Silicon Power J80 USB 3.0 Flash Drive Review

Photo_2I’m trying a 16GB USB 3.0 flash drive from Silicon Power. This drive features an all aluminum case and a large ring so it can easily fit on your keyring. Many thumb drives meant for key rings either have a small metal ring or a plastic attachment that either breaks easily or binds up with your keys. The Silicon Power’s ring is great and makes it easy to attach to your keyring and feels very secure. As a plus, the drive is extremely lightweight.

The most exciting feature for me was the USB 3.0 support of this device. Most of the time when I need to get files on or off of a thumb drive, I’m in a rush either copying drivers to a computer I’m working on or getting some last minute videos copied over for a trip. I used CrystalDiskMark, a common disk benchmarking tool, to get an idea of what kind of performance you can expect out of this drive. For comparison’s sake, I put it against my USB 2.0 Kingston 32GB drive that I bought earlier this year.

Photo_1Sequential read transfer rate (think copying one or a few very large files) was an impressive 84MiB/s. This speed can copy everything off of the drive in just a few minutes. However the write performance was quite a bit slower at about 10MiB/s. My comparison USB 2.0 device (the Kingston), only achieves 21MiB/s on the read, but it comes somewhat close to the Silicon Power on write at 5.7MiB/s. So the SP model will get your files off the drive quickly, but you will spend longer initially writing the files.

If you typically write some files and share them a lot with your friends or copy them to other computers, you will be pleased with this device’s performance. My personal use cases have me writing files almost as much as a read them so its a little less impressive, but still an improvement from my Kingston.

One use that this drive would really shine at is running a Linux live distribution like Ubuntu. The read performance would make this drive boot the system faster than a standard hard disk. I could see some serious benefits to that.

In summary, this is a solid USB flash drive. It definitely has USB 3.0 read performance, but performs on write at quite a reduced rate compared to its read and on par with USB 2.0 devices. For the price, this is a fantastic device.

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