External 256gb SSD versus 256gb Flash Drive?

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by bellgamin, Jun 11, 2018.

  1. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    I am ready to buy external USB media for storing my backups & images. I am considering 2 options: (1) an external 256gb SSD USB 3.0, or (2) a 256gb 3.0 flash drive. Surprisingly, option 1 costs only a bit more than option 2. Ergo, cost is not a factor. Option 1 is *reasonably portable* but I can carry option 2 in my pocket.

    Which of the 2 options do you think I should choose, and why?
     
  2. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    Option #2, USB Flash drives, have no garbage collection mechanism which is important to the life of the NAND flash blocks themselves. The drive will use the Read/Modify/Write function to modify portions of the internal flash block when necessary, creating slower access speeds and shorter overall life.

    The external SSD does include the necessary garbage collection function which allows the NAND flash blocks to be managed as efficiently as they can, leading to longer life and faster speeds.
     
  3. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    My choice would be a 2TB USB3 portable external HD. Less expensive, much larger storage capacity and similar read/write speeds (real life).
     
  4. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    @ Frogman - Aha! Thanks for that info.

    @ Brian - I just checked prices. Yes, the type of drive you recommend IS MUCH more capacity, dollar for dollar, than SSD. The one I looked at claims "Military-grade shockproof." But an HD has moving parts whereas an SSD does not, right? So.... how does the reliability compare between portable SSD versus portable HD? I have read many of your posts so I do not question your counsel. I'm only asking out of curiosity. In fact, I just this minute ordered the Silicon Power from Amazon.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
  5. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    bellgamin,

    I haven't read any tests comparing the two. I did read about most of the SSD/USB interfaces not supporting TRIM. Maybe I'm lucky but I haven't had a HD or SSD failure for ten years. We have 6 or 8 USB external HDs. Lots of video courtesy of my wife.

    Edit... I've had several Motherboard failures.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
  6. stapp

    stapp Global Moderator

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    I was just reading about the Amazon Assetwatch shown under your purchase.

     
  7. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    That Assetwatch blurb sounds like a good thing, doesn't it? I have noticed that caveat on several computer related items. I *wonder* what motivated Amazon to put that caveat into effect...hmmm?

    By the way, I ended up cancelling the order for Silicon Power & ordering a Toshiba instead. Same specifications, different company. Reason: I re-read Amazon's customer reviews, plus googled a few outside reviews, & Toshiba seemed best of the lot.
     
  8. Adric

    Adric Registered Member

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    I have a 3TB Toshiba Canvio Ready. The only thing I don't like about it is that it spins down after 3 minutes due to inactvity which is too short for my likes. I guess that shouldn't matter if only used for backups.
     
  9. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    As to why it spins down so quickly, it could be a power usage thing. It draws power via the USB port, right? If it's hooked to a laptop running on battery, I wonder how much of a power draw is needed to keep the disk spinning?

    As a matter of curiosity, after it spins down, about how long does it take to get back up to speed when it's being used again?
     
  10. Adric

    Adric Registered Member

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    The spin-down is built-in and not power related as far as I can tell. I mostly have the drive connected to a docking station which always has power. I believe the reasoning behind spinning down is to keep the heat down created by the drive. I have another USB enclosure that I use with an old 500GB laptop drive and the spin-down time there is 10 minutes which is controlled by the enclosure. My Toshiba takes about 2-3 seconds before I can access it again after spin-down.
     
  11. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    Ah, a veritable lifetime! :p Only kidding. I can see where that repeated hiccup could be an annoyance to a busy person.
     
  12. whitestar_999

    whitestar_999 Registered Member

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    I am not a big fan of "aggressive spinning down" in HDD(external or internal) as it puts extra stress on mechanical systems of the hdd.I suggest installing crystaldiskinfo free & keep an eye on "load unload count" value.This value(raw data counted over the lifetime of hdd) should not exceed 200000 in my opinion though personally I like to keep it under 100000.
     
  13. Aryeh Goretsky

    Aryeh Goretsky Security Expert

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    Hello,

    My rule of thumb for portable hard disk drives (this covers external USB as well as internal) is that once the device is powered up, it does not get moved until it is powered down. If that is manageable, go with an external hard disk drive. Otherwise, an external solid state drive is a better choice.

    When an external backup drive is not in use, it can be disconnected in order to prevent corruption of the data (accidentally or otherwise). Connect it only when performing a backup or a restore. And remember Schrödinger's Rule of Backups: The state of data in a backup is unknown until it is restored.

    I would also suggest that you do not rely on just one drive for holding your backed-up data. I would suggest getting at least two, and rotating between them so that you have one current (n) and one previous (n-1) backup. This can be done with multiple drives, of course, subject to budget, space, availability and so forth.

    Regards,

    Aryeh Goretsky
     
  14. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    I would add one thing to that sound advice. If you use an imaging program, practice doing restores until you can do them in your sleep. Then you won't wonder how to do them or if they will work, when you need them.
     
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