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Cluster Size and Format for USB flash drives?

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Old 11-14-09, 09:25 AM Thread Starter   #1
Sduibek
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Question Cluster Size and Format for USB flash drives?


Hello,

First post here so hi

I have a Patriot 16GB "X-Porter" which I think listed as 300x whatever that means.

Anyway, I am wondering for PERFORMANCE, is it better to choose FAT32 or NTFS. If taking into account all factors (performance, reliability, security etc.) I assume NTFS would be preferable?

Also I am not sure what Cluster Size to use... i've heard that in terms of performance, bigger is always better (16k --> 64k etc) but don't know if that holds true for small USB thumbdrives?

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Old 11-14-09, 11:16 AM   #2
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NTFS has WAYYYY better performance on flash than fat32 does. I've seen 80% improvements over fat32 with it.

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Old 11-14-09, 11:50 AM Thread Starter   #3
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Hmm... I was playing around with it today and 64Kb Cluster Size does get better performance (maybe 15-20%ish?) than 512bytes on this drive... not sure where the happy medium would be though :P
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Old 11-18-09, 02:26 PM Thread Starter   #4
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Old 11-18-09, 02:41 PM   #5
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Well what are you looking to really use it for?

Flash drives are limited to the USB 2.0 bus speed these days, roughly 25-30MB/sec. Me FAT32 works for me. Reason why, is because I can use the drives on DVD Players, X360, and even as a boot device leaving it as this format.

As for cluster size... for a flash drive 64KB probably would be the best. Going smaller might help somewhat but... smaller = more overhead. With a bandwidth limited situation looking at here, not only is it CPU intensive but it would be limited by the controller on the USB drive which can hurt perfomance which is what im sure you saw.

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