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Innostor fast and cheap USB3 flash sticks

July 30, 2017 — BarryK
I posted a couple of days ago about a 16GB USB3 Flash drive that I purchased for AU$7, that turned out to be very fast:
http://bkhome.org/news/201707/emtec-vs-lexar-usb2-flash-sticks.html

My memory is that it was purchased at Kmart, I think at least a few months ago, maybe more.

Anyway, I found another one, this time only 8GB, and in Woolworths, on sale for AU$5. Some photos:



...that AU$2 was just at one store in NSW, over a year ago.

Anyway, my new Hub 8GB USB3 stick identifies itself as "IS917 innostor" and here is my write speed test, to a fat32 filesystem:
# sync

# echo 3 > /proc/sys/vm/drop_caches
# dd if=/dev/zero of=/mnt/sdc1/dummyfile bs=1M count=1024 conv=fdatasync oflag=direct
1024+0 records in
1024+0 records out
1073741824 bytes (1.1 GB, 1.0 GiB) copied, 64.0743 s, 16.8 MB/s
<

...pretty good, especially when I recall my Emtec drive purchased yesterday from BigW, at only 1.6MB/sec -- and they cost about AU$7 each.

Here is more info on the is917 innostor chip:
http://www.innostor.com/product_details.php?id=8
http://usb3speed.nirsoft.net/?pdesc=SD+card&vid=8053&pid=2327

Comments

It appears that Hub is an in-house brand for Woolworths, Australia and New Zealand.
The back of the package states that it is packages in New Zealand, and "Made in Taiwan".

There is no speed information at all on the packaging. Which is very poor marketing, considering the excellent price-performance of this drive. No wonder they are selling them off discounted.

The question was asked on the Puppy Forum, whether it makes any difference to speed of drive, what type of filesystem.
I responded that probably ntfs would be slow, from Linux anyway, as the Linux ntfs-3g driver uses 'fuse'.

The above test, getting 16.8MB/sec, was writing to the fat32 partition, just as it came from Woolworths.

I reformated with Linux 'ext2' filesystem, and got this surprise:
1073741824 bytes (1.1 GB, 1.0 GiB) copied, 122.528 s, 8.8 MB/s

I then reformated as 'ext4' no-journal. Without-journal is recommended for flash, to minimize hammering the same drive addresses.
In Linux, this is how it is done, with partition sdc1 unmounted:
# mke2fs -t ext4 -O ^has_journal -L quirky2 -m 0 -b 4096 /dev/sdc1

Doing the speed test, with sdc1 mounted:
# sync
# echo change > /sys/block/sdc/uevent
# sync
# echo 3 > /proc/sys/vm/drop_caches
# dd if=/dev/zero of=/mnt/sdc1/dummyfile bs=1M count=1024 conv=fdatasync oflag=direct
1024+0 records in
1024+0 records out
1073741824 bytes (1.1 GB, 1.0 GiB) copied, 68.3172 s, 15.7 MB/s


I never expected ext2 to be so poor.

It is so handy to have that visual confirmation that the drive is being accessed. You also get to know when an operation has finished.

However, some flash drive brands specialize in not having an activity-LED. Verbatim for example.

Then there's Toshiba and Sandisk. I can't say that all of their drives are without activity-LED, but I have two of each of these brands, and they do not have activity-lights.

My Innostor, Emtec and Lexar drives do.

Often, you can't tell, it doesn't say on the packaging, seems the product marketers don't consider this feature to be important. The Hub drive, for example has an LED that lights up the blue lever, but you wouldn't know until after plugging it in.

Tags: linux