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Fast USB 2.0 Flash Drives

We test vendors' top-speed offerings

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While there was considerable variation between CrystalDiskMark, 2GB File and 1GB Folder read speeds, the equivalent write speeds were much more consistent betwen the three tests. In order, then, with the best write speed first and worst last, we have:

1. Corsair Voyager GT 128
2. Lexar JumpDrive Lightning
3. Corsair Voyager GT 32 and SanDisk Cruzer Contour
5. LaCie IamaKey and PNY Attaché Optima
7. Sony MicroVault Click Excellence
8. Kingston DataTraveler 410
9. Patriot Xporter XT Boost

Averaging a drive's rating across the three read tests yields the following order, again with the best read speed first and the worst last:

1. Corsair Voyager GT 32
2. Lexar JumpDrive Lightning and Corsair Voyager GT 128
4. Sony MicroVault Click Excellence
5. LaCie IamaKey
6. Patriot Xporter XT Boost
7. SanDisk Cruzer Contour
8. PNY Attaché Optima
9. Kingston DataTraveler 410

Clearly, then, you are not going to be disappointed with a Corsair or Lexar drive, but you are likely to be unimpressed with a Kingston. The Patriot's poor write performance drags it down too. Good middle-of-road performers: LaCie, Sony, SanDisk and PNY, in that order.

Check out our charts for a fuller picture, particular for read speed, which saw some interesting oddities. SanDisk's Cruzer Contour, for example, scored poorly at reading the 2GB file, but much better with our 100-file 1GB Folder test. The Corsair 128 went the opposite way, a sign perhaps of the roles their respective controllers have been optimised for.

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