1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Which is faster USB or hard drive?

Discussion in 'PC hardware help' started by VLJ, Jan 9, 2008.

  1. VLJ

    VLJ Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2004
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    11
    If I use a 2gb USB drive and plug it into one of the USB 2.0 ports in the back of my computer, would it be faster as a swapfile drive rather than the hard drive? I would think reading and writing to a USB device from memory would be so much faster than from the hard drive. Only thing is my 320 GB hard drive has a 16 mb cache, and that might make all the difference.
     
  2. GRAKEL2K8

    GRAKEL2K8 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    YOU SEEM TO HAVE THE ANSWER ALL FIGURED OUT YOURSELF.
    YOU CAN RESEARCH THE SPECS ON TRANSFER SPEEDS FOR MORE DETAILS.
     
  3. sammorris

    sammorris Senior member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Messages:
    33,322
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    118
    A Hard drive has a far higher transfer rate than a USB drive. I'd use the HDD personally. The response time of the USB is quicker, but if you're moving any data around, HDD's the way to go.
     
  4. VLJ

    VLJ Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2004
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    11
    I thought of this, sammorris, because of something I ran across that talks of Windows Vista using the USB to boost performance of older computers by utilizing more memory. In XP this can be accomplished by the control panel settings in System, Advanced tab on where you want your swap file to be and, HOW much.
     
  5. sammorris

    sammorris Senior member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Messages:
    33,322
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    118
    You're thinking of Readyboost, which can only be done with flash drives I believe, and only certain ones. Flash drives are so intolerably slow that most of them aren't even compatible. Generally it's a waste of time, because the performance boost won't be that great (certainly in games it's useless). When you run out of RAM, all the PC does is swap between the HArd disk and the RAM, rather than just between the RAM. If you use your flash drive as RAM, you're swapping between that and your real RAM. Since the flash drive is slower than a hard drive at data transfer, run any significant amount of data through it and the system's pointless.
     
  6. jony218

    jony218 Guest

    Even the fastest usb flash drives (150X speed 22mb/sec transfer speed) is slower than most good 7200 rpm hard drives. The only slowdown on the hard drive is if it has to spin up to max speed from a dead stop.
     
  7. sammorris

    sammorris Senior member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Messages:
    33,322
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    118
    Peak transfer rate of USB hard drive (which is faster than a USB drive) - 29MB/s
    Peak transfer rate of modern S-ATA hard drive - 75MB/s
     
  8. phill2000

    phill2000 Guest

    Well put, you could always upgrade your RAM and utilise the extra RAM by setting up a RAM disk. This would use the extra RAM as a storage device and would be far quicker than using USB / HD's albeit an expensive one, as well as preventing you upgrading RAM (as your using all free RAM slots) to boost system performance etc.
     
  9. sammorris

    sammorris Senior member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Messages:
    33,322
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    118
    Indeed, I'm buying an extra 2 gigs off someone this week, so that's something I intend to try when I get it.
     
  10. phill2000

    phill2000 Guest

    Sam, excellent for scratch disks etc. One colleague suggessted using it for the windows page file but I laughed.

    He couldn't see the irony of using RAM to create a page file to help boost performance for low RAM?!?!
     
  11. sammorris

    sammorris Senior member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Messages:
    33,322
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    118
    LOL did he figure it out in the end? :p
     
  12. phill2000

    phill2000 Guest

    Nope.

    To this date his PC is running the best it can all because of his RAM disk page file..... Go figure.
     
  13. sammorris

    sammorris Senior member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Messages:
    33,322
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    118
    Lol - "the best it can" - That has a genuine ROFL going on!
     

Share This Page