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USB Flash Drive - For Windows 10 installation

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I need a brand recommendation. Also the size for containing the Windows 10 installation contents. Please also advise on the fastest speed, is that USB 3.0 gen 1 or gen 2? My motherboard is Asus ROG Strix Z390-F, it should come with a USB 3.0 gen 2 port at the back. My case is MasterBox MB511, there is a USB Drive port on the panel.

THANKS!!
 
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A single install type (32-bit or 64-bit) will fit on 8GB, but if you wanted to make a stick with both versions, 16GB might be needed. Considering the cost of flash drives these days, that shouldn't be a problem.

I'm pretty fond of the metal Samsung BAR drives myself. You'll probably have better luck booting from a regular 3.0 port, as far as the BIOS and compatibility goes. You would need an SSD-class flash drive to see a benefit from 3.1gen2, and even then it would probably be barely worth mentioning.
 
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Please also advise on the fastest speed, is that USB 3.0 gen 1 or gen 2?
That won't tell you the speed of the drive in real world usage. Always check benchmarks, manufacturers numbers in general aren't that trustworthy,
with promises like "up to x MB/s read speed" which doesn't really mean anything.

Unless you're doing dozens of installs per month, any drive with a read speed of more than 100 MB/s will do, but watch out for abysmal write speeds as well. 130 read/25 write isn't unheard of, which is really bad. Remember that all data is copied before the first reboot, after that you can even remove the drive without a complaint (at least when done during the reboot). The jump from USB 2.0 to 3.0 is great if the drive is decent, but after that is a matter of shaving off a few seconds at best, at some point it's not worth the extra money.

After all, all it does is read 4 GB, that's not much.
 
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Mussels

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I use an old samsung BAR drive with 100MB/s reads and the file transfer for a win10 install is done in under 2 minutes, drive can be removed after first reboot

You do not need or want a high capacity or insanely high speed drive for this, the win 10 ISO's are about 3GB each so it doesnt transfer a lot of data
 
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The unused space can be put to use for drivers or whatever else you can come up with.
I’ve actually never put anything else on W10 install media. I have no reason; just figured it might complain or say something was corrupt, so never bothered.

So if I were to create a separate Temp directory and start tossing drivers and such in there, no issues?
 

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I’ve actually never put anything else on W10 install media. I have no reason; just figured it might complain or say something was corrupt, so never bothered.

So if I were to create a separate Temp directory and start tossing drivers and such in there, no issues?
dont even need a directory, just throw whatever on there and it works fine

I have a copy of drivers, directX, dotnet batch installers, and basic CPU/GPU temp monitoring and benchmark tools
 
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Any USB drive will do the trick, avoid metal exterior USB like the sandisk Ultra Flair as those will just overheat and you won't be able to copy or even convert it into a bootable windows 10 installation drive.
I have 2 of these and both just won't perform at all as they just overheat after few minutes.
 
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A 32GB SanDisk Extreme is what I'm using and it's really fast to install from, despite being quite an old drive by now.
 
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Any flash drive will do the job if it's large enough to store the files, the only difference will be in read and most importantly write speeds when you're installing the OS or creating the bootable media.
 
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I have a PNY 8GB Flash Stick USB 2.0 works fine. 8GB is where it's at for now

I use RuFus for my W10 setup install
 

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I personally use 8gb Transcend Jetflash drives. Not the fastest but pretty fast
 
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That won't tell you the speed of the drive in real world usage. Always check benchmarks, manufacturers numbers in general aren't that trustworthy,
with promises like "up to x MB/s read speed" which doesn't really mean anything.

Unless you're doing dozens of installs per month, any drive with a read speed of more than 100 MB/s will do, but watch out for abysmal write speeds as well. 130 read/25 write isn't unheard of, which is really bad. Remember that all data is copied before the first reboot, after that you can even remove the drive without a complaint (at least when done during the reboot). The jump from USB 2.0 to 3.0 is great if the drive is decent, but after that is a matter of shaving off a few seconds at best, at some point it's not worth the extra money.

After all, all it does is read 4 GB, that's not much.
I see your point. That's why I intend to get a funny looking one, some twists in design?

I use an old samsung BAR drive with 100MB/s reads and the file transfer for a win10 install is done in under 2 minutes, drive can be removed after first reboot

You do not need or want a high capacity or insanely high speed drive for this, the win 10 ISO's are about 3GB each so it doesnt transfer a lot of data
Excellent information, thanks a million!

I use a SanDisk Ultra USB 3.0 16GB for installing Windows 10 Professional. You can get one on Amazon for $6.25. The unused space can be put to use for drivers or whatever else you can come up with.

good eco design, might get it.
 

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I use these. They're cheap and plenty fast for Win10 installs. You can get the cheaper 16GB ones and they'll work just fine, but it seems wrong to me since double the space is only $1.50 more.


Edit: If anyone is interested in the speed of these drives, I've bought and tested the 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB versions with the following results:

32GB132MB/s Read35MB/s Write
64GB133MB/s Read83MB/s Write
128GB198MB/s Read70MB/s Write
256GB87.5MB/s Read17MB/s Write

I tested 2 of each size and ran 3 tests on each drive using CrystalDiskMark.
 
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