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Thread: Using a flash drive to seed torrents

  1. #1
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    Default Using a flash drive to seed torrents

    I've looked all over the internet and have not found an answer to this question, so I will turn to the Phoronix community for help here.

    The title is mostly self-explanatory. A few weeks ago, I bought a 16GB flash drive for super cheap. Then, the other day I had the idea of using my flash drive to seed torrents, so that my harddrive doesn't have to take the stress of reading and writing. My goal is to seed Ubuntu ISOs and some other stuff, but to try and keep all that reading/writing away from my harddrive. I am skeptical of doing this because of any harm that may potentially be done to my flash drive.

    Here are my thoughts on the idea:
    A flash drive has no moving mechanical parts, thus eliminating much wear and tear
    So, a flash drive is essentially a Solid State Drive (SSD). SSDs should theoretically last much longer than standard harddrives, which would also seem a logical reason to seed torrents from my flash drive. In other words, I should use the thing that can withstand more abuse for those more abusive tasks like seeding large torrents (i.e. flash drive).
    USB provides plenty of bandwidth to keep up with my internet connection.
    I have thought of those USB wireless internet stick thingies. Those show that a USB slot can handle a significant amount of continuous bandwidth. The difference I see between these two devices is whether the wireless internet stick uses a small SSD or something to buffer data before sending it (I find this unlikely).
    People boot entire OSes from their flash drives, but I don't know if this would be similar to constant reading/writing like from seeding a torrent.

    So... any thoughts? Is seeding torrents too much for a flash drive to handle?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by djh2400 View Post
    Here are my thoughts on the idea:
    — A flash drive has no moving mechanical parts, thus eliminating much wear and tear
    It's true that it lacks mechanical parts, but it wears quite easily. Much quicker than hard drivers actually.

    — So, a flash drive is essentially a Solid State Drive (SSD).
    Nope. It's not an SSD. It's a flash drive.

    SSDs should theoretically last much longer than standard harddrives
    That's true. SSDs right now offer an average MTBF (mean time between failures) of over 1.5 million hours (or even 2 millions), while hard drives average 500.000-700.000 hours. Flash drives don't state (most of the time) an MTBF at all, but only the average amount of write cycles before errors occur.

    which would also seem a logical reason to seed torrents from my flash drive.
    Nope, because your flash drive is not an SSD From a quick search, a 16GB SSD costs about 200$. A 16GB flash drive costs about 50$

  3. #3
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    I wouldn't download a torrent onto a flash drive, but seeding from one shouldn't cause any problems (provided that your torrent client doesn't insist on dumping metadata into the folder or something). On the other hand, I doubt that torrent seeding would account for a major proportion of the "stress of reading and writing" experienced by a hard drive, unless you are regularly one of a few seeders on extremely underseeded torrents. One launch of KDE or GNOME probably causes more wear and tear than a day of casual seeding.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by RealNC View Post
    Nope. It's not an SSD. It's a flash drive.
    Odd. I've always thought of it as SSD. I don't even know what else to classify it as...it's not actual _flash_ memory, because that loses all data at power down. But you made a good correlation there, with the prices and life span.

    And I forgot about MTBF. Ex-Cyber, you brought up a good point. Flash drives wear out because of writes and erases. Simply reading from a flash drive over and over again shouldn't really cause any harm at all. I may have to watch for heat, though; I don't know how much damage could come because of heat.

    Thank you, I think I've been able to piece together much of the information I've been looking for.

  5. #5
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    Sorry to bring up an old topic, but I just wanted to share this:
    http://hardware.slashdot.org/article...9/01/22/031254

    Turns out my ideas were right; flash drives /are/ SSD. Sure, they may be so inefficient, comparatively, to not worry about them, but just wanted to clarify that.

  6. #6
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    Actually, the meaning I get from it is that SSDs are flash-based, not the other way around. An SSD is using flash memory but a flash USB stick is not an SSD.

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