by Rob Williams on February 13, 2013 in External Storage
For years, there’s been a constant battle in the flash drive market where companies have tried to build the smallest drive possible but boast the most amount of space. In this regard, it has to be said that Kingston is the current winner. Its DT HyperX Predator isn’t much larger than a regular performance thumb drive, but its storage starts out at 512GB.
Over the past few years, many storage companies have been jumping on the CrystalDiskMark bandwagon to help strut their product’s performance, and it’s easy to understand why. Compared to others, CrystalDiskMark delivers results that are much higher, and in some regards, they could be considered unrealistic given that real-world tests and even other synthetic benchmarks never seem to back up its claims. We include it for the sake of interest and because it is still a very thorough benchmark.
Performance in HD Tune for the read speed fell slightly behind expectations, but CDM gave us the opposite result by delivering higher on both fronts, with 250MB/s read and 175MB/s write. We’ll soon see if that carries over into real-world performance.
While CrystalDiskMark does well to show the absolute top-end value of a storage device, ATTO doesn’t fall too far behind, if at all. Its test uses a wide-range of cluster sizes, for both read and write, but we only note 4KB, 64KB and 1024KB of the former. For those interested, we use a queue depth value of 10 for testing.
As far as ATTO is concerned, the Predator drive is one of the fastest we’ve ever taken a look at, especially where 4KB data transfers are concerned.
For real-world testing, we use a set of files and folders for the sake of measuring transfer speeds, and also convert images and music on the storage device to see just how well it fares for large intensive operations. For the transfer speeds, we use both 4GB and 16GB files and folders, and for the former, we also perform copy tests, which refers to copying the file or folder on the storage device. We don’t do this for our 16GB files and folders as some 32GB drives refuse it due to coming so close to the total density.
Note: We benchmarked the Predator drive using both 32KB (default) and 4KB cluster sizes for these tests; the former because it’s default and the latter because it’s the standard size we used on all of the other drives.
The first thing to note from these results is the difference in performance that moving from 32KB to 4KB sectors made – huge. We shaved a couple of seconds off of the file transfer and about 40% off the folder. That is, without question, significant. That comparison aside, the Predator performed great where solid file transfers were concerned, but fell a bit behind when thousands of files are transferred.