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How big a USB thumb drive do I need?

brec

Regular Contributor
I have an overkill 64G drive in my current AC86U, but I'm getting another one which will have the same configuration. At least for now the only scripts I'm using are Diversion and SkyNet. What's a comfortable but not wasteful capacity?
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Capacity on its own isn't 'overkill' (or not). Depends on what you value most.

I am currently using the Patriot Supersonic Rage Elite USB Flash Drives in Asus/RMerlin powered routers.

They range from 128GB to 1TB sizes. While they all have up to 400MB/s read speeds, the write speeds vary (and are noticeable on faster ISP connections or a heavily used network with many scripts running).
  • The 128GB model has write speeds of up to 100MB/s.
  • The 256GB model has write speeds of up to 200MB/s.
  • The 512GB model has write speeds of up to 300MB/s.
  • The 1TB model has write speeds of up to 300MB/s (same as the 512GB model).
For most people's usage, the 128GB capacity is more than adequate, but for others that are running many scripts, have lots of users and/or simply want the fastest possible speeds with the latest routers/processors (RT-AC86U and RT-AX88U), the 2x and 3x faster write speeds of the bigger models are worth it for some customers.

For my own RT-AX88U powered network (see the scripts I run in my signature below) the 256GB model was a nice and noticeable upgrade over the old, spare USB drives I had been using before. Even if most of the capacity is not used by me, it is useful to extend the life of the USB memory chips by not using it to maximum capacity anyway. For $30 or so when they're on sale, easily worth a 'recommendation'.
 

dfunked

Regular Contributor
I have an overkill 64G drive in my current AC86U, but I'm getting another one which will have the same configuration. At least for now the only scripts I'm using are Diversion and SkyNet. What's a comfortable but not wasteful capacity?
16GB is fine, less would be too, but 16GB seems to be the smallest size you can get for modern models.
 

archiel

Regular Contributor
Looking at various threads in this forum it would seem that, for what you are running now, a small USB drive will work. However if you are thinking of adding additional tools (and load) then USB drives often appear to be problematic.

You may want to look at getting a 'small' USB connected SSD device instead. You will get the speed associated with higher end flash drives and the much better reliability of the SSD. I changed to a 128Gb SSD and have been very happy with that decision.
 

brec

Regular Contributor
Wow, there's more to my question than I realized!

(All the vendors specify speeds as "up to." I dislike that and similar terms, like "as many/few as," "as high/low as." Those are marketing terms. Give me some measurement over the distribution of the attribute, if only the mean or median without even an indication of variance.)

I realize that I'm not clear on what the external storage is used for. Is it for only transient data like a swap file, in effect like a RAM expansion, or is it also for more permanent storage? E.g., if I shut down and swapped the external device that had been in use for a while for a new, just-formatted one, on restart what would I lose and what would I have to do to recover?
 

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