|Super Talent RAIDDrive USB-3.0 Flash Drive|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Friday, 23 April 2010|
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USB-3.0 Final Thoughts
SuperSpeed USB 3.0 has some room to grow and mature. It's an excellent standard that improves over the out-going HiSpeed USB-2.0 protocol by more than 250%, but it lacks universal support. On Intel motherboards, the USB controller is supported by the ICH 'Southbridge', and driver support is native from Microsoft Windows XP forward. USB 3.0 is not. As of April 2010, all motherboards including the new SuperSpeed support utilize NEC's D720200F1 controller which relies on NEC driver software. Unfortunately, SuperSpeed USB-3.0 is not natively supported by Microsoft Windows 7, so it will have to wait for the next version of the O/S which is still a few years away.
Once SuperSpeed USB-3.0 is functional and put into service, the theoretical advantages are impressive. SuperSpeed USB-3.0 offers theoretical bandwidth of 5Gbps, which could potentially rival the SATA 6Gb/s storage interface. While the idea of USB-3.0 based primary drives is not supported by Windows 7, Benchmark Reviews hopes to one day demonstrate the differences between running the Operating System on a SATA SSD and on a SuperSpeed USB 3.0 flash drive.
The Super Talent USB-3.0 RAIDDrive performed at up to 239 MB/s read and 106 MB/s write speeds in our RAID-0 benchmark tests, which is far beyond the sub-30 MB/s speeds offered by the fastest USB-2.0 flash drives. Still, 239/106 is a stretch from Super Talents advertised maximum speeds of 320/180 MB/s. In standard USB-3.0 tests the RAIDDrive produced 168/69 MB/s, which is not nearly as impressive.
In terms of appearance the RAIDDrive is elegant, but still big and elegant. Measuring 3.74" long by 1.34" wide and 0.61" thick, the RAIDDrive will fit a pocket or briefcase, but don't expect it to become your next keychain flash drive. Sadly, I've seen mobile phones that were about the same size.
Offering fast portable flash-based storage in 32/64/128GB capacities is a great start, and performing at up to 239/106 MB/s certainly helps, but ultimately the functionality for Super Talent's RAIDDrive rests in the hands of the user. Depending on the Operating System, features such as TurboBoost and SuperFetch may further increase performance. Additionally, some file types and sizes transfer faster than others.
As of late April 2010, none of the three Super Talent RAIDDrive sizes are available at NewEgg. Listed below are the suggested retail prices, which may guide consumers in locating the best online deal.
+ Industry's First SuperSpeed USB-3.0 Flash Drive
- Large Profile Size
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