry. And you can still use it as usual. Perhaps, the lifetime will be shorter.
- If the closure broken? Just use it as usual. JUst don't apply full force onto it. My friend has a stick that consist of just its board full of chips.
- Due to the nature that the biggest size commonly is between 256MB - 1GB, and using FAT format, it has only small number of clusters.. compared to millions in 40GB HDD. So USB stick is faster.
- Of course lower power consumption.
- Vibrate it as much as you want (but of course not in its resonance frequency).

HDD over USB Stick:
Correction for some misunderstanding... I refers to a 2.5" notebook HDD with external enclosure for portability. It doesn't use external power supply. Typical HDD use 5 watt, which is the max power of a USB port (correct me if I'm wrong). If needed, the cable has to USB input, which the other one is to draw more power from another USB port.
- Yes, HDD use more power due to its mechanical system. However, it doesn't always draw power. Only when read/write. Ok, might be not good for notebook that runs on battery. A stick constantly use power because it's a chip.
- Big.. so much big than stick (in storage capacity not physical size Blum ).
- A lot cheaper interm of dollar per MB.
- Still use dial-up at home? Download 5 CDs of full size Linux at your office (which has excess bandwith but no one use it) and bring it to home. (pssttt: refer to your company's IT policy first Blum )
- Create a small partition for installing live linux or as much portable apps that you like. copy some movies, mp3, etc in other partition. When you feel bored while away from your comp.. and don't want to spoil others computer.. a 2.5" portable HDD is yor savior.

OK, these are what I can think of for now.

mexter (not verified)
I had assumed you were using

I had assumed you were using an enclosure, which usually means that aside from the USB (or Firewire) port, it also has to be connected to the wall. I'm not sure what the maximum output of USB is, though for some reason 4.5 watts is coming to mind. Suppose I could look it up, but I'm just so darned lazy right now.

- Generally faster than an HDD for small files. In my experience also faster for large files, but it really depends on the drive.
- Least amount of hassle.
- More durable.
- Small! Fits in your pocket.
- Getting bigger without changing in size! A couple years from now 16GB will be the new 512MB.
- No, I don't still use dialup at home. Smile

- Much greater storage capacity.
- There's nothing like travelling around with several seasons of TV and a portable version of VLC.
- Cheap! Particularly if you use a 3.5" drive.

It really depends on your purposes. If you want to use it to boot from and/or play movies, then an HDD is really the better way to go. But in terms of portable apps and plugging into a (usually) Windows based PC, a flash drive will win hands down unless it's quite old and slow.

Not sure I'm adding much to this right now, but my brain has recently turned to mush.

- me -

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