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I'm looking for an USB drive which I will use to store my Linux o.s. and run it from there.

I have both laptop and PC with a lot of RAM (8/12 GB), so because I don't want to keep those 2 systems syncronized (expecially because I use the laptop much less than the PC), I'm interested in this solution. Notice also that it's useful because I can eventually run Linux directly inside a virtual machine if I require, for example, to use windows for some softwares.

That being said, I have a budget of $200 probably, so I'm not sure which type of device is the better for this purpose: an external SSD, or an USB Flashdrive. Speed is important (expecially on reading), but I really don't know the downsides of a flashdrive vs an SSD and I'm interested into such things.

I have USB3 both on laptop and PC.

Thanks for any suggestion

I need to be able to use the drive on both laptop and PC. Because my laptop has only USB3 and not eSata, I think I can only use USB3

Update 1: As kobaltz stated, buying an SSD + enclosure is a valid option, but I need some direction to which enclosure should I buy because if I lose an USB SSD I'll feel really bad. Also, I have no idea what speed issues will I have with such combination.

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closed as off topic by Tog, Nifle, Renan, Dave M, 8088 Mar 19 '13 at 16:23

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Personally, I would go with a thumb drive due to size reasons. I would be willing to sacrifice disk space for portability. However, you do need to keep in mind that a lot of "USB3" thumb drives are very misleading with their speeds. You'll be tough to find one that will read and write at the 4.8gbps buss speed of the USB3. Therefore, I would tend to go with the USB SSD drive. SSD is much cheaper than thumb drives when you start getting into the larger capacities. Also, you can find SSD drives with much better read and write speeds.

Here are some of the top 128GB drives as far as NewEgg reviews go, there is definitely a noticeable difference in speed. I would go with the SSD.

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Notice that we are talking about USB drive speeds, I can't mount/unmount my ssd every day on my laptop, it's really complicated to open. – Fire-Dragon-DoL Mar 18 '13 at 23:58
I know, but I was assuming that you would be getting a usb3 enclosure as well since sad USB drives are kind of rare. – kobaltz Mar 19 '13 at 0:07
This is a valid option, but I need a "strong" enclosure, if my ssd breaks I'm gone, so I need a suggestion about the firm/model for usb enclosure because I really have no idea for that. – Fire-Dragon-DoL Mar 19 '13 at 0:17

SSD is going to be faster, SATA is still faster than USB 3, especially when you look at real world performance.

SSD will be more reliable, Flash drives are small, easy to bump and break the drive instead of just a connector, and they aren't meant for hundreds of thousands of hours of constant IO like a SSD is.

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Even though SATA is faster than USB, they are talking about using a USB interfaced SSD drive which would still be limited by the USB3 controller. – kobaltz Mar 18 '13 at 23:49
@kobaltz I assumed if the two machines are new enough for USB3, they would also have eSATA. – AthomSfere Mar 18 '13 at 23:52
No, my laptop have an USB 3, but not an eSata, I need the "thing" to work on both – Fire-Dragon-DoL Mar 18 '13 at 23:55
Not necessarily true. I have an old ASUS P8-Z68 mobo that has USB3 but no eSATA. – kobaltz Mar 18 '13 at 23:55
Yes, not necessarily true. I realized after your first comment I am a little too accustomed to enterprise laptops and desktops that do ship with both. – AthomSfere Mar 18 '13 at 23:57

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