by Rob Williams on June 9, 2010 in External Storage, Security
With USB 3.0 storage devices popping up all over, now is a good time to consider making the move to one, whether it be an enclosure or flash drive. To kick off what will be the first of many USB 3.0 device reviews, we’re taking a look at Super Talent’s SuperCrypt thumb drive, which promises both huge speeds and huge data protection.
Over the past year, many storage companies have been jumping on the CrystalDiskMark bandwagon to help strut their drive’s performance as best as possible. It’s easy to understand why, too, since this benchmark gives results that are far higher than others, and in some regards, it could be considered unrealistic given that in real-world tests and other synthetic benchmarks, the results never equal up. We include it for the sake of interest and because it is still a very thorough benchmark.
Of all the tests we ran on Super Talent’s drive, this is one of two that supports the company’s 240MB/s rating. In fact, it came even closer to 250MB/s. On the write side, we saw the drive break just the 100MB/s mark. For the record, that write speed is equaled to or surpasses most mechanical hard drives.
CrystalDiskMark does well to show the absolute top-end value of a storage device, but ATTO comes close as well. Its test can test a wide-range of cluster sizes, for both read and write, but we only note 4KB, 64KB and 1024KB of the former.
Like CrystalDiskMark, ATTO also supports Super Talent’s read rating of 240MB/s.
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 refuse it due to coming so close to the total density.
It’s clear that in the real-world, the differences between USB 2.0 and 3.0 are not near as stark as with synthetic tests, but the differences are still rather large, especially with our single large file tests. USB 2.0 transfer to the same drive took about 3x as long to transfer a 4GB file!
USB 3.0 is still highly favored where a 16GB file or folder is concerned, although the endurance of copying thousands of files within our 16GB folder diminished some of the gain we’d hope to see. If you’re dealing with large solid files, the transfers are incredibly faster compared to USB 2.0.
There isn’t a large difference here between USB 2.0 and 3.0 for the Super Talent drive, but as these processes are a bit more processor-bound than storage-bound, it was to be expected. Converting music on a standard USB 2.0 thumb drive proved quite painful on the Corsair drive, though.