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As we know, USB flash drives are generally very slow in data transfer rates. USB 3 has significantly increased the rates data transfers, but it's still much slower than even traditional mechanical HDDs - and many people still do not own the hardware to benefit from the new revision.

Also, compression/decompression slows down opening and saving files, but I would imagine that this is only true for I/O on an HDD/SSD/SSHD where the transfer rates are faster than the rates of a USB drive.

Is anyone aware of any performance tests that shows potential benefits from compressing an entire USB flash drive (particularly USB 2.0)? I would imagine that a computer's processor can decompress a file much faster than the USB can read an uncompressed file - so the larger the compression is on a USB - the less time it would take to read while the much faster processor can decompress a file quickly.

I would like to add a side note that I do not want to consider highly compressed media such as .jpg or encoded video where there will be little to no benefit from further compression. I am mostly talking about compression that would be in the range of 10%+ savings in disk space.

marked as duplicate by Bob, Community Jan 21 '18 at 15:38

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  • I believe the answers to this question should also apply to yours. The distinction between a HDD and a (slower) USB flash drive isn't too significant here. – Bob Jan 21 '18 at 15:31
  • To that end, I am voting to close this question as a duplicate. If you believe it is not a duplicate, and that the USB flash drive case would lead to different answers, please edit your question so the question can be reopened. – Bob Jan 21 '18 at 15:33
  • You might also find the numbers provided in Performance Evaluation Of FileSystems Compression Features by Solomon Legesse useful. – Bob Jan 21 '18 at 15:35
  • @Bob I believe I can assert the answer from your link. Thank you for the reference. – K.Dᴀᴠɪs Jan 21 '18 at 15:38