Memory sticks/SD and USB3

Check FlashI was just reading an article in a blog where people were slagging each other off over views about USB3 and the speed of memory sticks when a package arrived for me in the post.  A couple of USB3 32GB memory sticks (tiny ones at that).. and it occurred to me that my laptop has a USB3 socket.

So, off I went to the web and picked up CHECK FLASH for Windows – a freeby.

So – the first thing I did was to grab my favourite, fastest 32GB USB memory stick – a Duracell unit. I ran the test which took several minutes – and what did I get? 19 MB read speeds and 13MB write speeds – no errors. I know it is the fastest one I have as I often back movies up to it and when you’re backing up a 2GB movie – you soon make sure you use the quickest drive.

So bearing in mind that this was the BEST I have – and no way the machine will diminish any results as it is a very fast computer… I then went on to try the little mini-32GB USB drive.

Oh, both of these were formatted as Fat32 incidentally and so both complained that “only” a test of 4GB could be done.

Now, bearing in mind that the USB3 unit wasn’t even a super brand name – or ANY brand name for that matter, it is interesting to note that it easily managed 126GB read speed (i.e. SIX times faster read) and 36MB write (nearly THREE times faster write) – I think from now on I’ll be looking around for USB3 – I’m a convert.

THEN I remembered I had a USB card reader and a pal of mine had sent me some Samsung EVO microUSB chips – I read somewhere that these were the best for Raspberry Pi – so – I gave THAT a go too! Strangely the read speeds averaged 41/mb and the write speeds were only 13.4MB – more or less the same write as the USB 2 stick but over twice the read speed – perhaps my expensive USB3 ANKER adaptor isn’t as good as I thought it was – as the EVOs are definitely the fastest I’ve used on the Pi.

Have you come across much faster USB2 speeds that my simple test? What about USB3?


11 thoughts on “Memory sticks/SD and USB3

  1. Regarding your Samsung EVO and the Pi, don’t forget that the dominant factor for SD card performance in the Pi is not the headline speed. It’s the small block read and write speed. Recommendations for the Pi (or any SBC, really) are made on that basis.

    Some SD cards do great for large file sequential I/O, but choke on small files or random access. Kingston come to mind. The flash controller just can do only a few ops per second. Samsung does much, much better there.

    1. The test I did was small block read and write. And yes I plan to use the Samsungs from now on. Wish it was possible in a short time to do lifetime tests.

      1. You know what would be really good – a little USB3 unit that could take, say 2 or 3 16 or 32Gig microSDs, and raid them – it would have to be cheap – but that would then give Raspberry Pi users some confidence that their boards will work for a long time! An email when one of the drives goes down would be good too…

        There is of course THIS –,24512.html
        but it’s not usb2 and it’s not cheap.

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