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

So we have been used to seeing 1TB and larger external drives for some time now, and typically they will be somewhat compact in size and have a cable which plugs into the storage device and PC. It is not common to see flash drives reaching that 1TB capacity and, in fact, I think we have only ever tackled one other high-capacity flash drive which was the 2TB Kingston Data Traveler Ultimate which came in with a massive $1500 price tag some two years ago. For the most part, high-capacity and fast performing flash drives could not reach an affordable price point and the memory in use required a larger footprint…hence external storage popularity. PNY has decided to change that.

Today, we are taking a quick look at two of the latest PNY USB3.0/1 1TB flash drives and the very first thing that one might notice is that these drives are very small. Both are of a push-pull design and the PNY Elite-X is on the left with the PNY Pro Elite on the right. Let’s start with the Pro Elite as this flash drive is definitely a top-tier product.


The PNY Pro-Elite USB 3.1 Flash Drive is available in capacities of 128GB, 256GB, 512GB and 1TB, all of which are available right now on Amazon for $39.99, $59.99, $107.99 and $260, consecutively. The Pro Elite is of a gun-metal construction, and as funny as it seems, the metal casing will smudge much the same as a freshly blue barrel would if you touched it.

It can be wiped clean of course but we found the texture very unique and similar to that of a gun barrel. Performance is listed at 400MB/s read and 250MB/s write and the Pro Elite comes with a two-year warranty. Both flash drives come formatted in exFAT and we might suggest changing the format to Windows NTFS if that is what you are using. Many manufacturers format in exFAT so their drives are simply plug and play to newer and older Mac and PC systems.

Considering that listed specifications for the PNY Pro-Elite are 400MB/s read and 250MB/s write, our results of 421MB/s read and 308MB/s write were very encouraging and were actually bettered by TxBench as you can see here:

Looking at TxBench, read performance comes in at 58MB/s above spec while write performance comes in at a whopping 97MB/s above spec. Let’s check out the result of the Elite-X on the next page.

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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… Read more »