Feeds

Fast USB 2.0 Flash Drives

We test vendors' top-speed offerings

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Group Test Anyone else remember how the death of the floppy disk was supposed to mean the end of the 'sneakernet' - files exchanged physically on a handy, portable storage format?

It never happened. Instead, floppies were briefly replaced by higher-capacity media like Iomega's Zip disk and then, when USB really took off, Flash drives. Nowadays, Flash drives are so ubiquitous you can pick low-capacity ones up for nowt at trade fairs.

Fast USB Flash Drives

Flash for Freedom: L-R Corsair Voyager 128, Patriot Xporter XT, Sony Click Excellence, Lexar Lightning and Kingston DataTraveler

The freebies might do for some folk, but plenty of us prefer something rather faster than oh-so-slow giveaways. USB 2.0 helped a lot, but there's still room for improvement, and drive makers are pushing ever faster drives. USB 3.0 will change the game, but it'll be a while before compatible Flash drives arrive - let alone low-cost ones.

We asked the main Flash key makers to lend us their fastest drives. We've focused on speed, but we've factored in portability, solidity and price when we came to choose our Recommended and Editors' Choice products.

The drive sequential and random read and write speeds were tested using CrystalDiskMark 2.2 running on a Windows XP Service Pack 3 machine. The drives were set not to use Windows' disk cacheing.

Since Flash drives aren't generally used as SSDs - you'll grab a file or two off it, but you won't be shuffling data back and forth almost constantly - the random results are less relevant here, though they give an indication of how good they drives are at transferring large numbers of small files. These products are used for bulk transfers, so it's the sequential speeds we're most interested in here.

Fast USB Flash Drives

(L-R) LaCie IamaKey, Corsair Voyager 32, PNY Optima and SanDisk Cruzer Contour

We also tested real-world data read and writes on a MacBook Air using a single 2GB file and a 1GB folder containing 100 10MB files. The test files were copied to the drive, duplicated on the drive and then copied back to the host machine. We timed each transfer then fully shut down the machine, waited 15 seconds or so, and rebooted to test the next product in the list.

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Hi-torque tank engines: EXTREME car hacking with The Register
Bentley found in a hedge gets WW2 lump insertion
What's MISSING on Amazon Fire Phone... and why it WON'T set the world alight
You fought hard and you saved and earned. But all of it's going to burn...
Trousers down for six of the best affordable Androids
Stylish Googlephones for not-so-deep pockets
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
The total economic impact of Druva inSync
Examining the ROI enterprises may realize by implementing inSync, as they look to improve backup and recovery of endpoint data in a cost-effective manner.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Business security measures using SSL
Examines the major types of threats to information security that businesses face today and the techniques for mitigating those threats.