After publishing my Raspberry Pi Minecraft Server tutorial I got some feedback on Reddit to try using a USB SSD for storage. I expected some marginal improvement but nothing spectacular due to the USB 2.0 bus data rates. In fact the results were so spectacular that I’m changing my storage recommendations entirely. Let the games begin!
Since the M.2 NVME form factor has won the high performance solid state drive war many of you may be stuck with older micro SATA (mSATA) drives. These still have a very awesome use that will only cost you $10 to take advantage and have a blistering USB stick instead of throw them away!
These are full blown SSDs and their performance blows a regular USB flash drive out of the water. They support the trim command and show up as “fixed disks” instead or removable storage. This means they support cache write optimizations that normal USB removable drives don’t. This allows you to do all sorts of awesome things on them. Some examples: Windows to Go, Fast Portable Linux, Virtual Machine storage, etc. You can also just use it as a really fast drive to transfer files back and forth with your friends while looking like a total techie badass.