USB vs SD card for loading game backups: Which is faster?

Discussion in 'Wii U - Hacking & Backup Loaders' started by sofakng, Feb 2, 2017.

  1. sofakng

    sofakng Advanced Member

    Jul 3, 2007
    United States
    EDIT: Wait, maybe I'm wrong. I think I want to use redNAND (or IOSU?) for 100% game compatibility so does that mean I have to install games to USB storage?

    It looks like you can install Wii backups on either the internal NAND, USB drive, or SD card.

    Which is the fastest?

    It seems most convenient (but a bit expensive) to buy a 256 GB SD card and use that inside the Wii so you don't need an external drive or USB drive, but how is the speed?

    Also, can you use the SD card for both Wii and vWii game backups?
    Last edited by sofakng, Feb 2, 2017
  2. x65943

    x65943 Dr. Rabbi Prince X, Sr., Ed. D.

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    Jun 23, 2014
    United States
    If you install wiiu games via wupinstaller, then yes you have to use usb storage (or internal storage). You can use a usb2sd card adaptor to use an sd card like a usb stick if that's all you have.
  3. xabier

    xabier GBAtemp Fan

    Dec 10, 2006
    United States
    I use a 200gb SD card with loadiine and vwii games and an external 128gb microsd on a small reader using Wii u filesystem for native Wii u games.

    No slowdowns with any of them and no attachments hanging out from the console
  4. Taleweaver

    Taleweaver Storywriter

    Dec 23, 2009
    I recently switched from loadiine to haxchi+wupinstaller (so from sd to usb), and it's noticeably faster in terms of loading. It might be even faster than from disc, but that might be my impression. Them again, I wasn't using a state of the art sd card.

    Thus far, the only way to play wiiu games from usb is by using Nintendo's own partition method, so it can't hold vwii games (other than what they offer in the eshop).

    I haven't tried it, but you should be able to combine loadiine and a vwii usb loader(afaik, they also allow reading from sd).
    EDIT: just tried it...this does probably NOT work. I've tried setting USB loader GX to SD, and it spewed an SD card reading error.

    EDIT2: okay...wiiflow just continues to be better than USB loader GX, no matter what the sticky claims.
    In any case: the combination loadiine and vwii usb loader DOES work: I just played newer super mario bros wii from the vwii of my wiiu. Sorry about the confusion here. :-\

    Nintendont certainly can be used for GameCube games.
    EDIT: I've tried this as well, and can confirm that this does work (though I've still got to figure out what controllers actually work).
    Last edited by Taleweaver, Feb 2, 2017 - Reason: did some testing with loading wii games from SD card on wiiu
  5. SonicMC

    SonicMC GBAtemp Fan

    Dec 6, 2007
    United States
    Depends on the quality of the hardware and what you mean by slowdowns. as in in-game slowdowns (have not tested), or slower loading times.
    Also I once had a green drive in a usb case, that thing was slow no matter where I used it. I bet it would be slow even on wii u usb loading. Probably the disc read speeds would beat it.


    I have played ds games of my usb HDD and off of SD via loadiine. It definitely loaded faster off of the HDD. However once in DS VC Game itself, it played at full speed as far as I could tell. Making save states on sd was a little slower.

    From what I understand Loadiine also doesn't load vwii VC from eshop. has to be on internal nand storage or usb.
    however if you boot into the vwii and run homebrew channel. wbfs games can be loaded from certain versions of configurable usb loader and wii flow, I don't know if usbloadergx works though. Yes Wii games can load from sd, but I had to use a specific cios version to make it work. Again, games seemed to load slower from my sd, but once levels were loaded it played without slowdowns.

    So I do have Loadiine, Wii Games via cfg usb loader, and gamecube games via nintendont all working off a single sd card; at the same time I have a usb HDD for loading wii u games and vwii eshop titles from.

    an sd card can be used as external usb storage with an adapter. But it makes you format it... and so you can't use it for both the sd slot and usb adapter at the same time.

    My brother has an ssd on his wii u and it seems faster than my hdd; not sure it's worth the premium price to me though.

    I have a 8gb white wii u, so never tried installing anything to the nand.
    Last edited by SonicMC, Feb 2, 2017
  6. OrGoN3

    OrGoN3 GBAtemp Addict

    Apr 23, 2007
    United States
    It'll definitely be faster loading than loadiine, especially with games like Star Fox, where Nintendo binary split files into thousands of small files simply to make it take a long time to load via SD. USB doesn't suffer from this.
  7. Kafluke

    Kafluke GBAtemp Psycho!

    May 6, 2006
    United States
    All I can say is M3DW and Twilight Princess have way slow loading times with Loadiine. No issues whatsoever running on USB
  8. Taleweaver

    Taleweaver Storywriter

    Dec 23, 2009
    Please don't quote me on it, but as far as I've read, redNAND is only really useful as a safety net for testing purposes. Haxchi and wupinstaller have perfect compatibility thus far, and I thought it allowed for region-free as well.

    Sorry, but "IOSU" is a wrong term: it refers to the Input Output System of the wiiU (hence: IOSU). Saying "I want to use IOSU on my wiiu" is like saying "I want to use a wheel on my car". While certainly true, it's...not really a helpful thing to add. :P
    Last edited by Taleweaver, Feb 3, 2017
    Kafluke likes this.
  9. apachehavok

    apachehavok GBAtemp Fan

    Jan 17, 2014
    A USB HDD will be a LOT faster is a few games and a tad faster on the rest.