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Fastest thumb drive for less than $100?
August 21, 2012 1:53 PM   Subscribe

What is currently the fastest USB 3.0 thumb drive I can get for less than $100?

Any capacity, as long as it's 4+ GB. "Fast" in this instance is almost entirely focused on typical read times, not write times.

I'd love to have a pico-type drive that is very tiny and would fit easily on a key ring, but normal sized is OK if that's necessary for good performance.

I've noticed that most normal thumb drives suck for running an OS that isn't run entirely in RAM like Puppy Linux. They also seem terrible for loading things like Portable Python or Eclipse, which read many small files in order to load and run. I'd like to find a thumb drive that has read times on par with or better than your typical notebook hard drive, at least. Is SSD-type speed possible in this price range?

*Even if my diagnosis is wrong, I still am interested in getting the fastest thumb drive I can for < $100.
posted by jsturgill to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Lots of options here:

http://arstechnica.com/civis/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1169704
posted by wongcorgi at 2:02 PM on August 21, 2012


The Wirecutter's review is getting a wee bit old, but that just means that its recommended drive is cheaper.
posted by holgate at 2:04 PM on August 21, 2012


The problem with thumb drives in my opinion is that the drive controller part of it often fails (even though its cost is negligible compared to the cost of the flash memory) and you're stuck with a useless drive and possibly lost data. So I usually buy a cheap tiny microSD card reader and a microSD card, which would probably work with your case since there are high performance microSD cards and USB 3.0 card readers. It looks like there's not a lot of selection though and you might end up spending more than you would if you just get a high performance thumb drive. This kind of thing will probably get easier to do as USB 3.0 gets more widespread though.
posted by burnmp3s at 2:29 PM on August 21, 2012


Except the microSD only does ~90MB/s?

http://www.etechmag.com/2012/01/04/fastest-five-usb-flash-drives.html
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4523/usb-30-flash-drive-roundup/2

Seems like 150-200MB/s should be easily obtainable with 300s being the high-end...
posted by anthroprose at 5:14 PM on August 21, 2012


Any idea what the deal is with the super talent rc8 thumb drive? I don't see it at newegg or tiger direct. Why isn't it more widely stocked?
posted by jsturgill at 6:14 PM on August 21, 2012


Not sure if it's USB 3 or 2 (or 1), but Amazon has a sale on today only. Massive discounts on Sandisk.
posted by dobbs at 8:15 PM on August 21, 2012


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