The Think Network


Product: CES USB Drives
Date: February 4, 2006
Author: Kristofer Brozio
Edited By: Mike Smith
Pages: 1 2
Discussion: Discuss in Forums


I used HD Tach RW from SimpliSoftware for the tests, it tests sequential read speeds, burst, random access and reports average read speed. Lower score is better for random access, higher is better for burst and average read speeds. For the article we will only be focusing on average read, random access and burst speeds.

One thing nice about HD Tach is that it will give you the actual chip or drive name (if there is one). On a drive that is labeled Mustek or Verizon, I'm sure they didn't make the drive, but someone did, so HD Tach can tell us who actually made it.

Here are the basic specs for each of the drives:

The info from HD Tach is reported in the parenthesis ().
- Corsair Flash Voyager: 512mb (Corsair Flash Voyager 1.00)
- Kingston: 256Mb (Kingston DT Elite HS 2.0 5.02)
- SmarThumb 256Mb (USB Flash Disk 2.00)
- Energizer 64Mb (ChipsBnk Flash Disk 2.00)
- Lexar 128Mb (LEXAR JUMPDRIVE 1.20)
- Mustek 64Mb (Flash Drive UT USB20 0.00)
- Verizon 256Mb (OPTI3 Flash Disk 2.00)
- Imation 128Mb (Generic Flash Disk 8.01)

So I got a total of 1600Mb of storage for free!

Side notes about the drives:
- The Imation USB drive is their new rubber wristband USB Drive called the Imation Flash Wristband, I received the 128Mb version at CES as a promo, but the retail is 256Mb
- The Lexar drive is actually a secure USB drive, there is a tiny switch on the side that enables write protecting.
- The Energizer one is all metal and is the size and shape of their Lithium batteries. The cap screws on and off, so no worries about losing your cap!
- That's all the interesting observations of the drives, as I mentioned before I did a formal review of the SmarThumb, so be sure to check that one out later this week, it comes with some cool software.
- Well one more picture for you, it's a graph of the results, I've also included an SATA and an IDE drive for comparison.

Average read speeds are in MB/s
Random Access is in Milliseconds
Burst Speed is in MB/s

Since we know that the higher scores are better for burst and average read speeds and lower scores are better for random access, we can see who the best is and who is the worst performer among the freebies.

For Random Access, well the Verizon drive has a score of 170, the highest or slowest, very slow actually, it is the worst when it comes to Random Access. The best for random access are the Kingston and the Mustek drives, tied for best or fastest random access times, with the Imation and SmarThumb coming in tied for second place.

For Burst speeds, higher the better, the Kingston drive is the fastest with the Corsair coming in second, in reality they are being measured in milliseconds so they are pretty much the same. The worst would be the Energizer and Lexar drives are tied for last.

For Average Read speeds, higher is better, the Corsair Flash Voyager comes out the winner here, no surprise, with the Mustek coming in second (surprise there!). Coming last of slowest is the Energizer.


Well this was just for fun, and nothing should be taken seriously as some of these drives are not even available for sale. I just wanted to show what I got for free, if I would have to give a winner it would be the Corsair Flash Voyager, with the fastest Burst and Read speeds, but there were some surprises actually for times, then again the sizes of the drives are all different and this will affect performance scores. This really wasn't a competition just some fun thing to do while I had some spare time. You also have to remember that these were all promo or freebie drives and may not show the real results of their retail counterparts.

I hope you enjoyed this little article/review as much as I enjoyed playing with all my new USB drives!!!

Discuss in Forums ---->
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