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 ?

3 Answers 3


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.

  • I agree 100% with @TiernanO. Not only that, but while some MIGHT be 100 MBytes/s, most are 200-250+ for the low end. Commented Oct 8, 2012 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
    Commented Oct 8, 2012 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
    Commented Oct 8, 2012 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). Commented Dec 24, 2012 at 18:36

http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2012/11/a-ssd-in-your-pocket.html - article from Jeff Atwood...


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.

  • 1
    I don't think this is accurate. Commented Aug 13, 2015 at 19:40
  • 1
    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. Commented Mar 14, 2016 at 7:51

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .