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SanDisk Ultra USB 3.0 Flash Drive (SDCZ48-256G-U46) Reviewed by Mikerose23 on Dec 19 . Rating: 4 SanDisk Ultra USB 3.0 Flash Drive (SDCZ48-256G-U46) Step up to high‐speed USB 3.0 and transfer your videos, photos and files up to ten times faster than standard USB 2.0 drives. SanDisk Ultra USB 3.0 Flash Drive takes the wait out of moving, sharing or backing up big files-now you can transfer a full‐length movie from […]

SanDisk Ultra USB 3.0 Flash Drive (SDCZ48-256G-U46)

SanDisk Ultra USB 3.0 Flash Drive (SDCZ48-256G-U46)

Step up to high‐speed USB 3.0 and transfer your videos, photos and files up to ten times faster than standard USB 2.0 drives. SanDisk Ultra USB 3.0 Flash Drive takes the wait out of moving, sharing or backing up big files-now you can transfer a full‐length movie from your laptop to your flash drive in way less than a minute. Password protection lets you keep your private files private2 and still generously share with family and friends. And, with a sleek, sturdy SanDisk Ultra USB 3.0 Flash Drive in your pocket, you won’t need an Internet connection to access those photos and videos anyplace and anytime you want. For more than 25 years, SanDisk has been known for quality and reliability all around the world. That’s why your flash drive comes with a five‐year warranty

  • Transfer speed up to 10x faster than standard USB 2.0 flash drives
  • Backward compatible with USB 2.0
  • Secure file encryption and password protection with SanDisk Secure Access software
  • 5-year warranty

What customers say about SanDisk Ultra USB 3.0 Flash Drive (SDCZ48-256G-U46)?

  • 110 of 114 people found the following review helpful
    2.0 out of 5 stars
    Not Optimized for Write Speed, February 16, 2015

    Good read speed USB 3.0 over 100 [MB/s] But performed poorly on the write speed 27.76 [MB/s] SanDisk says the Ultra isn’t optimized for write speed and you should get the extreme version but I didn’t see that anywhere on the package.


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  • 49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Solid Flash Drive at a Pretty Competitive Price, March 18, 2015

    CrystalDiskMark 3.0.3 x64 (C) 2007-2013 hiyohiyo

    * MB/s = 1,000,000 byte/s [SATA/300 = 300,000,000 byte/s]

    Sequential Read : 100.151 MB/s
    Sequential Write : 46.751 MB/s
    Random Read 512KB : 91.121 MB/s
    Random Write 512KB : 1.400 MB/s
    Random Read 4KB (QD=1) : 7.069 MB/s [ 1725.9 IOPS]
    Random Write 4KB (QD=1) : 0.213 MB/s [ 52.0 IOPS]
    Random Read 4KB (QD=32) : 7.203 MB/s [ 1758.5 IOPS]
    Random Write 4KB (QD=32) : 0.149 MB/s [ 36.3 IOPS]

    Test : 1000 MB [D: 0.2% (0.1/58.9 GB)] (x5)
    Date : 2015/03/18 20:45:02
    OS : Windows 8.1 Pro [6.3 Build 9600] (x64)

    Sequential Read : 86.288 MB/s
    Sequential Write : 20.625 MB/s
    Random Read 512KB : 78.656 MB/s
    Random Write 512KB : 13.689 MB/s
    Random Read 4KB (QD=1) : 5.372 MB/s [ 1311.5 IOPS]
    Random Write 4KB (QD=1) : 0.931 MB/s [ 227.3 IOPS]
    Random Read 4KB (QD=32) : 5.564 MB/s [ 1358.5 IOPS]
    Random Write 4KB (QD=32) : 0.938 MB/s [ 228.9 IOPS]

    Test : 50 MB [D: 0.2% (0.1/58.9 GB)] (x5)
    Date : 2015/03/18 20:55:27
    OS : Windows 8.1 Pro [6.3 Build 9600] (x64)


    Checked for bad sectors — None Found.

    You should look for sequential read/writes speeds for transferring large files such as movies, the middle between sequential R/W and 512KB for pictures, and look at 4K R/W for OSes. I ran Ubuntu 14.10 off the thumb drive, using Rufus to prep it as a bootable drive, and it worked absolutely fine on my Haswell i5 Intel NUC (teeny tiny bit slow sometimes, but not unusual for flash drives). Read speeds are solid, hovering around 90MB/s in real world video transfers. Write speeds are around 45MB/s on average, dropping significantly if there are many small files. I usually get about 20-25MB/s with 2-3MB files and 8-15MB/s with ~500KB files. These are pretty decent speeds for what you pay for. The 5 year warranty is excellent and is much, much better than what many of the competitors are offering (looking at you PNY!)

    The case is made of a very nice, matte finger-print resistant black plastic. It is smooth to the touch and features a glossy plastic indentation where you press in and move forward to open the thumb drive’s USB connection. The USB connection is housed within the device but is still vulnerable to getting dust and debris inside of it because there is no cover over the port. It features a small, orange LED indicator light right behind the thumb imprint when it is active, which is very useful.

    Helpful Information: “up-to” speeds mean exactly that. They are achieved under the most optimum conditions possible. Due to the fickle nature of electronics and software, you should never expect maximum speeds (although you should expect close). Discrepancies from OS type/version, card reader (USB 2.0/3.0/PCIe and who makes it), natural variances in NAND (what makes up flash storage), and HDD (if you use one) limitations can all effect your card’s performance. Flash drives of today are basically stuffed with the NAND that didn’t cut it for SSD speeds (>300MB/s with no errors), and use a very basic controller in most cases (the SanDisk Extreme, Extreme Pro, and a few select others being exemptions, fitted with an actual SSD controller and high quality NAND for some fantastic speeds). This is very obvious when you start to see abysmal 4K R/W speeds, as the SSD controllers can handle those far better than the generic USB controllers. Flash drives also generally increase in speed as they increase in size. This happens because of what is called parallelism. The bigger the flash drive, the more NAND dies it has, and thus the more channels it can write to, thus usually increasing speed significantly. It always pays to buy the biggest you can afford if you want fast write speeds for this reason (read speeds are usually pretty uniform no matter what size you buy). Lastly, storage size is sold to you as Gigabytes (GB), but is actually read by your computer as Gibibytes (GiB) although it still tells you it is GB (which is wrong). (kilo/me/gi-ga)Bytes are in factors of 10 (1000KB in a MB, 1000MB in a GB, 1000GB in a TB, etc.) While (kilo/me/gi-bi)bytes are factors of 2 as in binary (1024 bytes in a kibibyte). This discrepancy of 24 bytes is why you see 16GB as 14.9GB in your computer, or 1TB as 931GB, the bigger the drive the bigger the discrepancy.

    I would recommend this drive if you feel safer with a long warranty. However, I (knock on wood), have never had to use a warranty on any flash drive I’ve owned. If you want THE best bang for your buck, I recommend the 128GB or 256GB PNY Turbo USB 3.0. You get faster speeds, 2x the storage, and…

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  • 122 of 136 people found the following review helpful
    2.0 out of 5 stars
    One-way USB 3.0 speeds only, December 11, 2014

    What’s Good
    (+) Well-built casing
    (+) Activity indicator light present
    (+) Design allows for a lanyard to be attached
    (+) USB 3.0 read speeds…

    What Raises the Eyebrow
    (-) …but USB 2.0 write speeds

    Overall: Two stars. Ticks all the checkboxes on the hardware side, but poor write performance makes it an overall difficult proposition for a USB 3.0 flash drive recommendation

    Note: This review is based on the 16GB version

    If you’ve arrived here from my SanDisk Cruzer Blade (SanDisk Cruzer Blade 16GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive) review, the first thing that you’d want to note that this SanDisk Ultra USB 3.0 fixes the most glaring hardware issues I had with the Cruzer Blade. The fit is more generous and it has a flashing orange activity indicator in the body of the flash drive, only visible when it is connected to the PC.

    Similar to the Cruzer Blade, the SanDisk Ultra’s design allows for a lanyard to be attached to it by means of an opening at one end of the flash drive. Unlike the one-piece design of the Cruzer Blade though, the SanDisk Ultra has a retracting mechanism for the metal USB header, housed in a well-built plastic casing. The SanDisk Ultra is slightly larger however, measuring at about 5cm (2″) long compared to the Cruzer Blade’s 4cm (1.6″); this may be an issue if you use a laptop with exceptionally low ground clearance for the USB ports though I have yet to encounter one.

    At the end of my Cruzer Blade review, I mentioned that an extra few dollars for its price will buy you a USB 3.0 capable flash drive. This SanDisk Ultra is among one of them, but there’s a huge catch; the USB 3.0 speeds are one-way only.

    In my general use, the read speeds, copying files from the flash drive to the PC, are indeed USB 3.0 standards, averaging around 75 MB/s. However, the write speeds, copying files from the PC to the flash drive, are atrocious, averaging around 8 – 11 MB/s.

    I expect those write speeds in a decent USB 2.0 flash drive, not one that advertises itself as USB 3.0 capable. I almost thought I had plugged the flash drive to the wrong port but nope, it’s from the same port that achieved the 75 MB/s read speeds. For background information, if you Google search “USB 2.0 speed”, the first entry states that the maximum theoretical speed for a USB 2.0 transfer is 60 megabytes per second (MB/s). So if I’m achieving 75 MB/s read speeds, the SanDisk Ultra is indeed connected via a USB 3.0 channel, but the write speeds are painfully limited at the USB 2.0 range.

    SanDisk does make a distinction between read and write speeds and you may argue that I am indeed receiving USB 3.0 capabilities from this drive as promised in the description, where there is an explicit numerical rate attached only for the read speeds. However, I at least expect some sort of upgrade in all performance aspects, not just simply maintaining parity with existing standards; even only achieving a modest upgrade to 16 – 18 MB/s average write speeds, which is slow for USB 3.0 standards, would go a long way in my consumer satisfaction.

    This SanDisk Ultra is indeed a better device in the context of a direct replacement for my Cruzer Blade, but I do not like the marketing doublespeak on the performance capabilities of this drive. If you’re going to market your product as USB 3.0 capable, I don’t want to have to second guess and read all the fine print on the specific, exact instances where the capability applies. All I ask for is a reasonable performance upgrade from existing USB 2.0 drives; I’d be more than satisfied with a drop in the read speeds to around 55 MB/s in exchange for an increase in write performance to 16 MB/s.

    There is a faster USB 3.0 flash drive also by SanDisk (SanDisk Extreme CZ80 16GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive Transfer Speeds Up To 245MB/s- SDCZ80-016G-GAM46 [Newest Version]), but again, it costs another additional few dollars and these dollars add up and will soon price itself out of my budget appetite for these type of flash drives.

    I will continue using this SanDisk Ultra, but given its USB 2.0 write speeds, I may as well look for one of those USB 2.0 flash drives with the dual regular and micro-USB form factor for use with my smartphone. At the very least, this product redeems the SanDisk brand out of my avoid list.


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