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Local availability of fast flash drives

May 13, 2022 — BarryK

I posted about SanDisk Extreme flash-sticks not being available in your local supermarket stores, such as Kmart, Target and BigW:

Just now did a browse around, the SanDisk Ultra is readily available, and reasonably priced, for example 32GB AU$13.95 at BigW:

Had to hunt a bit more, found the SanDisk Extreme at some local stores (Perth, Western Australia), 64GB $AU35.00:

Actually, I bought one of my SanDisk Extreme sticks, 64GB, from BigW, but they don't stock it anymore.

Interesting note about Kmart...

I was reading recently about the demise of the Kmart chain in the USA, due to mismanagement. Kmart established in Australia, then sold their Australian stores to an Australian company in 1994 (Coles Myer, then to Wesfarmers in 2007). Kmart in Australia is flourishing.

There have been posts on the Puppy Forum, some people are buying external SSDs instead of flash sticks, for the reliability. Yes, worth considering. However, instead of buying an external SSD, those widely available in major supermarket stores, where you don't know what kind of SSD technology is inside, buy a separate SSD and a USB caddy.

There has been some discussion on the forum recommending to choose a more conservative SSD, not NVME. Also, not necessarily the cheapest SSD. For example, this is a good choice, Crucial model MX500, 250GB, AU$49:

Or, Western Digital Blue 250GB $64:

Then a USB caddy, if the SSD is to be external, for example Simplecom SE221 AU$20:

$49 + $20, that is an investment of AU$69. Well worthwhile, considering that a SanDisk Extreme 250GB stick costs AU$145 (at JB HiFi), or AU$99 (at PLE).

An SSD, a proper one, has enhancements such as wear-leveling, to give a very long life. So not only is it cheaper per-GB, but also is going to last longer, probably for the lifetime that you will be using it. Furthermore, you can expect at least twice as fast as the SanDisk Extreme.

Another consideration. If you install EasyOS to the SSD, that's it, you won't have to do any more installs. Updates can be via the "update" icon on the desktop. Ahem, except that currently it only updates within the current series. For example, the Dunfell-series, you cannot jump over to the new Bookworm-series.

In theory though, it should be possible to jump series. There are some caveats, details to be worked out before doing this.

Anyway, worth considering. An external "proper" SSD, with Easy on it, portable, can boot it on any computer.

I'm thinking of buying one of these:

...AU$59 for an external 480GB SSD

However, I cannot find any information on the internal technology. I can only assume that the controller chip has wear-leveling and error-correction. It is not really an SSD if it doesn't. Has WD cut some corners to achieve the low price? Undoubtedly, but is it still a good compromise?

I like that it is small:


Yeah, OK, I will buy one, probably, tomorrow. That's what I do, test tech and post reports to my blog. So I will test this and report back.

Long term reliability though, is a difficult one. When you buy an SSD and a USB caddy, you know exactly what you are getting, and what technology is inside. I could test it to destruction, but don't want to do that, as want to use it. Well, I could use for compiling, for example compiling the kernel, OpenEmbedded, etc. That is pretty intense reads and writes. Or as a swap partition. OK, I might sacrifice it to heavy duty usage and see how it holds out.

EDIT 2022-05-14:
Bought the WD Elements SE SSD. First evaluation:  


Tags: easy