Corsair Flash Voyager GS 128GB Review

👤by Tim Harmer Comments 📅29-11-13
Testing Methodology

The following are the crucial system specs for this test.

CPU:- Intel i5-3570K @ Stock
RAM:- 8GB GEIL DDR3-1600
Motherboard:- MSI Big Bang Marshal (P67-B3) - NEC/Renasas USB 3.0 Controller
SSD:- Kingston SSDNow V+100 (230MB/s / 180MB/s Read/Write)

Test Criteria

When testing the drive we wanted to evaluate the general speed of the drive under a couple of different conditions. As many users are still without USB 3, especially in a corporate environment, we also felt that testing the potential of the drive under USB 2.0 was important. Ideally a fast USB 3.0 drive should max out the available bandwidth of USB 2.0 - 480Mbps or 35MB/s theoretically - rather than only show an improvement under optimal conditions.

USB 3.0

The Maximum theoretical bandwidth of USB 3.0 is 5Gbps (625 MB/s); under the most common data encoding parameters this figure drops to ~400MB/s, still dwarfing the spec limits of the majority of USB 3.0 thumb drives. Though the absolute maximum data transfer rate for the drive under reasonable conditions is generally of primary importance, it's also sensible to capture the performance with small file sizes and IOPS to allow a detailed comparison with other USB 3 drives and usage scenarios.

We’re able to test the drive against the high performance 64GB Kingston DataTraveler HyperX 3.0 and 32GB Mach Xtreme MX-ES previously reviewed. Note that unlike the MX-ES this drive doesn’t boast SLC NAND, and so has lower write rates.

USB 2.0

Here, all we wish to test is the speed of the drive in relation to more affordable USB 2.0 drives, and assess whether it can make the most of the 35MB/s available in this configuration. We will be comparing the Flash Voyager GS against the 32GB MX-ES, DataTraveler HyperX 3.0 and a Kingston 8GB DataTraveler SE9, which has fairly typical specs for USB 2.0 flash drives.

Testing Notes:-

1. Poorly configured or malfunctioning USB 3.0 ports may not recognise USB 3.0 devices, but still work in USB 2.0 mode for USB 2.0 devices. Do not assume that the drive is at fault if this occurs, especially if other USB 3.0 devices have yet to be tested.

2. For reasons unknown, some USB 3.0 ports may be limited to ~135MB/s read/write operation. Though not an issue for most drives, external USB 3.0 SSD enclosures and flash drives which are capable of greater speed will suffer.

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