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Home > Hardware Reviews > General Computing

Monday, June 20, 2005
Creation USB Drive

4. Performance

In order to test the reading/writing performance of the Creation USB drives, we used two well known benchmarking applications: HD Tach and Sisoft Sandra 2005 SR1. All tests were conducted under WinXP x64 environment with an ASUS P5GD2 Premium motherboard (USB2.0 compatible).

HD Tach Results

128MB Results

256MB Results

512MB Results

1GB Results

Summing up the HD Tach results, we can say that the performance of the 512MB and 1GB USB drives were superb with almost 8MB/s reading/writing speed. The 128MB drive has the highest reading performance, while the 256MB the second best. What's rather strange is the very low writing performance of both the 128 and 256MB sticks.

Creation USB Drive capacity
Reading Performance
Writing Performance
128MB
10.3MB/s
2.3MB/s
256MB
8.5MB/s
2.2MB/s
512MB
7.9MB/s
7.3MB/s
1GB
7.9MB/s
7.4MB/s

Sisoft Sandra 2005 SR1 Results

Sisoft Sandra has two series of tests.

  • The "File system" which tests how your drive(s) and controller(s) compare to other devices in a typical system:

· Read Test: Buffered, Random, Sequential
· Write Test: Buffered, Random, Sequential
· Seek Test

The "Drive Index" mark is a composite figure representing an overall performance rating based on the average of the read, write, and seek tests, and file and cache size. The Drive Index is intended to represent drive performance under typical use in a PC. A larger number means better performance. The weighting of the results is not equal and represents the distribution of different files sizes as used on these devices (obtained through field research).

The 128MB drive, since it had the highest reading performance, got the highest Drive Index at 9MB/s, while the 256MB the lowest with 7MB/s.

  • The "Compact Flash" typical usage model for these devices is File operations, such as Writing a file to the device, reading a file from it, and deleting a file. This benchmark exercises the devices in terms of these operations (to measure the “raw” cluster level performance of the device, it is recommended to also test it by means of the File System Benchmark module). The following characteristics are measured for each of the four representative file sizes of 512 Bytes (representing a minimal single data cluster file), 32kB, 256kB and 2MB. The weighting of the results is not equal and it represents the distribution of different files sizes as used on these devices (obtained through field research). For each of the four file sizes, a Combined Index is then calculated, stating the combined performance in terms of Combined Operations Per Second, with respect to a mix of write, read and delete operations.
  • Combined Device Index: is a composite figure representing an overall performance rating based on the average of the Combined Index figures over the four file sizes. (Higher is better, i.e. better performance)
  • Endurance Factor: is a figure representing the Wear and Life Expectancy of flash devices; this is obtained by dividing the average performance (normal condition, i.e. sequential write) to the lowest performance (high-stress condition, i.e. same block re-write). It measures the relative improvement of endurance caused by the wear leveling or flash management algorithm; the absolute endurance of a device (i.e. its expected life-time) is directly dependent, in addition to this Endurance Factor, on the nominal manufacturer rating of maximum erase/reprogram cycles, which is typically 100,000+ for SLC and 10,000+ for MLC devices. (Higher is better, i.e. longer life-time for the device)

Again, the best performance came from the 128MB drive with the highest Combined Index but with the lowest Endurance Factor. The 512MB has the highest Endurance Factor at 17.2.




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