Saturday, August 22, 2015

Quick review: 32GB PNY Micro Metal Attaché USB Flash drive

Today, i was thinking to get a new small USB flash drive to keep in my pocket, my choice went for the PNY 32GB USB-2.0 Micro Metal Attaché: P-FDI32G/APPMT2-GE
Why choosing a 2.0 flash drive?
... When 3.0/3.1gen1 are available and 3.1gen2 will come soon...
  • Price : 19€ for 32GB
  • My laptop is from 2011, it doesn't feature any 3.0 host...
  • I already have an EMTEC 16GB USB 3.0 flashdrive when i need high speed on compatible computers
  • Will USB type-C flash drives come soon??
Form factor and characteristics
  • Size: 18 x 12 x 7mm, 5g, this is quite small and light, perfect for my needs here; it is quite smaller than my little 16GB EMTEC of the above picture
  • Reliability :
    • 2 years warranty, Data retention: 10 years.
    • Write/erase cycles: 10,000 minimum.
    • It doesn't look rock solid (the metal part is really thin), really looks cheaper than the LaCie 16GB Key.
    But something interesting is written on the back of the box:
  • Speed (theoretical):
    • Write Speed: up to 8MB/s
    • Read Speed: up to 25MB/s
  • Speed (real-life): With 10MB files (the benchmark default value), we get 18.2MB for Read speed, and 4.5MB/s for Write speed, far below the theoretical values... !

    With 100MB files, we get some better results R:21.9MB/s, W:9.7MB/s:

    With 1GB files (only 10 tests, not to spend the whole day waiting...)R:22.4MB/s, W:11.4MB/s:

    Let's see how it behaves with small files :
    With 1MB files R:17.8MB/s, W:566.3kB/s:

    With 4MB files (approximate size of a song or a 12MPx picture):

    So, we can see that small size file are pushing the flash drive to its limits, resulting in very low speed (566kB/s!!!); Storing larger files shows better results (as good as the theoretical speed announced by the brand)
Pros ... and Cons
  • + Nice size and weight
  • + doesn't protude much from the computer USB host
  • + Average speed is OK for medium and large files
  • - Extremely low speed for small files, cannot be really used as a liveUSB medium (my USB3.0 EMTEC 16GB gets R:35MB/s W:10MB/s with 10MB files on a 2.0 host!)
  • - Not very tough construction, might not survive for years?

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