Review

Packaging & Contents Dimensions & Weight Build Quality CrystalDiskMark Benchmark Speed Test ATTO Benchmark Speed Test AS-SSD Benchmark Speed Test Conclusion

Packaging & Contents

The PQI micro USB 3.0 ships in a plastic bubble wrap. It’s a small simple no fuss package. On the front of the box we found a lifetime guarantee logo but there were no claimed maximum read/write speeds. On the back of the box there is a logo indicating windows 7 compatibility and again no indication of what sort of speed to expect from this drive. On the manufacturers website speeds of 90/18.5 (read/write) MB/s are indicated for the 32GB version which sets expectations pretty low for the 16GB version currently under review.

PQI Intelligent Drive Micro USB 30 16GB Box Front
PQI Intelligent Drive Micro USB 30 16GB Box Back

Dimensions & Weight

The PQI Mini measures 3.1cm long, 1.5cm wide and 0.7cm high which is way below average in terms of total size and bulkiness for a flash drive. This is in fact the smallest USB 3.0 flash drive we have ever seen. The manufacturer claims it is the smallest travelling disk in the industry and various web sites have touted this drive as being the smallest USB 3.0 memory stick in the world!

PQI Intelligent Drive Micro USB 30 16GB Length Ruler

Build Quality

The tiny body of PQI is reasonably solid and dense. There is a permanently on blue LED indicator on the drive which flashes when the drive is in operation. The cap attaches reasonably snugly and there is a convenient (and removable) plastic clip on the lanyard where you can place the cap whilst the drive is in use. Overall the build quality is good.

PQI Intelligent Drive Micro USB 30 16GB Front
PQI Intelligent Drive Micro USB 30 16GB Back

Test System

The test rig was a high end Core-i7 workstation kitted out with a 256GB Solid State drive and 16GB of RAM. The system was designed to be overclocked to 5GHZ but for the benchmarks, only the stock frequencies of 1.6GHz idle, 3.4GHz active and 3.8GHz turbo boost were used.
Motherboard ASUS P8Z68-V GEN 3
RAM Corsair Vengeance 16GB Dual Channel DDR3 (CML16GX3M4A1600C9)
Fixed Drive Corsair Performance Pro 256GB
CPU Intel Core i7-2600K
Operating System Windows 7

CrystalDiskMark Speed Test[FAQ]

CrystalDiskMark is a free disk benchmarking utility that is very simple to use. It takes eight measurements: the read and write speeds in megabytes per second (MBps) for sequential, 512KB, random 4KB and 4KB parallel disk operations. There are more screenshots from this benchmark posted on the web than any other, probably due to its clean and simple display. There is further information, including instructions on how to benchmark your own drives, on the CrystalDiskMark wiki page.

CrystalDiskMark Score

The PQI proved to have very disappointing performance figures with sustained read/write scores of 45/12 MB/s. As with many flash drives the PQI also struggled in the random write tests where it scored just 0.13 MB/s which is towards the bottom end of the range we have seen. The strongest area of relative performance was in the 4K Read test where the PQI scored a respectable 7 MB/s.

Crystaldiskmark Benchmark

ATTO Disk Benchmark[FAQ]

The Atto Disk Benchmark has probably been around for longer than any other disk benchmarking software, and you can tell from its dated interface! The utility was designed to measure regular disk drive performance but it's more than up to the task of measuring both USB flash drive and SSD speeds as well. The utility measures disk performance rates for various sizes of file and displays the results in a bar chart showing read and write speeds at each file size. The results are displayed in megabytes per second (MBps). There is further information, including instructions on how to benchmark your own drive, on the Atto wiki page.
ATTO Benchmark

ATTO Score

The ATTO results of 45/12 MB/s sequential read/write are exactly in line with the CrystalDiskMark tests results, and equally disappointing. Both sets of figures are right at the bottom of the range of speeds we have seen on USB 3.0 thumb drives.

AS SSD Real World Copy Speed[FAQ]

The AS SSD benchmarking program was recently developed specifically for benchmarking SSD's. The utility is able to take several measurements that are well suited to solid state drives. One of the tests, ISO copy, is also relevant to slower storage devices including flash drives. The ISO copy test places two large 500MB files in a folder on the drive and then times how long it takes to copy the folder to another location on the same drive. The result is reported in both MBps and time taken. It's a real-world test that gauges a drives ability to read and write at the same time. Drives that have a good balance between their read and write speed fare relatively well on this test. There is further information, including instructions on how to use it to benchmark your own drive, on the AS SSD wiki page.

Real World Copy Speed Score

This test shows that the PQI mini would take 127.94 seconds to create a copy of a large 1GB video file. This score is actually above expectations but only relative to the pitifully slow write speed already observed in the previous tests. Generally flash drives complete this test at roughly half their sequential write rates, so the PQI outperformed expectations by 33%.

AS-SSD Copy Benchmark

Conclusion

The PQI Micro is not a fast performer, in fact, it's the slowest USB 3.0 thumb drive we have reviewed to date and it's also considerably over priced. There is however one saving grace for this drive, its form factor is by far the smallest we have ever seen on a USB 3.0 drive. Every single dimension (length, breadth, height, volume, weight) comes in lower than the USB 3.0 competition. So if you want a tiny USB 3.0 thumb drive and you can live with relatively slow performance then this could be the drive for you. We would suggest checking the various micro USB 2.0 options before purchasing this drive, you might find better value for money with only slightly slower performance.

Original Review by:  
Updated 4 years ago.  
PQI Intelligent Drive Micro USB 30 16GB Front

Average Bench: 10.5% (395th of 622)

Based on 125 user benchmarks.  Device: VID 3538 PID 0901 Model: Generic USB Flash Disk

The PQI Micro is not a fast performer, in fact, it's the slowest USB 3.0 thumb drive we have reviewed to date and it's also considerably over priced. There is however one saving grace for this drive, its form factor is by far the smallest we have ever seen on a USB 3.0 drive. Every single dimension (length, breadth, height, volume, weight) comes in lower than the USB 3.0 competition. So if you want a tiny USB 3.0 thumb drive and you can live with relatively slow performance then this could be the drive for you. We would suggest checking the various micro USB 2.0 options before purchasing this drive, you might find better value for money with only slightly slower performance. [Feb '13 USBFlashPro]

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Terrible average bench

The PQI Intelligent Drive Micro USB 3.0 16GB averaged 89.5% lower than the peak scores attained by the group leaders. This isn't a great result which indicates that there are much faster alternatives on the comparison list.

Strengths

Avg. 4K Random Read Speed 5.67MB/s
Avg. Sequential Read Speed 41.9MB/s

Good consistency

The range of scores (95th - 5th percentile) for the PQI Intelligent Drive Micro USB 3.0 16GB is 20.8%. This is a relatively narrow range which indicates that the PQI Intelligent Drive Micro USB 3.0 16GB performs reasonably consistently under varying real world conditions.

Weaknesses

Avg. 4K Random Mixed IO Speed 0.14MB/s
Avg. 4K Random Write Speed 0.16MB/s
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Average Bench

(Based on 125 samples)
Min Avg Max
16.1 Read 41.9 141
4.42 Write 11.7 33.2
1.76 Mixed 12.6 24.6
22.3% 22.1 MB/s
Min Avg Max
1.71 4K Read 5.67 9.38
0.005 4K Write 0.16 0.93
0.005 4K Mixed 0.14 0.84
31.3% 1.99 MB/s
User Benchmarks Bench Sequential Random 4k Deep queue 4k
The fastest USB (mainstream) averages a speed of 100%
10GB free, PID 0901
Operating at USB 2.1 Speed
Read 39.3
Write 20.7
Mixed 24.7
33% 28.3 MB/s
4K Read 8.36
4K Write 0.03
4K Mixed 0.85
61% 3.08 MB/s
3GB free, PID 0901
Operating at USB 2.1 Speed
Read 33.6
Write 12.7
Mixed 9.26
19% 18.5 MB/s
4K Read 3.91
4K Write 0.62
4K Mixed 0.75
61% 1.76 MB/s
10GB free, PID 0901
Operating at USB 2.1 Speed
Read 30.6
Write 10.5
Mixed 13.3
20% 18.1 MB/s
4K Read 7.99
4K Write 0.009
4K Mixed 0.02
30% 2.67 MB/s
12GB free, PID 0901
Operating at USB 2.0 Speed
Read 32.8
Write 9.97
Mixed 10.2
18% 17.7 MB/s
4K Read 5.79
4K Write 0.006
4K Mixed 0.007
22% 1.93 MB/s
125 MORE »
Typical Intelligent Drive Micro USB 3.0 16GB Builds (Compare 247 builds) See popular component choices, score breakdowns and rankings.
Gaming
Gaming 13%
Tree trunk
Desktop
Desktop 30%
Sail boat
Workstation
Workstation 16%
Surfboard

Motherboard: Asus P5P43TD PRO

EDIT WITH CUSTOM PC BUILDER Value: 45% - Average Total price: $164

Popular Intelligent Drive Micro USB 3.0 16GB compatible motherboards:

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USB Flash Drive Rankings (Price vs Performance) December 2017 USB Rankings.

We highlight the best USB flash drive in terms of balanced performance and value for money using price, sequential read, sequential write , 4k read and 4k write speed. The speeds are combined to form a single effective speed which measures performance for tasks such as copying photos, music and videos. Effective speed is adjusted by price and capacity to yield value for money. Finally thousands of individual user ratings are used to validate our benchmark figures. Vote to share your opinion. [USBFlashPro]

 Comments

The smallest USB3.0 traveling disk in the industry...

Specs

  • Interface USB3.0
  • Capacity 8GB/16GB/32GB
  • Data Transfer Rate R: 90MB/s; W: 18.5MB/s (on a standard 32GB unit)
  • OS Supported Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7 / Mac 10.x or above
  • Power Supply DC 3.3V/ 5V
  • Dimensions 31.5 x 14.8 x 7.3 mm (1.24 x 0.58 x 0.29 in)
  • Weight 5 g (0.01 lb)
  • Disk size shown on the packaging is unformatted capacity. It is recommended that the product be formatted before first use. Cluster limitations of the flash memory may result in a usable capacity which differs from that advertised on the packaging.

 

Added 4 years ago.

Good

2 years ago.

5.0MB/s write speed for usb 3.0 standart is not good


Poor

23 months ago.

First sorry for bad English, but this review isn't quite correct. This usb flash on USB 3.0 port giving 90mb/s read and 25mb/s write perfomanse. Your review is made on USB 2.0 port. (you are missing 3.0 drivers maybe)


Terrible

4 years ago.

Review  www.whoratesit.com/...

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