what external usb ssd media is the most reliable and will last the longest time if used over extended periods of time? specifically if you want o render our bitmaps or otherwise very big video files ? usb flash drives or ssd external drives? i dont know if usb 2.0 or 3.0 has a role to play in terms of reliability or not.
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SSDs are made for high usage scenarios. USB flash drives are not.
USB type is meaningless, general rule for FLASH technology is: NOR is most reliable (but mass storage using NAND - fine with proper ECC), SLC is most reliable, bigger cell size is better (older process size are better) - all this mean reliability favour older, low size devices also reliability is most expensive...
There is many factors involved in reliability of FLASH technology, some limitations can be dealt with software, some not.
USB type plays no role in drive reliability. But it's pointless to use USB 2.0 with an SSD drive -- the interface is far slower than the drive. Even regular hard drives are faster than USB 2.0 when it comes to large file reads/writes.
I think the OP is asking whether there is a difference in reliability between common flash drives (a.k.a., "thumb drives") and external SSD drives. Both use solid state, and both can be plugged in to a USB port (whether 2.x, 3.x, or whatever). He may also be asking whether some SSDs are more reliable than others.
I don't know the answer, but my general sense would be that SSD would be more reliable than a thumb drive because I think they have more error detection and correction circuits than a simple thumb drive.
A related question is whether, given all the digital storage options, either of these technologies should be used for archival purposes. So far, the only thing I know of that is digital and which is likely to last for decades rather than years is optical. I don't have experience with Blu-Ray, but my DVDs and CDs have now made it through two and three decades respectively and are doing just fine. By contrast, the hard drive in my 1987 laptop that runs 24/7 capturing phone call data from my PBX seized up years ago (I run the old clunker using a 3.5" floppy).
many thanks gents.