Info (Updated): USB 3.0 Memory – Same device with different results or what vendors doesn’t tell you.

Hi Folks,

did you already got an USB 3.0 Memory or maybe two or more of them for you company? Your Users complain different write/read performance results? Why?
Reason is quite simple, it seams to be a big fun for some vendors to sale “different” devices providing different results with the same device name/part number. My negative sample for today is the Memory Vendor PNY and the Product USB-Stick 128 GB PNY Wave Attache™ USB 3.0 – Part Number FD128GBWAVE30-EF.

I got two of these devices for tests with the IGEL UD5 USB 3.0 Ports and the user was complaining different results with similar USB memory devices, so of course the different result must came from the Thin Client… 🙁 …but this is not the case. 🙂

I was able to reproduce these different results with PC’s, Tablet computer or any other device coming with a USB 3.0 port and the issue was not the thin client; it is the memory device.

The difference was “huge”, the first USB Memory provides a write speed of 60-80 mb/s which is good for a USB Memory but the second one provides only 25mb/s as max. write speed? What? It’s not much faster than a USB 2.0 device…

128 GB PNY Wave Attache, same but different

128 GB PNY Wave Attache, same but different

So i went to a electronic store close by that offers these USB Memory devices and both versions are offered here at the same time, funny but you can see the difference for this product quite simple if you know where to look (expand the upper picture).

Iam sorry to say: For me it’s a little bit “cheating” to work in this way… Provide the fast version for tests and sale “mixed” versions of the same product at the same time and i don’t believe that the production costs are equal. The slow PNY memory seams to be a “better refurbished” USB 2.0 memory and the results are not even close to the results mentioned in public available tests which can be found at Google or what PNY mentions on the package as max. speed.

So i only can recommend to test this in advance! If you buy a bigger amount force the reseller to provide you a “specification” guarantee and as end customer try to replace the device if possible, last one could be hard because the speed for the device is mentioned only “very” flexible by PNY and of course it’s a “low budget” device but a extreme result difference like this should also not happen for a “low budget” device with a brand on it from my point of view.

By this way, PNY is not the only vendor working in this way but regarding the fact that this device is “sold” and “announced” in a massive way at the moment you should have an eye on this.

I also wait for a statement from PNY and how this can be fixed, i will update this article if i got a statement from PNY and the marketing slogan “Make Life Simple” from PNY sounds like a bad joke for me at the moment but maybe there are people who like to play a device “lottery”.


I found a 3rd Version and after this test results the best indicator to detect the fast Version is the engraved CE symbol, see picture below. The Version without the CE Mark provides a 3x faster write speed than the one with the engraved CE Mark during my tests. I’ve tested now 7 of these sticks (4 with engraved CE Mark and 3 without the engraved CE Mark), thanks also for the feedback provided by other users confirming these results! Also the slow one has a red LED, the fast one during my test always comes with an orange LED which shows Disk activity.





P.S.: I will keep my two same but different PNY memory devices to have it as negative sample how “Same but not similar device” can look like.

P.S.2: I do not know how much versions are sold by PNY and this is only my personal result, so iam not responsible if there are also other versions with other visible indicators available. Test! Test! Test!

P.S.3: I got already similar results with display vendors (very common) and other devices like smart card readers but in these cases there was always a different revision number available (printed on the packaging and/or device) which clearly mentioned a difference.. This is not the case for the PNY memory device and i really try to find one.