The best USB drive

SanDisk Extreme CZ80 (32GB)

If you’ve never bought a nice, fast USB drive, it’s probably because you already have a couple cheap ones lying around. Everyone wants their file transfers to go faster, but who wants to pay for it? You really don’t have to spend very much money to get a significant boost in power, though, and the 32GB SanDisk Extreme CZ80 is proof of that. Out of all the drives I tested, it represents the most bang for your buck.

The most impressive thing about this drive is that its speeds aren’t anywhere near the budget category, despite the price. In the large file test, it averaged a read speed of 229 MB/s and a write speed of 178 MB/s. Though that test didn’t reach its advertised speeds of 245 MB/s read and 190 MB/s write, it came very close and actually surpassed those numbers in the CDM test. Its small file testing proved somewhat worse for read speed, 123 MB/s, but still stayed ahead of anything near its price for write speed, 56 MB/s. These numbers actually come close to the drives I was testing in the high-end category—including the “pro” version of the CZ80, the SanDisk Extreme Pro CZ88—but at a significantly cheaper price.

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