PQI Introduces First USB 3.0 USB Flash Drive: Cool Drive U366

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News Posted: Tue, Dec 29 2009 9:46 AM
It may not be the first USB 3.0 flash drive to be announced, but it's still one of the first (and it's blazing fast). PQI, a mainstay in the flash storage industry, has just introduced its newest USB stick, and this one is significantly more important than its last.

A week after unveiling a pair of USB 3.0 external hard drives, the company has today pushed out its first USB 3.0 flash drive in the Cool Drive U366. It's wrapped in an all-aluminum shell with a clear plastic lid, and it features 5Gbps maximum transfer rates. In case you're bad with numbers, that's 10x the maximum on USB 2.0. There's no mention of a price or ship date just yet, but we suspect it'll be on store shelves shortly after the new year begins.


PQI Announces USB3.0 UFD ~ Cool Drive U366
2009.12.28
Taipei, Taiwan ~ Only just a week ago, Power Quotient International Co., Ltd. (PQI) announced two 2.5inch USB3.0 external hard drives, H566 and S533. Today, PQI releases their first USB flash drive device in the form of Cool Drive U366. PQI’s U366 is encased in an all aluminum shell with a clear plastic lid that can perfectly fit on the end tip so users need not worry about loosing the lid.

The new USB3.0 features 5Gbps/sec maximum bandwidth, which is 10 times the maximum bandwidth of USB2.0 as it eliminates the issue of external connection bandwidth being smaller than the output bandwidth of the storage device. This allows portable, ultra fast and high capacity storage device to flood the market as USB3.0 is deemed to take over USB2.0 as the standard for future external connections!

PQI’s Cool Drive U366 is one of the few USB3.0 flash storage devices on the market, and it features a read up to 97MB /sec. The release of U366 reassures PQI’s dedicated advancement in storage technology, research and development capability!

For more PQI news and the latest PQI product information, please visit PQI at www.pqigroup.com.


Cool Drive U366 specification:
Interface: USB 3.0 (backwards compatible with USB 2.0)
Transfer rate: Read up to 97MB/sec
Capacity: 16GB / 32GB / 64GB
Dimension: 87 x 22 x12 mm
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Wrong, it does not feature 10x the maximum transfer rate as implied in your little blurp "it features 5Gbps maximum transfer rates". USB3.0 has a maximum potential bandwidth of 5Gbps, not this drive while is listed as capping out at 97MB/sec (less than 800Mbps). This means the drive uses less than 20% of the potential bandwidth offered by USB3.0.

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And I'd bet $100 that the write speed is less than 40 MB/s, meaning it would write the same speed with a USB 2.0 connection. Its sole advantage is that it can (they claim) read at about twice the speed of a USB 2.0 connection.

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They do not tell you the write speed anywhere on their website. But I wouldn't take that bet against you.

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ClemSnide replied on Thu, Dec 31 2009 11:19 AM

I'm still puzzled about who the fast USB flash drives are aimed toward. For me, thumb drives have always been a way to get a relatively large amount of storage that's portable and affordable. Speed just didn't enter into it. Oh, there are dog-slow drives, sure, and they make backups and SneakerNet transfers a pain; but it's not hard to find a cheap drive that will suit your needs, assuming that "blazing speed" isn't one of them.

One of my best buys of 2009 was a 32 GB USB drive from a company called Emtec (no, I hadn't heard of them either, previous to buying it). At under $60 at the time, it was competitive per gigabyte with smaller flash drives, and holds my system backup. Sure, when it's working I have to step away from the computer and make a sandwich, but whatever speed boost a USB 3.0 thumb drive could give would, I think, merely mean that I would make a smaller sandwich.


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3vi1 replied on Thu, Dec 31 2009 4:27 PM

The speed could be nice using them for ReadyBoost, or to hold/boot a Linux distro.

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@3vi1: ReadyBoost was a disappointing technology. Its speed improvements were marginal at best, and even then needed a rather specific installation to be useful. Even Captain Clunker has a WEI rating for its 5400 RPM HD of 4.0-- beyond the 3.7 rating where testers found improvement.

If you're putting USB 3.0 into an existing system and buying (what I suspect will be) an enormously expensive flash drive just to get that improvement, your money would be much better spent putting in a faster mechanical HD or (if possible) more memory.


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