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From a performance point of view, this test session produced the following leaders: Super Talent 200x, Buffalo RUF2-S, Patriot Xporter, OCZ ATV Turbo and OCZ Rally 2 Turbo. All of them had superb results at both reading and writing files and easily passed the Vista ReadyBoost compliancy check.

By the way, you may be wondering why we perform the ReadyBoost check at all if the technology itself is rather dubious. Well, as opposed to most other tests which require a high speed of sequential reading or writing, the ReadyBoost test operates with random requests. The most common application of flash drives – using them as portable storage – demands a high linear speed but there is one application, besides ReadyBoost, which needs a high random access speed. We mean using flash drives for storing applications. You can just plug your flash drive into a USB port of any PC and access the programs you’ve brought with you. This usage is becoming more popular and is targeted by U3 technology which is supported by some of the tested drives and by software collections such as PortableApps. The random access speed is important when you start your applications right from the flash drive because it largely determines the effective performance of such applications.

Thus, if you plan to use your flash drive mainly for carrying files, you should consider the FC-Test results in the first place. But if you are going to launch applications from the drive, you should take a look at the IOMeter/ReadyBoost test.

An example of the difference between these tests is the OCZ Rally 2 model which showed very good sequential speeds but failed the ReadyBoost and random access tests. For comparison, the OCZ Rally 2 Turbo is among the leaders in both cases.

The Transcend JetFlash 185 needs a special mention. The 2GB version of this drive showed a very good read speed and a record-breaking write speed in our previous test session but the 4GB model is not that good. Moreover, it is among the slowest three drives in terms of read speed. So, be careful when reading through test results: the numbers only apply to the particular model rather than to the entire series.

As for the losers, the RiData Yego EZdrive, A-Data C701 and LG Mini Retractable are the slowest drives in this test session, they performed poorly in every test. Their exterior design isn’t that impressive, either. In our opinion, the C701 is simple and inexpensive-looking, the Mini Retractable is not convenient to use, and the EZdrive is too large. They can hardly appeal much to the potential customer.

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