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I have bought a new notebook which has one usb2 and 2 usb3 . I wanna ask if I buy a usb 3 flash disk and make it a live usb ,would this live usb (usb 3.0) work 10 times faster than live usb (usb 2) ?

thanks

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Oops! Please ignore close flag! –  user25656 May 6 '13 at 2:28
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2 Answers

would depend on the flash drives read speed, just cause something says it uses a new interface does not mean it has anything to gain (eg sata3 HDDs)
also i think it would require the linux kernel you are booting to support usb3 for it to get the extra speed, so don't expect ubuntu 10.04 to boot faster with it
if you require a special driver for your usb3 controller don't expect it to boot faster
i have not tried booting with a usb3 drive, so consider this general info

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Short answer: No.

My recommendation: Get a small (2,5" USB3) external harddisk instead of a USB flash. This will make your system feel 10 times as fast, even if the transfer speed isn't. Or, if you have the cash, get a cheap 64GB external SSD.

The reason is that with normal USB flash media the access times are really slow, with harddisks this is much better, and with SSD disks they are another 10x faster. The raw data rate of the bus (USB2 vs. USB3) also differs, but doesn't matter so much unless you do a lot of raw data transfer (i.e. copying very few very large files).

I have tried all of the above. Summary:

  • USB3 stick on USB3 port: Works, is usable, boots in ~60 seconds (new install).
  • USB3 stick on USB2 port: Works, is usable, boots in ~65 seconds (new install).
  • USB3 disk on USB3 port: Works, is a lot faster, boots in ~40 seconds (new install).
  • USB3 disk on USB2 port: Works, also a lot faster, boots in ~50 seconds (new install).

When using the harddisk the actual port (USB2 vs USB3) doesn't matter so much in daily usage. I connect it to the USB3 port unless I have to transfer a lot of data to a second USB3 disk, in which case this disk will get the USB3 port.

Here are the raw data rates of the respective combinations:

  • USB3 stick on USB3 port: ~30 MB/s read, ~10MB/s write
  • USB3 stick on USB2 port: ~20 MB/s read, ~10MB/s write
  • USB3 disk on USB3 port: ~75..90 MB/s according to hdparm
  • USB3 disk on USB2 port: ~25..35 MB/s according to hdparm

But, as I said, these are not the primary concern for a system disk. The access times are much more important.

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