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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Grades of USB Flash Chips

 The following information is being reprinted here from an old site The new site for flashdrivedirect is now at The old site published the information back in 2007. While the flash drive sizes they quoted are dated, the grading system for flash chips has not changed.
Reported by flashdrivedirect:
The Scoop on Chips
USB Flash Chips are divided up into 4 different classes/standards.
Grades A, B & C. And unofficially, Grade D
Grade A:
Tier 1. These are bona fide premium chips with the flash chip manufacturers name and serial number imprinted on the chip itself. These chips are produced by manufacturers such as Samsung and Hynix. They are the most expensive, but also the most reliable offering a lifetime warranty. These are the chips that Flash Drive Direct uses exclusively.
Grade B:
Tier 1 OEM flash chips. These are made by legitimate chip manufacturers but are without the manufacturer’s name imprinted on them. These chips are reliable but are not of the same standards that the manufacturer would consider putting their name on it.
Grade C:
Here’s where the quality issues & problems begin. These will be some of the least expensive flash drives but have a very high failure rate. These chips are called recycled or reclaimed flash chips. They are the chips considered waste from the “wafer” that the original manufacturer does not want and considers to be garbage. These have a 30% – 40% failure rate. They are sold by the pound.
Grade D:
The unscrupulous flash drive supplier will actually imprint an original manufacturer’s name on the Grade C chip. It may read Samsung or Hynix, etc. but is most definitely junk. In a country that is infamous for knock-offs such as jewellery, watches and handbags……..why wouldn’t here be knock-off flash drives?
Payment: All off-shore purchases are pre-paid to a Chinese bank before shipment. What is your recourse if the product fails? A reputable supplier such as Flash Drive Direct gives you protection by US commerce laws and the insurance provided by Visa or MasterCard.
Conclusion: You may find flash drives cheaper than at Flash Drive Direct, but they won’t be better….or even the same! As the old saying goes………The taste of a bargain is easily replaced by the bitterness of being fooled.So if you think you can buy cheaper please go ahead, it is at your own risk. If you want quality please consider working through your distributor and a reputable supplier.

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