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What is the fastest available USB 3.0 flash drive that is also 128GB+?


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#1 IAmTheTrueMeaningOfCovfefe

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 08:07 PM

I currently have 2 USB 3.0 flash drives that are 256GB each (Patriot Supersonic Mega and PNY). I have attempted to boot an installed Windows in a VHD on each of these via Easy2Boot, as well as Windows to Go on each (not in a VHD or with E2B), but I was never able to get past the initial setup. Both of these drives are well over 200MB/s in regards to read speeds, so they should be fast enough (and they appear to be much faster than my 4TB Seagate USB HDD, from which I'm currently booting a 10LTSB with decent performance). I know that read speed will alway be higher than write speed. I need something that is preferably the fastest rated 3.0 on the market, and is at least 128GB (256 or 500/512 preferred). If possible it should be Windows to Go certified or similar (but the official WTG drives are costly so they may not be an option). I would prefer to boot a VHD on such a drive via E2B, but if this doesn't work out then I'll simply dedicate the entire drive.

 

Perhaps I should consider a USB FDD that has a SSD controller instead (which will hopefully be around the same size as an FDD and fixed instead of removable (so I can install Windows to it via official GUI methods)?



#2 sbaeder

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 11:45 PM

At this point, I wonder if it is the USB drive or the manner in which it is built/setup.  What about a WinPE, built to boot off the drive?   Maybe if that works, you can get to the real cause of the issue, since you seem to be jumping to the conclusion that it is the performance of the USB drive, and not something else.

 

Try using a SSD inside a USB3 adapter (for example).   Here, you know the speed is limited by the USB side of things, not to mention the usb controller inside the computer.

 

I have seen instances where just trying to boot a normal windows install "USB" will fail on some ports of a laptop (usually the USB3 ports), since they aren't a part of the native chipset, but provided by other interfaces.  They SEEM to be visible to the BIOS (or UEFI), but only get a short way into the booting process.  Moving to a USB2 port usually fixes the issue.

 

So, how about more specific details on what you did to make the E2B setup as well as the computer you are using them on.   For example, does it have multiple USB ports?  If so, is it UEFI or BIOS, and are the ports really enabled during the boot, or do they need the OS to function.

 

:cheers:

Scott



#3 IAmTheTrueMeaningOfCovfefe

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Posted 27 July 2016 - 12:53 AM

I don't want a WinPE, I want a portable installed Windows on a USB flash drive. The point for me is to be able to play games and other programs that can't be run in Linux (like some games that use DirectX 11, certain Android firmware flashing tools, etc). I primarily intend to use this on my ultrabook, what I mean by "portable" is that I don't want to install Windows to the internal SSD.

 

SSDs are expensive, I much prefer a 3.0 flash drive. If Windows To Go can boot from a flash drive (which it can), then there is no reason this shouldn't work.

 

My ultrabook is a late 2015 ASUS Zenbook UX305CA, and only has 3 USB 3.0 ports, no 2.0s. They are all the same speed and specs, I think. My Patriot (which is USB3.1) has been able to operate at/near its' advertised read speed of around 300MB/s, but only in short bursts (which is to be expected). So I don't think the quality of the ports is the issue. My target OS is 10, or less preferably 8.1. Both of these have native 3.0 drivers, so any USB 3.0 booting on a 3.0 port should be initializes very early in the boot sequence.

 

The laptop is UEFI and BIOS-capable, but all OSes installed on the internal drive are BIOS/MBR. I created the VHD with Disk Management as 50GB fixed size, copied it to my already-created E2B drive, then installed with imagex and bcdboot. It was never able to finish setup. So I repeated the same steps but instead copied the VHD to a 4TB external HDD. I assumed that I needed to create UEFI boot files since that VHD lives in a single NTFS partition that is larger than 2TB. The EFI partition also lives on that drive. This VHD boots fine (and without E2B), but it still gets me no closer to portable Windows on a flash drive. I also tried dedicating an entire flash drive to Windows (which also isn't desirable, 256s are more than big enough to hold much more other data, and Windows doesn't need this much space), installed with the same steps as above, but not in a VHD or with E2B, and booting in BIOS/MBR mode.



#4 sbaeder

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Posted 28 July 2016 - 01:13 AM

First - thanks for the follow up.  I *Did/Do* get-it that you don't want a PE...just  trying to eliminate issues that MIGHT be causing the issues - i.e. make sure that the booting of a basic windows environment works from the USB sticks using the available USB ports.  But sounds like that should work.

 

So, trying to understand what you said...were you following Steve's instructions on http://www.easy2boot...-files/wintogo/ ?  I get a bit confused when you talk about creating the VHD, and then trying to do the "install"...He mentions a tool called wintousb  http://www.easyuefi.com/wintousb/ that does all the VHD creation, etc. for you...

 

I haven't tried it, but it seems like it should work OK...I may give that a go...

 

Scott



#5 IAmTheTrueMeaningOfCovfefe

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 01:32 AM

No, I wasn't using WinToUSB. Installation was done with imagex and bcdboot in a CMD prompt. But I tried WinToUSB last night, opting to install in a 50GB VHD on the Patriot. I booted it and it did work, I got as far as "please wait"(where it is supposed to let you create a user). But after well over an hour (lost track of time and got impatient), I aborted. It hung on that message for at least 15 minutes and the backlight turned off a few times, so it was obvious that it might never finish (and would take way too long if it did). This Patriot is light years ahead of my Seagate external HDD in terms of speed, and yet the Seagate can boot portable Windows VHD just fine and with decent speed. I just don't get it. And I can boot Linux live ISOs with a full desktop on a 2.0 flash drive, it runs fine. But Windows can't seem to manage this on 3.0 (possibly because they are much newer to the portable game).



#6 cdob

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 02:22 AM

This Patriot is light years ahead of my Seagate external HDD in terms of speed, and yet the Seagate can boot portable Windows VHD just fine and with decent speed.

Do not compare sequential speed, compare random access.
4K Write can be slower than a hard disk

http://usb.userbench...GB/m5535vsm4692
Peak Sequential Write Speed 118 MB/s
Peak 4K Random Write Speed 0.31 MB/s

As for random write:
a hard disk is light years ahead of this USB 3.0 stick.

http://usb.userbench...B/m7528vsm13691
Peak Sequential Write Speed 155 MB/s
Peak 4K Random Write Speed 69.3 MB/s

This is a a fast USB 3.0 stick, about 200 time faster random write.

However a SSD is cheaper.

#7 dencorso

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 04:58 AM

You want fast, SuperTalent USB 3.0 Express RC8 is the way to go! They went out of production in 2016, but I'm sure you still can get 'em new at many retailers. It's 100 GB, not 128+ GB, but it has a SandForce controller inside that can make many an SSD ashamed by comparison.



#8 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 07:34 AM

You want fast, ...

... but also cheap ... :whistling:

 

Here we are talking of USB sticks that are in the "US $ 100-200 apiece" range (list price) :w00t:.

The Ventura Ultra 120 Gb is right now US$ 72.50 on (example) New Egg:

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16820226475

 

the Corsair GTX at US$ 62:
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16820233767

 

All sticks with a USB 3.00 to SATA bridge, a (Sandforce) controller and mini-SSD inside are in that "high performance" (and "high price") category.

 

:duff:

Wonko



#9 IAmTheTrueMeaningOfCovfefe

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 07:56 AM

@ dencorso and wonko: Thanks for the links, I'll look into them. But will Windows install to them with the regular GUI, or will I need to force an install via command line or some other method? Windows will see these disks as removable, or fixed? If removable, I can easily flip the bit or no?



#10 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 08:26 AM

Usually these are "fixed" (because they are not "USB sticks", but rather "portable USB SSDs"), see also (this is probably the link dencorso meant to provide, failing at it and posting a self referring link to this thread ;)), even the same model may be either "fixed" or "removable" depending on lot/time of production:
http://reboot.pro/to...30-flash-drive/

And this may not be true for all make/models, the controller may not be a "Sandforce", so it has to be researched if there is some specific info for a specific device, and very likely it won't be (as it cannot be) fully reliable and one will have to check the actual device...

 

:duff:

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#11 cdob

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 04:42 PM

Corsair Flash Voyager GTX 128GB
https://www.amazon.c...ASIN=B00S89FIDE

I also ordered a "SanDisk Extreme 64GB USB 3.0"
I also tried installing a Windows 10 VM on both drives and SanDisk took around 18 minutes to install where the Corsair took around 25.


Benchmarks tells a synthetic story. There seems to be a real life difference.
Windows installation is a special task.
Which access patters uses windows installation? File size access, read and write?

I get: Win 10 14393 x64 dism applied to a "SanDisk Extreme 64GB USB 3.0".
Boot and select USB disk: 9 minutes to the desktop.

#12 Rocky Essing

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 09:49 PM

I use windows 10 to go as my daily work environment.  I have tried many different drives including the RC8, which is one of the few "Certified" drives for WTG.  The RC8 eventually died on me.  What I finally found and recommend is the mydigitalssd|OTG drive.  It doesn't look like a USB Stick and you have to use a cable, but the drive is tiny and it's performance is rock-solid. https://www.amazon.c...e/dp/B00EZ2FRP2. This drive is 256GB and can be bought for $90.  It comes with a short(4 inch?) usb 3.0 cable which fits easily in a pocket with the drive.



#13 dencorso

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Posted 30 July 2016 - 05:56 AM

You want fast, SuperTalent USB 3.0 Express RC8 is the way to go! They went out of production in 2016, but I'm sure you still can get 'em new at many retailers. It's 100 GB, not 128+ GB, but it has a SandForce controller inside that can make many an SSD ashamed by comparison.

Fixed! (Both in the quote above and in the original post). There's the SuperTalent USB 3.0 Express RC4 and the Kingston DataTraveler Workspace, too, both of which exist at 128+ GB capacities. As for price, one wanna run, one's gotta feed the donkeys... there's no such thing as a free lunch! :whistling:

 

BTW, Wonko, the thread title is "What is the fastest available USB 3.0 flash drive that is also 128GB+?"... would you please be so kind as to point to me which part of it mentions "cheap"? And no, the OP says "if possible it should be Windows to Go certified or similar (but the official WTG drives are costly so they may not be an option)." Well, IMO, the pendrives I've recommended are not so costly to the point of not being an option: I own a Kingston DT Workspace 64 GB from the day it was launched, so that it cost me around what the 128 GB costs today.

 

And, also BTW, Corsair Flash Voyagers once were the kings of all pendrives, but that's not the case anymore... visit their forum, and you'll see what I mean.



#14 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 30 July 2016 - 08:48 AM

BTW, Wonko, the thread title is "What is the fastest available USB 3.0 flash drive that is also 128GB+?"... would you please be so kind as to point to me which part of it mentions "cheap"? And no, the OP says "if possible it should be Windows to Go certified or similar (but the official WTG drives are costly so they may not be an option)." Well, IMO, the pendrives I've recommended are not so costly to the point of not being an option: I own a Kingston DT Workspace 64 GB from the day it was launched, so that it cost me around what the 128 GB costs today.

 

well, I read this:

I need something that is preferably the fastest rated 3.0 on the market, and is at least 128GB (256 or 500/512 preferred). If possible it should be Windows to Go certified or similar (but the official WTG drives are costly so they may not be an option). I would prefer to boot a VHD on such a drive via E2B, but if this doesn't work out then I'll simply dedicate the entire drive.

as "but I do have a limited budget", as a matter of fact, more like "I want to have my cake and eat it too".

 

As you might know, besides being generally "cheap", I have a particular personal stance against costly tiny hardware (personally I would loose that USB stick within - say - three months time) see also:
http://reboot.pro/to...al-pe/?p=166593

 

For that reason the thingy Rocky Essing posted a link to is IMHO very nice :thumbup: as while being large enough to not forget it in a pocket seems to me still convenient to carry around.

 

As a side-side note, have any of you noticed how a number of laptops/notebooks/etc. need often anyway a short USB cable because if you plug in a non-sub-micro USB stick you cannot use the (too near) other USB port?

 

:duff:

Wonko



#15 IAmTheTrueMeaningOfCovfefe

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Posted 30 July 2016 - 05:35 PM

I prefer less cost when possible. If I were a billionaire I would splurge and buy the finest money can buy. But I don't mind paying more for quality. Windows to Go certified is nice, but if it's not but gets the job done, then so be it. 128GB+ is preferred, so I'll have room for updates, drivers, and apps, with plenty of space still left over, gotta have my gigs. I'm very much one of those types that prefer to have my cake and eat it too.

 

No-one here knows my budget, net worth, etc. If this is devolving into an argument rather than a civilized debate, then maybe I shouldn't have started this topic at all. You guys can shove your assumptions up your asses for all I care, pretending to know what I need/want.



#16 sbaeder

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Posted 30 July 2016 - 06:29 PM

-deleted by me-



#17 Alexander Ceed

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Posted 30 July 2016 - 06:48 PM

I bought a 256GB USB stick especially for booting entire windows operating systems off it. The drive is a https://www.amazon.c...*=1&*entries*=0/ CMFVYGTX3B-256GB

As Wonko already explained, these drives appear as fixed disks and are basically a USB 3.0 to SATA bridge adapters.

 

I have installed windows 8 and windows 10 on it, both via ISO setup. An OS boots from that drive in 20 seconds and it works very well. If you didn't knew it was a USB you would've sworn it is a fixed SSD drive.

 

Either buy this drive or wait a couple of months for the new 512 GTX from Corsair. Just my two cents.



#18 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 30 July 2016 - 08:00 PM

Jesus fucking Christ, people, of course I prefer less cost when possible. If I were a billionaire I would splurge and buy the finest money can buy. But I don't mind paying more for quality. Windows to Go certified is nice, but if it's not but gets the job done, then so be it. 128GB+ is preferred, so I'll have room for updates, drivers, and apps, with plenty of space still left over, gotta have my gigs. I'm very much one of those types that prefer to have my cake and eat it too.
 
No-one here knows my budget, net worth, etc. If this is devolving into an argument rather than a civilized debate, then maybe I shouldn't have started this topic at all. You guys can shove your assumptions up your asses for all I care, pretending to know what I need/want.

Actually it was a perfectly civilized debate, until you posted the above.

Noone is pretending to know what your net worth is (or interested in it), we were just making considerations on how the price of fast sticks is relatively high, i.e. more or less you pay for what you get, but thank you for explicitly confirming how my guess about having the cake and eating too was accurate enough.

:duff:
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#19 karyonix

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Posted 02 August 2016 - 06:30 AM

I have Samsung T3 SSD 250GB. It is small and fast.
Its price on amazon is $99.99 for 250GB model.
My PC can boot from boot device selection screen to "desktop" in 14 seconds.
It is larger than USB flash drive but is much smaller than floppy disk drive (FDD).
It comes with a 40cm USB type C to type A cable which take more space when put in a pocket.

MyDigitalSSD 128GB OTG $59.99 is cheaper and seems to be around the same size.

Corsair Flash Voyager GTX 128GB $69.99 is smaller and is in USB Flash drive form factor.

There are also M.2 SATA to USB 3.0 adapters with USB type A male connector. You can use with 42mm M.2 SATA SSD.
In this case you can have good performance of actual SSD and avoid having to carry a cable. But the case may block adjacent ports on the PC side.

#20 steve6375

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Posted 03 August 2016 - 09:23 AM

I have had problems with UASP HDD enclosures when using an SSD with some systems.

It seems that when you use USB 3 at faster (UASP) speeds, not all USB 3 ports or devices can handle it.

For instance, I had terrible trouble using a Acer R11 R3-131T convertible notebook.

Also, some HDD caddies did not work too well on an IdeaPad 300 whilst others were OK.

http://rmprepusb.blo...-enclosure.html

So I would suggest that you test this by connecting the storage device to the USB 3 port using a USB 2 cable (so that USB 2 is used) and see if that fixes any issues.

I suspect PC\notebook manufacturers and enclosure\drive manufacturers do not design\test thoroughly their USB 3 circuits!



#21 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 03 August 2016 - 10:28 AM

I suspect PC\notebook manufacturers and enclosure\drive manufacturers do not design\test thoroughly their USB 3 circuits!

I would extend that to the whole industry, not only limited to USB 3.x, the known issue with charging cables that Benson Leung admirably contributed and contributes to highlight and fight:
http://www.pcworld.c...ming-names.html

is a clear symptom of a abysmal lack of respect for specifications and less than poor quality control, that extends throughout the hardware, and failed BIOS and now UEFI implementations, and daily findings of insecurities (sometimes very serious ones) in router firmwares and every other program/app or web service creates a nice symmetrical situation for the software.

:duff:
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#22 cold iron

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Posted 03 August 2016 - 03:20 PM

Hi,  If I follow what your problem is,  try a program that you can find on this site, it's

Rufus  1.4.3, I have used in many times and on cheap USB sticks and it works every time. 

I have put a bootable Windows 10, and  most ver of 7 and install them on many laptops.

Their are newer version of Rufus but I have not tryed them yet.     Their free.



#23 steve6375

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 09:41 AM

As regards 'fast' USB 3.0 drives, beware of the Lexar P20!

See my blog post for details.

I think that the Kingston HyperX would also have the same problems (but I don't have one to test).



#24 Nuno Brito

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 01:58 PM

I got an Apricon ASK3 that is USB 3.0 with 480Gb of storage, read speed is 190Mb/s but unable to test random read. Probably too expensive but very safe to keep docs. Retail price is >400 USD.

 

ASK3-overview.jpg



#25 Alexander Ceed

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 03:25 PM

I got an Apricon ASK3 that is USB 3.0 with 480Gb of storage, read speed is 190Mb/s but unable to test random read. Probably too expensive but very safe to keep docs. Retail price is >400 USD.

 

ASK3-overview.jpg

Safe as in security I presume. Reliability level would be the same as any normal drive, wouldn't it?

 

 

Besides price and reviews, what would be the next best thing to base a flash drive purchase? Since all specifications are the same for any drive, it is very hard to to choose. When I'm in doubt, I always buy the more expensive out of the bunch but I don't think it is the right approach.






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