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Appeared on: Monday, February 11, 2013
Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 G3 32GB

1. Features, specifications

We have in our hands the Kingston's DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 Generation 3 (DTU30G3), a USB 3.0 flash drive that supports data transfer rates of up to 150MB/s read and 70MB/s write, offering you the convenience of carrying files with incredible speed and ease.

The portable drive features a capless design and it is Mac and Windows compatible and backwards compatible with USB 2.0 ports. It's backed by a five-year warranty. 

The DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 G3 is available in capacities of 32GB (part # DTU30G3/32GB) and 64 GB (part #DTU30G3/64GB), rated at the following speeds:


2. Package

The Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 G3 32GB is available in online stores at the € 37~43 price range - a good deal compared to other 32GB USB3.0 memory flash drives.

Below you see the package of the flash drive, which comes secured into a hard plastic shell:

As you see in the picture below, the USB thumb drive is not as compact in size as we see in some other portable flash storage devices.

It features a retractable design with an aluminum enclosure that offers the drive protection from bumps, bangs, and cracks. The brushed aluminum housing is thick and wraps around the device on each end. A a key ring is also available for hooking up the drive on a key chain.

The USB3.0 connector appears when you slide the left side of the drive to the right:

The blue USB connector indicates that the drive is USB 3.0-compatible.

3. Benchmarks

We tested the DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 G3 USB drive in the following PC:

Using the Sisoftware Sandra application, we confirmed that the drive has a single logical FAT32 partition and the available storage capacity is with 29.28GB:

The first benchmark we used was the CrystalDiskMark v3.0.2. The software provides throughput data based on sequential reads and writes, and random (512K/4K/4KQD32) reads and writes of various sizes. The drive surprised us with a reading speed of 205.5MB/sec for sequential reading, while the average writing speed was 93.80MB/sec. Both results are much higher than the rated speeds by Kingston:

The Sisoftware Sandra has confirmed the previous very high results. At the the "Physical Disks" test, the drive's exceeded the 190MB/sec:

The drive also worked like charm at the "File System I/O" test returning very high IOPS:

We continue our tests with the HDTachRW software. It shows the potential read speed which you are likely to experience with the SSD. The software measures the sequential read speed, the random access speed and sequential write speed.

Since the drive's default partition could not be deleted, we couldn't perform the write test, so we disabled. The average reading performance of the drive was 163.6MB/sec with a burst speed of 210.5MB /sec:

We move on to the HD Tune Pro software, another utility we used to measure the drive's reading and writing performances. The average sequential reading speed was 186MB/sec.

Besides the transfer speed tests, HD Tune's file benchmark also includes block size tests.Thee data patterns available that can be used during the write process: zero, random and mixed, which is a combination of zeroes and random data. Of course, using these different data patterns makes sense when testing mainly SSDs, which use a compression techniques in order to improve their performance when compressible data is used.
For these devices the results are typically highest when writing zeroes and lowest when writing random data.

We start with a sequential transfer speed of a 500MB file using zeros in the writing part. The average sequential writing speed for the Kingston drive was 64.508 MB/s, which is lower than what the previous benchmarks reported:

Selecting the "Random" or the "Mixed" data patterns had no serious impact to drive's sequential read or write performance:


Lastly, we used ATTO Disk Benchmark. With 8MB files the drive returned 194MB/sec in the reading test and and 60MB/sec in the writing part. The highest writing performance was reported with 64KB files (95.805MB/s). The highest reading speed was 194.871 MB/s, when we used 8MB files:

4. Conclusion

The Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 G3 offers superb reading/writing performance offering transfer rates of up to up to 200MB/sec in reading and 90MB/s in writing tests - figures that exceeded the product's specifications. So if you need a high-capacity portable flash drive to transfer large media files between systems, the Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 G3 is a very wise choice. Of course, the drive will not be as fast when dealing with smaller files and in real world testing with many different files, you are dealing with a drive capable of writing at about 150MB/s and reading at 70 MB/s.

High-performance comes at a cost, and we are not talking about money as the Kingston drive is well-priced at about $45. Still, it looks bigger in size when compared to other tiny USB flash drives available at the market. It's size does not limit its portability - it fits on a key ring or in a pocket - but we would love to see a more compact design.

The drive is backed by a 5-year warranty and is USB3.0-certified.

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