245 of 254 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SSD on a Stick
Before settling on the sandisk extreme, I looked at ALL the available options on the market for the past 2 years, from cheap little usb sticks, to actual stick format SSD's with big name controllers like SandForce under the hood. Most were either too expensive overall regardless of performance, or not worth looking at due to lack of performance.
Published 11 months ago by mrsteveman1
557 of 581 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fast but I had some issues
I have been using the SanDisk Extreme USB 3.0 (32 GB) flash drive for a couple of weeks now. My main uses for flash drives are (1) transferring files between work and home, and (2) running a portable web browser so that I don't have to use the one on my work PC. The browser is open all day long at work. During use, I have observed the SanDisk Extreme to be quite fast in...
Published 15 months ago by L. Kirk
Most Helpful First | Newest First
557 of 581 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fast but I had some issues,
This review is from: SanDisk Extreme 32 GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive SDCZ80-032G-X46 (Personal Computers)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Program (What's this?)I have been using the SanDisk Extreme USB 3.0 (32 GB) flash drive for a couple of weeks now. My main uses for flash drives are (1) transferring files between work and home, and (2) running a portable web browser so that I don't have to use the one on my work PC. The browser is open all day long at work. During use, I have observed the SanDisk Extreme to be quite fast in operation and to be a solid performer without any glitches or anomalies. I'm not as crazy about the ergonomics, but I'll get into that in a moment.
Here are the pros and cons I observed during my weeks of use.
Fast Performance: This is what you want to know. How fast is the Extreme? It is the fastest USB 3.0 flash drive I have used to date in overall use (I have used and reviewed a Lexar S73, a Lexar Triton, and the SanDisk Extreme, all in 32 GB size). Other reviewers will provide benchmark data. That's fine, but it's just not the whole story. I will provide real-world file copy times for a variety of file numbers and sizes for the SanDisk Extreme USB 3.0 (SE3), the Lexar Triton USB 3.0 (LT3), and a Lexar Jump Drive USB 2.0 (LJ2). All times are the average of 3 copy operations. I tested both USB 3.0 drives in USB2 ports as well; however, I did not test the USB2 drive in a USB 3.0 port since previous tests there have yielded worse times than in USB2 ports).
Here we go:
Size: 1 file, 666 MB
LJ2: 1m 51s
LT3: 10.9s (26.8s in USB2 port)
SE3: 10.9s (28.7s in USB2 port)
Size: 1 file, 103 MB
LT3: 3.1s (5.5 in USB2 port)
SE3: 3.0s (5.8s in USB2 port)
Size: 11 files in 1 folder, 272 MB
LT3: 8.2s (14.8s in USB2 port)
SE3: 5.6s (12.8s in USB2 port)
And the torture test (for me and the drive):
Size: 29,558 files in 4,107 folders, 954 MB
LJ2: 29m 40s to copy, 14m 54s to delete
LT3: 8m 12s to copy, 4m 8s to delete (12m 3s to copy, 5m 51s to delete in USB2 port)
SE3: 3m 9s to copy, 44.2s to delete (7m 22s to copy, 3m 33s to delete in USB2 port)
The 2 USB 3.0 drives are in a virtual dead heat copying a single file, whether smallish or large. As the number of files and folders increases, the SanDisk Extreme really pulls away from the Lexar Triton in performance. The Lexar has Read/Write speeds of 155 MB per s / 150 MB per s, vs. the SanDisk's speeds of 190 MB per s / 110 MB per s. So while the Lexar has a faster Write speed, the performance edge it gives is seen only when using the drive in a USB 2.0 port and then, only when copying a single file. SanDisk's faster Read speeds give it 2.6 times the speed of the Lexar drive in copying large numbers of files/folders in a USB 3.0 port. Compared to the Lexar Jump Drive USB2, the SanDisk Extreme gave file copy performance from 6 to 10 times faster with each used in their respective ports. In USB2 ports, the SanDisk Extreme still outperformed the Lexar Jump Drive USB2 by 3-4x.
Does What It Says: The promotion claims that it performs up to 10x faster than USB2. It does indeed. It even outperforms USB2 drives in USB2 ports. It is also faster in most operations than Lexar USB 3.0 drives.
Free 2GB Online Storage: I'm not much into cloud storage as storage, but if you are, SanDisk has a setup with YuuWaa to provide 2 GB free. Just `cause you're pretty, and they like you. (Registration required.) I wasn't able to actually test this feature, since the online storage is accessed via the Secure Access software that would not install on my PC.
Limited Lifetime Warranty: SanDisk says they'll stand by it as long as you own it, barring the usual abuse/misuse disclaimers.
Weird Retraction Mechanism: There is a weird time-delay when you slide the button to extend or retract the USB jack from the body. It slides, pauses, then clicks into a lock position. Maybe some sort of spring mechanism. It's like it's thinking about what to do when you slide the button. It scares me a little. What if it decided *not* to extend? Or to kill me in my sleep? I don't like my USB drives to have volition.
SanDisk Secure Access Encryption Wouldn't Install: I tried the version included on the flash drive, and downloaded another fresh copy from the web site. The encryption utility simply would not install. Keeps telling me I have to run it from the flash drive. Yes, I am running it from the flash drive.
Slightly Wide Body: The SanDisk Extreme is just a hair wider than the Lexar S73, and just a hair narrower than the Lexar Triton. In testing those drives, I observed problems fitting the drive into closely-spaced USB ports on some PCs (those that are horizontally - - mounted). The length is about 7.3 cm, about 5 mm longer than the Lexar Triton.
Creaks a Bit When You Squeeze: There is definitely some flex when you squeeze various parts of the body of the Extreme. The Lexar drives, even the plastic S73, seem more rigid and less creaky. To be fair, I creak a bit too when I'm squeezed in certain ways, so I can't fault the Extreme too much.
I'm thinking if you are reading this review, you are interested in a fast USB 3.0 flash drive. And if you've made it this far, you know that the SanDisk Extreme is fast, the fastest of 3 USB 3.0 drives I've tested. That's not exhaustive data, but in the course of this testing we learned that Write speeds are not the final word in a drive's performance: the Read speeds do make a difference as the conditions get more extreme. But speed is not the only feature SanDisk advertises here. They also promote the Secure Access Encryption, but this reviewer was unable to get the software to install on the test PC. So, if that is a factor that attracts you, keep this in mind. The construction seems durable but a little creaky, and the slide mechanism is just weird, with a delay-action in retracting/extending. If you can get the Secure Access to install, it gives you 2 GB online storage for free. The Extreme is as fast as it claims to be (10 faster than USB2), and it comes with a lifetime warranty. If the Cons don't bother you, it IS fast.
245 of 254 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SSD on a Stick,
Somehow I stumbled on this one while browsing around, and thankfully someone posted some benchmarks that showed the 4k read/write performance, which caught my eye. The 4k read/write numbers on these extreme 3.0 sticks are in another league compared to the competition, and while not up to the levels you would expect from a modern SSD, they're beyond respectable for a USB stick.
So I bought the 16GB model, and upon arrival instead of playing with benchmarks I set out to see why these things are so fast in ways other than large file transfer (which I don't care about, I never use these for storing large files but for booting operating system installation disks or live USB systems, cases where 4k performance matters).
So what did I find? This stick is essentially a single NAND device (probably with multiple die inside) paired with the same controller found on Sandisks U100 SSDs. While they aren't the leader of the pack, that controller is obviously FAR better than your standard USB stick flash management controller. So quite literally we have an SSD on a stick here.
If you pop the cover off this stick you will see the single NAND device, a slightly smaller square chip (the U100 controller) AND a 2nd chip, that 2nd chip is a SATA to USB3 bridge chip, necessary because the U100 controller itself is built for use on a SATAII or SATAIII interface, here the SATAII wiring seems to be in use, but that doesn't limit performance in my estimation.
Probably not the cheapest design but the payoff in performance speaks for itself.
So basically the layout is like this:
NAND <--> U100 Controller <--> USB3 bridge chip <--> USB3 connector
It's as if you stuck a normal 2.5" SSD in an external USB 3 drive enclosure, but much smaller.
If you want to check for yourself, these sticks also happen to support S.M.A.R.T monitoring commands. The controller does, and the little USB converter chip inside the stick also supports S.M.A.R.T, however the operating system of your choice may not support reading S.M.A.R.T info over the USB bus, I had to find a Mac OS X driver that could do it for me before it worked (it's on Github, called OS-X-SAT-SMART-Driver).
However that leads me to another bonus, due to the way this stick is designed, you can actually tell the controller to run S.M.A.R.T self tests, and you can see the wear level counter for the NAND and keep track of its lifespan, something that is pretty much unheard of on other USB sticks, but common on real SSDs in 2.5" drive housings.
I consider these things a steal for the price, a real SSD controller, quality NAND and S.M.A.R.T monitoring capability. I don't see any problem with the housing either it seems sturdy enough to me and I like the retracting connector (the entire board inside moves, so don't worry there are no ribbon cables to wear out inside).
72 of 84 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comes formatted Fat32. Must reformat to NTFS to store files larger than 4gb,
This review is from: SanDisk Extreme 64 GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive up to 190 MB/s SDCZ80-064G-AFFP (Personal Computers)When I got this drive, I tried to copy a large file to it, but it wouldn't copy. I kept getting an uninformative error message. I eventually learned (from my own research, since nothing about this was stated in the box) that this was because this drive comes formatted in the Fat32 file system, which allows a maximum file size of 4gb. If you want to store larger files on this drive, you must change the format to the NTFS file system.
To do this, you right click on the drive letter in Windows Explorer and choose "Format" from the menu. A dialogue box will open, and you must choose various options. Select the NTFS file system. If you choose "quick format," the formatting takes only a few seconds. I think if you want to check the drive for errors during the process, you should not check quick format, but the formatting takes much longer. From what I have read, it is usually recommended to use quick format unless you have reason to believe the drive is damaged.
Any files that are on your usb drive will be deleted during the formatting process, so copy them to another drive before you format.
A number of reviewers say they have not been able to format the drive to NTFS. Initially, I was unable to do it also. When I tried to format to NTFS, I right clicked on the drive and then clicked "Format," but the dialogue box did not allow me to choose any options and I could not change the file system to NTFS. So, I went to the Sandisk website for support. On their website, they say that in order to format the drive, you must first do the following:
Optimize the flash drive for performance.
1. Plug in the device to the PC.
2. Double-click My Computer.
3. Right-click on the flash drive, then select Properties.
4. Click the Hardware tab.
5. Select the SanDisk Cruzer USB Device disk drive, then click Properties.
6. Click the Policies tab.
7. Select Optimize for performance, then click OK.
The link to the Sandisk page is: [...]
After I did this, I was still initially unable to change the format. However, after I closed all my open Windows Explorer windows, and then reopened one (so I could right click on the drive), it allowed me to format the usb drive to NTFS.
Please note the following information from their website. First, a Mac computer can read files from a usb drive that uses the NTFS file system, but not write to it. (However, I understand that software is available that enables a Mac to write to a drive that is formatted NTFS, so this should not be a problem.) Second, after you do the 7 steps above, you will have to use Windows' "Safely Remove Hardware" feature before you remove the usb drive. If you don't, you may lose some data. It's possible that after you change to NTFS, you can undo the 7 steps, and not have to use the "Safely Remove Hardware" feature before you remove the usb drive. I don't know for sure.
Nothing about this Fat32 vs. NTFS formatting issue, nor the file size restriction of Fat32, nor the 7 steps that apparently must be taken in order to format the drive is stated in the box. I think they should include this information. For failure to do so, I deducted one star from this review. From a hardware standpoint, this seems like a good usb drive.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Monster Transfer Speeds,
This review is from: SanDisk Extreme 32 GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive SDCZ80-032G-AFFP (Personal Computers)I am now an owner of 3 of these drives, all 32GB. I have to say these are impressively fast drives, even on a USB2.0 bus. So many users are still using USB2.0 transfer speeds so I thought I would post a CrystalDiskMark benchmark and a real-world transfer comparison against the next fastest USB device I own, a Patriot XT Boost 16GB (USB2.0). A 'typical' upgrade you could say from last generation to current generation.
SanDisk Extreme 32GB - NTFS - Empty (USB2.0)
Sequential Read : 36.582 MB/s
Sequential Write : 30.700 MB/s
Random Read 512KB : 35.945 MB/s
Random Write 512KB : 22.678 MB/s
Random Read 4KB (QD=1) : 7.992 MB/s [ 1951.2 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=1) : 7.830 MB/s [ 1911.7 IOPS]
Random Read 4KB (QD=32) : 6.866 MB/s [ 1676.4 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=32) : 4.423 MB/s [ 1079.8 IOPS]
Test : 500 MB [A: 0.3% (0.1/29.8 GB)] (x4)
Date : 2012/12/28 11:28:29
OS : Windows 7 Professional SP1 [6.1 Build 7601] (x64)
Ver : CrystalDiskMark 3.0.2 x64
As you can see this drive caps out the transfer speed of the USB2.0 port on both sequential tests and random read 512Kb, probably random write 512Kb as well but I'm not familiar enough with the USB2.0 design architecture to make that statement.
Real-world test: (USB2.0 bus)
Decompress 'install.wim' from Windows 8 Pro x86 package located on SATA HD to USB drive.
Package contains 61,541 files in 13,011 folders with a total uncompressed size of 8,029 MB.
SanDisk Extreme 32GB - NTFS: Completed in 10mins 11seconds.
Patriot 16GB XT Boost - NTFS: Completed in 60mins 34seconds.
Both drives are connected to a USB2.0 bus. SanDisk is 6x faster! I will note Patriot is at a small inherent disadvantage due to being half as large as the SanDisk.
A note about running Windows 8 off a USB device (either core or Windows To Go)...this is THE drive to own. Even on a USB2.0 bus (which almost all computers but the newest still can only boot off a USB2.0 bus), this drive can still load programs faster than my workstation with a WD Raptor 10k SATA II drive. Other thumb drives may have better sequential read/write speeds but random 512kB and most importantly random 4kB read/write is paramount to fast operation of a Windows install to USB drive. Random 4kB read/write speeds in the 4.5-8 MB/s range is a monster spec (faster than 7200rpm platter disks, fyi).
A final note about this drive and to address some of the low ratings with regard to compatibility. If you want the most compatible drive, do not get the 64GB version, there are issues with USB controllers properly accessing 64GB USB drives. This is not typically a problem with the thumb drive but rather the hardware.
I have not used the SanDisk Secure Access feature so I have nothing to add there.
60 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 99MB/s read speed and a decent 60MB/s write speed,
The speed test is as follows:
SanDisk Extreme 3.0:
The test file is a 1.5GB file, and both USB drives are in FAT32 format as it is shipped.
A Macbook Pro Retina with 256GB SSD was used to do the speed test.
66 of 87 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars From Diamond to Sand, a Sandisk Journey,
This review is from: SanDisk Extreme 64 GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive up to 190 MB/s SDCZ80-064G-X46 (Personal Computers)Sandisk has always, ALWAYS been one of my favorite USB/Flash product makers up until about three years ago. But before I get into the review of this particular product, let me take you back a few years.
Approximately four or five years ago, Sandisk was just beginning their journey to flash drive market dominance. By constantly churning out products with both quality and usability (Sandisk Titanium and Sandisk Cruzer Contour), it is not difficult for any consumer to notice the time and effort Sandisk spend into designing and manufacturing their products.
When it was first introduced, Sandisk's flagship drive (Contour) bore some of the most astonishing designs the world has ever seen. Even the box that the Contour came in had a few jaw dropping sliding design elements to it. Sandisk even threw in a small carrying pouch, while the drive itself was double wrapped in small plastic bags to prevent shipping damage. The Contours I purchased way back then are still working perfectly today. To me, Sandisk was the icon of quality, design, and usability.
And poof it was all gone.
Sandisk's new flagship Extreme USB 3.0 drive (64GB) came in a box for a product of which you'd expect to find in a dollar store, poorly printed, easily crushable in some areas. By opening the box, you pull out a cheap, machine pressed plastic sheet with the drive sealed inside alone. Seeing this, I had a moment of doubt that I actually paid $100 for this thing. Cutting the plastic sheet open with a pair of scissors, the drive falls lightly into my hand.
It feels cheap. For $100, you'd expect to get a premium product with high quality components inside and out. This drive however, feels identical to those $20 Sandisk drives that are everywhere today. Wait, it does not, it is worse.
The first few times sliding the port in and out was interesting. Sandisk had built in a delay mechanism where you slide the port out about 80% of the way and the drive will eject it the other 20%. Sounds cool right? It is not. After a few uses, the drive started emitting a squeaking noise (similar to opening an older chip bag) every time it is slid in or out. It makes me cringe when have to use the drive.
Furthermore, the information printed on the back of the drive (S/N, Model Number, Storage Size, etc) is printed using the same method as Sandisk's other low-end drives. Those of us who have used them know with a certainty that the information rubs off after less than a month of pocket carry. It is not a big issue to some, but personally I will not accept this lack of attention to details on a high-end product.
Thankfully, that is about all of the drive's problems.
Once plugged into a native USB 3.0 port. The drive is BLAZING fast. Compared to a 2012 16GB Cruzer, which benched at:
4K Read: 7.45 MB/s
4K Write: 1.70 MB/s
Read: 30.33 MB/s
Write: 16.51 MB/s
It is safe to say that the new Cruzer 3.0 smoked it completely at:
4K Read: 33.29 MB/s
4K Write: 41.06 MB/s
Read: 197.00 MB/s
Write: 153.83 MB/s
As you can see, the new drive performs as promised; transferring GBs worth of files feels like cutting butter. Even fragmented file transfer performance is astonishing for a flash drive.
HOWEVER, please keep in mind that to get this speed, you must have A) A Native USB 3.0 port and B) An SSD to transfer data from. Otherwise the drive will be limited to 35.00MB/s read and 30.50MB/s write, or your HDD's read and write speed, whichever is lower.
Got an SSD and an USB 3.0 port? Good! But I will tell you that your friends and family will not have as awesome an computer as you. So keep that in mind before you make the decision to purchase.
Most of the current reviews stated a backwards compatibility issues. I am happy to report that I have not yet run into any problems testing it on 5 of my x64 Windows 7 Machines.
Cheap packaging -1/2 Star
Cheap materials -1/2 Star
Weird and unnecessary sliding mechanism -1 Star
No value added bonuses -1 Star
LIGHTNING SPEED +1 Star
Total: 3 Stars
Got an SSD and an USB 3.0 port? Lots of friends/family has equality capable equipment? Don't care about Sandisk's attention to detail? This drive is for you! Otherwise, go spend your $100 and buy an SSD instead.
So here it is folks, let me know what your thoughts are! I will update on the drive's reliability after 3 months of use.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SSD on a stick!,
This review is from: SanDisk Extreme 32 GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive SDCZ80-032G-AFFP (Personal Computers)Great googly-moogley, this thing is zippy! I didn't bother with the included Windows shovelware; I recommend you delete it and format the stick to your liking. My guess is that most of the negative reviews involve people trying to wrestle with said shovelware. There are better, free options for encrypting your data if you need that (google for truecrypt portable).
Out of curiosity (and because I'm a nerd), I ran hdparm on the stick to see what it was running under the hood. It promptly told me it was a "SanDisk SSD U100 32GB" - this is a controller Sandisk uses in some laptop drives! That's like lifting the hood of a Honda Accord, and finding a Ferrari engine underneath. If you wonder why this thing costs ~$40, it's because you are basically buying a sawed-off SSD.
(Note that according to the internets, this speedy controller is only used for the 32GB and the 64GB models; the 16GB uses a more "budget" controller and the performance reflects that.)
Look and Feel: It has an interesting mix of matte and glossy plastics that give it a sleek-yet-understated feel. It's like a souped-up version of their "cruzer" flash drives. The retraction mechanism has this smooth, positive-feedback clicky thing going on that I am now a big fan of.
This thing is just fast. Crazy fast.
21 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SDCZ80-064G-A75,
This review is from: SanDisk Extreme 64 GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive up to 190 MB/s SDCZ80-064G-X46 (Personal Computers)Fist of all, I bought a little bit different model (SDCZ80-064G-A75) of this flash drive from Staples (SanDisk Extreme USB 3.0 64GB). To help others to find out if they got a defective flash drive, I would advise to do the following on Windows based systems:
1. Plug in your drive to the USB3 or USB2 port (do not listen to other people, who are telling you that the USB3 drives will not work on USB2 ports).
2. If your flash drive is recognized by your computer, go to the next step. If not, there is a chance that you got a defective drive. Though sometimes Windows just cannot assign a letter to your flash drive on some reasons (you have connected a lot of network drives, the flash drive is not formatted in FAT/FAT32 or NTFS, etc.).
3. Copy all files from the flash drive to your hard drive (just in case if you need them in the future).
4. In Windows Explorer right click on the flash drive and select "Format" (make sure that "Quick Format" option is selected).
5. Click Start. It takes 5-10 sec to format your flash drive.
6. In Windows Explorer right click on the flash drive and select Properties - Tools - Check now ...
7. Make sure that both Check disk options are selected ("Automatically fix file system error" and "Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors").
8. Click Start. It takes a couple of minutes (on USB2 ports).
9. Check the results of your scan. If there are no errors/bad sectors, you are good to go.
Now about this flash drive. It does not feel cheap for me. I like the extractable USB connector (but actually it is a matter of taste). I quickly tested my flash drive on USB2 and USB3 computers and got the following results (the flash drive was formatted in NTFS) for the 2GB wmv file. Please note that Windows is caching the file during the copy process, but the results show that this flash drive is really fast and works even faster on USB2 ports than regular USB2 flash drives. I do not have SSD on my USB2/USB3 systems. On the USB2 computer I have RAID-5 (3 x SAS drives, 15K RPM). On the USB3 computer - a regular SATA drive (maybe that's why the USB3 results are not impressed, but still great):
USB2/WRITE: 250MB/sec at the beginning and 31.5MB/sec at the end.
USB2/READ: 58MB/sec at the beginning and 30MB/sec at the end.
USB3/READ: 303MB/sec at the beginning and 107MB/sec at the end.
USB3/WRITE: 122MB/sec at the beginning and 103MB/sec at the end.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars It was great until it died.,
24 of 32 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars SanDisk 64GB USB 3.0,
This review is from: SanDisk Extreme 64 GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive up to 190 MB/s SDCZ80-064G-X46 (Personal Computers)I've used many Sandisk products before with no complaints or problems, but this marks my first attempt at one of their USB 3.0 flash drives and I am severely disappointed with it.
Out of the box, it worked fine when I plugged it into a USB 3.0 port. However, everything went wrong immediately once I plugged it into a USB 2.0 port to test backwards compatibility. Windows recognized the drive but denied me access when I attempted to open it. After I reinserted the drive back into the USB 3.0 port, Windows informed me that the drive needed to be formatted. While I was surprised, I wanted to change the filesystem from exFAT to NTFS anyways, so I attempted to format the drive in windows. After about 20 minutes of inactivity, it mentioned that the drive was not ready, to which I heard the disconnect sound and found out the drive had disconnected itself. I plugged it back in and tried to format in DISKPART using an elevated command prompt. Whenever I tried to clear disk attributes and clean the drive, the Windows event logs mentioned that it could not successfully zero sectors. I have spent two entire days trying to get this dying drive to work. I've also tried to format it from the disk management utility with no success.
If I cannot get this drive working by tomorrow, I will definitely be returning it.
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