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Yan
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USB thumb drives: good or bad brands?

Fri Jan 27, 2017 8:56 am

Are there any USB thumb drive brands to avoid or to look for, or are they pretty much the same?
 
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Re: USB thumb drives: good or bad brands?

Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:09 am

I've stuck with the brand names (PNY, Sandisk, etc) and have never had a single reliability issue. They're so cheap nowadays that there's almost no point of buying off-brand drives.
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Re: USB thumb drives: good or bad brands?

Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:09 am

I've had good luck with Corsair, Patriot, and Sandisk drives, FWIW.
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Re: USB thumb drives: good or bad brands?

Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:23 am

My pile of random thumbdrives consists of a mix of PNY, Kingston, Verbatim, Transcend, and Silicon Power. They've all been reliable. One thing that is worth mentioning: Write speeds are absolutely dismal on anything that didn't quote write speeds in its specs; if the write performance doesn't suck they will mention it as a selling point! Just because something claims to be USB 3.0 doesn't mean you will get anywhere near the theoretical throughput.

Not sure if it is relevant to the thumbdrive discussion at all, but I HAVE had problems with both Kingston and PNY micro-SD cards. Excessive power consumption on the former, and premature failure on the latter.
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Re: USB thumb drives: good or bad brands?

Sat Jan 28, 2017 1:23 pm

Name brands, offbrands, and chinese knockoffs, take yer pick. As you drop down the list the quality of the NAND flash used drops significantly, so most of the chinese brands & knockoffs will probably have the NAND fail on you early. 

Sandisk still makes its own flash so I assume they still reserve the better quality chips for themselves. That said I've not had a flash drive die on me yet, the 256MB and 1GB Lexar thumbdrives I used ages ago in high school & uni still work, even despite getting washed multiple times  :)
 
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Re: USB thumb drives: good or bad brands?

Sat Jan 28, 2017 1:31 pm

IMHO, unless you're buying huge capacity ones that cost a lot, it's worth it to get the upper tier of brand names. Corsair, Kingston, Sandisk etc have all been good for me, but I tend to stick to Patriot for some reason.
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Re: USB thumb drives: good or bad brands?

Sat Jan 28, 2017 2:51 pm

Quite happy of my Transced Jet 720 (https://us.transcend-info.com/Products/No-620). Thumb sized, literally, metal body, shock and splash proof, no parts to break or lose*. Just add it to the key ring and forget about it.

Edit: replaced "it" link with "us" link.
 
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Re: USB thumb drives: good or bad brands?

Sat Jan 28, 2017 3:15 pm

I just had a generic 1GB cheapo sent to me with work data on it.  The disk failed after the second use I had done some of my parts of the work - I'll stick with name brands.

I am very happy with sandisk products.  I tie thin ribbons (Joanne Fabrics - 2 bucks a roll, many colors) around them to make them visible.  I have lost a few - due to my own lack of alertness.  The sandisk drives go thru the washing machine OK too ( 2 or 3 such mistakes - no issues).
 
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Re: USB thumb drives: good or bad brands?

Sat Jan 28, 2017 3:32 pm

My personal preferences are quite simple:
1. Lexar and Sandisk - I buy those
2. Everything else - I do not buy those.

Lexar P20 is my current "always in pocket" drive (cheap, don't really care if it breaks/I lose it). At just $30 (I think it was a discount) for 64 GB, it gets me around 100 MB/s write, and over 200 MB/s read. Lexar is Crucial's flash memory brand, which might explain why I never had any problems with their thumb drives and SD cards.
 
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Re: USB thumb drives: good or bad brands?

Sat Jan 28, 2017 3:57 pm

just brew it! wrote:
One thing that is worth mentioning: Write speeds are absolutely dismal on anything that didn't quote write speeds in its specs; if the write performance doesn't suck they will mention it as a selling point! Just because something claims to be USB 3.0 doesn't mean you will get anywhere near the theoretical throughput.

-definitely worth repeating. ..even *read* speeds can be pretty dismal in USB (SSD) drives the more "off-brand" you get.



(at the time I purchased it) - this line was one of the fastest w/ good value, with particular attention paid to reads and writes in the "4k" region - specifically for OS use (..though fast for other uses as well):
https://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-Extreme- ... B00KT7DOSE
(I actually purchased the 32 GB version, because the 64 GB version was substantially more expensive than it is now.)

HOWEVER..
IF you need something that has less potential to become corrupted then I'd recommend a write-protected drive, and as far as value goes - from Netac.  While it has the capability of being write protected (which might be useful to you), it also seems to offer protection from quick/careless removal from the system (when NOT write-protected). "Normal" drives don't seem to have that sort of protection. Of course "batch" failure rate can be high with any off-brand Chinese drive (and even several known-brands), so always be prepared for a failed drive within the first few days of use (..and take that into account when purchasing, and where/how you purchase - like return protection from Amazon Prime).
 
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Re: USB thumb drives: good or bad brands?

Sat Jan 28, 2017 4:37 pm

just brew it! wrote:
My pile of random thumbdrives consists of a mix of PNY, Kingston, Verbatim, Transcend, and Silicon Power. They've all been reliable. One thing that is worth mentioning: Write speeds are absolutely dismal on anything that didn't quote write speeds in its specs; if the write performance doesn't suck they will mention it as a selling point! Just because something claims to be USB 3.0 doesn't mean you will get anywhere near the theoretical throughput

+1 , I have a small collection and above caveat applies to all, including top brands and expensive models (e.g. because of capacity)

FWIW my favourite/trusted brand for flash is SanDisk, but pay attention to buy only from reputable source. Transcend is very good, too. And yes, above applies to both.
 
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Re: USB thumb drives: good or bad brands?

Sat Jan 28, 2017 4:46 pm

Just beware of fake drives for abnormally cheap prices, ex: http://www.ebay.com/itm/128GB-256GB-512 ... sXOopCPbYA

"1TB" for $13.99 is a total scam at the moment. These drives overwrite data after 4GB or 8GB (whatever the actual flash capacity is inside).
 
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Re: USB thumb drives: good or bad brands?

Sat Jan 28, 2017 5:53 pm

+1 for Lexar reliability. My most numerous are Corsair (grippy and easy to handle, but larger), SanDisk (presumably decent, the small ones run hot) and Mushkin (almost too small to pull out of USB slot with fingers).
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Re: USB thumb drives: good or bad brands?

Sat Jan 28, 2017 5:58 pm

MOSFET wrote:
+1 for Lexar reliability. My most numerous are Corsair (grippy and easy to handle, but larger), SanDisk (presumably decent, the small ones run hot) and Mushkin (almost too small to pull out of USB slot with fingers).

I like the job-issued Corsair with the keypad, but it violates size standards and blocks adjacent USB ports. Probably why I always carry a powered hub on the job.
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Re: USB thumb drives: good or bad brands?

Sat Jan 28, 2017 7:11 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
I like the job-issued Corsair with the keypad, but it violates size standards and blocks adjacent USB ports. Probably why I always carry a powered hub on the job.

At the opposite end of the spectrum (and speaking of not being standards compliant), I like the Verbatim "Clip" style devices for sneakernetting small files around, and for live/install images. I treat 'em kind of like a modern-day equivalent of floppy disks. I typically keep a couple of them in my pocket. Their write speed is pretty bad, but they're very compact (you can even stick them in your wallet). You do have to make sure you insert them the right way, since they only have what amounts to half a USB connector and can be accidentally inserted upside-down.
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Re: USB thumb drives: good or bad brands?

Sun Jan 29, 2017 11:08 am

nico1982 wrote:
Quite happy of my Transced Jet 720 (https://us.transcend-info.com/Products/No-620). Thumb sized, literally, metal body, shock and splash proof, no parts to break or lose*. Just add it to the key ring and forget about it.

I'll second this. I have a couple Transcend JetFlash 710s that can be carried with keys or clipped to a bag with a carabiner without fear of breaking. For USB 2 drives, I used to use the metal-body Kingston Data Travelers, but the reviews for the USB 3 Kingston drives indicated that they overheat. 
 
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Re: USB thumb drives: good or bad brands?

Sun Jan 29, 2017 12:00 pm

ordskiweicz wrote:
I just had a generic 1GB cheapo sent to me with work data on it.  The disk failed after the second use I had done some of my parts of the work - I'll stick with name brands.

I am very happy with sandisk products.  I tie thin ribbons (Joanne Fabrics - 2 bucks a roll, many colors) around them to make them visible.  I have lost a few - due to my own lack of alertness.  The sandisk drives go thru the washing machine OK too ( 2 or 3 such mistakes - no issues).

I like Sandisk as well, so this isn't a rip on them...  but I bought a three-pack of their Ultra 16GB not long ago, and one of the three doesn't work right out of the packaging.  Windows only sees it as having a few MB of space, and Linux (Mint) sees it as having the full 16GB but any attempt to write to it fails.  Have tried formatting it in both OS and no success.

I guess they all send out a bad one from time to time...
 
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Re: USB thumb drives: good or bad brands?

Sun Jan 29, 2017 12:11 pm

DancinJack wrote:
Corsair, Kingston, Sandisk etc have all been good for me, but I tend to stick to Patriot for some reason.

Maybe you're just patriotic ?
 
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Re: USB thumb drives: good or bad brands?

Mon Jan 30, 2017 2:54 am

There are vastly different qualities depending on such factors as NAND quality, controller chip, construction etc.

I am very pleased with the Transcend JetFlash 780 64GB and I recommend it without hesitation. If you don't care about getting something a bit bulkier and also need the space, I would also consider an external SSD. For ~$99, you get the Samsung 250GB T3 and it will certainly last much more than any thumb drive.

Generally, if you don't know what to get, buy the fastest drive at the capacity you need. Speed usually means a controller with multiple channels and good quality NAND. Cheap is usually not worth it, especially if you care about not losing data.
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Re: USB thumb drives: good or bad brands?

Mon Feb 06, 2017 3:24 am

I would reccomend Sandisk the most, stay away from cheap chinese knockoffs.
 
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Re: USB thumb drives: good or bad brands?

Mon Feb 06, 2017 3:43 am

screenwizard94 wrote:
I would reccomend Sandisk the most, stay away from cheap chinese knockoffs.

On a related note, just because something appears to be name brand doesn't mean it is the real thing. Buy from reputable vendors; if you see a "too good to be true" price from a random seller on eBay there's a fair chance it is a counterfeit. This has become a significant problem for thumbdrives and memory cards. Some counterfeits are merely of inferior quality; others have modified firmware that over-reports the real capacity of the device, so your "32GB" thumbdrive starts losing/corrupting data after you've written only 8GB to it.
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Re: USB thumb drives: good or bad brands?

Wed Feb 22, 2017 5:11 am

I totally agree actually, even though it might list a "brand name", people try to scam. On top of trying to scam with physical products, I've been seeing people recently scamming in terms of hacking and gaining access to privy information. Apologies about the off topic rant:)
 
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Re: USB thumb drives: good or bad brands?

Wed Feb 22, 2017 5:19 am

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