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Formatting Flash Drives: is APFS faster than Extended (Journaled)?
Posted by: tuqqer
Date: May 10, 2020 01:41PM
Not sure if I just have lemons here, but just got two flash drives yesterday from Amazon (Silicon Power 2 Pack 128GB USB 3.0/3.1 Gen1 USB Flash Drive Blaze B02), and reformatted them to Journal Extended and GUID scheme, and they were slow as molasses. Like an hour for a 5GB file.

I was about to write the seller, and decided to see if some other format would be faster (these are only for Mac to Mac, never for a PC). I redid them in APFS (we're running Catalina Macs) and it was 10x faster.

Is there an explanation for this, or do I possibly have duds.



Mac Pro 2013 3.7GHz Quad-Core, 32G RAM Catalina 10.15.x Dual 25" Acer 1440p LCDs11" i5 MacBook Air
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Re: Formatting Flash Drives: is APFS faster than Extended (Journaled)?
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: May 10, 2020 01:54PM
In my experience, copying to an external drive from internal, APFS to APFS is not faster than APFS to Mac OS Extended.

Moreover, since you need High Sierra or later to access APFS vols, I would not recommend using APFS on data vols.

I suspect that something was hitting your USB bus and slowed it down on your first attempt. If you have the time, try reinitializing one of the drives as Mac OS Extended (Journaled) and repeat the experiment.



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Re: Formatting Flash Drives: is APFS faster than Extended (Journaled)?
Posted by: anonymouse1
Date: May 10, 2020 01:54PM
Neither of those is design for flash disk storage. You want to exFAT.
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Re: Formatting Flash Drives: is APFS faster than Extended (Journaled)?
Posted by: tuqqer
Date: May 10, 2020 02:41PM
Quote
anonymouse1
Neither of those is design for flash disk storage. You want to exFAT.

these are always for very temporary file transfer from Mac to Mac. But just for testing, I reformatted these to exFAT. About the same speeds.

I also just tested the write speeds with identical large files with another 128 flash drive I have. It's like twice the speed. I'm going to return these.



Mac Pro 2013 3.7GHz Quad-Core, 32G RAM Catalina 10.15.x Dual 25" Acer 1440p LCDs11" i5 MacBook Air
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Re: Formatting Flash Drives: is APFS faster than Extended (Journaled)?
Posted by: jdc
Date: May 10, 2020 02:51PM
Imho— $50 1-2 tb portable HDD is still better than flash drives.



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Formatting Flash Drives: is APFS faster than Extended (Journaled)?
Posted by: Robert M
Date: May 10, 2020 02:52PM
Anon,

I’ve used MacOS Extended (journaled)/GUID for flash drives for years. Never an issue. The only time I ever use exFAT is when I know I require compatibility with a windows box. In my case, that’s a rare situation. Got anything that said formatting a flash drive (SD card or MicroSD card for that matter) in MacOS Extended (journaled)/GUID is bad? I use MicroSD cards with an adapter as extra storage sometimes. Never an issue.

FWIW, I have multiple flash drives formatted in MacOS Extended (journaled)/GUID and use the, as boot drives for various machines. Not just speciality drives. Literally fully functional boot drives. Even ran a machine off one for a few hours whe. i need to do so in a pinch. worked surprisingly well.

Robert



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/10/2020 02:55PM by Robert M.
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Re: Formatting Flash Drives: is APFS faster than Extended (Journaled)?
Posted by: gabester
Date: May 10, 2020 03:11PM
On a related note, here it is the year 2020 and there's no fully compatible disk format out of the box. FAT has grave limitations. Macs can read NTFS but not write it. Windows can't read HFS or APFS. Linux can't read exFAT, nor can Android devices (unless they're Samsungs who've written an exFAT implementation... and linuxes can load an exFAT FUSE, but again I'm talking out of the box without the performance hit of something like FUSE). Windows and Macs can't read ext4. Chromebooks seem to be able to read and write them all. And iOS devices read none. :-p

I just want one format that all my devices can read and write to, that doesn't suffer the limitations of FAT.

I can only hope that if APFS is so great Apple does this... hey after all they finally realized the butterfly keyboard was a mistake, it's possible we'll get a new iPhone with a headphone jack and a filesystem standard!

@tuqqer - good on you to actually test your media write speeds... I just assume newer devices will be better than older ones.
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Re: Formatting Flash Drives: is APFS faster than Extended (Journaled)?
Posted by: tuqqer
Date: May 10, 2020 03:19PM
Quote
gabester
@tuqqer - good on you to actually test your media write speeds... I just assume newer devices will be better than older ones.

Me too! Was just reading how fancy pants SSDs are so much faster now than the one I installed in 2013, and then bam, slowness. I need to speak to the manager!



Mac Pro 2013 3.7GHz Quad-Core, 32G RAM Catalina 10.15.x Dual 25" Acer 1440p LCDs11" i5 MacBook Air
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Re: Formatting Flash Drives: is APFS faster than Extended (Journaled)?
Posted by: S. Pupp
Date: May 10, 2020 03:46PM
Quote
jdc
Imho— $50 1-2 tb portable HDD is still better than flash drives.

And, in my experience, more reliable.

I generally format my flash drives in Mac HFS+ or NTFS. I have MacDrive on my PC's and Paragon NTFS for Mac on my OSX Macs, so there's no problem there.
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Re: Formatting Flash Drives: is APFS faster than Extended (Journaled)?
Posted by: Robert M
Date: May 10, 2020 03:49PM
Tuqqer,

Note... USB 3 flash drives aren't created equal. Just because a manufacturer says it's a USB 3.0 flash drive doesn't mean it's going to offer great performance. USB 3 is just the interface, not the speed of the media. I've had some USB 3.0 flash drives that feel like an SSD on a stick, others that don't full much different than a platter drive connected via USB 2.0.

Super fast:

SanDisk Extreme

Can't give you a link since it's been replaced by newer versions, which (Which has since been replaced by newer versions)

Here is oneof the newer flavors of it: [www.amazon.com]

Slow as a snail stuck to turd:

PNY Turbo

[www.amazon.com]

Even models from the same brand will offer noticeably different levels of performance, i.e. SanDisk Extreme vs SanDis Ultra.

I guess you could say faster interface doesn't necessarily equate faster performance. Same interface doesn't equate the same level of performance either.

Stay away from that PNY model. It's crap.

Robert



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/10/2020 03:51PM by Robert M.
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Re: Formatting Flash Drives: is APFS faster than Extended (Journaled)?
Posted by: Robert M
Date: May 10, 2020 03:53PM
S Pupp,

There is a time and place for both types of drives. I rarely see portable SSDs that can be easily connected to a lanyard and hung around your neck as you go out and about. That's something easy to do with a flash drive.

Robert
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Re: Formatting Flash Drives: is APFS faster than Extended (Journaled)?
Posted by: anonymouse1
Date: May 10, 2020 04:01PM
Lots of good info here--thanks reducing my ignore, ignorance y'all!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/10/2020 11:12PM by anonymouse1.
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Re: Formatting Flash Drives: is APFS faster than Extended (Journaled)?
Posted by: S. Pupp
Date: May 10, 2020 04:41PM
Quote
Robert M
S Pupp,

There is a time and place for both types of drives. I rarely see portable SSDs that can be easily connected to a lanyard and hung around your neck as you go out and about. That's something easy to do with a flash drive.

Robert

True enough.

The only one I've carried with me on a regular basis that did not go bad at an unfortunate time was a watch USB drive. It was only 1GB, and changing the watch battery was not for the faint of heart, but it didn't fail me for the four years I carried it with me.
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Re: Formatting Flash Drives: is APFS faster than Extended (Journaled)?
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: May 10, 2020 06:38PM
The only time I ever use exFAT is when I know I require compatibility with a windows box.


Exactly!

I routinely format all my thumbs to HFS+ right out of the blister pack.

All my friends have Macs.

Then one day I needed to print a label and didn't have a printer.

Off the local FedEx Office to print – no joy.

Their kit doesn't speak Mac or HFS+

So now, I have one unique thumb that's FAT for such an emergency.

I also have a printer! Yay me!


I don't know if it's commonplace, but a SanDisk I got couldn't be used as a boot drive- something about a the bit not flipped and removable storage.

THAT was disappointing, since rectified.

The only thumb of mine that's gone bad (as I tend to stick with name brands) is one that I pulled from a 'Book after forgetting to eject it first.

Some people may do this all the time without a problem.

I'm of the once bit, twice shy school.




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must suffer with him.

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by believing all possible evil of evil men.

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Re: Formatting Flash Drives: is APFS faster than Extended (Journaled)?
Posted by: Article Accelerator
Date: May 10, 2020 08:01PM
Tuqqer: "Was just reading how fancy pants SSDs are so much faster now than the one I installed in 2013, and then bam, slowness"

Just to be clear here, your issue refers to flash drives and not SSDs, right?



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/10/2020 08:13PM by Article Accelerator.
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Re: Formatting Flash Drives: is APFS faster than Extended (Journaled)?
Posted by: tuqqer
Date: May 10, 2020 09:18PM
Quote
Article Accelerator
Tuqqer: "Was just reading how fancy pants SSDs are so much faster now than the one I installed in 2013, and then bam, slowness"

Just to be clear here, your issue refers to flash drives and not SSDs, right?

Correct. I was trying to joke that while SSDs had gotten faster, somehow these thumbdrives had slowed down.



Mac Pro 2013 3.7GHz Quad-Core, 32G RAM Catalina 10.15.x Dual 25" Acer 1440p LCDs11" i5 MacBook Air
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