42 USB 3.0 memory sticks, reviewed: from painfully slow to lightning fast

Which USB sticks are really fast?

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Recommendations

We determined the overall performance index of each memory stick by taking the geometric mean of the four test scores and normalizing it. Sandisk's Cruzer Extreme 64GB and Sharkoon's Flexi-Drive Ultimate 64GB top the charts, with both having a score of 100 points. Patriot's Supersonic Magnum 64GB is close behind. Remarkably enough, Sandisk's offering is easily the cheapest of the three, with an average price of $58 / £41 / €58 (or around 91 euro cents per GB). Moreover, this memory stick also boasts to most balanced read and write speeds. It's recommended for daily, intensive use and as such receives an Excellent Choice award.

The fastest 32 GB memory stick also happens to be a Sandisk Cruzer Extreme model, with a score of 83 points. After conversion, we find that this stick costs a little over a euro per GB. This 32 GB model also receives an Excellent Choice award. That also goes to the Sandisk Extreme Pro 128GB, which turns out to be the fastest 128 GB stick. Although the performance score of the Corsair Voyager GTX 128GB is almost just as high, Corsair's offering strongly depends on its extremely high read speeds, whereas Sandisk's memory stick takes a more balanced approach.

For those who would rather spend a bit less, Kingston appears to be the brand of choice. When choosing a maximum of 70 euro cents per GB (click here to view a table with information on those products that qualify), the HyperX Fury 64GB turns out to be the fastest 64 GB stick, and the HyperX Fury 32GB the fastest 32 GB model. They have fine test results and reach scores of 69 and 55 points, respectively. With average prices of $39 / £28 / €39 and $22 / £16 / €22 (or 61 and 67 euro cents per GB), these sticks are indeed quite affordable. Regrettably, they do come with a removable cap, but that's inevitable given the sticks' price point and performance level. If you want to save even more money, you'll have to settle for substantially lower performance. Not a single 32 GB USB stick that costs less than $20 / £14 / €20 manages to score more than 30 points.

Like we mentioned previously, the "mini sticks" don't excel in performance. When taking a look at the scores of the Corsair Flash Voyager Vega, the Sandisk Ultra Fit, and the Transcend JetFlash 710S, Sandisk's offering boasts the best performance, but it still can't hold a candle to the larger models. As such, they're only good choices if you really need a teeny weeny memory stick for some reason.


Sandisk Cruzer Extreme 32GB
Sandisk Cruzer Extreme 64GB

Sandisk Extreme Pro 128GB


Kingston HyperX Fury 32GB
Kingston HyperX Fury 64GB


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42 products discussed in this review

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