Benchmarks:PNY Micro Sleek 16GB

I bought a pair of USB2 PNY Micro Sleek USB sticks from my local tech shop today. I did quite a bit of research before purchasing them.

While doing research on lifespan and actual read/write speeds, I discovered it’s fairly difficult to find real benchmarks for any given usb stick on the internet. I can’t speculate as to why, but I’ll do my best to contribute a few benchmarks for mine.

I’m going to rant for a few sentences here. Despite the dramatic increase in quantity of storage in recent years, the quality of the underlying "solid" storage and intermediate components have not increased at the same rate. For example, the USB 2 spec allows for transfer rates of around 480 Mb/s (roughly 60 MB/s). If you’ve ever tested, you found that most USB 2 sticks only get around 6 \- 10 MB/s at best. Solid devices supporting the USB3 spec are even more disappointing. To the credit of the external HDD manufacturers though, external rotating drives are generally very fast by comparison (typically greater than 100 MB/s read/write)

Please manufacturers, make better portable storage.

Despite all that though, here is my benchmark.

files/pny_micro_sleek_16gb.jpg

Write

Write 1MB Block, 4096 Count (4GB of zeros)

[root@null ~]# dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdb bs=1M count=4096
4096+0 records in
4096+0 records out
4294967296 bytes (4.3 GB) copied, 495.355 s, 8.7 MB/s

Write 1GB Block, 2 Count (2GB of zeros)

[root@null ~]# dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdb bs=1G count=2
2+0 records in
2+0 records out
2147483648 bytes (2.1 GB) copied, 248.904 s, 8.6 MB/s

Writing a Real-world File

You thought the previous write tests were bad? It took 208 seconds to copy a Fedora iso to the usb stick. Note that this iso file is coming from a ram disk that averages 3 GB/s read speeds.

[root@null ~]# dd if=/mnt/Fedora-Live-Xfce-i686-22-3.iso of=/dev/sdb
1697792+0 records in
1697792+0 records out
869269504 bytes (869 MB) copied, 208.453 s, 4.2 MB/s

Read

Note
For these reads, we’ll be writing the data to a ram disk to reduce the possibility that the destination storage would be a bottleneck.

Read 1MB Block, 4096 Count (4GB stream)

[root@null ~]# dd if=/dev/sdb of=/mnt/dd.out bs=1M count=4096
4096+0 records in
4096+0 records out
4294967296 bytes (4.3 GB) copied, 153.179 s, 28.0 MB/s

Read 1GB Block, 2 Count (2GB stream)

[root@null ~]# dd if=/dev/sdb of=/mnt/dd.out bs=1G count=2
2+0 records in
2+0 records out
2147483648 bytes (2.1 GB) copied, 77.3436 s, 27.8 MB/s

Summary

Well, it seems these USB sticks are very "ho-hum". They average about 9 MB/s when writing zeros, 4.6 MB/s when writing real data, and 28 MB/s when reading. Keep in mind that the spec for USB2 allows for 60 MB/s. 4.6 MB/s is 7.6 percent of the spec’s allowed maximum speed.

My next test is to see how these hold up under six months to a year of use.

Last edited: July 13, 2017