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I was wondering about the reasoning behind introducing external SSD USB3.0 drives on the market.

To me a USB3.0 128GB SSD drive is the larger sibling of a USB Flash key with same interface and size.

Is there something I overlooked ? Isn't the technology underneath quite similar ?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

SSD internals are quite a lot faster than USB keys. USB keys are rated up to about 40ish MBytes/s, but SSDs, even the lower end drives, are 100Mbytes/s, to over 500Mbytes/s.

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I agree 100% with @TiernanO. Not only that, but while some MIGHT be 100 MBytes/s, most are 200-250+ for the low end. – UtahJarhead Oct 8 '12 at 17:55
I believe I saw some on-steroids sticks - by a famous producer - reach over 100MBs into the specs. At this point I wonder whether a SSD is cheaper in the long run. – ziu Oct 8 '12 at 17:57
those sticks you mention are more than likely SSDs in USB key form. I have seen them too, and they use the same storage chips as SSDs and same controllers. They are essentially SSDs, but in stick form... – TiernanO Oct 8 '12 at 17:59
There are now several USB keys you can purchase obtaining both sequential read/write speeds of over 100 MB/s. Both USB keys and SSDs are flash memory, so it's not unfathomable that this gap will further shrink in the future (save for the next generation of SATA interfaces). – Breakthrough Dec 24 '12 at 18:36

USB sticks flash drives have a limited maximum read and write life span same as the SD cards but most manufacturers doesn't explain this. Some are from 1000 to 3000 read/ write combined life span. But SSD's doesn't have that, they probably have an infinite read and write life span.

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I don't think this is accurate. – RockPaperLizard Aug 13 '15 at 19:40
This is definitely not correct, SSD also have (usually) 1 million writes. That is why they always come with a bit more storage then speced and the drive replaces 'burned out blocks' with fresh ones to mitigate this. But it still has a lifespan. – Miroslav Saracevic Mar 14 at 7:51

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