Best fast USB flash thumb drives

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raccoon city
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Best fast USB flash thumb drives

I did a bunch of research on these in November September of 2020.

The best fast USB flash drive that I could find is made by Mushkin.

mushkin

https://www.amazon.com/Mushkin-MKNUFDVS256GB-256GB-Ventura-Flash/dp/B00E10U36G

https://www.newegg.com/mushkin-enhanced-model-mknufdvs128gb/p/N82E16820226441

 

PROS

It has extremely fast read and write speeds.

I own three of them, and I think that they are reliable.

They're not that expensive.

The bodies are made of aluminum, so they shed heat well.

 

CONS

The caps falls off very easily.  I use duct tape to attach the cap to the tail, which means I don't use the cap to protect the head.

They cannot be used to boot a Windows PC, like many other flash drives.

They're hard to find in capacities other than 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB.

 

Do you know of any fast USB flash drives that are any good?

I'd like to get something cheap that is lower capacity (16GB would be nice) and will boot a Windows PC, but any recommendation is welcome.

Edited by: raccoon city on 06/08/2021 - 00:52
Couchmaster
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I got 3 of the Sandisk USB 3 standard 64GB that seem to be slower than claimed, but I haven’t measured throughput and it might be due to having a hand crank, manual kick start computer:-). Price was good, and most importantly, they are reliable and PC Magazine gave them a “top pick” due to reliability.

Stunning that 2 TB drives are out there for mid $40 range. Just crackers. Beats loading floppys in I suppose….

Here’s one claiming higher than 3.0 (550MB/s ) coming in at 1tb. https://www.amazon.com/ROKHY-Portable-External-Smartphone-Chromebook/dp/B082PG7Z1Z/ref=sr_1_13?dchild=1&keywords=fast+flash+drive+2tb&qid=1623125978&sr=8-13

Comparable to a 1tb solid state HD n price at $190.

raccoon city
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I have a SanDisk Extreme USB 3.0 64GB as well.

It's pretty slow, and although I didn't use it very much, it failed and doesn't work anymore.

I'm not going to get any more SanDisk USB flash drives.

Couchmaster
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Hmm, maybe time PC mag updated their reviews:-)

Hank33
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If I were to use it for backups I would go for the pricier ones. The other ones are okay for non critical stuff. I mean 128 – 256 gb of data if lost would be a pain.
I’m actually looking for ones that have a led in them. Makes it so much easier to gauge what’s going on. I don’t see many that have this feature anymore. Gotta keep looking. Smile

raccoon city
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I like reliable flash drives, but the data is not critical.

The data on my flash drives are also on at least one hard drive, so if the flash drive fails, I don't lose any data.

raccoon city
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Hank33 wrote:

I’m actually looking for ones that have a led in them. Makes it so much easier to gauge what’s going on. I don’t see many that have this feature anymore. Gotta keep looking. Smile

The Mushkin flash drives that I linked to have a red LED light on the tail that blinks when the drive is active.

If you duct tape the cap to the tail like I do, you cover up the light, so you could just keep the cap in a ziplock bag and never use the practically useless cap.

Alternatively, you could use clear duct tape (or other transparent tape.)  :BEER:

sp5it
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SSD M2 case with disk of size you need. Light years ahead fastest USB thumb drive.
Mike

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raccoon city wrote:

Hank33 wrote:

I’m actually looking for ones that have a led in them. Makes it so much easier to gauge what’s going on. I don’t see many that have this feature anymore. Gotta keep looking. Smile


The Mushkin flash drives that I linked to have a red LED light on the tail that blinks when the drive is active.


If you duct tape the cap to the tail like I do, you cover up the light, so you could just keep the cap in a ziplock bag and never use the practically useless cap.


Alternatively, you could use clear duct tape (or other transparent tape.)  alt=:" />

Really! I’ll look into it. Oh good tail cap trick too. Smile

raccoon city
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sp5it wrote:

SSD M2 case with disk of size you need. Light years ahead fastest USB thumb drive.
Mike

Those look quite a bit bigger than a thumb drive.

If I want to transfer data with something bigger than a thumb drive, I use a portable (laptop) hard drive.

It's nice that they're so fast, but I don't think my PCs can take advantage of the speed.

My gaming PCs are so old, that they can only transfer data a little bit faster than 100MB/s.

...

Seems like a good choice for someone else.  :THUMBS-UP:

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Best ones are the 32gigameg ones I get for free at MicroStore when they send out those postcards trying to luuuuure me back in.

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mattlward
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This is the fastest one I own…
ARCANITE

It is really fast in Windows, but on a Pi 4 running Debian 10 it is not seen as a SuperSpeed drive.

I have used these in Windows and Linux, the fastest I have worked with yet.
Corsair

If you use a Pi 4, this is the best way to go… SSD native case with active and passive cooling.
Argon 1 V2 SSD

EDC rotation:
FW1A, LH351D 4000k (second favorite)
FW3A, LH351D 3500k
FW3A, SST20 FD2 4000k
FW3A, Nichia 4000k sw40 r9080 (favorite light!)
FW3A, Cree XP-L Hi 5A3
Emisar D4V2, SST20 4000k
S2+, XM-L2 T6 4C

azj
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yea the corsair flash voyager series is my goto if I want speed
The pny 3.0 turbo attache series is also pretty good.

There’s a benchmark site at http://usbspeed.nirsoft.net/ but it’s not very user friendly

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Don’t get the ones on Vipon—They are Turds — They work great for giving someone software or a movie though

Lightbringer
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chops728 wrote:
Don’t get the ones on Vipon—They are Turds — They work great for giving someone software or a movie though

That’s about all I use ‘em for, just temporary storage or sneakernetting something from A to B.

What’s everyone else use ‘em for?

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sp5it wrote:
SSD M2 case with disk of size you need. Light years ahead fastest USB thumb drive.
Mike

^^^ what he said.

99% of “fast” USB 3 drives are only fast at sequential reads and writes (few large files), and choke HARD on lots of tiny files.

Actual fast USB drives will use actual SSD controllers. Or just get a m.2 to USB adapter and buy your own m.2 SSD (careful to check compatibility though)

sarge12
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What is special about this drive that you can’t boot to it if the boot files are loaded? Does a computer bios not recognize it?

sarge12
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Lightbringer wrote:
chops728 wrote:
Don’t get the ones on Vipon—They are Turds — They work great for giving someone software or a movie though

That’s about all I use ‘em for, just temporary storage or sneakernetting something from A to B.

What’s everyone else use ‘em for?


I use a flash drive to boot laptops to run and restore from Easus to do image files. It is rare, but in a day of ransomware, and the possibility of total failure of my SSD hard drive, I am somewhat paranoid about backing up my 5 most used laptops. I actually do a 1:1 clone of my most used one monthly. I keep image files for a year in case a corrupt file had been around longer than I knew. I have not done a traditional re-install in 10 years at least.
raccoon city
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@sarge12:

The flash drive uses a nonstandard sector size, and will not boot anything that I have tried on Windows 10 machines.

Here's the error message that I get:

nonstandard

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raccoon city wrote:

@sarge12:


The flash drive uses a nonstandard sector size, and will not boot anything that I have tried on Windows 10 machines.


Here’s the error message that I get:


nonstandard


OK…well Easus to do uses a modified linux file to boot, it is after all a program to recover from total hard drive failure, so windows has no effect. At boot, all that matters is the computers bios and whether the usb has a bootable operating system. It only has files to boot and load better USB files that will allow the usb to search an external usb hard drive for image file. You put in the usb stick and set the bios to boot to it, then after the simple OS and Easeus to do program loads in memory you unplug it and plug in any usb external hard drive to find the image file. It is almost like dos used to be. It may not boot into a windows boot, but as long as the bios can see the drive, it will boot to the modified linux boot. It is a pain to create the bootable stick, because easus to do does not just supply the necessary files and they are open source. I have never encountered any flash drive that I can’t make bootable. https://www.easeus.com/todo-backup-guide/winpe-bootable-disk.html It also makes that flash drive useful only for the boot drive, as it creates a boot file that does not play well with windows. It is made from an ISO cd file and it is not just very simple. It will boot even if there is not even a hard drive in the computer. It has been a while since I made about 5 of the bootable flash drives, so I would have to read up on how to do it now.
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sarge12 wrote:
I use a flash drive to boot laptops to run and restore from Easus to do image files. It is rare, but in a day of ransomware, and the possibility of total failure of my SSD hard drive, I am somewhat paranoid about backing up my 5 most used laptops. I actually do a 1:1 clone of my most used one monthly. I keep image files for a year in case a corrupt file had been around longer than I knew. I have not done a traditional re-install in 10 years at least.

Mmm, I hear dat.

I wanna do away with the last laptop by blasting it with a shotgun. No, seriously. I want it dead, killed and re-killed. Pissed me off no end…

Sticky keyboard (crap gets under the switch contacts, then either nothing or 5 copies of the same key), cat-hair already clogged the sucky fan/vents that it would overheat just looking at it, and I banged on it one too many times that the disk went all to shiite.

Thankfully, other than temporary files I didn’t yet copy offline and had to re-get), everything of importance was already off the main drive. Just stragglers here and there.

I keep install .exes/.msis/.zips so if needed I can get back the exact version as what I had. Used to keep all those on a “rescue-flash”, but now all that’s on spinny-disks.

So, didn’t take very long to get resettled on a different laptop.

But yeah, my gf’s old laptop that was taking a slow but progressive dump, yeah, I stuck Ubuntu-live on a flash-thingy and pulled off everything I could, most important, then pretty important, then important, etc., ‘til the disk just went teats-up completely.

 

I figured they were good for sneakernet connections, but who’d actually “store” stuff on them?

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sarge12
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Lightbringer wrote:
sarge12 wrote:
I use a flash drive to boot laptops to run and restore from Easus to do image files. It is rare, but in a day of ransomware, and the possibility of total failure of my SSD hard drive, I am somewhat paranoid about backing up my 5 most used laptops. I actually do a 1:1 clone of my most used one monthly. I keep image files for a year in case a corrupt file had been around longer than I knew. I have not done a traditional re-install in 10 years at least.

Mmm, I hear dat.

I wanna do away with the last laptop by blasting it with a shotgun. No, seriously. I want it dead, killed and re-killed. Pissed me off no end…

Sticky keyboard (crap gets under the switch contacts, then either nothing or 5 copies of the same key), cat-hair already clogged the sucky fan/vents that it would overheat just looking at it, and I banged on it one too many times that the disk went all to shiite.

Thankfully, other than temporary files I didn’t yet copy offline and had to re-get), everything of importance was already off the main drive. Just stragglers here and there.

I keep install .exes/.msis/.zips so if needed I can get back the exact version as what I had. Used to keep all those on a “rescue-flash”, but now all that’s on spinny-disks.

So, didn’t take very long to get resettled on a different laptop.

But yeah, my gf’s old laptop that was taking a slow but progressive dump, yeah, I stuck Ubuntu-live on a flash-thingy and pulled off everything I could, most important, then pretty important, then important, etc., ‘til the disk just went teats-up completely.

 

I figured they were good for sneakernet connections, but who’d actually “store” stuff on them?


Except some 4-8 TB external drives for long term storage, all my drives are SSD. I have over 30…mostly samsung and crucial…SSD’s between 500GB and 2TB. I have 5 laptops I use, and more that I don’t due to them dying. I used to have 5 identical dells, that I could swap the drives between them, All but 2 of the dells are dead, and most due to the same BSOD that is a known issue with the dells, caused by weak solder on the MB. My fastest one is now a gaming laptop with 3 SSD drives…2 NVME and 1 SATA. It actually had 3 drive slots. Unfortunately, this beast was too much to buy multiple laptops, so now I have some cheaper ones that has mostly the same programs and files. Still have 2 of the dells, but they both have the same issues starting that the other 3 died from. I have 2 other cheaper, lighter laptops.
Lightbringer
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I run all my laptops pretty much into the ground. Anything “too old”, I’ll use for 24/7 disk activity and other torturous stuff, and if it crokes, it crokes. And all of them were hand-me-downs from people or work, and I think only once did I buy one “new”.

Always thought of laptops as disposable anyway, doesn’t pay to fix, so why spend big bux only to have something go teats-up and then hope any “warranty” comes through? Gnope. I take ‘em as junk, treat ‘em as junk, run ‘em into the ground, then rinse, repeat.

Whups, nope, sorry, I do have one that I bought new. Dual-disk HP, gaming machine only, typically only my flightsim, never ever saw Duh Innernet, not even a peep.

Wow, forgot I even still have it…

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raccoon city
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I'm in charge of three computers.

Each of them has one SSD, the system drive.

I do research every time, but I always end up getting the latest Samsung EVO.

All of the other hard drives are the traditional type.  :BEER:

raccoon city
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I get computers new.

I'm done getting laptops, though.

Very simple hardware repairs for a desktop can be very difficult for a laptop.

The insides of laptops are really fragile, and I consider them toys.

If you have the room for a desktop and you don't need something portable, I say avoid laptops.

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@racoon city…Years ago, I used to build my own desktop computers. It was fun, and always unique. Then my spinal cord damage and disability changed everything. Ten minutes after sitting at a desktop resulted in pain. The laptop, I can use from bed. My Evoo gaming EG-LP5-BK is very easy to get into to upgrade..change drives, add memory, etc. It came with 1 drive, but I replaced it with a Samsung 970 Evo 500 GB, and added a 1TB Sabrent Rocket, and a 1TB SATA Crucial SSD. The Samsung and Sabrent are bothe MVME, and the Crucial is in the SATA only space. 1 of the 3 slots in that laptop can use either NVME or SATA M2 2280 which is the same physical size as NVME, but SATA speed. Why anyone would put a slower Sata drive in that slot I have no idea. Most of my SSD hard drives are SATA EVO 860 or even samsung 850 pro. My older laptops did not have NVME drive bays, so I bought a ton of those Sata SSD drives when on sale. Most are now in external hard drive enclosures. The Samsung 970 has a twin that I use for a backup and take the existing drive out monthly to put in a stand alone NVME drive duplicator which makes a perfect clone. I then trade them out for a month. The bottom of the Evoo is super easy to remove for access, which is why I chose it, as I am not a gamer. It is blazing fast for a laptop and even has a real video card 1660 ti with 16 GB memory that can be 32 GB if I ever needed to upgrade it. So far, no reason to add ram, as 16 GB is a lot of ram. I can backup the 970 to image files on the rocket or SATA drive without even taking off the bottom. The Samsung is the boot drive, but the laptop came with a SATA M2 2280 drive in that slot which was the boot drive. Changed that day 1 to get the much faster NVME. The only thing I ever use flash drives for now is small file transfer and as a boot drive for image restore. I do image backups at least weekly to the sabrent or crucial. The clone of the boot drive is just so I can easily defeat any virus or ransomware attack, even if on all 3 drives. The evoo was a bargain for what it is, and is the easiest to upgrade of any laptop ever used by me. 9 screws and the bottom comes off and everything plugs in. Easy as a desktop even to add and remove drives.

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we use laptops, but also use external keyboards at home.
you know, where we eat and drink and contaminate the keys.

as a result, we usually only have to clean the keyboard
without worrying about the laptop’s internals.

at home, we use external monitors, too.

raccoon city
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Yep, we use USB keyboards with our laptops as well.

Laptop keyboards are too small, and are not high-profile.

Also, it's way easier to replace an external keyboard than the built-in laptop keyboard.  :BEER:

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I'm also looking into a faster flash drive. I decide to go for the Sandisk Extreme Pro 3.2 flash drive. Something with fast Read/Writes and this one sure has it. 420MB/s read and up to 380MB/s write! It's a bit pricey but I need ease of use, reliability and performance. laughing It goes for $79 CAD. Amazon Canada

 

I thought of getting the Samsung T7 but lost of complaints about heat issues and shut downs. Sure for only $30 more and get double capacity but I'm looking for ease of use and portability so I skipped the Samsung. It goes for $104 CAD. Amazon Canada