The best and fastest USB3 Flash Drives of 2016, comparison, benchmark

In this article we’ll make a top 10 of usb 3.0 flash drives (or pendrives), a pendrive’s ranking to figure out which is the fastest USB key of 2015, which is the cheapest and which have the best quality / price ratio, and to do that we will analyze their performance in reading and writing, related to their price.

All flash drives analyzed in this article are USB 3.0, but of course they are compatible and can also be used with USB 2.0 ports.


If you just buy any USB 3.0 device, you cannot be sure you have purchased a product with good performance, some USB 3.0 pendrives are actually very slow, even slower than some 2.0 flash drives. To make the right choice between the many offers you can find on the net, we have written this article hoping to help you in choosing a quality product with good performance and a reasonable price.

What is the USB3.0 standard and what are the differences with USB2.0
usb3.0 standardThe USB 3.0 standard provides a data transfer rate ten times faster than USB 2.0 reaching speeds of up to 5 Gbit/s corresponding to 640MByte/s (a byte consists of 8 bits ). The USB 2.0 standard provides speeds of up to 60MB/s. Currently almost all PCs and next-generation notebook are provided with at least one USB3.0 port, but be sure of their presence at the time of purchase, because as we have seen there is a big difference in performance between the two standards. We recommend you to buy USB3.0 pendrives in any case, in fact even if you do not have any USB3 port on your computer or laptop, you can use them anyway with USB2.0 and if one day you will change your computer you will be ready with more efficiente and performing storage devices.

A USB3.0 flash drive with a medium or low performance should reach at least 50MB/s read and 20MB/s write performance. Under this performance the pendrive can not even be considered a USB 3.0, and unfortunately the market is full of them, so with this article we want to help you choose a good flash drive, avoiding you to make a wrong purchase. A normal 5400rpm hard drive, which is usually installed on a standard PC or notebook, reaches 80-100MB/s read. Some pendrives are so fast that they exceed the speed of a normal sata 2 or 3 hard drive (80-100MB / s), so the performance of these pendrives may be affected by your hard drives. Thus it is useless to spend a lot of money on a really fast flash drive when your hard drive fails to keep up with his performances.
If your computer instead mounts a 7200RPM Sata 3 Hard Drive or better a SSD Hard Disk then you can choose any of the USB3 flash drives on this article, even the faster. You can also check the best selling flash drives on Amazon, although not necessarily the best selling pendrives are the most efficient, since sales are influenced by the price, in fact, the best selling usb key is the cheapest, as we shall see, however, this one has a quite good performance.

Let’s begin analyzing some pendrive starting from the top performing , to go down to cheap and affordable USB flash drives for all budgets, but always with an eye on performance. All values expressed herein refer to the pendrive connected via USB3.0 port, obviously on a USB2 performance is lower and generally do not exceed the 25-30MB / s read.

SanDisk Extreme Flash Drive USB 3.0 32 GB

– Model: SanDisk Extreme Flash Drive USB 3.0 32 GB
– Price: 32Gb: 21$/27€/25£ – 64Gb: 37$/40€/40£
– 32GB model speed: 245MB/s read, 110MB/s write
– 64GB model speed: 245MB/s, 170MB/s
– Lifetime limited warranty
– Password Protection with SanDisk SecureAccess Software

Extreme flash drive absolutely and definitely recommended . This is one of those USB pendrive so performing that needs a 7200rpm hard drive or better a SSD to be used to its full speed, achieving actual performances like 245 MB / s read and 170MB / s write (for the 64GB version, the 32GB is slightly slower reaching 120MB/s write). These are super performances that few USB key reache (see Lexar P20). It’s great for transferring large files, to store files, photos, movies, and video FullHD, UltraHD and so on, or used to view films or TV series streaming via a media player, a DVD player with USB, or directly to the TV if your TV supports this feature.

You can also encrypt your files on the USB flash drive with SanDisk SecureAccess, a software that comes with the pendrive and allows you to create a password protected folder encrypted with 128-bit AES encryption.

Considering its performance the price is great , super performance at a price that is equal to or better than the competititors. Ideal, for example, to install and boot your preferred Linux distribution, for which it is more powerful than many internal mechanical HD. This is probably the USB 3.0 flash drive with the best writing performances. Actual performances are better than those reported, reaching 257MB / s read and 195MB / s write with the 64GB version (see the benchmark picture ). Lifetime limited warranty.

This is definitely a flash drive that we recommend for any use.

32GB: Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon.itAmazon DEAmazon ESAmazon FRAmazon CAN
64GB: Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon.itAmazon DEAmazon ESAmazon FRAmazon CAN

We are giving away TWO Firefly 7S (worth 71$ x2) completely for free to TWO of our readers.
Join the contest before 2016, November 28th clicking here.

Lexar Jumpdrive P20 Flash Drive USB 3.0 32 GB

Lexar_P20_benchmark– Model: Lexar JumpDrive P20 64GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive
– Price: 32Gb: 32$/36€/19£ – 64Gb: 37$/64€/50£
– 32GB model speed: 400MB/s read, 150MB/s write
– 64GB and 128GB model speed: 400MB/s, 270MB/s
– Lifetime limited warranty
– Password Protection with free EncryptStick™ Lite software

Extreme flash drive absolutely and definitely recommended . Store and transfer content faster with premium performance. We measured 403 MB/s write speed and  240.7MB/s write speed. The premium Lexar® JumpDrive® P20 USB 3.0 flash drive provides fast file transfer with speeds up to 400MB/s read and 270MB/s write, making it one of the fastest USB flash drives available. Now you can transfer a full-length HD movie in less than 40 seconds. And for added versatility, the drive is backwards compatible with USB 2.0 devices. These are super performances that no other USB key reaches! It’s great for transferring large files, to store files, photos, movies, and video FullHD, UltraHD and so on, or used to view films or TV series streaming via a media player, a DVD player with USB, or directly to the TV if your TV supports this feature.

You can also encrypt your files on the USB flash drive. It Securely protects files using EncryptStick™ Lite software, an advanced security solution with 256-bit AES encryption, to help protect your essential files against corruption, loss, and deletion. Easily create a password-protected vault that automatically encrypts data. And for peace of mind, files that are deleted from the vault are securely erased and can’t be recovered.

Considering its performance the price is great , super performance at a price that is equal to or better than the competititors. Ideal, for example, to install and boot your preferred Linux distribution, for which it is more powerful than many internal mechanical HD. This is probably the USB 3.0 flash drive with the best writing performances. Lifetime limited warranty.

Capacities:

  • 32GB (up to 400MB/s read and 150MB/s write)
  • 64GB (up to 400MB/s read and 270MB/s write)
  • 128GB (up to 400MB/s read and 270MB/s write)

This is definitely a flash drive that we recommend for any use.

32GB: Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon.itAmazon DEAmazon ESAmazon FRAmazon CAN
64GB: Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon.itAmazon DEAmazon ESAmazon FRAmazon CAN


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Patriot Memory Supersonic RAGE XT USB 3.0

– Model: Patriot Memory PEF32GSRUSB Supersonic RAGE XT
– Price: 25$ / 20£ / 40€
– Speed: 180MB/s read, 50MB/s write
– Rubber coated housing protects from drops, spills, daily abuse
– 5 years warranty
– Official web site: PatriotMemory.com

USB 3.0 Flash Drive with a beautiful eye-catching design with a high-quality NAND memory which allows speed and reliability. The Patriot pendrive complies with the declared values of 180MB/s read and 50MB/s write , so it is fast in reading files, and just above average in writing to the pendrive. The price of the 32GB and 64GB version is in line with competitors, around 25$, you pay for the good quality of the flash memory and of the materials used in its construction that make it a pendrive shock, dust and splash proof. It is sold with a 5-year warranty , and supports windows from win2000 onwards including 8.1, Linux 2.4 and later, Mac OS9, X and later.

32GB: Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon CANAmazon IT
64GB: Amazon US Amazon UKAmazon CANAmazon IT

We are giving away TWO Firefly 7S (worth 71$ x2) completely for free to TWO of our readers.
Join the contest before 2016, November 28th clicking here.

Kingston Technology DataTraveler R3.0 G2

Kingston Technology DataTraveler R3.0 G2– Model: Kingston Technology DataTraveler R3.0 G2 32Gb
– Prezzo: 22$ / 25€ /19£
– Speed: 120MB/s read – 45 MB/s write
Warranty: 5 years

Remarkable performance for this USB3.0 flash drive that even exceeds the declared values, reaching 150 MB / s read and 49MB / s write measured with CrystalDiskMark 3.0. Great for storing files, photos, movies, and so on, or used to view films or TV series streamed through a media player, a DVD player with USB, or anything with a Usb port.

The 16GB version has lower performance (25MB / s in both read and write), the 32GB version costs less than 22$ / 21€. Very strong pendrive, thanks to a robust shockproof rubber coated body, can survive for an hour under water up to 1m deep. It offers a five-year warranty, free technical support and reliability that characterizes all Kingston products. We reccomend the 32/64GB versions , better performance for a higher quality/price and Gb/price ratio.

32GB: Amazon US – Amazon UK  – Amazon CANAmazon IT
64GB: Amazon US – Amazon UK  – Amazon CAN – Amazon IT

We are giving away TWO Firefly 7S (worth 71$ x2) completely for free to TWO of our readers.
Join the contest before 2016, November 28th clicking here.

Corsair Voyager USB 3.0 32Gb

– Model: Corsair Voyager USB 3.0 32Gb Flash Drive
– Price: 28$ / 25€ / 19£
– Speed: 200MB/s read – 40 MB/s write
– 5 years warranty

Corsair was born many years ago as a manufacturer of internal memory for computer and its products are among the most reliable and performing. It is not surprising therefore that the Corsair’s flash memory are high performing and secure. The performance measured is 174 MB / s read and 36,84MB / s write, slightly lower than the values reported but it may depend on the formatting or on the hardware used. In its favor, the resistance to impacts due to a thick rubber protection that guarantees operations even after repeated drops. The price is in line with its competitors and stood at € 0.72 per GB, for a very good performance.

32GB: Amazon US – Amazon UK  – Amazon CAN – Amazon IT
64GB: Amazon US – Amazon UK  – Amazon CAN – Amazon IT

Corsair Flash Voyager Slider 32GB USB3.0

Corsair slider benchmark– Model: Corsair Voyager Slider USB 3.0 32Gb Flash Drive
– Price: 16$ / 25€ / 19£
– Speed: 150MB/s read – 50 MB/s write
– 5 years warranty

Corsair was born many years ago as a manufacturer of internal memory for computer and its products are among the most reliable and performing. It is not surprising therefore that the Corsair’s flash memory are high performing and secure. The performance measured is 110 MB/s read and 30,35MB/s write, slightly lower than the values reported but it may depend on the formatting or on the hardware used. The price is very low and is 0.5$ per GB, for a very good performance. Sturdy capless housing with a rubber grip and lanyard loop.

32GB: Amazon US – Amazon UK  – Amazon CAN – Amazon IT
64GB: Amazon US – Amazon UK  – Amazon CAN – Amazon IT

Corsair Survivor Stealth USB Flash USB3.0 32Gb 200m waterproof

– Model: Corsair Survivor Stealth USB Flash USB3.0 32Gb
– Price: 34$27€ / 21£
– Speed: 80MB/s read – 40 MB/s write
– 5 years warranty
– Official webpage: Corsair Survivor Stealth

If you are looking for a USB flash drive practically indestructible and waterproof, this is the flash drive for you. Thanks to its hard-anodized, aircraft-grade aluminum housing this pendrive is water resistant to 200 meters, resistant to shocks and vibrations. Ideal for hanging on the key ring and be brought always with you in all weather conditions. Thanks to a long experience in the production of memory and components, Corsair have emerged on the market as a synonym for quality, compatibility and performance.

The declared performances are 80MB/s read and 40MB/s write, slightly lower reading speed compared to the pendrives described above, good value for writing. The price is a bit higher than the competitors with the same performance, but it is justified by the high resistance of this flash drive in which your data will always be safe.

32GB: Amazon US – Amazon UKAmazon CAN – Amazon IT
64GB: Amazon US – Amazon UK –Amazon CANAmazon IT

Kingston DataTraveler G4 32Gb

– Model: Kingston DataTraveler G4 32Gb
– Price: 15$ / 13€ / 10£
– Speed: 50MB/s read – 20 MB/s write
– 5 years warranty

Kingston Datatravelers G4 performances are 49,89 MB/s read and 19,84MB/s write, measured with CrystalDiskMark 3.0.  5-year warranty, Kingston is synonymous with reliability as it produces since its birth computer memories. Lower price for the 32GB version, less than 14 €, for a fee of € 0.43 per GB, great deal. Not coincidentally it is the best-selling pendrive on Amazon in Italy.

32GB: Amazon US – Amazon UK  – Amazon CANAmazon IT
64GB: Amazon US – Amazon UKAmazon CANAmazon IT

Lexar Jumpdrive S73 32GB

Lexar 16GB-2 benchmark– Model: Lexar LJDS73-16GASBEU Jumpdrive S73 32Gb
– Price: 12$ / 15£ / 20€
– Speed: 45MB/s read – 20 MB/s write

This USB 3.0 flash drive meets the stated performance exceeding them, in fact we have measured a performance of 45.92 MB/s read and 21,45MB/s write with CrystalDiskMark 3.0, and we have seen a steady 20,6MB/s write during transfer of a 1GB file from the computer to the key. Great for storing files, photos, movies, and so on, or used to view films or TV series streamed through a media player, a DVD player with USB, or anything with a Usb port.

32GB: Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon CANAmazon IT
64GB: Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon CANAmazon IT

Did you buy any of these? Did you try something different? Let us know on the comments below!


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10 Comments

  1. Tom

    This was supposed to be a review of fast thumbdrives. Why did you only review the slowest of the Lexar drives? They have several model lines that have been out for quite a while that are 10 X faster as the one you reviewed! Shame on you for just printing an advertisement for Sandisk. How much did you get paid for that.

    Reply
    1. mork

      I’m sorry to disappoint you, but i don’t get paid by anyone. These are just the pendrives that i personally tried, but if you have better choices you are welcome to indicate them here and in the future i will personally buy them, try them and review them. Thanks for your cooperation!

      Reply
  2. dave

    Corsair Survivor being durable is a joke. 9 times out of 10 the way a flash drive is damaged is it is bumped while plugged into the USB socket. Survivor’s metal tube enclosure does nothing to protect it against this. A FAR FAR more rugged flash drive is any random drive with a metal housing that is one piece with the USB connector shell integral to it. Practically any of those you can throw against a wall, run over with a car, drop it in your morning coffee every day and just get it dry before you use it again.

    Reply
  3. Josh

    I recently bought a SanDisk Extreme 32GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive (SDCZ80-032G-Q46) per your suggestions. I tested this pendrive with software “Flash Drive Tester V1.14″ on my Lenovo ThinkPad T440 with i5-4300M and Windows 10 Pro on a Seagate HDD (Seagate ST500LM021 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 2.5” Laptop Thin Hard Drive). The read speed is only 97.21MB/s. The write speed is 67.34MB/s. So I am just curious about how you got 257 MB/s read speed?

    Reply
    1. mork

      It depends on many factors, usb port, mainboard, hard disk (I have an ssd). Anyway 67MB/s as write speed is quite low, at my office I reach 114MB/s and it’s not a superfast computer, at home I reach better results. Try to test it a computer of a friend

      Reply
  4. Josh

    Okay. I tested this SanDisk Extreme 32GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive (SDCZ80-032G-Q46) with software “Flash Drive Tester V1.14″ again. This time I used my Lenovo ThinkPad Workstation W541 with i7-4800MQ 32GB RAM and Windows 10 Pro on a Seagate SSHD (Seagate 1TB Gaming SSHD SATA 8GB NAND SATA 6Gb/s 2.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive (ST1000LM014) ). The read speed is only 98.18MB/s. The write speed is 71.27MB/s. I used USB 3.0 port on this very powerful workstation. So I didn’t see any dramatic read or write speed difference with my T440. Would it be the tester mode, I have no clue what the test mode of the Flash Drive Tester v1.14 is set at. There is no button for me to toggle on it as I download online. Did you use sequential, 512K, or 4K mode for your testing on your CrystalDiskMark 3.0?

    Reply
  5. Steve Si

    The Lexar P20 is absolutely terrible when copying lots of small files to it. It is 45 times slower than the SanDisk Extreme!
    Try copying the contents of an XP ISO to it and you will see what I mean!
    It is fine on large files, just not small ones. Be warned!

    Reply

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