What is the fastest USB flash drive I can get my hands on?
February 21, 2009 11:08 AM   Subscribe

What is the fastest USB flash drive I can get my hands on?
posted by parttimeninja to Technology (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
The Lexar JumpDrive Lightning has a good reputation for that.
posted by tybeet at 11:30 AM on February 21, 2009

Enthusiast sites like Anandtech and Tom's Hardware and whatnot run tests every once in a while. Here are a few. (Google tip: add words like 'shootout,' 'comparison,' 'roundup' or 'conclusion' to your search phrases. Or just include the names of three or four different brands).

But first, you'll have to decide what kind of performance is most important to you, and exactly what you mean by 'fast'--read speeds and write speeds are different, and many small files are different than one big one.
posted by box at 1:50 PM on February 21, 2009

Depending on how you define "fastest" and "USB flash drive" the OCZ Throttle probably takes the crown in eSATA mode - The Throttle will connect to an eSATA port, and I've seen read speeds upwards of 90MB/s when connected this way. Speeds while connected through just USB were pretty decent, but I can't recall the exact results.
posted by Rendus at 2:13 PM on February 21, 2009

Another thing: there's some prestige in having the fastest drive, and so the crown changes hands pretty regularly. And there's usually a price premium associated with wearing it, not dissimilar to the price premium that comes with having the largest capacity possible.

That said, when I was on a similar hunt a little while ago, I ended up buying the Patriot Xporter XT that JonB mentions.
posted by box at 5:03 PM on February 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

OCZ pretty much runs this show these days, but it's a serious competition, and a serious price premium. However, USB2 pretty much maxes out at 60MB/s, so we're going to hit the wall on this race very quickly at least until usb3 comes out, or you're willing to use two usb ports and setup raid0. That, or the OCZ throttle mentioned above which uses eSata, which will most like be the future of external storage.
posted by Freen at 6:06 PM on February 21, 2009

OCZ Turbo Rally 2 is the leader at present, with 35MB/s read and 30MB/s writes. Though, as mentioned above, if you want to optimize for writes, you can get faster.
posted by Freen at 6:08 PM on February 21, 2009

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