by William Kelley on December 11, 2007 in Storage

Rugged thumb drives are nothing new, but they are from the folks at OCZ. They recently released their ATV and ATV Turbo drives, ranging from 2GB – 16GB, and have huge promises strapped to them. We put one of each through a battery of “real-world” tests as well as our normal performance testing.

Torture Time, Final Thoughts

Now, on with the REAL testing. OCZ makes some bold claims with these Flash Drives in that they are ready for any abuse you can throw at them. Of course, this is within reason, but most users who buy Flash Drives are likely to either drop it in a puddle, sit on it or run into any number of other everyday hazards.

I decided to be much more ruthless in my attempt to purposely ruin mine. I used the 2GB model for my torture testing and I made sure to load it up with all sorts of data. I loaded almost 2GB of pictures, music and Word files to have a fair representation of what a normal user would have on them and would want protected.

OCZ claims they are waterproof.

I have to agree. After 2 hours in my makeshift bath, it ran beautifully after a quick drying with no corruption. It was actually faster after its first bath.

Honestly, I figured that was much too easy of a test. Time for the freezer.

The drive spent 72 hours in my freezer to make certain that it was frozen solid. Then it was time to smash it out. It took 4 slam dunks onto my driveway before it escaped, but soon enough it was free.

The next logical test is a weight test. Luckily for me, I had my car handy to do a few laps over the drive to test it out.

If you look closely, you will see the tread marks from my tires on the drive itself. Again, after I went back and forth over it 3 times, it suffered no ill effects and it was still testing at the same speed as after its first bath.

The 72 hours in the freezer, the shock of smashing it out of the ice and finally driving over it with my car cause no issues with it at all. In fact, it did not even look as if it was abused for a second after all of this. Once again, it was testing at an even higher speed after all this abuse, for whatever reason.

I further tested this drive by throwing it out my car window while driving 60 MPH, I let my kids play with it for an entire day unsupervised and I even left it on the stove while cooking supper. None of these things affected it.

With both flash drives, the only damage I was able to inflict was to the 4GB drive when I mistakenly pushed my PC into its home and bent the 4GB drive into a nearly 90 degree angle. While this did break the water tight seal, it did not affect the performance of the drive. Truly incredible toughness is definitely not an understatement for these guys.

Final Thoughts

Now it’s time for some final thoughts and my personal rating. I give these drives a solid 9 out of 10. A rating that high is not given often here as it is reserved for products that far exceed the expectations of the tester. I can firmly state that these drives were FAR tougher than I expected. I had no doubt they would easily pass the dunk test, but all the physical abuse I dished out was sucked up and spit out by these drives.

Even when I was purposely trying to destroy the 2GB model, I could not. I find it amazing that after driving a 3500 pound car over it repeatedly did not affect it for even a second. Same with all shock testing I performed. Your data will be very safe when saved on these drives and I can firmly recommend them.

When it is time to decide just how important you data is and just how durable you need your flash drives to be, I strongly suggest you look very hard at these units. I didn’t lose one single byte of data during all my testing. They took some major abuse that I guarantee OCZ never even thought about when they designed them, and their Lifetime Guaranty is one of the best in the business.

Once you get past the slightly higher price tag, I still firmly believe you get what you pay for and what you get here are some incredibly strong and effective drives that also offer some of the highest speeds available.


  • Extremely durable
  • Very fast
  • Vista Ready Boost ready
  • Covered by OCZ’s generous Lifetime Guaranty

  • Pricey compared to other drives in their class
  • Chain for holding cap is flimsy

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