SSD vs Flash Drive



  • Are there any differences between flash drives and SSD drives?


  • Service Provider

    Two names for the same thing :) Technically SSD is a broader term, referring to any drive made from solid state technology. But Flash is the only SSD type on the market.



  • Just for clarification... Are you asking what the difference between a usb flash drive and a solid state hard drive?



  • @lhatsynot Correct. Would the speed of a 128GB USB thumb drive be the same as a 120GB Solid State Drive? Or is one faster then the other?


  • Service Provider

    @anonymous said:

    @lhatsynot Correct. Would the speed of a 128GB USB thumb drive be the same as a 120GB Solid State Drive? Or is one faster then the other?

    USB drives are going to be limited by the USB bandwidth, not the chips really.

    Internal SSD are usually 6gb/s SATA III

    While technically the same things, @scottalanmiller is just being overly specific stating they are the same thing, because the terms are not used that way.



  • Yes... what @jaredBush said. Your bottleneck is going to be the connection between the flash storage and the motherboard. USB will be slower that a standard SATA SSD. You can also get flash storage on a PCIe card just to toss in another option to look at.



  • Assuming both the flash drive and SSD are being used over USB 3.0 the speeds are the same?


  • Service Provider

    @JaredBusch said:

    While technically the same things, @scottalanmiller is just being overly specific stating they are the same thing, because the terms are not used that way.

    Pretty typically they are. The same drives are called both flash and SSD. The terms are used interchangeably. I hear people call SSDs flash drives all of the time. And Flash was used earlier. Like the SSDs on RAID controllers are never called SSDs, they are called Flash, even though they are identical to the SATA SSDs you buy.

    From a technical standpoint, USB drives are both flash and SSD. From a common usage standpoint, they are called both too. In the Chromebook world, SD cards are called SSDs all of the time.

    From an end user standpoint, the terms completely overlap. Both terms are used in marketing, technical and casual non-technical speech to refer to all items regularly. High speed SATA drives are called both, SDs and USBs are called both, etc.


  • Service Provider

    @anonymous said:

    Assuming both the flash drive and SSD are being used over USB 3.0 the speeds are the same?

    Not likely. USB drives are not built for longevity or speed because of how they know that they will be used. They are almost always built very cheaply and not designed to overcome speed issues since they are always crippled.

    There is a reason that SATA SSD drives are capped in the 100K IOPS range while PCIe attached ones are in the millions - because they are purpose built. From a technology standpoint you could build higher speeds into USB sticks, but that would raise the price dramatically and be pointless. So they don't.

    All drives are different, just like how spinning drives are different. But SSDs have a greater range as the technology is new and has been developed from more angles. Winchester drives were never developed to be cheap, throwaway, pocket marketing giveaways while some SSDs were. SSDs cover both higher and lower ground than Winchesters ever have.

    So if your question is "could you attach a USB adapter to any SSD" the answer is yes. If the question is "are all SSDs equal" the answer is no.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    From an end user standpoint, the terms completely overlap. Both terms are used in marketing, technical and casual non-technical speech to refer to all items regularly. High speed SATA drives are called both, SDs and USBs are called both, etc.

    Huh, I've never heard a consumer call a memory stick (USB) a SSD drive or SSD stick.


  • Service Provider

    @Dashrender said:

    Huh, I've never heard a consumer call a memory stick (USB) a SSD drive or SSD stick.

    I'm sure you do every day and don't realize it because you are not the one buying it. If you've ever read the spec sheet for a low end laptop, you would have seen it. It's incredibly common.


  • Service Provider

    Here is an example... that "16GB SSD" is an SD card internally.

    0_1448891862813_ssd.png



  • @scottalanmiller Huh - I did say I've never heard a consumer call it xyz. Though you're right that I haven't read the spec sheets on any low end electronics lately, and without reading a break down report I would have no clue that a Chromebook used SD cards instead of soldered on memory chips.


  • Service Provider

    @Dashrender said:

    @scottalanmiller Huh - I did say I've never heard a consumer call it xyz.

    I don't hear consumers use either term. They say "USB stick" or "SD card" or "USB drive." But the latter is rare because that overlaps confusingly with USB hard drives. I can't remember hearing a consumer use the term flash in years.

    But more importantly, consumers allow themselves to be "talked to" using these terms. Called USB sticks SSDs is standard in consumer marketing and labeling.


  • Service Provider

    @Dashrender said:

    ... without reading a break down report I would have no clue that a Chromebook used SD cards instead of soldered on memory chips.

    You can solder on SD cards too.



  • So for a portable copy of Windows 7, a USB Enclosure with a 120GB SSD is a good choice?


  • Service Provider

    @anonymous said:

    So for a portable copy of Windows 7, a USB Enclosure with a 120GB SSD is a good choice?

    Depends totally on your goals. You mean a SATA SSD with a separate USB adapter in an enclosure? That will work fine, of course. But it is hard to imagine a case where I would care much about drive speed in a case like that. Especially with such an old OS. I'd use a normal USB stick so that it all fits in my pocket.

    What is your end goal here?



  • @scottalanmiller Poor Man's Windows To Go. Also used for a recovery environment, that why I am thinking 128GB. Should give me plenty of space to backup data to temporary.


  • Service Provider

    @anonymous said:

    @scottalanmiller Poor Man's Windows To Go. Also used for a recovery environment, that why I am thinking 128GB. Should give me plenty of space to backup data to temporary.

    If it isn't a gaming machine or whatever, just use a USB stick. How often do you plan to be running this thing?



  • @scottalanmiller Everyday.



  • 0_1448895115406_micron-300x250-oct12-ad4_v2_b0d5805dd94bc15e5d6a0ae4c17620f4.jpg

    It just seemed appropriate after reading the thread.



  • Why not buy a USB 3.0 128 GIG memory stick? gives you everything you want in something that will fit in your watch pocket.


  • Service Provider

    @anonymous said:

    @scottalanmiller Everyday.

    Weird, why? If you don't mind me asking.

    And by everyday, do you mean like for a second or you actually want to run off of this?

    Let's back up even more. What is it you are doing that is causing this need? Let's start at the goal. So far we are driving this discussion deep, deep into the proposed solution and it is very murky trying to help with a recommendation based on a starting point of comparing technology names.


  • Banned

    Same technology, different usage and bottleneck. With USB 3.0 the bottleneck isn't USB but the fact that it's a single lower grade NAND chip. SSDs have multiple flash chips and provide greater speeds because of that (much like having more chips on RAM DIMMs).



  • Portable copy of Win 7 to be used every day. Does your Windows license cover that usage? Seriously, I'm not a licensing guru so I'm just asking the question just in case you haven't considered i the possible legal issues.

    I had a rescue disk that had a stripped down version of XP that ran from a CD so I'm sure a USB drive would be sufficient as a once in a while rescue disk solution. Sure, USB 3.0 because why not.


  • Service Provider

    @lhatsynot said:

    Portable copy of Win 7 to be used every day. Does your Windows license cover that usage? Seriously, I'm not a licensing guru so I'm just asking the question just in case you haven't considered i the possible legal issues.

    I believe that FPP allow that as long as he doesn't virtualize.



  • @lhatsynot I asked Microsoft about this, and they said technically I am using the licence that's already on the PC so no licence will be needed for the USB drive.


  • Service Provider

    @anonymous said:

    @lhatsynot I asked Microsoft about this, and they said technically I am using the licence that's already on the PC so no licence will be needed for the USB drive.

    Ah, assuming that each machine has the rights to run the same level of Windows 7. That makes sense.



  • After researching this a bit more, it seems I will be using Windows 10 instead due to it being more up to date, and having much better driver support. Since this will be used on different computers, better driver support is huge!


  • Banned

    @scottalanmiller said:

    @lhatsynot said:

    Portable copy of Win 7 to be used every day. Does your Windows license cover that usage? Seriously, I'm not a licensing guru so I'm just asking the question just in case you haven't considered i the possible legal issues.

    I believe that FPP allow that as long as he doesn't virtualize.

    License is tied to the machine so it has to be licensed for it. Windows To Go, is allowed if you have a copy of Windows 8 Enterprise or newer. Windows 7 Enterprise didn't have it. You have to have active Software assurance on every computer it's used on though.


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