PNY 1TB Pro Elite and Elite X USB 3.0/1 Flash Drive Review – High Capacity and Speed in a Very Small Footprint


The PNY Elite-X Flash SSD is pretty much a tame version of the PNY Pro-Elite. Although it is also of a push-pull design, construction of this flash drive is plastic and the Elite-X comes with a 1-year warranty, rather than the 2-year of the Pro Elite.

Performance of the Elite-X is listed at 200MB/s read and 100MB/s write and this flash drive is available in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and the 1TB capacity we are testing at prices of $22.99, $44.99, $99.66 and $204 at Amazon.

As with the Pro-Elite, this SSD comes pre-formatted with ex-FAT for maximum compatibility as a plug and play device in Mac and PC systems and we were impressed with our performance test results.

Once again, we see that performance better listed specs in the Elite-X, with speeds of 279MB/s read and 113MB/s write. Something we never mentioned above, and perhaps we should, is that the box may list a total capacity of 1TB (which means there is 1024KB of raw NAND in the device), however, there is only 955GB available to the consumer once formatted.

That is actually much more than we might typically see out of other flash devices, however, we can be confident in the fact that this is necessary in order to guarantee this warranty on such a small device of this capacity.


I think we mentioned at the beginning of the report that we hadn’t reviewed 1TB flash drives previous to this because, typically, they were not available… at least at a price that most could live with. So… over the past few years, NAND flash memory has moved from MLC to 3D TLC and now we are transitioning to QLC, which in very non-technical terms means that we can get a higher capacity in a much smaller package.

The trade-off to this technological advance, of course, is the fact that while higher volumes are now being seen in a smaller package, special considerations have to be made to ensure performance doesn’t suffer (too much) and that endurance is decent. I guess if we were to make a complaint, it might be that we are seeing lifetime warranties on 1TB SDXC cards which are much the same size, yet not on flash drives themselves.

The balance of capacity, performance, warranty and value is very important and the PNY Pro-Elite and Elite-X Flash Drives do a great job of demonstrating what can be accomplished in such a very small package….at a decent price point. There are one or two 1TB competitor flash drives available and their price is significantly higher (in one case more than double) than what we have seen here. Excellent job PNY!

Check out PNY Pro-Elite and Elite-X Flash Drive pricing at Amazon.

PNY Pro Elite and Elite-X 1TB Flash Drive Ratings

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1TB in a Flash Drive!

Both the PNY Pro Elite and Elite-X Flash Drives are of the few available 1TB flash drives available in retail channels today with pricing, performance and warranty...and one other very important feature. The price point of these flash drives is well below anything else we could find.

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  1. 1TB device. Which encourages moving a lot of data to and from it. Why didn’t you test that ? Moving large amounts of different-sized files to it ? Because I for one do not care about peak speeds.
    One interesting thought: they say that sata is dead. At the same time, it seems to be finding new areas of use, as exemplified by the new ironwolf ssd’s and similar products. And this makes sense to me. In an environment where you are and will be limited by something like your network, would you rather have drives with peak speeds of 3000MB + , or would you rather used an optimized device with high sustained speeds ? You would not be able to make use of your incredible peak speeds anyway, but feel free to disagree.
    The reason I am drawing a parallel here is because the same mechanisms and hype seem to repeat time and time again. But while large parts of the commercial market will buy into this hype, serious people want that sustained performance, that performance that will keep your speeds high and save you time.
    On that note, returning to your article – If I were to buy a 1TB thumb drive I would want it to move data, and to do it fast. If I get a performance hit after a(relatively) low amount of the transfer, I will have to sit and wait for an undetermined period of time for the task to finish. Which I won’t do.
    So to me, unless these drives deliver steady performance that can outclass my own DIY product I don’t see the selling point. Time is so precious these days, and sitting around waiting for a usb2 speed, part transfer, is not very high on anyone’s list…
    And finally to the point you are making of the move from mlc to tlc, to qlc… How is this a positive thing ? Lower prices for higher capacities. Sure. Which IS the only selling point. Technically it reads lower speed and endurance, made to look good by including caches for achieving those peak speeds, while all the time concealing the fact that these drives are really not that good.
    My advice for a decent “thumb”- drive. Take any mlc nvme m.2(as physically small as you can/like). Buy a jms583(or better) and enclosure and thermal pads. Then you can compare 100GB’s of transfer medium, to and from your tlc/qlc thumb drive, and then to and from your DIY drive doing a cool 1GB/s for the whole transfer.
    To end this comment: I have tested this so this is not just trolling. When/if these tlc/qlc drives actually start producing results like my own, I think they will actually be worth something. Until that I regard them at best as hugely overpriced, and as such ripoffs.

    • So I am sure you know that we have tested the JMS 583 and there is no comparison. That would tie into the MyDigitalSSD M2X a few articles back as well. The problem is that the mainstream computer guy (or girl) doesn’t have Type-C on their present system, and if you are an enthusiast or media professional with Type-C, you already know that this test would pale in comparison to the JMS 583 at 1GB/s. The hiccup, of course is that that solution cannot compare in size…not even close. They are not the same devices in question. This is simply a USB 3.1 solution that hits mainstream speeds, is pocket sized, and has capacity…nothing more. If this were a Type-C solution… you bet I would have extended this test just a bit…but for now… so be it. Thank you for taking the time to write your opinion. You should consider reviewing eheh.

      • While I take your point, Mr. Tokar, in your reply to the above post, just how portable does portable need to be? Unless you have [very] small pockets an NVME SSD enclosure such as the My Digital one you mention would fit easily. Such an enclosure filled with a budget 1TB TLC NVME drive, together with a USB type C to type A cable would be cheaper, have greater write endurance and ought to be more performant than the pen drive. Additionally, should the user in the future ever have a computer with a USB C 3.1 Gen 2 (or better) port even more performance can be unlocked at the cost of a new cable. In such circumstances, I would suggest the pen drive only makes sense for those who need to carry it on their person at all times – a small group of people, I would suggest.

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