USB Drives

By on April 20, 2009
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Its quite amazing how popular USB flash drives have become. They have pretty much replaced all forms of portable storage devices and there are many reasons why that happened. First and foremost, a USB port is available on almost any recent Mac and PC. Secondly, these drives are quite portable and sometimes even fashionable. Lastly, [...]

Its quite amazing how popular USB flash drives have become. They have pretty much replaced all forms of portable storage devices and there are many reasons why that happened. First and foremost, a USB port is available on almost any recent Mac and PC. Secondly, these drives are quite portable and sometimes even fashionable. Lastly, they keep expanding in storage without sacrificing their sizes by much. We take a look at four such drives today.

all-side

The group picture includes what we think is a standard sized USB drive of 2GB capacity on the left with our four contestants on the right. As you can see, all the drives we tested are slightly bigger than your average USB drive but they are very pocketable. Lets see what special about each of these four drives.

OCZ ATV 8GB
Our first USB drive comes from OCZ in the form of their highly rugged ATV USB drive. The shock proof drive is enclosed in a rubber tread housing which is 100% weatherproof and waterproof- perfect for the Dubai climate. If you’re one of the outdoor types, this drive will keep your data safe and sound.

Corsair Survivor 32GB
You might have read our review of the 8GB version of this drive which is now upgraded to 32GB. The aircraft-grade aluminum shell of this drive was boiled, drowned, thrown from the roof and put under a sledge hammer and yet it managed to retain all its data. Needless to say, you can easily go paint-balling with this monster in your pocket. Who knows, it might save your family jewels as well.

SanDisk Cruzer Contour 32GB
Although extremely popular with storage devices, this is the first SanDisk product that has ever been sent for us. Designed for speed, this 32GB drive has an interesting retractable USB port so you don’t really need any cover to prevent it from damage or a can of soda. SanDisk bundles their U3 utility with the Cruzer that allows you to download and install applications such as Firefox on this drive and use it from any PC- more on this in an upcoming article.

Patriot Magnum 64GB
I still find the 64GB of storage this drive offers a bit unbelievable. Not too long ago, my entire hard drive was 80GB. With such massive amounts of storage, its very easy to not just carry your applications like the SanDisk Cruzer, but your entire operating system as well.

We tested these four drives on a Shuttle XPC equipped with an Intel X48 chipset and USB 2.0 ports. The following are results reported by SanSoft Sandra’s USB Drive Benchmark.

sandisk_sandra_graph

Taking the Corsair Survivor as a base, we can see the OCZ ATV and SanDisk performing considerably better with the Magnum proving to be a slow drive. So, between these drives, it boils down to what you’re looking for- if you want a huge capacity and dont mind the slow speed then Magnum is your obvious choice. If you want something rugged and for ourdoor use, the OCZ is faster with lower capacity while the Corsair is slower but with higher capacity.  The SanDisk offers a good balance between speed and capacity and that would be my choice between the four.


About

Abbas Jaffar Ali is the founder of tbreak.com and a blogger, geek and self-declared tech pundit who can't stop talking about technology. Find him on twitter as @ajaffarali

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