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I am debating between buying 2 different 16gb flash drives. Is there a way to know the speed before buying them and running a software speed test on them? Related, aside from the speed, how can I know which of these 2 is best?

http://www.staples.com/SanDisk-Cruzer-Blade-16GB-USB-20-USB-Flas...

SanDisk Cruzer Blade 16GB USB 2.0 USB Flash Drive (Black)
Item: 642311 Model: SDCZ50-016G-B35

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http://www.staples.com/PNY-Attache-16GB-USB-Flash-Drive/product_...

PNY Attache 3 16GB USB 2.0 USB Flash Drive (Black)
Item: 864655 Model: P-FD16GATT03-GE

Member Summary

Flash Drive (1.65kB)
Thanks Neilium
Disclaimer

they are both USB 2, and both are top tier brands, i would expect the to have nearly identical, real world read/write speeds, i would purchase either


skh12 said:   they are both USB 2, and both are top tier brands, i would expect the to have nearly identical, real world read/write speeds, i would purchase either
I don't understand why you expect the read/write speeds would be identical just because of the brand names. Being a top tier brand doesn't imply top tier performance for all the brand's products. Both SanDisk and PNY manufacture a variety of flash drives, with vastly different performance for the models of each brand. The models mentioned by the OP are the economy line of each manufacturer and have at best average performance, with expected write speeds in the 4-6 MB/S range. Other models from both manufacturers have 4 times higher write speeds that are basically restricted by the USB 2.0 interface (typically around 20 MB/S, depending on the host USB adapter).

Just use a software, u can download from many sites.

Just use a software, u can download from many sites.

Windows comes with one
From the wiki on Readyboost

To test random reads (4096 for 4 KB):
winsat disk -read -ran -ransize 4096 -drive driveletter
For random writes (524288 for 512 KB):
winsat disk -write -ran -ransize 524288 -drive driveletter

OP, depending upon how you intend to use your flash drive, the speed differences might not be significant. Top speeds may be limited by the speed of your computer's USB 2.0 interface; on my computer, this is around 20 MB/S. Most flash drives, even the economy models, will have read speeds that are close to that. The big difference comes in write speeds, which may range from 3 to 20 MB/S. If you are filling up the entire 16GB, that means that it take as little as 20 minutes or as long as over 2 hours, but if you are only writing a few hundred meg, the time difference between the fastest and slowest drive may only be a minute or less. If you are mostly reading existing data from the drive (for example, viewing videos or photos) and rarely add new data, just about any flash drive will perform adequately. In that case, your decision should be based on price and quality. Quality/reliability is difficult to determine - you can search for reviews, but every product will have both fans and detractors, so you need to pay more attention to the percentage of good/bad reviews rather than individual reviews. Sticking with a major brand may be the best bet. I personally don't pay too much attention to warranties - if a drive fails I am more concerned about losing the data on it rather than getting a replacement drive that may also prove unreliable.

chuckster said:   skh12 said:   they are both USB 2, and both are top tier brands, i would expect the to have nearly identical, real world read/write speeds, i would purchase either
The models mentioned by the OP are the economy line of each manufacturer and have at best average performance, with expected write speeds in the 4-6 MB/S range. Other models from both manufacturers have 4 times higher write speeds that are basically restricted by the USB 2.0 interface (typically around 20 MB/S, depending on the host USB adapter).


the OP didn't ask about other models, and i in no way implied top tier performance, by top tier brand i meant warranty/reliability , but the 2 mentioned should have about the same performance, if the OP is so concerned with read/write speeds, shouldn't be looking at the economy line

skh12 said:   chuckster said:   skh12 said:   they are both USB 2, and both are top tier brands, i would expect the to have nearly identical, real world read/write speeds, i would purchase either
The models mentioned by the OP are the economy line of each manufacturer and have at best average performance, with expected write speeds in the 4-6 MB/S range. Other models from both manufacturers have 4 times higher write speeds that are basically restricted by the USB 2.0 interface (typically around 20 MB/S, depending on the host USB adapter).


the OP didn't ask about other models, and i in no way implied top tier performance, by top tier brand i meant warranty/reliability , but the 2 mentioned should have about the same performance, if the OP is so concerned with read/write speeds, shouldn't be looking at the economy line


You may have "meant" warranty/reliability, but that's not what you actually wrote. No one is claiming that you implied top tier performance. However, you do seem to imply that your expectation of identical read/write speeds was based upon two factors (that they are both USB 2.0 and that they are both top tier brands), since you gave no other reason for that opinion. I merely pointed out that the brand has little to do with read/write speeds, and provided the OP with what he requested - links to some actual performance data that illustrate that. Since you gave my links red, I guess you must disagree with them. No matter - they were intended for the OP, and he gave me green.



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