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  #1  
Old 01-26-2011, 10:14 AM
feklee feklee is offline
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Default Dog-Slow Flash Voyager GTR 32GB (EXT2)

I would like to use a Corsair Flash Voyager GTR 32MB for rsync based backups on Linux. So, I formatted it with the EXT2 filesystem.
However, then the Flash Voyager GTR became extremely slow!
For further inspection, I used a test data set consisting of nine files, totaling at 13 GB (SI units). The system was a ThinkPad T43 running Ubuntu 10.10. Similar tests were repeated several times.

Time it took for writing to the Flash Voyager GTR:
  • Formatted with Fat32: 11 Minutes => 20 MB/s
  • Formatted with Ext2: 43 Minutes => 5 MB/s (mounted: "mount -t ext2 -o noatime /dev/sdb1 /mnt/")
What is the technical explanation for the huge difference in speed? What is a possible solution? How do I properly format the stick for use with UNIX?

Update:
  • Formatted with ReiserFS (4KiB blocks): 22 Minutes => 10 MB/s
  • Formatted with NTFS: 8 Minutes => 27 MB/s
  • Formatted with Ext4 (4KiB blocks): 9 Minutes => 24 MB/s
I also formatted with XFS and 64KiB blocks, however then the drive could not be mounted on Ubuntu.

Another update:

Just found a little gem on the web: Testing Out Linux File-Systems On A USB Flash Drive (Voyager GT 32 GB)

Conclusion, so far:

As mentioned in the article linked above, performance heavily depends on the use case. So, more careful benchmarking is necessary. However, lacking time, I'll probably go with Ext4 for now. Nevertheless, I still appreciate any suggestion, and - to better understand all this - a technical explanation.

Last edited by feklee; 01-27-2011 at 07:35 AM. Reason: more tests, link to interesting article
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  #2  
Old 01-26-2011, 04:00 PM
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RAM GUY RAM GUY is offline
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When you formatted the drive what was the format allocation set to?
I would try it with a 32k or 64 K allocation.
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Old 01-26-2011, 05:15 PM
feklee feklee is offline
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Block size was 4KiB (four kibibytes = ca. four kilobytes). And this is the maximum that Ext2 will do. Same for Ext3 and Ext4 by the way.

I assume that this is the problem. Is there any Corsair stick that decent better performance when used with Ext2 and a block size of 4 KiB?

And: What is the technical explanation? Anyone?

Last edited by feklee; 01-27-2011 at 07:34 AM.
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Old 01-27-2011, 05:46 PM
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It may be, can you try a different file system with a larger cluster size? Unix should be able to see Hi Sierra File system try that and see if the performance is not better, but it will only work with Unix/Linux
And the reason is because of the memory block size of the of the flash memory used to make flash drives.
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Old 01-31-2011, 02:43 PM
feklee feklee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RAM GUY View Post
It may be, can you try a different file system with a larger cluster size?
Thanks for the suggestion!

However:
  1. I am not near the stick anymore. Bought and set it up for a friend.
  2. With Ext4FS, the performance appears to be freaking fast, even though the block size is just 4KiB.
  3. High Sierra Format does not appear to be appropriate for an rsync based LINUX system backup.
Quote:
And the reason is because of the memory block size of the of the flash memory used to make flash drives.
I'd prefer a thorough technical explanation. It's strange that some FS work fine, and other's don't, event though the same block size is used. Anyone?
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Old 01-31-2011, 03:58 PM
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You can send an email request for better explanation, but some file systems are optimized for Flash memory and some are not. And its not so much about the block size as it is about the offset. If the O.S. detects it properly as flash it should set the offset or allocation properly to align the partition and give the best performance but if its not the performance will drop dramatically.
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Old 02-03-2011, 12:26 PM
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Thanks a lot!
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