USB memory sticks have become an integral part of our lives, as we need more and more places to store our data on a daily basis. Portable data in particular is very much an integral part of our lives, as photos and songs and various documents are shared between friends, family and colleagues at work. And as such, a 4GB, or even 8GB stick just doesn’t cut it anymore.
Today I’ll be looking at the 32GB variants from Apacer: one coming in a traditional size with a slide-out head, the other in one of the smallest USB sticks I have seen to date.
So starting off with the regular version, we have the Apacer AH350 USB 3.0 flash drive, which measures in just over 2-inches long. The glossy black cover has a slider on the side which pushes out the USB connector. There’s a small blue LED which starts blinking once activity begins on the flash stick.
Next up is the Apacer AH152 32GB USB 3.0 flash drive which is literally just the USB connector measuring 1.1-inches, with an extended gold-plated casing for you to grab it with. As cool as the AH152 looks, my fear is that without any holes to loop in a cable (to hook it up with your keychain) you’re most likely going to lose this stick.
Performance wise the write speeds of the Apacer USB 3.0 flash sticks are left severely wanting. The numbers remain close to what USB 2.0 flash sticks will give us in terms of write speeds, that is to say nothing as remarkable as USB 3.0 external hard drives, but still better than the abysmal read speeds on USB 2.0 flash drives.
When transferring the 7.77GB folder of Diablo III to the AH350 drive, the maximum transfer rate achieved was 25MB/s, while transferring the same folder returned read speed of 76.8MB/s. On the AH152 I recorded similar write speeds, although read speeds improved marginally to 88MB/s. Comparatively on the Kingston DT Ultimate G2 16GB, I had write speeds of 92MB/s and read speeds of 108MB/s, which is what I expect USB 3.0 speeds to be.
Synthetic benchmarks on Crystal Diskmark for sequential read and write speeds, and HDTach for burst speeds yielded the following results.
The Kingston USB 3.0 flash stick completely outmatches the Kingston flash drives, not only in real world data transfer speeds, but also in synthetic benchmarks that represent absolute compressed data transfer.
So while the Apacer 32GB memory sticks are great for convenience due to their extremely small size, they severely lack in speeds, despite the USB 3.0 rating. And if you’re in a hurry to share some files on the go, you’re going to have to wait a very long time, depending on how big the file size is. Of course, both these 32GB drives sell for $25 (AED 100), whereas the 16GB Kingston DT Ultimate sells for almost twice as much, so you get what you pay for.