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Speed comparison on XP: SDHC Cards vs USB vs Hard Drive

Last Modified: 2013-11-14
I am thinking to install XP on removable drive. Can anyone tell me what's the speed comparison among these? SDHC Cards vs USB vs Hard Drive.

And what's the impact will I encouter if I install Xp on the removable drive? Thank you.
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You will always see better performance on an internal HDD or fiber array, but installing to a USB drive can be done.  The obvious effect will be that it is 'painfully' slow - I have a USB with XP loaded in case I ever need to use it, but would never attempt to use due to performance.

The current SD 2.0 specification can, theroretically, achieve 150x speed (22.5 MB/s).  Compare that with USB 2.0 performance of 60 MB/s and a SATA 3 speed of 300 MB/s.  IF you are going to install on an external drive, USB will provide much better performance that SDHC.
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Gary CaseRetired
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... here's an example of an external SSD setup you could use:

Drive:  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820609270

Case:  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817145137

Note that there are less expensive SSD's => but they typically have much lower performance.   The one above has 60MB/s read speeds, and 45MB/s write speeds ... clearly enough to saturate the USB 2.0 bus (taking full advantage of it) ... and very competitive with "real" hard drives (faster, in fact, than most laptop drives).


Hi garycase, you said SDHC cards can achieve speeds in the 20MB/s range. But I checked the link here http://www.sdcard.com/usa/TextPage.asp?Page=3.

The fastest speed is only 6 MB/s.
Gary CaseRetired
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Top Expert 2009

That link shows the "type" ratings -- what speed you must achieve to be rated as a specific "type" card.   It doesn't limit the speed of the cards ... which get a bit faster with each generation.

Here are a couple of the fastest current cards - both rated at 20MB/s or faster:  

SanDisk:  http://www.flash-memory-store.com/4gb-sandisk-extreme-iii-sdhc-memory-card.html

Qmemory (with SamSung chips):  http://www.flash-memory-store.com/qmemory-secure-digital-16gb.html

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