High speed USB drive instead of SD card for XBMC?


6 posts
by derrickrozay » Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:37 pm
Hello I have been doing some research but cant find any concrete info if running XBMC off of a high speed usb flash drive instead of an sd card will make the system any faster? I'm still waiting on my Pi so I cant do any tests but I do need to buy everything for it and I would like to have it all before the Pi arrives.
If it does make the U/I and scrolling faster which one do you guys recommend? Any tests done on some?
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 6:27 pm
by jwilker2 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 12:04 am
I would recommend against using a 'usb flash drive' because their performance and reliability are sub par. SD cards are likely a much better solution.

What I would recommend, however, is an SSD (Solid State Drive) they offer all the features and reliability of a classic hard drive while providing a dramatic increase in performance. I have used them with two of my Pi's since May/June without a hitch. SSD's require no special handling packaging or coddling, they come in a variety of sizes 32, 64, 128 gigabytes being the most common. Any size will do nicely.

A powered USB hub, USB to SSD cable ($20 U.S.) and a 2 or 4Gb Class 6 or better SD Card. The small SD card is still required for initially booting the Pi, Once it's up and running the SSD carries all of the load and provides a big performance enhancement.

Good luck,
User avatar
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2011 6:55 am
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
by derrickrozay » Tue Mar 26, 2013 12:25 am
jwilker2 wrote:I would recommend against using a 'usb flash drive' because their performance and reliability are sub par. SD cards are likely a much better solution.

What I would recommend, however, is an SSD (Solid State Drive) they offer all the features and reliability of a classic hard drive while providing a dramatic increase in performance. I have used them with two of my Pi's since May/June without a hitch. SSD's require no special handling packaging or coddling, they come in a variety of sizes 32, 64, 128 gigabytes being the most common. Any size will do nicely.

A powered USB hub, USB to SSD cable ($20 U.S.) and a 2 or 4Gb Class 6 or better SD Card. The small SD card is still required for initially booting the Pi, Once it's up and running the SSD carries all of the load and provides a big performance enhancement.

Good luck,


An SSD would be awesome I have one in both my computer and laptop but its just too expensive maybe in the future i'll upgrade but right now I'm looking to spend under $30 (preferably much less) for a USB if it will provide a performance boost.

I'd love to see a video of your Pi running XBMC off of a SSD though
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 6:27 pm
by DirkS » Tue Mar 26, 2013 12:34 am
jwilker2 wrote:I would recommend against using a 'usb flash drive' because their performance and reliability are sub par. SD cards are likely a much better solution.

What I would recommend, however, is an SSD (Solid State Drive) they offer all the features and reliability of a classic hard drive while providing a dramatic increase in performance

:shock:
Why would you use an SSD? Everything is being channeled through the USB 2 port so it seems to me that there cannot be a 'dramatic' increase in performance over a USB HDD.
I'm running Raspbmc with an SD card (just for booting) and a memory stick, mostly to avoid potential corruption of root file system. The UI seems pretty responsive to me and seems to more limited by the speed of the CPU than that of the memory used...

Gr.
Dirk.
Posts: 2001
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:46 pm
Location: Staffordshire, UK
by derrickrozay » Tue Mar 26, 2013 12:42 am
DirkS wrote:
jwilker2 wrote:I would recommend against using a 'usb flash drive' because their performance and reliability are sub par. SD cards are likely a much better solution.

What I would recommend, however, is an SSD (Solid State Drive) they offer all the features and reliability of a classic hard drive while providing a dramatic increase in performance

:shock:
Why would you use an SSD? Everything is being channeled through the USB 2 port so it seems to me that there cannot be a 'dramatic' increase in performance over a USB HDD.
I'm running Raspbmc with an SD card (just for booting) and a memory stick, mostly to avoid potential corruption of root file system. The UI seems pretty responsive to me and seems to more limited by the speed of the CPU than that of the memory used...

Gr.
Dirk.


What stick are you using?
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 6:27 pm
by DirkS » Tue Mar 26, 2013 12:54 am
What stick are you using?

8GB Sandisk Cruzer (was on offer in one of the supermarkets).
I'm also using a Verbatim 8GB in another Pi.

8GB is more than enough for me; video / music files, etc are stored on my Raspi file server (using a 1TB 2.5" USB HDD).

FYI: I'm using the raspbmc pi with just the USB stick and a infrared remote receiver, directly plugged into the pi. No USB hub.

Gr.
Dirk.
Posts: 2001
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:46 pm
Location: Staffordshire, UK