Question What governs the speed a drive can shred (file overwrite) files?

WestonG

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Feb 12, 2013
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Hey,

I want to know what aspect or parameter governs the speed in which a drive can shred a file (file overwrite).

I'm asking because I cannot find an SD card reader that can shred files faster the one built into my 5 year old laptop.

It's immensely faster at this task than multiple so called fast USB 3.0 or USB C readers I have tested. It shreds a file in 30 seconds that takes 5 minutes to shred via USB card readers.

Would an internal desktop reader match the shred speed of the laptop? I assumed not, as they also connect to the motherboard via internal USB headers.

I know the laptop card readers are faster, due to the direct connection to the motherboard and assume that USB is the bottleneck.

In summary:

  • What parameters govern the speed a drive can file shred (file overwrite)?
  • Does anyone know of a card reader that can match the speed of a built-in laptop card reader?
 

Eximo

Titan
Herald
Pretty sure there are SATA based media card readers out there.

But I suppose it comes down to the chip inside them. Check in your laptop's device manager and see if you can determine the hardware it has. Then look for products with that chip.
 

WestonG

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Feb 12, 2013
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Pretty sure there are SATA based media card readers out there.

But I suppose it comes down to the chip inside them. Check in your laptop's device manager and see if you can determine the hardware it has. Then look for products with that chip.
Thanks for the SATA reader suggestion - was not aware of them.

I'm not sure if it will be any faster though. As SATA 3 and USB 3 are both 600Mb/sec, to my knowledge. Although... for operations like shredding, or compressing; I'm not sure that data transfer speed is that important. Seems to be more about how quickly the drive can complete operations. I just read that USB card readers are slow, because they use the CPU to process. Wondering if internal readers are different, in that they do not use the CPU in that way. I don't know very much on the subject.

Will keep looking, researching and waiting for more info.
 

Eximo

Titan
Herald
Interface speed is one thing.

I'll dig a little and see if I can find any of the chips that actually get the job done.

Also might not hurt to look at premium brands like Lacie. They might actually market fast speeds. Or check out photography shops, a lot of high performance flash cards for cameras, they would be the ones with the most time sensitive applications.
 

Eximo

Titan
Herald
Okay, there are way too many chips being made for this...finding everything from your basic crappy ones that use USB 1.1, and 2.0, etc. But these are all hobbyist level chips for low speed memory applications. Would have to get a decent list of manufacturers and all their white papers to get a comprehensive list. And then not every product maker is going to bother listing the ICs they ended up using. Used to be fairly easy to backtrack using a manufacturer's driver, but these all seem to rely on standard drivers.

I would stick with the photography angle for now.
 

WestonG

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Feb 12, 2013
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Thanks for your responses,

The difficulty is that almost all of these readers - and reviews of them - tend to only measure read/write speeds. That's not really an accurate measure of how fast the reader can shred or encrypt data. I can't really find any information beyond that. Searching google for "Best card reader for encryption and file shredding" yields no accurate results. I suppose for now, I'll just have to assume that the more a reader costs, the more likely it will be suitable for the task. Will buy some higher end readers from amazon and test them. Given I can return them if they're not sufficient.

I assume USB C readers would be the fastest, but there is also the issue of most readers only having around 3-inch cables. My motherboard has 3.1 Gen 2 and USB C, but only on the motherboard I/O. My case only has USB 3.0. Meaning for the majority, I'd have to pull my PC out and plug the reader in the back each time. Using an extension cable would only reduce the speed further.
 

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