Sandisk Extreme USB 3 Flash Drive Review

The Extreme USB 3.0 Flash Drive, by Sandisk

The Extreme USB 3.0 Flash Drive, by Sandisk

Breaking News – SneakerNet speed catches up to Gigabit ethernet!

You know those cheap-to-reasonably priced USB Flash Drives that you have?  The one’s that take 5-10-15+ minutes to do a large file-copy.  They suck.  I know, because – like you – I have a bunch of them laying around.  These are the flash drives you can pick up on sale at Best Buy, Staples, etc… “16GB for $14.99!”.  There are a couple of those sitting on my desk.  Garbage.  I have a really nice 32GB’er that’s made of metal and fits on my key ring.  But it’s glacially slow.  I hate these things.  People, it doesn’t need to be like this.  Life is too short for a number of things, and waiting for flash drives is amongst them.

An old USB 2 Sandisk Cruiser, brutally slow.

An old USB 2 Sandisk Cruiser, brutally slow.

Enter the Sandisk Extreme USB 3 series flash drives.  They are reasonably priced, you can find them online for a around $1/gigabyte, and they are fast.  Very fast…

Writing 11GB in about 90 seconds.

Writing 11GB in about 90 seconds.

This approaches hard drive speeds for transfers, for reads and writes, and on a price-for-performance scale, these Sandisk flash drives are an incredible bargain.  While the Sandisk Extreme flash drives cost about 25% more than similar sized USB 2 flash drives, they are 8-10x faster, when used in a USB 3 port, of course.  However, it’s not just the upgrade to USB 3 that gives the Sandisk Extreme’s their speed, but higher quality flash memory as well.  Testing shows that, when plugged into a USB 2 port, the Sandisk Extreme is still between 4-6x faster than a USB 2 flash drive.

The case is pretty nice, but could certainly be better.  The slider to extend and retract the USB interface is a significant upgrade from previous generations of Sandisk flash drives, and will actually stay in place.  It has a notch for a key ring, but really isn’t slim or small enough for that.  If you are tired of waiting and waiting for USB flash drives, but don’t want to spend too much money, the Sandisk Extreme USB 3 flash drives are the best deal going.

Mike Knotts

Mike Knotts was born in 1968 in a small town in southern Indiana. Even when very young, Mike showed a love for all-things technical and sci-fi. Moving with his family to California in the early 80's, he eventually graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a degree in History. Rather than put that to good use, Mike continued to pursue his passion for technology by working for early, regional ISP's in the mid 1990's. He currently resides in the Pacific Northwest, where he works as a project manager for an Internet startup. Mike is a co-founder of Geekometry.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *