Three Flash Drives Tested 03/23/2013
This review is from: SanDisk Extreme 64GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive Model SDCZ80-064G-A75
Three of the more popular **high performance** USB 3.0 flash drives are: the Kingston HyperX, the Lexar Triton, and the SanDisk Extreme. I ordered one 64 GiG version of each to benchmark (all formatted NTFS). Analyzing with CrystalDiskMark and AS SSD benchmark software, there was no single outright winner in all categories.
In the sequential read speed test, the Kingston HyperX was the clear winner (216.15 MB/s), followed by the SanDisk Extreme (179.01 MB/s) which edged out the Lexar Triton (177.20 MB/s) by a hair. All three were fast.
In the sequential write speed test, the Lexar Triton was the clear winner (127.50 MB/s), with the SanDisk Extreme second (118.34 MB/s) ) and the Kingston HyperX third (103.20 MB/s
In the 4K random read test, the Sandisk Extreme was the clear winner (9.130 MB/s) with the Lexar Triton second (7.970 MB/s) and the Kingston third (6.479 MB/s).
In the 4K random write test, the SanDisk Extreme measured an amazing (5.198 MB/s), while the Kingston measured (0.932 MB/s) and the Lexar Triton measured (0.379 MB/s).
Real world tests: In copying a folder with 8.24 GiGs of random information (video files, audio files, program files, documents, etc.) from a Crucial 256 GiG SATA III SSD, the SanDisk Extreme completed the task in 88 seconds, the Lexar Triton 132 seconds, and the Kingston HyperX finished in 161 seconds. The SanDisk Extreme was the overwhelming winner in this area.
(Notes: I ran each of the above tests 3 times on each drive and got results that varied as much as 5% from run-to-run. I am posting the best figures I recorded for each drive. Additional information: Lexar will soon be delivering their new P10 series of flash drives which have better advertised specs than any of the three drives I have tested here.)
See "other thoughts."
The Lexar scores points for elegance/style while the Kingston gets the nod for pizzazz/star-trek-look. The (relatively) plain Jane SanDisk loses badly in this department (appearance wise, you might say the Lexar is the Bentley, the Kingston is the Ferrari, and the SanDisk is the Ford Pinto.) The Kingston has a removable cap while the SanDisk and Lexar both have retractable plugs. Additionally, the enclosures of the Kingston and Lexar are of far "beefier" construction. On the other hand, the SanDisk is the lowest in price of the three (about 40% less than the Lexar and about $12.00 less than the Kingston) which makes it a comparative bargain with respect to price/performance. The performance of all three was (vastly!) superior to the cheaper USB 3.0 drives you normally find in warehouse clubs, office supply, or big-box stores.
Width may matter if your laptop has two USB ports that are side-by-side. The Kingston measured 0.9" (23.1 mm) wide, the Lexar comes in at 0.86" (21.9 mm), and the SanDisk is 0.84" (21.4 mm). All three would plug into the second USB 3.0 port next to a USB mouse connector on a HP dv7t laptop (with port spacing of 0.20"/5.1 mm at their closest points). None of the three (not even two SanDisk Extremes) would fit side-by-side in the same two adjacent ports. (Memo to laptop manufacturers: I don't fault the flash drive manufacturers here so much I do you. An additional 0.25" spacing between the USB ports would easily solve this problem.) Fortunately, many laptops have USB ports on both sides (albeit not all may be USB 3.0 ports).
The Lexar Triton and SanDisk Extreme both come with limited lifetime warranties; the Kingston HyperX has a 5 year warranty.
My conclusion: Each of these three drives has its particular strengths and weaknesses (but none of the weaknesses are deal breakers). In everyday use, the average consumer is unlikely to notice much in the way of practical performance differences between any of these three. I would unhesitatingly recommend any of these drives to friends.
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