To determine a good quality flash drive, you have to look at both its read and write speeds. Most drives don’t have a problem with fast read access, but can be painfully slow when writing; and write speed becomes critically important as the storage size increases.
We tested A-Data’s C702 drive with a decent sample of drives to get a feel for its performance level. We used several “consumer-level” drives and some “enthusiast-level” drives that tout dual-channel flash technology. We tested the drives with the ATTO drive benchmark, as well as HDbench. Below is our test machine:
- Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 processor
- Asus P5W-DH Deluxe (Intel 975 chipset)
- Asus D2X PCI-E sound card
- 8GB OCZ DDR2-1024 memory
- XFX GeForce 8800GTS video card
- Windows Vista Ultimate (64-bit)
Because of the way flash technology works, drive performance increases with bigger blocks (writing a bunch of very small files will take a lot longer than the same size of 1 huge zip file). ATTO’s benchmark is a good measure of how flash drives scale depending on the block of data being accessed.
|ATTO benchmark resutls
HDBench doesn’t give such a granular result as ATTO, but gives a better idea of “real-world” performance because it shows a single rating for read, write, and copy speeds. This benchmark pretty much agreed with the results found with ATTO.
|HDBench benchmark results
While OCZ’s Rally 2 Turbo drive beat all of the others, it is also the only “enthusiast-level” drive in the group and has dual-channel technology. OCZ’s ATV is a “consumer-level” device, but also supports dual-channel technology, and was only slightly faster than A-Data’s C702 drive (in write speed). When it comes to read speed, the C702 was able to edge out the ATV.
You can analyze the chart all you want, but the big picture is that the C702 is in the middle of the road in terms of read and write performance, and is very good for its class. If you need a higher-performing drive, then you need to step up to the enthisiast level devices (which tend to be alot more expensive). Also keep in mind that your results may differ depending on your motherboard’s chipset, drivers, and OS, but at least these charts demonstrate how each drive performs when compared on equal footing.