How does a hard drive compare to Flash memory working as a hard drive in terms of speed?

Posted by Jian Lin on Super User See other posts from Super User or by Jian Lin
Published on 2009-11-03T15:34:55Z Indexed on 2010/03/18 20:41 UTC
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Some experiment I did with hard drive read/write speed was 10MB/s write and 40MB/s read, and with a USB Flash drive, it can be 5MB/s write and 10MB/s read.

Also, if I put a virtual hard drive .vhd file in a hard drive or in a USB Flash drive and try a Virtual Machine using it, the one using the hard drive is quite fast, while the one using the USB Flash drive is close to not usable.

So I wonder some early netbooks use 4GB or 8GB flash memory as the hard drive, and even the Apple Mac Air has an option of using flash memory instead of a hard drive. But in those situation, will the speed be slower than using a hard drive, like in the case of a USB Flash drive?

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