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31 USB 3.0 Thumb Drives, Tested And Reviewed

31 USB 3.0 Thumb Drives, Rounded-Up

Most of us have had pretty bad experiences with thumb drives, dating back to USB 1.1 and 2.0. Heaven forbid you had a DVD-sized video file that you wanted to move to another machine. So, it's a little weird to think that a USB 3.0-connected thumb drive should be able to outperform the mechanical disks inside of your desktop PC. But the fastest models in today's round-up are indeed quite a bit faster. In fact, two drives manage to serve up sequential read speeds in excess of 300 MB/s. That's more throughput than a previous-gen SATA 3Gb/s port even allows. 

At the same time, we're going to see that not all USB 3.0-compatible thumb drives are fast. Plenty of them are straight-up duds. Knowing a drive's performance is very important before you decide to drop your hard-earned cash on it. To that end, we're benchmarking 31 different products to help you in your search for the right one.

Because we have so many drives in the lab, we're not going to introduce each one individually. Instead, we're going to focus on the ones we recommend and find most interesting. This includes the winner, the fastest seven drives, the most robust drives, and drives with special functionality.

The Technical Specifications

ManufacturerAdataAdataCorsair
ModelS102 ProS102 ProFlash Voyager Slider
Model NumberAS102P-16G-RGYAS102P-64G-RBLCMFSL3-32GB
InterfaceUSB 3.0USB 3.0USB 3.0
Capacity16 GB64 GB32 GB
Removable CapYesYesNo
Weight9 g10 g13 g
ManufacturerCorsairCorsairCorsair
ModelFlash Voyager SliderFlash Voyager GTFlash Voyager GT
Model NumberCMFSL3-64GBCMFVYGT3A-32GBCMFVYGT3A-64GB
InterfaceUSB 3.0USB 3.0USB 3.0
Capacity64 GB32 GB64 GB
Removable CapNoYesYes
Weight13 g20 g20 g
ManufacturerDane ElecExtrememoryExtrememory
ModelUSB Drive designed by brinellXplorer
Model Number-EXMEUFD332GDBSEXMEUFD332GXPLB
InterfaceUSB 3.0USB 3.0USB 3.0
Capacity16 GB32 GB32 GB
Removable CapNoYesNo
Weight8 g23 g12 g
ManufacturerIntegralKingstonKingston
ModelCrypto DualDataTraveler HyperX 3.0DataTraveler R3.0
Model NumberINFD32GCRYPTODL197DTHX30/64GBDTR30/32GB
InterfaceUSB 2.0USB 3.0USB 3.0
Capacity32 GB64 GB32 GB
Removable CapYesYesYes
Weight10 g17 g16 g
ManufacturerLaCieMach XtremeMach Xtreme
ModelRuggedKeyMX-ESMX-FX
Model Number9000146MXUB3SES-32GMXUB3MFX-32G
InterfaceUSB 3.0USB 3.0USB 3.0
Capacity16 GB32 GB32 GB
Removable CapYesYesYes
Weight30 g10 g25 g
ManufacturerMach XtremePatriotPatriot
ModelMX-FXSupersonic Rage XTSupersonic Quad
Model NumberMXUB3MFX-32GPEF32GSRUSBPEF64GSUSB
InterfaceUSB 3.0USB 3.0USB 3.0
Capacity32 GB32 GB64 GB
Removable CapYesNoNo
Weight25 g8 g8 g
ManufacturerPatriotPatriotPQI
ModelSupersonic Boost XTSupersonic MagnumNano
Model NumberPEF32GSBUSBPEF64GSMNUSB-
InterfaceUSB 3.0USB 3.0USB 3.0
Capacity32 GB64 GB32 GB
Removable CapYesYesYes
Weight12 g24 g10 g
ManufacturerPQISandiskToshiba
ModelTiffyExtremeTransmemory-EX
Model Number-SDCZ80-064G-
InterfaceUSB 3.0USB 3.0USB 3.0
Capacity16 GB64 GB32 GB
Removable CapNoNoYes
Weight6 g11 g14 g
ManufacturerToshibaTranscendTranscend
ModelTransmemory-EXJetFlash 700JetFlash780
Model Number-TS32GJF700 TS64GJF780 
InterfaceUSB 3.0USB 3.0USB 3.0
Capacity64 GB32 GB64 GB
Removable CapYesYesYes
Weight15 g7 g10 g

Benchmark System

System Hardware
HardwareDetails
CPUIntel Core i5-2400 (32 nm, Sandy Bridge, D2), 4C/4T, 3.2 GHz, 4 x 256 KB L2 Cache, 6 MB Shared L3 Cache, w/ HD Graphics 3000, 95 W TDP, 3.6 GHz max. Turbo
MotherboardGigabyte G1.Sniper M3, LGA 1155, Revision: 1.0, Chipset: Intel Z77 Express, BIOS: F10c
RAM4 x 2 GB DDR3-1333, OCZ OCZ3G2000LV4GK
SSD System DriveSamsung 470, 64 GB, Firmware 0901, SATA 3 Gb/s
ControllerIntel PCH Z68 Express, SATA 6Gb/s
Power SupplySeasonic X-760 760 W, SS-760KM Active PFC F3
Benchmarks
SoftwareCrystalDiskMark 3.0.2 x64AS SSD 1.7.4739.38088Xcopy Benchmarks
System Software and Drivers
Operating SystemWindows 8 x64 Pro
  • rolli59
    It would have been nice to see price performance index as well but good article.
    Reply
  • psikick
    It's not a surprise the Sandisk wins because this USB drive is actually a small SSD.. It uses the same controller used in Sandisk's ReadyCache SSD drives... the great thing about it is it is priced reasonably considering.. :)
    Reply
  • Madn3ss795
    Been using this usb3.0 *SSD from Sandisk for half a year and I haven't got disappointed.Great device for the price. The only drawback I found is that its enclosure gets quite hot after 15mins of heavy use ( benchmarking ) because heat might reduce a SSD' durability.
    Reply
  • razor512
    The sandisk extreme works well.

    I currently have the 16GB version (was $20 when I got it)
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/razor512/8272978749/?rel=ugc]http://www.flickr.com/photos/razor512/8272978749/]http://www.flickr.com/photos/razor512/8272978749/does 200MB/s read and 57.3MB/s write

    not as good as the the 64GB version but it is still really good

    Read speed: http://i.imgur.com/TdcufSg.png?rel=ugc]http://i.imgur.com/TdcufSg.png]http://i.imgur.com/TdcufSg.png
    Write speed: http://i.imgur.com/jQVkBCa.png?rel=ugc]http://i.imgur.com/jQVkBCa.png]http://i.imgur.com/jQVkBCa.png
    Reply
  • daveys93
    I have the 32 GB version of the SanDisk Extreme and it is a great thumb drive. The 16 GB version is a bit slow and the 64 GB is a bit expensive for some, the 32 GB is a good middle ground. Here are the benchmarks I used when trying to decide which USB3.0 drive to get:

    http://www.whoratesit.com/SanDisk-Extreme-USB-30-32GB/Rating/1466
    There is a toggle on that site that allows you to view the benchmark results for all three sizes.

    Here is the full whoratesit.com article as a complement to the Toms article: http://www.whoratesit.com/Best-Flash-Drive/Comparison/1#rank1
    Reply
  • WyomingKnott
    In my case the limiting factor is the controller / port. I've got three USB 3.0 controllers: On my notebook at work, built into the motherboard at home, and a PCI-E one. The PCI-E one is twice the speed of the lowest one in 4k random writes.

    If I were home I'd post the controller and the thumb drive model, but I'm not there so don't ask.
    Reply
  • a1sealc4
    Very interesting read I assumed most 3.0 usb drives were similar in speed.
    Reply
  • aznriptide859
    Why no Corsair Flash Survivor? :( I love mine, albeit the write times aren't the speediest.
    Reply
  • __-_-_-__
    finally a good article... -.- tkx
    Reply
  • RedJaron
    11204798 said:
    In my case the limiting factor is the controller / port. I've got three USB 3.0 controllers: On my notebook at work, built into the motherboard at home, and a PCI-E one. The PCI-E one is twice the speed of the lowest one in 4k random writes.

    If I were home I'd post the controller and the thumb drive model, but I'm not there so don't ask.

    Too true, don't forget the controller speed. The Etron controller in my old-ish Z68 board ensures my USB 3.0 devices rarely go above 25 MBps even though I can get double that performance on my newer work computer.
    Reply