Performance differs drastically among USB 3.0 sticks. There's a huge number of different USB flash drives out there - some extremely cheap, and others more expensive. It can be a challenge to find a good one, and now that USB 3.0 memory sticks are becoming more common, that's even more the case. Are they by default faster than a USB 2.0 stick? The marketing text on the packaging of course says so, but in practice it's not always the case. We tested 32 different USB 3.0 memory sticks and can give you the definitive answer.
When we test certain product groups there are times that we have to conclude that all participants are quality products. The distinguishing factors are then to be found in the details. Take SSDs for example. Nowadays all new SSDs offer adequate performance and are very similarly priced. We then have to look at other determining factors for deciding which one is the best to buy.
In other product groups the performance varies greatly, and you run the risk of buying junk unless you really do your research beforehand by reading tests and reviews. This USB memory stick test is an excellent example.
It's almost two-and-a-half years since we tested our first USB 3.0 memory stick. Since then the market for them has exploded, and you'd expect that they're all about the same by now. That assumption could not be further from the truth, however.
The first one we tested back in September, 2010, the Adata N005, achieve read speeds of up to 82 MB/s and write speed up to 38 MB/s. This was impressive at the time, as USB 2.0 is limited to about 33 MB/s for reading and 16 MB/s for writing. It was also clear that a standard with a theoretical maximum transfer rate of 480 MB/s there was lots of room for improvement. You can read the rest of 32 32/64GB USB 3.0 memory stick test: lots of differences on Hardware.info.