USB Flash Drive Roundup - 10/2005

by Anand Lal Shimpi on 10/4/2005 11:28 AM EST
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  • BJL - Monday, October 16, 2006 - link

    Do the read and write speeds change for the 1gb and above models? Would I get the same performance, or should I stick with the 512mb? Reply
  • NeoZGeo - Monday, October 17, 2005 - link

    what kinf of benchmark are you guys using? How come some of those drive write speed is sooooo low!? Like Trenscent, OCZ Rally, i've seen some reviews out there which says other wise. Reply
  • NeoZGeo - Monday, October 17, 2005 - link

    here's the review by tom's

    if you look at the trenscend jet flash, it actually has the highest write speed average out at 23.3 mb/s vs anandtech's 8.7 mb/s !? what the hell?
    Reply
  • NeoZGeo - Monday, October 17, 2005 - link

    haha oops, forgot about the link :D

    http://www.tomshardware.com/storage/20050520/usb_f...">linky
    Reply
  • quanta - Wednesday, December 07, 2005 - link

    It looked like Tom's test is testing the write speed between USB host and flash drive's controller's memory buffer, instead of actual write speed, which can only be verify by doing a read after writing is completed. There are also reports that http://www.auphanonline.com/articles/view.php?arti...">cluster size may affect the write access behaviour. BTW, Tom's http://www.tomshardware.com/2005/08/10/two_fast_an...">later review has simultaneous reads and writes benchmark, which slows Memina Rocket to a halt. Reply
  • quanta - Wednesday, December 07, 2005 - link

    In addition, even when using buffered write in SiSoft Sandra, it is extremely unlikely that Transcend Jetflash 110 can write anywhere near 23.3MB/s. http://www.oc.com.tw/article/0510/readparticle.asp...">This benchmark shows that when doing random write with Kingston DataTraveler ELITE, write speed dropped more than a half compared to sequential write. Reply
  • TrueWisdom - Wednesday, October 12, 2005 - link

    I'm the in-house support for a university building and I've had absolutely horrible luck with Lexar drives. Lexar often fails to detect entirely on somewhat older machines (the Latitude C840, for example) and has also displayed a relatively high failure rate for me. I don't have any positive or negative impressions of Kingston drives, so I can't say anything there, but I will say that I've had by far the best luck with Sandisk drives. I've never had one fail on me, and I've seen them go through wash cycles, get run over by a car, and get left out in the rain. Compatibility has been universal as well. They may not be the fastest drives but they really are the only ones I've ever trusted. Reply
  • pendrivethis - Friday, October 07, 2005 - link

    i work for a flash memory controller maker and in all honesty the most meaningful performance test is random write. and no one really advertise that since sequential read speeds seem much more appealing and marketable. i can get a dual-channel & interleaving enabled usb 2.0 pen drive with micron or samsung nand-type flash to go up to 34mB/s in sequential read, but the engineer who designed this still tells me that he'd rather use and-type flash from renesas (formerly hitachi) since and flash has a better random write than nand flash.

    and knowing what i know, if you use your pen drive very often, and i suspect some of you may be in that boat, i'd check out some of the burn-in testing results especially since companies are not entirely using only samsung nand flash. certain new flash whether nand-type or ag-and-type and even some high-density samsung flash seem to be displaying a need for extra care in ecc. data-verify errors are fatal, especially if it's the only copy you got...

    anand, perhaps a little visit to some of the design houses for these controllers the next time when you're in taiwan is in order. computex is only 9 months away.
    Reply
  • sprockkets - Thursday, October 06, 2005 - link

    Although not reviewed here, I got the A Data key from newegg.com simply because they say it works with Linux on the package. I know any key will, but they are the only ones to have the guts to say it. Thanks for admitting Linux exists. Lifetime warranty too. Reply
  • jgh - Wednesday, October 05, 2005 - link

    here is a link for another link, to an app that can make many (but probably not all) usb drives bootable and a couple of other hints/tips.

    http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/wlg/5735">link

    O.T. - for some reason i get a message that says i do not have permission to access this forum when i tried to create a new login with my e-mail address. did i get banned or something? i have only posted once (it was about the gta:lcs website). i also cannot log in with the origianl user name and password.

    p.s. - it is o.k. to post links like this right?
    Reply
  • Toolsac - Tuesday, October 04, 2005 - link

    I just wanna say thanks to anand for bring us all so much info on every nook and crany of computing. When ever I am getting ready to upgrade or have a problem with my computer, Anand can help me. THANKS GUYS YOU ROCK!!! Reply
  • GameManK - Tuesday, October 04, 2005 - link

    also curious about the memorex drives like the m-flyer Reply
  • hoppa - Tuesday, October 04, 2005 - link

    Cool article, and a nice summary of the market (the intro stuff), but seriously, who really cares that much about the perfomance of these things when the entire thing can be written or read in <1 minute anyway. I do love benchmarks though (born and will die a stat-whore)!

    I have a suggestion for the article: can you post a single picture of all the drives (preferably with a key). I'd like to see what they all look like but I wasn't too crazy at all about clicking through 20 pages. In fact, I only made it through 4.



    -andy
    Reply
  • vexingv - Friday, October 21, 2005 - link

    its an iomega 256mb and claims to be usb2, but is ridiculously slow compared to a generic 64mb drive i have. i've tried transferring about 20mb worth of portable firefox on the two drives side-by-side and the iomega drive took close to 5 minutes while my other drive took less than a minute.
    these benchmarks are really useful for that purpose of finding drives w/ faster flash memory controllers.
    Reply
  • Souka - Wednesday, October 05, 2005 - link

    REad the article....less than 1 min? Read it....not happening.

    Write times had the biggest delta....upto 20x speed difference....

    So would you rather watch your drive write data for 3.5mins, or almost an hour?




    Far as "clicking through 20 pages" Click once on the "Print this Article"....then you just use page down(or equivalent button) to scroll through
    Reply
  • Chriz - Tuesday, October 04, 2005 - link

    This was a good roundup, but I was also curious on some other drives that can be found on Newegg. Mainly interested in the Apacer drives and also the Memorex M-flyer...which got a good review in Maximum PC because of the retractable USB connector which seems convenient to me, but I am really not sure on the performance compared to other drives. Reply
  • intellon - Tuesday, October 04, 2005 - link

    And why was iPod Shuffle excluded? Is it cuz of security matter/ bigger size/ higher cost? Cuz I use half of my shuffle for transfering files to and from - work, home and school. Reply
  • jkostans - Tuesday, October 04, 2005 - link

    Because its an mp3 player. There are plenty of ipod shuffle type players out there which aren't included, some smaller and more compact. I'm sure they would be with the slowest of the slow. Reply
  • LightRider - Tuesday, October 04, 2005 - link

    Page 22 Shikatronics Manhattan

    quote:

    The drive ships with a lanyard and a USB extension cable, which makes the cap issue less of a hindrance
    USB Extension Cable Included No
    Data Encryption No
    Reply
  • LightRider - Tuesday, October 04, 2005 - link

    Of course I make an error in my post pointing out an error...
    quote:

    Lanyard Included No
    USB Extension Cable Included No
    Reply
  • phisrow - Tuesday, October 04, 2005 - link

    I'm glad to have some idea about real world performance specs, to the degree that the volatility of the market allows that, of these drives. Any chance that this, or future, reviews of this kind could test making the drives bootable. Some are easy, some are impossible, and some need some real voodoo to get them working. I'd love to know which is which these days. Reply
  • johnsonx - Tuesday, October 04, 2005 - link

    Page 13:

    "although, neither is obviously full-proof."
    Reply
  • yacoub - Tuesday, October 04, 2005 - link

    "From top to bottom, a AA battery, Kingston DataTraveler II drive, Kingston DataTraveler Elite."

    No, not even close.
    Elite is on top, DT2 is next, AA battery next, and 9-volt battery on the bottom.
    Reply
  • TheInvincibleMustard - Tuesday, October 04, 2005 - link

    C'mon, I soooo posted that before you!

    :p

    -TIM
    Reply
  • yacoub - Tuesday, October 04, 2005 - link

    What's with all the scratches on the Corsair Flash Voyager's USB connector? Reply
  • TheInvincibleMustard - Tuesday, October 04, 2005 - link

    I was actually wondering that, too ... what did you do to that poor thing to take the cover off???

    All in the name of science, eh?

    TYPO: Pg 13 ... the caption for the "battery" picture doesn't correspond to the actual picture ... oh ... and just how OLD is that 9V Eveready? It looks like something out of the stonage in comparison to the other things in the picture ...

    -TIM
    Reply
  • SpaceRanger - Tuesday, October 04, 2005 - link

    Stonage?? Sorry.. Couldn't help pointing out a typo in a "typo informative" post..

    /em hides now.
    Reply
  • TheInvincibleMustard - Tuesday, October 04, 2005 - link

    :p

    And that's all I hafta say about that.

    -TIM
    Reply
  • sxr7171 - Tuesday, October 04, 2005 - link

    Time to get a Lexar JumpDrive lightning. This may not be important to a lot of people, but a USB drive IMHO needs to have a loop for a keyring. It is the most convenient way to carry the thing and always have it with you no matter what. I guess this applies more to people living in the city and not needing a car and the big bulky car keys/remote that come with that. Reply
  • TheInvincibleMustard - Tuesday, October 04, 2005 - link

    Speaking of, is there some reason the Lexar isn't on the RTPE? I mean, it did just win an Editor's Choice and all, so you'd hope it would be one of the drives listed in the newly-announced Flash Storage section ... :(

    -TIM
    Reply
  • Pete84 - Tuesday, October 04, 2005 - link

    Bummer, OCZ's dual channel USB stick didn't get in. Reply
  • jkostans - Tuesday, October 04, 2005 - link

    Someone didn't read the article...... Reply
  • SpaceRanger - Tuesday, October 04, 2005 - link

    Are USB drives able to be made Bootable?? I know that systems can recognize USB Floppy Drives, and boot from those, but I was wondering if you could take a USB Flash Drive and make it a bootable device. Reply
  • Phantronius - Tuesday, October 04, 2005 - link

    depending on the flash drive and the motherboard BIOS, yes you can do it. Reply
  • Phantronius - Tuesday, October 04, 2005 - link

    1st!!!

    I love my OEM made from some pretty lady in china USB 2.0 stick, its saved my ass so many times for my work, especially in data reterival and spyware removal.
    Reply
  • Souka - Tuesday, October 04, 2005 - link

    I've had the Memina Rocket for a couple months now....before they even announced it (thanks to NewEgg)....write spead defintly kinda bite with small files especially, but usually I put drivers and stuff there once, then read mutliple times....so its a good match for me.

    PQI's I got over a year ago, and completely made everyone jealous.... for once, mem were bragging theirs is smaller than someone else's. :D

    I still use a SanDisk Titanium.....only a 512mb module, but still works well.



    Reply
  • Souka - Wednesday, October 05, 2005 - link

    oopsss...typo

    meant to say...

    PQI's I got over a year ago for my office, and completely made everyone jealous.... for once, men were bragging theirs was smaller!! :D
    Reply

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