This article first appeared in HWM Sep 2012.
USB 2.0 was great while it lasted. But in the case of external storage, when capacities started hitting multiple tens of gigabytes, USB 2.0 just couldn’t keep up. Spending more than a couple of minutes waiting for data to copy from computer to flash drive became a chore. Thankfully, USB 3.0 is here to the rescue. Or in the case of SanDisk, it’s the Extreme USB 3.0 flash drive series.
For all functional purposes, this is nothing more than a flash drive, except that it now comes with all the speed benefits that USB 3.0 has to offer. And fast this drive certainly is.
Testing with Crystal Disk Mark, the Extreme USB 3.0 clocked sequential read and write speeds of about 159MB/s and 156MB/s respectively, miles ahead of the best USB 2.0 flash drives which max out at about an eighth of that. It’s interesting to note that our tests were done on the 64GB variant, which comes somewhat close to SanDisk’s rated speeds of 190MB/s and 170MB/s respectively. It’s even more interesting that while the rated read speed remains constant across all capacities offered (i.e. 190MB/s), the rated write speed drops to 110MB/s for the 32GB variant, and down to a mere 55MB/s on the 16GB drive.
SanDisk throws in a limited lifetime warranty on this line of flash drives, and also includes 2GB of online backup via the YuWaa cloud storage service. You also get SanDisk SecureAccess software for 128-bit AES encryption to secure your data.
S$140 isn’t cheap for just 64GB, but for your money, this is quite likely the fastest flash drive you can buy.