this must be a record for longest time between two posts for a two post series!
510 days ago i compared two USB sticks, one a USB2.0 and the other a USB3.0, to see if it was worth the extra cost to get a 3.0 stick even if you only have a 2.0 machine
most machines are still USB2.0 with 3.0 being sold at a premium (USB3.0 ports are blue). however, 3.0 sticks have come down in price and the current official Sim-on-a-Stick stick is $25 USD on Amazon for the 16 gig size ($19 for 8 gig and $37 for 32 gig)
the conclusion is that USB3.0 sticks do run faster on 2.0 machines but for Sim-on-a-Stick, the 2.0 sticks work perfectly fine
i regularly use both the Xporter 2.0 and the Survivor 3.0 on USB2.0 machines without any issues. i honestly can’t notice any difference in using either one for building on SoaS. i don’t even have a preference – at home i usually grab the Xporter when working on my laptop and the Survivor is my day-to-day carry-along for work and has all sorts of stuff on it (like music and Chrome portable). for the 576,000 prim test i did use the Survivor =)
since i wrote that post 510 days ago, i have been curious to see how these two sticks would do on a USB3.0 machine. well i don’t have to be curious anymore because the new box i built is USB3.0! w00t!
i loaded my core software on it last night – MS Office 2010 and Adobe Design Premium CS5.5 – and then did benchmarking with Crystal Disk Mark as i had in the past. as part of the testing, i also did the $89 120 gig SSD that is in the new box to compare with the old 7200 rpm HD of the XP box
the column on the left is on the new machine which has the blue USB3.0 ports and the column on the right is an older 2.0 motherboard. both boards are Asus
the top row is the Corsair Survivor USB3.0 stick, the middle row is the Patriot Xporter USB2.0 stick, and the bottom row are internal hard drives
you can see that the solid-state hard drive is wicked fast and it is the biggest factor in my new box having a better Windows Experience Index (7.3 vs. 5.9) than my work PC (which has the identical video card) despite being a i5 4-core processor versus my work machine’s i7 8-core. for many people’s computers, the hard drive read time is the performance bottleneck
the benchmarking shows that the supposed 10 time speed increase from USB2.0 to 3.0 does not actually work out that way but is is faster, even for 2.0 sticks!
today’s conclusion – a decent USB2.0 stick will run Sim-on-a-Stick just fine on most modern machines
secondary conclusion – Ener is a g33klette for hanging the huge Survivor on the key ring (doubles as an assault baton!) =D