sim on a stick – 19 vs. 28 mbs


i tested the new Patriot USB stick on the laptop and it ran fine (Vista 64-bit versus XP). it uses Diva’s latest build and the latest experimental Imprudence build

i then used both on my “big” virtual world machine – XP with AMD 6000+, 3.7 gig RAM, and an overclocked NVidia 9600 GT with 1 gig RAM on board (3 years old)

it’s not an exact comparison because of the OpenSim and Imprudence version difference, but close enough to illustrate the difference in speed

Sony @ 19mbs

  • MoWeS – 10 seconds
  • OpenSim – 120 seconds
  • Imprudence – 28 seconds and 58 fps

Patriot @ 28 mbs

  • MoWeS – 7 seconds
  • OpenSim – 45 seconds
  • Imprudence – 25 seconds and 70 fps

then i copied the build from the Patriot stick to my desktop

  • MoWeS – 6 seconds
  • OpenSim – 33 seconds
  • Imprudence – 10 seconds and 70 fps

is it worth it to buy a faster stick? imo, not really. the big difference was in the time to get OpenSim up and while 45 versus 120 seconds sounds like a lot, it really is not and if that is what makes the difference for you, then you don’t have time to be in-world! =p

frame rates were more than excellent in any of those installations for use and building

for less than $20 USD, the Patriot stick was worth it and works great and is close to the desktop copy! =)

it’s neat that once you make the install, you can just copy it.  of course, all your copies will have the same user account you set up and the estate will be named the same but it’s pretty convenient and a very easy way to then place it on other people’s machines. so for a workshop, you could just have people download a zip of your build ahead of time or even from a CD at workshop time – no need to get them each a stick!

running OpenSim can indeed be very cheap! you don’t need even need an internet connection and can build for free!

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written by Ener Hax

October 22nd, 2010 at 12:32 pm

posted in OpenSim

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11 comments to 'sim on a stick – 19 vs. 28 mbs'

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  1. This summary is great stuff. I’m going to update my blog post about Opensim on a USB key ( and tell folks who are looking to buy a well-tested USB key to read this article. Thanks again for all your work!

    Pathfinder Lester

    22 Oct 10 at 1:19 pm

  2. […] Not all USB keys are created equal.  Some of them are significantly faster than others, which can significantly affect how fast your installation runs.  If you’re looking to buy an inexpensive USB key that has been tested with OpenSim and performs very well, please read this great review piece by Ener Hax. […]

  3. Just some technical aspects to it..

    What matters more in regards to speed, would be what type of fileformat the sticks are using, and what type of harddrive your machine has.

    There is a considerable higher transfer rate if you use a SSD (solid state drive) disk as compared to a standard IDE-drive even if you are loading data from a USB-stick. Even if you plug your drive directly into the computers USB port, or the extension-cable to your monitor matters.

    A media formatted using FAT32 on a USB 2.0 enabled interface compared to NTFS drive using the same USB speed would be different (FAT32 is faster but NTFS safer). It would also be a different between USB 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0.

    Videocard, processor speed and amount of memory wouldn’t be that much of a factor apart from in/decreasing your framerates inside the virtual world.

    Best results? USB 3.0 and a portable SSD drive, then you are flying! Look at a comparison made on a portable OCZ drive:

    Pioneer Genesis

    22 Oct 10 at 1:56 pm

  4. excellent Pioneer! i tried formatting my new stick to NTFS because it also allows for larger files to be copied (is it 2 g or 4 gig?) but went with FAT32

    i also saw that low density SSD is faster but also very hard to find anymore

    that OCZ usb 3.0 is amazing (i was drooling when i saw that) but a bit on the $$$ side! =)

    now a clever person (probably you!) could set up OpenSim on a usb 3.0 external hard drive and set it up so that many people could log in at once, in effect making a poratble server allowing concurrency! that would be pretty cool =)

    hey Pathfinder! how was Finland? i hope you told Bjork that Ener says “hai” =D oh wait, that’s Iceland, snap – hmm, maybe Linus Torvalds would be more appropriate =)

    maybe you can run a speed test on your Corsair, that’s what i wanted to try but also wanted to present an option that is more along the lines of a teacher’s personal budget =)

    Ener Hax

    22 Oct 10 at 2:32 pm

  5. Pathfinder, i am going to make an infographic and step-by-step instructions for sim on a stick – a concise set that can be done from one source. i found that when i do Roger’s written steps i mess up and now see where

    his video was the only way i could get it to work – so i am going to list out the exact steps in a minimal fashion

    Ener Hax

    22 Oct 10 at 2:38 pm

  6. So much useful information from you all the time. And I have to save it all. Its going to be a book soon =O

    Infographic step by step sounds like a dream

    Ty a lot :)

    Mera Kranfel

    23 Oct 10 at 1:39 am

  7. Ah, the fine art of USB speeds n tweaks! Nice info :)

    A quick n dirty way to make sure you are getting a better quality USB (without doing awesome research like Ener) is to at LEAST look on the package for the words “ReadyBoost compatible/ready,” which means:

    It must be able to do 3.5 MB/s for 4 KB random reads uniformly across the entire device and 2.5 MB/s for 512 KB random writes uniformly across the device.

    Of course, there may be super fast ones out there that don’t have the ReadyBoost logo on the package. And I hear the Patriot drives rock (Go Ener!)

    PS: Don’t bother defragging a USB drive. It will make little if any speed difference, and the many reads/writes defrag takes will ultimately shorten the lifespan of USB drives (although the life is measured in years, usually, or 10,000 to 100,000 writes… although they continue to improve).

    Can’t wait for the new USB3, it should rock :)

    And apologies if anyone has already posted the above info!

  8. FAT32 is 4 Gb maximum, which is why most people opt for NTFS.

    I am working on setting up a portable system that will allow for multiuser-access regardless of static IP or not, and at the same time I am trying to start the local (portable) sim through a custom version of Imprudence, but still miles to go on that…it’s a vision anyway :)

    PS. Don’t defrag any SSD (solid state drives) at all.

    Pioneer Genesis

    23 Oct 10 at 4:47 pm

  9. lol McDreamNut! you know all i need to hear is that something makes a difference. doesn’t matter if it is a zillion percent imperceptible, i have to do it! *sets up auto defrag on stick*

    and woot Pioneer! the portable system is something you could sell i would think. i dunno if you are talking about an external HD but one of those small 500 gig externals, even the ones with a dedicated power supply would make a sweet portable package!

    if i was to teach again, being able to bring my own “estate” into a classroom would be awesome!

    Ener Hax

    23 Oct 10 at 5:07 pm

  10. What I am aiming for is a simple 3 click access.

    1. Choose your grid – portable starts the sim
    2. Select what type of sim you want (a list of .oar files)
    2. Click to login.

    Possible? I don’t know, but dreams are there for a reason…

    Pioneer Genesis

    23 Oct 10 at 5:23 pm

  11. […] sim on a stick – 19 vs. 28 mbs – october 22nd comparing launch times and FPS between the Patriot Xporter to a Sony Microvault […]

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