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Why USB3.0 SuperSpeed won't be supported (for now)


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#1 elegantinvention

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 05:59 PM

tl;dr - It's too expensive right now and would take too long, but I will keep an eye out and see what I can do as prices drop.
If you think USB3.0 SuperSpeed is very important and want to see it in a future version of isostick, like this post!

There have been several requests for USB3.0 SuperSpeed support.
While I agree that would be awesome, I can't do it in this version of the isostick.

The reason is two-fold: cost and development time.

Cost goes up because USB3.0 SuperSpeed controllers are only just becoming available for things like this. While there are specific-purpose chips available to only do storage, isostick requires something more customizable.

Development time: USB3.0 introduces an improved storage protocol: USB Attached SCSI Protocol (UASP). This is a much more complete SCSI wrapper than Bulk-Only Transport / Transparent SCSI. Support has been added for things like out of order command processing and command queuing to take full advantage of USB3.0's speed. There is even hardware acceleration in the USB chipset for this.
That's great, but it will take me some time to learn it and implement it.

That being said, I think USB2.0 High Speed support is plenty for now. It is still considerably faster than most real optical drives, which is what isostick replaces after all. (As MedEvil points out, DVD drives >10x may be faster than isostick's current speed, oops :innocent: -- seek time is still on isostick's side though :lol:)
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#2 MedEvil

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 06:42 PM

That being said, I think USB2.0 High Speed support is plenty for now. It is still considerably faster than a real optical drive, which is what isostick replaces after all.

Won't argue the costs or the additional amount of work, but the statement above.
CD: 52*150 KB/s = 7800 KB/s
DVD: 24*1.39 MB/s = 33.24 MB/s

:cheers:

#3 sambul61

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 06:42 PM

While I support USB3.0, I have to point out that IsoStick can't really replace Optical drive, because it doesn't play real DVDs, and requires PC BIOS support to boot ISOs via USB. Optical Drive support - its merely a marketing slogan. In reality it hopefully incorporates a bootloader capable to boot OS from ISO files or mount these files when PC was booted from another drive.

#4 elegantinvention

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 06:49 PM

DVD: 24*1.39 MB/s = 33.24 MB/s

Good point :doh7:, at least it doesn't have the latency ^_^

While I support USB3.0, I have to point out that IsoStick can't really replace Optical drive, because it doesn't play real DVDs, and requires BIOS support to boot ISOs via USB. Optical Drive support - its merely a marketing slogan. Instead it hopefully provides a bootloader capable to boot OS from ISO files.

Actually, it can really play DVDs.
The isostick does indeed show up as an optical drive, it is not just a bootloader -- that's why it is so valuable. It does require a BIOS capable of booting from USB optical drives, though, that is true. A good comparison is the Zalman ZM-VE200, which uses the same technique to emulate an optical drive in hardware, but with laptop HDDs.

#5 Chris Weiss

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 07:00 PM

Won't argue the costs or the additional amount of work, but the statement above.
CD: 52*150 KB/s = 7800 KB/s
DVD: 24*1.39 MB/s = 33.24 MB/s


Except those are the max raw speeds of variable speed drives. Only the final 20% or so of the disk will be that fast. The first part of the disk is half the speed at best. And this doens't factor in the checksums. Actual file performance is far less.

Also that assumes the disk image was burned in such a way that it will be read perfectly sequentially, which is almost never the case. Seeking kills read speeds on optical media, ISOstick will be minimally affected by seeks and so will result in real world speeds that are significantly faster. Same reasons SSD is faster than HDD,
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#6 xaminmo

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 07:26 PM

I support waiting for USB3. Since this is a souped-up trans-flash reader, find me a TF/MicroSD that can exceed USB2 performance and we'll talk.

Also, as Chris pointed out, no mechanical heads to slow down seek.

Lastly, as for "real DVDs", either you're going to decrypt it before you make an ISO out of it, in which case it WOULD work just fine, or we're talking about it not being a big, clunky drive to play physical media which wouldn't make sense because it's like saying "I bought a compact car and it won't fit 60 people inside like my yellow bus." Either way, it's not a significant factor to ISOstick's market.

#7 MedEvil

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 08:05 PM

Except those are the max raw speeds of variable speed drives. Only the final 20% or so of the disk will be that fast. The first part of the disk is half the speed at best. And this doens't factor in the checksums. Actual file performance is far less.

Sure, but compare that to the presumed read speed of isostick of max. 12MB/s and tell me that tis is considerably faster.

Also that assumes the disk image was burned in such a way that it will be read perfectly sequentially, which is almost never the case.

Why would the iso images on my DVD not be perfectly sequential?

Also, we tend around here, to load the image into ram, so seek times don't affect us that much.

:cheers:

#8 Chris Weiss

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 08:19 PM

because installing OS's still causes the drive to seek? you can hear it! the files on the ISO are not sequentially oriented.

using tricks to load to ram is irrelevant, we're comparing actual hardware here.

Benchmark a Win7 install from official DVD, then use the tool to make a win7 usb installer, even on a cheap 10MB/sec usb drive, and compare. ISOstick will give the USB installer performance with the simplicity of just ripping an ISO, using any OS you want to rip from.

#9 elegantinvention

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 08:22 PM

You could load the disc into RAM from isostick, but there's no reason to. The ISO itself is being booted directly from an optical drive (or so the computer thinks ;) ), so loading to RAM would be kinda silly. I know that's a good trick for software-based solutions though.
:cheers:

#10 sambul61

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 08:36 PM

I don't think its very popular on this forum for a member to suddenly multiply his / her presence...with various IDs. But... its beyond members physical control anyway - just mumbling. :cold:


elegantinvention

Speaking of IsoStick, what are its main differences from that Zalman's model? I like the idea, but competing with SATA port offered by Zalman would only be possible with... USB3, giving the small device size. This post demonstrates price & performance eventualities in real world. You can argue: enterprise clients don't buy on EBay - well, it depends what you mean under "enterpise". Btw - do YOU buy anything on EBay... while also representing your own enterprise? :)

Besides, since when Zalman targets enterprise IT market - I didn't notice it with this product anyway. :) As to mentioned SD Card slot, it won't be popular with the target audience (as enterprise PCs are usually of minimal config lacking card slots, except laptops) unless its broad enough to include mass consumers - photography lovers.
Just keep in mind, people have a variety of opinions on just about every subject, so take it easy, the suggestions and critique will follow... :chair:

#11 elegantinvention

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 08:58 PM

@sambul61

Main differences from the Zalman are that isostick is smaller and has isosel, which lets you choose a different ISO at boot time since isostick doesn't have a screen and jogdial like the Zalman.
The smaller size also means smaller storage space, but with MicroSD cards now up to 32GB there is plenty of room for a few OS installers, some utilities, etc.

The big reason for MicroSD is that the most likely thing to fail in a flash memory device is.. the flash! So letting people bring their own MicroSD, and not having to stockpile it, just seems better for everyone. Plus the user could swap the cards out as they pleased, for example.
The alternative storage for this form-factor is NAND flash ICs, which is outside my purchasing power (very high minimum order quantities).

The Zalman's SATA port can only be used for accessing the HDD, it just passes straight through without any added functionality. So, while that makes it faster for getting the ISOs on the HDD, the virtual optical drive speed is actually comparable to isostick. If you really need more storage space and fast transfer rates to the storage more than you need the virtual optical drive, the Zalman is probably a better choice. But obviously I'd prefer everyone choose isostick :money:

#12 sambul61

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 09:17 PM

If your IsoStick doesn't fail to function when its flash memory does, SD slot might make sense. I'd still prefer USB3 pass through in such scenario, if cheap enough.

#13 TheHive

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 06:09 AM

While I agree that would be awesome, I can't do it in this version of the isostick.

Have to agree.




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