Reviews Samsung 32GB BAR (METAL) USB 3.0 Flash Drive (MUF-32BA/AM)

Samsung 32GB BAR (METAL) USB 3.0 Flash Drive (MUF-32BA/AM)

Elevate your memory storage with Samsung USB 3.0 technology. Get more mileage with a USB ideal for transfers between PCs and notebooks. Enjoy the best of both worlds with sleek, super-compact design as well as higher transfer speeds and rugged 5-proof durability.


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All the other info from the reviews seems true to me about the speed and whatnot, (It's not the fastest), but one thing that I noticed is that the top reviews didn't test the waterproof claims on the product. Well after washing it through almost a complete cycle, cancelling the wash, and fishing it out of some sopping pants, I can say that it is waterproof. I dried it off with a towel and blew out the port, plugged it in, and it still works just as it did before. Data was still there, new data copied on, and everything was fine, and for that I give it five stars.

So as the title says I don't leave reviews much because honestly you get an item it breaks and the cycle goes on. However, this magical device here has greatly impressed me to the point of actually reviewing it. I'm a university undergrad and we have to store a lot of digital information for classes. This USB by Samsung has been perfect in every way. I prefer the bar type styling of the USB it offers a way for it to not break easily as many previous USB'S I have owned. And it's also nice to have an attachable loop. My biggest impression is the fact I just washed and dried this sucker accidently in one of my short pockets and it actually still works LOL! No data corruption or issues simply sliding it into my USB 3.0 slot. Kudos Samsung yall have made a quality product that has survived a 15 min heavy wash and 45 min of drying haha WOW here is the review you deserve!

The flash drive is super small but also at the same time very fast compared to other metal USB 3.0 flash drives. The best part of this; the key chain holder is metal and strong and you can take it with you and your keys anywhere.

09/2017
I bought mine in 2015 and I no longer have a use for it anymore but I tested the speed again in 09/2017 and still getting decent speeds. Some people have been disappointed for not getting the same kind of speed but one thing to be aware is, the speed tests depend on the type of motherboard and USB controllers. Other factors include the number of other USB devices you have connected to your machine. After all, the USB devices have USB bandwidth they share. Another factor is whether you plug it to a USB 2.0 port which ultimately limits your speed to a USB 2.0 speeds.

There seems to be some confusion about the performance of these drives, stemming from the benchmarks people are posting in reviews.

For the 32GB version of the drive, the real-world performance, using the default file system (FAT32), the default Windows policy (quick removal) and transferring LARGE files, is around 20MB/s write and 150MB/s read. For the 128GB model, the write speed increases to ~30MB/s, with read speed remaining unchanged. Transferring lots of small files at once will be slower than transferring large ones.

You're not going to get symmetrical 100+MB/s read/write speeds at this price point.

When it comes to writing data, these drives will have a small cache that's far quicker than the rest of the available storage. Any advertised write speeds may be referring to that cache. If you write a small enough amount of data to the drive, it will be written to that cache at a high speed, then in the background that data will be trickled out of the cache and into the slower part of the drive. However, when writing larger quantities of data, the cache will be saturated, at which point the write speed will drop to that of the regular TLC memory.

It's exactly the same for their low-mid range SSDs; the 840 EVO is advertised as having ~500MB/s sequential write speeds, and CrystalDiskMark will appear to back this up, but that's because it's not testing any deeper than the SLC "TurboWrite" cache. If you run a SUSTAINED sequential write operation on the 840 EVO, it'll be forced to write directly to the regular TLC NAND. You will see the speed plummet to <150MB/s after about 3GB of data has been written, and it will remain at that speed until you stop writing. To get sustained sequential write performance at 400+MB/s, you would need had to have bought the 840 Pro, which uses faster MLC NAND for the entire storage area.

make sure you look carefully at the benchmarks people are posting. One of the reviews here is showing the 32GB model/packaging, but the CrystalDiskMark result is for a 128GB device. Also pay close attention to the benchmark software version and settings. For example, new versions of CrystalDiskMark are running a different set of tests to old versions, so the results aren't necessarily going to look the same even if the device is performing identically. The default "test size" setting for CrystalDiskMark is 1GiB, but people are posting results taken with that set to 100MiB. This will make all the difference between getting a ~20MB/s write result and a ~100MB/s write result, presumably because 100MiB isn't big enough to saturate the abovementioned cache. I've provided CrystalDiskMark results from two different versions of the program and with different settings to illustrate all this.

Anyway, I have four of these drives. I haven't had them long enough to comment on longevity, but so far so good.

They get quite warm, but I haven't seen any overheating/thermal throttling. I pulled the entire 128GB of data off one drive, and it was reading at the same ~150MB/s the entire time.

The shape of the drive is slightly inconvenient because it can cover a neighboring port if the ports are stacked closely together (eg. motherboard IO cluster).

Ridiculous how cheap these have got. I've been using this drive for a couple of weeks now and it's been working flawlessly. I got this to replace a Sandisk Ultra Fit that was overheating and wouldn't let me boot from it. The Samsung does not suffer from any of these problems. I am currently using it for a portable installation of Linux Mint. Not just a live usb, but an actual full installation on the flash drive.

PROS:
+ Very compact size
+ Fast transfer rates
+ Can boot a full OS installation from the drive
+ Doesn't overheat like the Sandisk does
+ Has a small loophole to attach a lanyard
+ Can also be used with Windows ReadyBoost to speed up slower computers

CONS:
- No LED indicator to show drive access

I plan to order a couple more of these to install other operating systems like PC-BSD and Remix OS. Being able to boot to another OS just by swapping a flash drive is much easier and more convenient than creating multiple partitions on a hard drive and setting up a software boot menu using something like grub. Not only that, but you can also take it with you and be able to boot to your own desktop on just about any computer.

I really like it's form factor that there is no cap or cover to slide. One quirk is while it works fine on my Linux pc, on a windows pc, windows wouldn't recognize it on the front panel but did on the back panel so I use a USB extension cable to the back. According to Google it's a common problem with flash drives that I hadn't run into before that some flash drives won't work with some USB hubs, which is basically what the front panel USB is.

Update Several Months Later:
I now have four of these little metal guys plugged into a four port USB 3.0 hub. Tonight I noticed some RF interference when copying data from these drives over to drives on a separate USB 2.0 hub. Will have to investigate this later to try and see where the RF is coming from (drive1, Hub 1, cables, PC, Hub 2, cables, drive2, etc) and if I can do anything about it. Just purchased a fifth one of these Metals (fingers crossed) and to be open for future expansion also ordered another four port USB 3.0 hub. Looks like I will space them out and have three on one hub and two on the other.

Heat issues:
Yes, I have noticed that these do get "warm" but nowhere near the Finger-Crispin-Good temps that come from the Sandisk USB3 drives. I have a possible suggestion to help "beat the heat" - I have purchased several six inch USB 3.0 cables which I have plugged into the Hub, and this does appear to add a little distance between the port/hub and the device in the hopes that it lowers the temp some. This technique works wonders with the Finger-Crispin Sandisk drives, so I would think it should help a little with the Samsung models.

Usage:
I tend to use these as Lazy Backups for my hard disk... Actual data is on the hard disk with a copy hanging out on one the Metals.
One of the existing four contains some audio files and recordings whilst the others just hold generic data files. I am still nervous when it comes to 128 gig drives as my past history hasn't been good. The 1st Samsung Metal took over the audio files from a Lexar S45 drive after it started to "skip" during playback after a few days of use. The Lexar S37 was kind enough to not waste my time and just froze the whole system within hours of installation, so GoodBye S37! Aside from trying to crisp my fingers when I wasn't careful, have had one Sandisk 128 start to give disk errors (from the heat if nothing else) so in the main 128 gigs have been "odd". But when it comes to the Samsung Metals - several months have gone by and So Far So Good (fingers crossed). Soon I plan to be mounting multiple ISO files on one of these Metals and will see how well it performs over time.

Older Review:
Have had some crispy fingers with the tiny Sandisk 128s, and had to send one back to Sandisk after it started giving errors.
Had a Lexar twirly-case 128 freeze three PCs in "Windows Explorer" from the day I first plugged it in (back to Amazon).
Had a Lexar tiny-size 128 stutter on playback of audio files (back to Amazon).
Not sure what is up with the 128s.. bad luck, bad karma, tech is still too new, but best to have backups of these things for safety's sake.

But have had good luck (...so far) with the white Samsung tiny-size 128, so figured I'd try this "metal" 128 gig as it's also from Samsung.
So far so good, so bought a second "metal" one. Now that I have three working (...so far) USB3 128s, also bought a USB3 hub from Amazon to plug them all into. A Happy Samsung Family! The "metal" drive isn't as tall as standard USB drives, which makes the hub stand out less.
...My three Sandisk 128s will be designated as "backup" drives and live in a drawer. (also great if the heat fails in the winter!)

One thing I do wonder about is whether or not being "metal" on the surface might lead to issues with Static Electricity to the USB ports in the less-humid winter months, but will make use of my grounding strap first if I need to touch 'em in the future.. Re-reading the specs, this drive appears to be "shock proof", but that might not be of much good if a static charge fries the USB3 port. Best to be safe rather than sorry when it comes to ESD.

This is great portable USB flash drive. At fist I was a bit disappointed with it's write speed but after several uses it really performs beyond expectations.

I have tested it with several file system formats with ATTO Disk Benchmark tool. These tests were performed after formating with the drive completely files free.

FAT32: On average it has 50Mbs Write, and a consant 150Mbs Read. exFAT and NTSF had similar speeds with the occasional 60Mbs Write speed.

After transfering several files varying in sizes from (16Kb up to 100Mb). I decided to test the USB speed again with ATTO Disk Benchmark.

I was surprised with it's preformace. Performing the same tests, the averaga Write speed was 120Mbs and the Read speed was a constant 150Mbs.
Naturally these are only speed tests that vary on everyones hardware. I tested it on Windows 10 using both front and back USB ports.
Overall I am glad I made this purchase.

UPDATE:
After additional intensive testing, I had to make sure the incredible speeds were real. Please note that the USB drive performace depends on its heat and uage duration. Copying a 5GB folder with various file sizes when the drive was cold, it took about 5 minutes to complete. After that I decided to Copy and Cut Paste the same folder 2 more times. The USB drive got really hot and increased the transfer time to roughly 7 minutes. I then tested it with ATTO Benchmark, the write speed had a sustained ~42Mbs and ~153Mbs read.
This is a normal behavior of any flash drive and why Samsung cannot list a guaranteed write speed. Again, this also depends on your hardware, weather you copy your files form a mechanincal or ssd drive. If you're expecting a fast write speed look at a different product, but expect the same behavior. I presonally dont care and still like the product.

NM
After much research and shopping, I am convinced through a rigorous test of mine that this Samsung 128GB Bar USB 3.0 is a very high quality jump, flash or thumb drive. This review shall be supported with 10 pictures if so allowed. This drive measures at 1 9/16" long. It is 15/32" wide. My calipers were showing 7/16" tall at it's highest point. The main flat shank of this drive measured at 3/16" thick. The very first task that I did with this drive upon receiving it was to format it to the exFAT filing system. This was to ensure the greatest compatibility between Windows 10 and the latest release of the Mac OS. I did not bother to test this drive with any transfer software but rather I choose to just use TIME. I took 12 4K .mov files which totaled 40.24GB in disk space and copied them from my MacBook Pro to this drive. This task took exactly 18 minutes and 45 seconds. My MacBook Pro is three years old but remains in excellent condition. After that, I took this Samsung USB Flash drive and transferred these same .mov files to my brand new Razer Blade Pro Windows 10 laptop. This operation only took 4 minutes and 45 seconds. I put a few of my fingers around this drive during these operations to make sure this flash drive was not getting hot. It only got slightly warm. This particular Samsung USB drive seems to be very well built and it worked quite well for me. I was after a USB drive that was stable and did not require a bunch of weird software. This USB drive is fairly small and can fit into some tight places, this much I am sure of. At the time of this review, I am also uploading a YouTube concerning this drive. If you are having a tough time deciding which USB Flash drive to purchase, just get this one and end the misery. My testing showed that this is a 5 star plus product :)

The performance of this drive has been tested by other reviewers quite well. In my qualitative experience and in testing I agree with their results; sequential speeds are good especially for large files but the drive does poorly with small q depths and writing large numbers of small files.
I can add that the drive is indeed very durable, enough so that the value in its ruggedness outweighs the performance penalties associated with this drive. From my own intentional and unintentional tests I verified that the drive can survive fresh water and isopropyl alcohol contact as either flow across the device such as being run under a sink and brief--less than 5 minutes--submersion. On one instance of having been tossed around in a backpack it was plunged into soft cheese which filled and covered the drive, however with a rinsing in water, careful cheese removal with a small needle, and multiple insertions into a non essential female USB port, the drive continued to work with no effects to performance observed.
Externally though the drive does get scratches on the underside from insertion and collects fingerprints easily, the keychain loop though is actually very simple to utilize, you just have to make sure that the ring you are attaching it to has a large enough radius and it will hang parallel to the other keys on the loop.

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