by Marshall Gunnell

PNY 1TB PRO Elite USB 3.0 Flash Drive Review

PNY’s 1TB PRO Elite USB 3.0, which was announced in mid-March, is a large capacity, high-performance USB flash drive. The PRO Elite USB 3.0 is an optimal solution for transferring, sharing, and storing large files, all the while sporting a nice design. Not only is it designed to be aesthetically pleasing – it was designed to be functional. The PNY PRO Elite USB 3.0 utilizes the cap-less, metal sliding collar design. This successfully removes the chances of losing that annoying cap while still providing protection for the USB head.

When PNY says this is a large capacity, high-performance flash drive, they mean it; a USB drive with a 1TB storage capacity is nothing to shake a stick at. Looking at the product specs, we see sequential read/write speeds that are quoted to be as high as 400MB/s and 250MB/s, respectively. If true (which we will find out soon enough), this drive would make be an excellent choice for prosumers, gamers, and, of course, business professionals.

The caveat here is the price tag, which may scare off the average consumer. Even still, this is much less expensive than most 1TB drives you may find floating around on the market. The PRO Elite USB 3.0 Flash Drive carries an MSRP of $259.99 for the 1TB capacity and about $108 for the 512GB model.

Specifications

  • Capacities
    • 1TB
    • 512GB
    • 256GB
    • 128GB
  • Interface: USB 3.0
  • Max Read Speed: Up to 400 MB/s
  • Max Write Speed: Up to 250 MB/s
  • Compatibility
    • USB 3.0 equipped host devices
    • backwards compatible with USB 2.0
  • Environmental Conditions
    • Operating Temperature: 0oto 50oC
    • Storage Temperature: -25oto 85oC
  • Warranty: 2 years

Design and Build

The PNY PRO Elite USB 3.0 sports a premium gunmetal-plated casing with a gray plastic insert that beautifully compliments the housing. Additionally, the insert features a key ring hole. This will allow users to easily and safely transport the already low footprint storage device.

It seems that, as time goes on, more and more manufacturers are (thankfully) moving away from the easily losable USB cap design. Though PNY hasn’t always steered clear of this design, that’s not the case with the PRO Elite USB 3.0. This particular device features the slick, cap-less metal sliding collar with a push/pull design for optimal safety for your drive. While not heavy, the drive does have some heft to it, making it feel nice in the hand.

Performance

To test the performance of the PNY 1TB PRO Elite USB 3.0 Flash Drive we used the BlackMagic disk speed test on a current generation MacBook Air as well as leveraging a Lenovo ThinkStation 920 for Windows testing. As a point of comparison, we’ll be putting this drive up against the following:

In BlackMagic, the PNY drive gave us a performance of 356MB/s read and 267.6MB/s write.

In our PC testing, during 2MB sequential the PNY drive had sequential reads of 384.1MB/s and sequential writes of 301.6MB/s. Our comparisons showed sequential read/write performance at 229MB/s and 211MB/s [SanDisk Extreme Pro], 252.4MB/s and 225.9MB/s [Lexar JumpDrive P10], and 247MB/s and 151.3MB/s [Patriot Supersonic Magnum], respectively. For 2MB random the PNY had 230.68MB/s read and 51.75MB/s write. Our comparisons showed 229MB/s read and 66.4MB/s write [SanDisk Extreme Pro], 166.3MB/s read and 39.1MB/s write [Patriot Supersonic Magnum], and 167.7MB/s read and 14.8MB/s write [Lexar JumpDrive P10].

For 4K throughput, we saw the PNY hit 2,224 IOPS read and 551.5 IOPS write. 

Conclusion

The PNY PRO Elite USB 3.0 Flash Drive is a high-performance USB flash drive with a beautiful and functional design. The drive comes in a variety of capacities, ranging from 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB. 

When looking at performance, we weren’t surprised by how well the drive performed. In BlackMagic, the drive hit 356MB/s read and 267.6MB/s write. In our PC testing we saw 2MB sequential speeds of 384.1MB/s reads and 301.6MB/s writes. For random 2MB the PNY gave us 230.68MB/s read and 51.75MB/s write. With random 4K throughput the PNY was able to hit 2,224 IOPS read and 551.5 IOPS write. Unsurprisingly, this put the PRO Elite at the top of the pack amongst other high-performing flash drives. 

Prosumers, Gamers, Creative Professionals, and Business Professionals that are looking for a USB that packs a punch with performance and has an impressive storage capacity (and looks slick, to boot) will want to take a long hard look at the PNY PRO Elite USB 3.0 Flash Drive either in the 1TB capacity we tested or one of the smaller variations. 

PNY 1TB PRO Elite USB 3.0 Flash Drive on Amazon

PRO Elite Product Page

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