questionswhat the difference, technologically, between…


I believe it is a matter of speed of data transfer and power draw. Flash drives can operate on power from USB, whilst ssd need more to operate faster.


The SSD uses a SATA connection (assuming you mean an internal SSD), which is a 6Gbit/sec connection. USB flash drives are either 480Mbit/sec or 4.8Gbit/second, for USB2 and USB3 drives. The flash drives you're talking about are USB2, so they're quite a bit slower than an SSD.


I'm not sure, but I think it has something to do with the circuit board thingys.


I can't believe not one, but three people are just now finding out about Let Me Google That For You. Possibly as many as ten in fact, though maybe some of those just aren't completely exhausted by it yet


To start off, Flash drives is a generic term for any USB connected device using solid state memory (jump drives are a kind of flash drives (mostly just branding))

So the question should really be, what is the difference between flash drives and an SSD. Which as stated above lies mainly in two areas. the first is connection with flash using USB and limited to the speed of the USB bus. Whereas SSD's connect using SATA and are more expensive because they can go a LOT faster. The yield on flash memory suitable for an SSD is much lower than that suitable for a flash drive because of the speed differences. They second main difference lies in hardware/drivers used to interface with the device. flash drives are pretty universal and no special hardware or drivers are needed. SSD's on the other hand and most often overprovisioned (meaning a 60 gig SSD actually has 64 gigs of flash memory that the internals of the drive use to replace parts of the SSD that go bad over time.) --more next answer--


SSD's are often also configured as a RAID inside the device to get even greater performance. (a 60 gig drive is actually 64, and inside is better described as 4 16-gig segments combined using RAID technology.) This allows the outside interface to show as 60 gigs while inside a whole bunch of things are going on to increase speed and life of the device. none of that happens with USB-based flash drives.


@rprebel: Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't 480Mbit/sec equal to 0.480Gbit/second? You said 4.8Gbit/second and I believe that's 10x faster than the theoretical maximum.


@cengland0: Yes and no. USB v3 is 10x faster than USB v2, which has a theoretical max of 480Mbit/sec, making USB v3 a 4.8Gbit/sec connection.

Neither of them can compete with Thunderbolt, though. That has two 10Gbit/sec channels, making it faster than even an internal SATA drive. The next external HD I buy will be a Thunderbolt drive.


@rprebel: Nice that you are planning on buying a 10Gbit/second drive but please realize that only the burst speed will reach that limit and that's from the minimal data that's stored in its cache.

The current drive technology, whether it is SSD or a spinning hard drive, cannot consistently output 10Gbit/second. You might be able to connect multiple drives in a spanned configuration to increase your speed because it can be done in parallel but a single drive will not do that speed alone.


@cengland0: It'll only be a backup drive, but thx for the info all the same.