Roundup: Six USB 3.0 Flash Drives Reviewed

Posted August 14, 2012 by Sam Chen in Reviews
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Battle of the Best

With the introduction of the Panther Point chipset along with Ivy Bridge CPUs, USB 3.0 has become more mainstream than ever before, which means those purchasing a new system nowadays can take full advantage of the additional bandwidth offered by USB 3.0. For those unfamiliar with the benefits of the USB 3.0 specification, USB 3.0 is theoretically capable of hitting up to 5.0 Gb/s, which is over 10x faster than the USB 2.0 specification of 480 Mb/s. To put this in perspective, the SATA 3 specification has a maximum theoretical bandwidth of 6 Gb/s, so in theory a USB 3.0 flash drive is capable of achieving “SSD-like” transfer rates.

With back to school season in full swing and many of you taking advantage of the many back to school computer deals these days, today we’ll be doing a roundup review of the top six fastest USB 3.0 flash drives on the market from six very well-known manufacturers – SanDisk, Kingston, Corsair, ADATA, Lexar, and Patriot.

Want to know which of these flash drives to pick up along with that brand new laptop you’ve just ordered? Let’s find out!

Specifications

ADATA N005 Pro Corsair Voyager GT Kingston HyperX Lexar Jumpdrive Triton Patriot Supersonic Magnum Sandisk Extreme
Capacity 16GB/32GB/
64GB
16GB/32GB/
64GB/128GB
64GB/128GB/
256GB
16GB/32GB/
64GB
64GB/128GB 16GB/32GB/
64GB
Interface USB 3.0 USB 3.0 USB 3.0 USB 3.0 USB 3.0 USB 3.0
Maximum Seq Read (64GB) 180MB/s 220MB/s 225MB/s 155MB/s 200MB/s 190MB/s
Maximum Seq Write (64GB) 90MB/s 110MB/s 135MB/s 150MB/s 120MB/s 170MB/s
Warranty Lifetime 5 Years 5 Years Lifetime 5 Years Lifetime
Purchase Link Click Here Click Here Click Here Click Here Click Here Click Here

Taking a look at the specifications here, it’s quite clear that theoretically the fastest drive in this roundup should be the Kingston HyperX with advertised speeds of up to 225MB/s sequential reads and 135MB/s sequential writes. Additionally also notice that not all of these drives offer capacities of under 64GB, so today’s roundup will be focused on the 64GB edition of all the drives listed above.


About the Author

Sam Chen

Editor-in-Chief

  • nwpsys

    I am wanting to use a USB 3.0 flash drive to take a copy offsite of an image backup of my C: drive, which is a single file ~50GB in size. If I am looking for the best performance when copying this file onto the drive, should I be looking at the sequential or 4K figures ?

    • http://www.custompcreview.com/ Sam Chen

      You should be looking at sequential figures. The SanDisk Extreme or Lexar JumpDrive Triton will be your best bet as they produce the fastest sequential writes.

      • nwpsys

        Thanks, Sam. Useful advice.

  • Eric

    Hi Sam,
    I need to install OS (Thin PC or Windows 7) on the USB and make it as a bootable drive, if I am looking for the best performance, which USB is the best? Thanks!

    • http://www.custompcreview.com/ Sam Chen

      For a bootable OS flash drive, I’d personally go with the SanDisk Extreme. It’s the ONLY drive in this roundup that excelled in both 4k reads/writes (aka random reads/writes). This is one of the biggest reasons why a SSD is faster than a HDD.

      For booting the OS as well as applications, 4K read performance is crucial as thousands of small DLL files are read and executed when booting.

      When you’re actually in the OS and actively using it, the OS itself and any applications you use will constantly write small 4k sized log files and other data which will require fast 4k writes.

      http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007YXA5SI/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B007YXA5SI&linkCode=as2&tag=cupcre06-20

  • UncleBob

    Is all mentioned flash drives can be formated into NTFS or exFAT? I’ve read Sandisk Extreme 64gb had issues with this.