Forum Thread

SD Card on older netbook - what kind of performance to expect?

bezelbub 2,979 937 September 16, 2015 at 01:47 PM
Hi,
was thinking about buying a 256 GB SD card and putting a bunch of portable programs on there like Thunderbird, Open Office etc and bunch of smaller ones too. Im just wondering what kind of throughput(?) i could expect because it would be a step backward from the onboard SSD. Also, my netbook computers are anywhere from 3-6 years old so i wonder what the onboard SD card reader would likely be capable of even though the SD card im looking to buy claims up to 90 MB/s or so.


(reason for doing this is because i have many portable programs and sometimes need to use a different computer and also dont want to have to update those same programs over and over again on each separate platform. SD card seems best solution for me)

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I would not recommend that. For 1 that SD card is probably 1/2 the value of the 3-6 year old netbook that is most likely quite slow as it is, sorry to be harsh but they were always pretty slow. Have you upgraded the machine at all? What are the specs and model?

The other bigger reason is wear leveling. the SD card doesn't have the controller that a USB drive (Some but not all) or SSD's do that do wear leveling. This prevents cells in the flash from dying prematurely and causing errors. Flash cells only have a limited amount of times they can be used.

The other reason is the 90 Mb/s quote you see is read time, not write time. Depending on the brand of card your talking probably a 40mb write rate or less. Not bad but not great.

If all the machines are your own you could possibly do a network share, but if you have the space I would probably update them separately or use a USB flash drive. Knowing more about your situation would be best.
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Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
I would not recommend that. For 1 that SD card is probably 1/2 the value of the 3-6 year old netbook that is most likely quite slow as it is, sorry to be harsh but they were always pretty slow. Have you upgraded the machine at all? What are the specs and model?

The other bigger reason is wear leveling. the SD card doesn't have the controller that a USB drive (Some but not all) or SSD's do that do wear leveling. This prevents cells in the flash from dying prematurely and causing errors. Flash cells only have a limited amount of times they can be used.

The other reason is the 90 Mb/s quote you see is read time, not write time. Depending on the brand of card your talking probably a 40mb write rate or less. Not bad but not great.

If all the machines are your own you could possibly do a network share, but if you have the space I would probably update them separately or use a USB flash drive. Knowing more about your situation would be best.
well my best one is an Acer with 11.6" screen, Celeron 877, 8 GB Ram, and 256 gb SSD(win7) and it does pretty well. the others are 5-6 yrs old Samsung and HP mini running an Atom with 2 GB on Win 7, also with SSD though.


the cost of the card isnt a real big deal, only $80 or so and ofc not tied to any computer so could be used on future upgrades also. the wear that you mention is concerning though. i would backup the data but would be nice to get 2 yrs use out of it. main thing i like abt SD card is its not in the way (or tying up ports) like a USB flash drive would be.
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Last edited by bezelbub September 16, 2015 at 03:03 PM
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#4
Quote from bezelbub View Post :
well my best one is an Acer with 11.6" screen, Celeron 877, 8 GB Ram, and 256 gb SSD(win7) and it does pretty well. the others are 5-6 yrs old Samsung and HP mini running an Atom with 2 GB on Win 7, also with SSD though.


the cost of the card isnt a real big deal, only $80 or so and ofc not tied to any computer so could be used on future upgrades also. the wear that you mention is concerning though. i would backup the data but would be nice to get 2 yrs use out of it. main thing i like abt SD card is its not in the way (or tying up ports) like a USB flash drive would be.
I just would not pour that type of money into a netbook thats at least a couple of years old thats lower end. What kind of portable apps are you running that consume so much space? Most of the portable apps I have used in the past are usually pretty reasonable in size.

If you had to do this, I guess I would rather have a USB drive that has a better controller most likely and is more universal between machines. These are pretty popular and go on sale. You just missed a 1/2 off sale.
http://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-Ult...disk+USB+3
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Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
I just would not pour that type of money into a netbook thats at least a couple of years old thats lower end. What kind of portable apps are you running that consume so much space? Most of the portable apps I have used in the past are usually pretty reasonable in size.

If you had to do this, I guess I would rather have a USB drive that has a better controller most likely and is more universal between machines. These are pretty popular and go on sale. You just missed a 1/2 off sale.
http://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-Ult...disk+USB+3
It may go without saying, but on machines this old thumb drives will probably be limited to USB 2.0 speeds (40MB/s as a practical upper limit, but probably less given the slower CPUs).
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Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
If all the machines are your own you could possibly do a network share, but if you have the space I would probably update them separately or use a USB flash drive. Knowing more about your situation would be best.
This. If they're all your computers and all in the same location, setting the programs up on a public drive / folder would probably be best.

Second to that, a USB drive is probably the next best solution. SD cards may give a similar transfer rate, but do not have the wear leveling controllers and such. Depending on how often you write to the card, that may not be a problem and 2 years of use may not be out of the question, though. If you're concerned about a flash drive tying up a port, get a USB hub; 4-port USB 3.0 hubs are less than $20.
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#7
Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
I just would not pour that type of money into a netbook thats at least a couple of years old thats lower end. What kind of portable apps are you running that consume so much space? Most of the portable apps I have used in the past are usually pretty reasonable in size.

If you had to do this, I guess I would rather have a USB drive that has a better controller most likely and is more universal between machines. These are pretty popular and go on sale. You just missed a 1/2 off sale.
http://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-Ultra-Low-Profile-Flash-SDCZ43-064G-G46/dp/B00LLEODCK/ref=sr_1_1?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1442497168&sr=1-1&keywords=Sandisk+USB+3


i have about 10 gb of portable programs, also documents, installers and an 240 gb SD card would have been perfect. of the 3 avail USB ports one is almost always tied up with a cell modem and the trackpad is flaky so another is tied up with a stub for a wireless mouse. too bad Frown


Quote from quotidian View Post :
It may go without saying, but on machines this old thumb drives will probably be limited to USB 2.0 speeds (40MB/s as a practical upper limit, but probably less given the slower CPUs).
yeah thats the case here. i dont really like that style of thumb drive anyway and there were complaints of overheating in one thread.


Quote from mmathis View Post :
This. If they're all your computers and all in the same location, setting the programs up on a public drive / folder would probably be best.

Second to that, a USB drive is probably the next best solution. SD cards may give a similar transfer rate, but do not have the wear leveling controllers and such. Depending on how often you write to the card, that may not be a problem and 2 years of use may not be out of the question, though. If you're concerned about a flash drive tying up a port, get a USB hub; 4-port USB 3.0 hubs are less than $20.
idk enough about network share - i just have 3 netbooks and would be nice to have my up to date docs and apps etc with me for whichever netbook i am using. the main wear and tear program might be the portable web browsers(?), then a file manager and thunderbird. most of the rest of the programs would just be occasional use.
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Last edited by bezelbub September 17, 2015 at 01:51 PM
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Quote from bezelbub View Post :
i have about 10 gb of portable programs, also documents, installers and an 240 gb SD card would have been perfect. of the 3 avail USB ports one is almost always tied up with a cell modem and the trackpad is flaky so another is tied up with a stub for a wireless mouse. too bad Frown



yeah thats the case here. i dont really like that style of thumb drive anyway and there were complaints of overheating in one thread.




idk enough about network share - i just have 3 netbooks and would be nice to have my up to date docs and apps etc with me for whichever netbook i am using. the main wear and tear program might be the portable web browsers(?), then a file manager and thunderbird. most of the rest of the programs would just be occasional use.

I am sorry but I don't get this. Your have 10gb of programs and then some more documents but you want a 256gb sd card, are you looking to backup all your files to make it easy to move between machines? Again I question spending any money on these netbooks given the state of the hardware you mentioned.

Why use the portable apps? Can you tell us more why your doing what your doing and more of what your doing, Pretty sure there are a lot better ways.

If they are all in the same house or business the network method is definitely the way to go. It's not too hard to setup and would have many benefits.

As for the flash drive, they can get warm I have one that I mentioned above and this is normal and not really a problem. A USB hub will fix your issues.
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#9
Quote from bezelbub View Post :
Hi,
was thinking about buying a 256 GB SD card and putting a bunch of portable programs on there like Thunderbird, Open Office etc and bunch of smaller ones too. Im just wondering what kind of throughput(?) i could expect because it would be a step backward from the onboard SSD. Also, my netbook computers are anywhere from 3-6 years old so i wonder what the onboard SD card reader would likely be capable of even though the SD card im looking to buy claims up to 90 MB/s or so.


(reason for doing this is because i have many portable programs and sometimes need to use a different computer and also dont want to have to update those same programs over and over again on each separate platform. SD card seems best solution for me)
I must say, you should try it and see it for yourself? Smilie just a friendly advise Smilie
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Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
I am sorry but I don't get this. Your have 10gb of programs and then some more documents but you want a 256gb sd card, are you looking to backup all your files to make it easy to move between machines? Again I question spending any money on these netbooks given the state of the hardware you mentioned.

Why use the portable apps? Can you tell us more why your doing what your doing and more of what your doing, Pretty sure there are a lot better ways.

If they are all in the same house or business the network method is definitely the way to go. It's not too hard to setup and would have many benefits.

As for the flash drive, they can get warm I have one that I mentioned above and this is normal and not really a problem. A USB hub will fix your issues.
i use portable programs because i rather not install stuff, gunk up registry, have to re-install, uninstall, etc. huge waste of time. (also i rather keep the OS drive image as small as possible.)


re networking, i dont have routers, wifi, ethernet, cabling, or anything like that. just 3 netbooks and a cell modem for internet.


i was looking for a way to keep all my docs and portable programs on one removable drive so that i wouldn't have to update a portable app 3 times on 3 diff computers. same thing with documents and some installer files. i might have 25 GB total for now but its nice to have room to grow etc, then i can just worry about keeping SD card clean and organized and only have to worry about backing it up once or 2x vs having various files strewn all over the place on several diff machines and flash drives. all of my netbooks have SD slots and they are nicely out of the way compared to flash drives.


do you think the speeds would be a bottleneck? i see 17 MB/s "throughput" (whatever that is) on an older 32 gb SD card - its prob 3-5 yrs old.


Quote from wjames_12 View Post :
I must say, you should try it and see it for yourself? Smilie just a friendly advise Smilie

yes, i think i might give it a shot
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Last edited by bezelbub September 18, 2015 at 08:06 AM
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Quote from bezelbub View Post :
i use portable programs because i rather not install stuff, gunk up registry, have to re-install, uninstall, etc. huge waste of time. (also i rather keep the OS drive image as small as possible.)


re networking, i dont have routers, wifi, ethernet, cabling, or anything like that. just 3 netbooks and a cell modem for internet.


i was looking for a way to keep all my docs and portable programs on one removable drive so that i wouldn't have to update a portable app 3 times on 3 diff computers. same thing with documents and some installer files. i might have 25 GB total for now but its nice to have room to grow etc, then i can just worry about keeping SD card clean and organized and only have to worry about backing it up once or 2x vs having various files strewn all over the place on several diff machines and flash drives. all of my netbooks have SD slots and they are nicely out of the way compared to flash drives.


do you think the speeds would be a bottleneck? i see 17 MB/s "throughput" (whatever that is) on an older 32 gb SD card - its prob 3-5 yrs old.





yes, i think i might give it a shot
Clogging up the registry isn't a modern problem on Win 7+ unless your installing every program under the sun and then some, not what people generally do. It's really how programs are designed to run, and the portable ones you are using now have all made compromises to get around this. You should see a substantial speed increase too running on your SSD vs any other external method you could do on any of these netbooks.

As far as keeping the OS small, registry entries are text. You can always create a smaller partition from the OS and use whats left of the drive to install programs after making a larger partition.However on an SSD this offers you no speed advantages and only limited ones when rebuilding the system from fresh.

There are several home routers that you can plug USB carrier modems into to provide WAN service. This would allow you to create a network and share unlimited data internally, putting common files in a central location or on each machine.

I see your SD card as a huge single point of failure for all your data since backup was never mentioned here. If you have 25gb now, I just don't see that it's very likely you will grow to 250+ gb assuming your not taking a ton of photos or downloading video.

As for updating programs I assume your on limited bandwidth or data. You can usually download offline installers for updates and then on a usb device update each machine. Yes it might take a tad longer but in generally things are updated once a month or less. I won't even go down the road of making sure you have windows updates.

It sounds like you have a primary machine, and the others are older/slower etc. I would use your primary like a real machine with programs on the SSD (It's why you paid the premium for the large ssd right? not just windows). This is where the bulk of your documents and programs would be and where you spend the most time. Still not sure exactly what you do but most people tend to use 1 machine at a time, not 3. 1 machine is much easier to do backups to as well.

So in conclusion what your proposing will work, but I feel like your making things much more complex and complicated then it needs to be. In addition I feel like relying on a single SD card for all of your information and programs is a disaster in the making. If you take one thing out of this thread I hope you have a proper backup. If you must use portable apps, better solutions like an External SSD exist. Best of luck.
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Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
Clogging up the registry isn't a modern problem on Win 7+ unless your installing every program under the sun and then some, not what people generally do. It's really how programs are designed to run, and the portable ones you are using now have all made compromises to get around this. You should see a substantial speed increase too running on your SSD vs any other external method you could do on any of these netbooks.

As far as keeping the OS small, registry entries are text. You can always create a smaller partition from the OS and use whats left of the drive to install programs after making a larger partition.However on an SSD this offers you no speed advantages and only limited ones when rebuilding the system from fresh.

There are several home routers that you can plug USB carrier modems into to provide WAN service. This would allow you to create a network and share unlimited data internally, putting common files in a central location or on each machine.

I see your SD card as a huge single point of failure for all your data since backup was never mentioned here. If you have 25gb now, I just don't see that it's very likely you will grow to 250+ gb assuming your not taking a ton of photos or downloading video.

As for updating programs I assume your on limited bandwidth or data. You can usually download offline installers for updates and then on a usb device update each machine. Yes it might take a tad longer but in generally things are updated once a month or less. I won't even go down the road of making sure you have windows updates.

It sounds like you have a primary machine, and the others are older/slower etc. I would use your primary like a real machine with programs on the SSD (It's why you paid the premium for the large ssd right? not just windows). This is where the bulk of your documents and programs would be and where you spend the most time. Still not sure exactly what you do but most people tend to use 1 machine at a time, not 3. 1 machine is much easier to do backups to as well.

So in conclusion what your proposing will work, but I feel like your making things much more complex and complicated then it needs to be. In addition I feel like relying on a single SD card for all of your information and programs is a disaster in the making. If you take one thing out of this thread I hope you have a proper backup. If you must use portable apps, better solutions like an External SSD exist. Best of luck.
thanks, good advice. i just like the idea of the SD card working for this purpose - almost like a removable SSD thats not in the way. But like you say, its prob not right for the job.


I do disagree with you on portable apps though. most just use an ini file or portable.dat along with the executable and maybe a few other things like dll or languages. What are they missing vs being installed?
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Last edited by bezelbub September 18, 2015 at 11:07 AM
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