SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB Flash Drive
SanDisk's latest flagship flash drive
Published: 4th July 2014 | Source: SanDisk |
We remember the old days when flash drives were first released. They were the days when half of the people still used floppy drives, and writeable CDs were expected to be the next big thing - and to an extent they were! Even 64MB flash drives would set you back over £100 and when a single writeable CD could hold 700MB, £100 seemed a large expense for a little more convenience. However, even back then it was easily apparent that flash drives were going to be the future of data transfer and to an extent, storage too. Nowadays, floppy drives are almost unknown to the younger generations, and many of those won't remember the days of writing data to a CD in order to back it up or transfer it between different systems.
We've seen a huge increase over the past few years in the amount of data flash drives have been able to store. Even as few as 4 years ago 8GB of storage on a flash drive seemed quite a lot, whilst now 8GB or 16GB seem to be the standard. A few weeks ago we even reviewed a 512GB flash drive from Kingston which we think really shows the potential future of memory sticks. However, today we've got something a little more within budget than the 512GB offering from Kingston, with Sandisk's 128GB Extreme Pro USB3.0 flash drive.
The memory stick has a full unibody aluminium shell, with a plastic slider down the middle to retract and push out the USB port. The SanDisk Extreme Pro feels high quality, and very durable, unlike a lot of memory sticks we've seen in the past. The slider is also spring loaded itself which does make the mechanism feel like it's been made well, and means you don't have to force it. In the past, sliding mechanisms have usually been made of plastic, and have often been a little fiddly to operate.
We ran the SanDisk Extreme Pro through a series of tests which are designed to give a guide to the read and write speeds under normal use, and also act as a comparison to other flash drives and SSDs.
Our first test with Crystal Disk Mark shows the sequential read and write speeds the flash drives are able to run at. We're impressed by just how much the SanDisk beat the £650 Kingston 512GB, and also it proves itself against a more standard opponent by performing over twice as well as the Lexar.
Again in the sequential tests we see the SanDisk trumph over the other options. The Samsung 840 Pro is a long way ahead which is to be expected, but the SanDisk does still significantly beat the other flash drives.
When we come to the IOPS tests, the SanDisk doesn't perform quite as well on the read speeds. This is the only test we've seen the Kingston 512GB flash drive beat it in, even if it is only by a small margin. However, when we come to the read IOPS, the SanDisk performs exceptionally well and scores five times better than the Kingston.
If you're in the market for a high capacity and fast memory stick, then this is certainly a great choice. The results do show just how great the memory stick can perform with around 260MB/s read speeds, and 240MB/s write speeds which is exactly what is displayed on the box. It is interesting that this performs significantly faster than the £650 512GB flash drive from Kingston, and that's certainly a large plus point. We can't argue that Sandisk have got things completely right on the performance side of things, and they have brought out a great product.
The build quality is also a large factor with memory sticks. Too often we've had memory sticks made out of plastic that have just fallen apart very quickly, and even had their plastic USB ports crumble away. You certainly get no such feeling with this. Of course it isn't going to be as durable as something like a Corsair Survivor but since that comes with a dedicated external metal shell; you'd be a fool to expect the Sandisk would be able to withstand being run over by a car. But, for day to day use, the Sandisk is superb quality - its metal casing appears durable and looks good.
We've seen in the past many memory sticks that have a sliding mechanism which is able to push out and retract the USB port. Most of the time, these are plastic and require a fair amount effort in order to operate. The Sandisk however is one of the best sliding mechanisms we've used. It feels high quality, mainly down to being spring loaded at each end, and since this is an upmarket product we would expect high quality throughout.
So, now we've established that the product is high quality, we do feel we should cover the main issue we have with it; the price. We found a single shop offering the Sandisk Extreme Pro for £90, whilst all other shops had it listed for over £100. When Kingston offer a similar product for £38 - 128GB USB3.0 memory stick - albeit made of plastic and without any reference to speeds at all, it's safe to assume it won't be near as fast as the Sandisk, it still does make the Sandisk very expensive given what is already available in the market.
However, with its quality and great speeds the Sandisk Extreme Pro is most likely more aimed a specific group of people, rather than the entire population. Users looking for a memory stick that are perhaps in the music industry, or working a lot with videos will most certainly benefit from the faster speeds and a high quality metal construction would definitely be a must, and for users like this, the price probably won't be that much of an issue.
We've decided to award the Sandisk Extreme Pro 128GB USB3.0 Flash Drive the OC3D Silver Award. Great quality, looks and performance definitely go along way, but with the price taken into consideration, we do have to take a few points away.
Thanks to Sandisk for providing the flash drive for review. You can discuss your thoughts on the OC3D Forums.