Performance in FC-Test
FC-Test will help us examine the flash drives under real-life conditions. We’ll use two versions of this test utility, but they share the same general principle.
The program writes and reads a few file-sets and measures the time it takes to perform each operation. This helps calculate the speed of the drive and see how it depends on the number and size of the processed files. We use three file-sets that differ in the size (1, 10 and 100MB) and number (1, 10, and 100) of files included. Practice suggests that a 100MB file is large enough to reveal the maximum performance of a USB flash drive and using a larger file doesn’t affect the results much.
The first diagram shows the speed of writing a hundred 1MB files and the drive from Buffalo is the fastest here. It is followed by the Super Talent while the rest of the drives are rather far behind the two leaders. The products from SimpleTech, TwinMOS, Filemate, Kingston (Secure), OCZ (Mega-Kart) and SanDisk are obviously slow in this test.
It is the 4GB Corsair that wins the test of reading the 100x1MB file-set. It is followed by the Buffalo. Next go five more drives that have similar results. These are the products of Patriot, Super Talent, ATP, A-DATA, and the 8GB drive from Corsair. On the other hand, the flash drives from TwinMOS, SanDisk and RiDATA are the slowest of all here. They are about two times slower than the leader.
There are but small changes in the top part of the diagram in the test of writing the 10x10MB file-set. The Buffalo drive is in the lead again, followed by the Super Talent. The rest of the drives are lagging far behind. There are the same names among the slowest devices, but their order has changed because some of them, particularly the drives from SimpleTech and Filemate, have increased their write speed when processing the larger files.
The drives’ read speed changes but little when they have to process larger files. The 4GB Corsair takes first place again, and the Buffalo is second. Next go the Patriot, Super Talent, ATP, A-DATA and the 8GB Corsair that have roughly similar speeds among themselves.
Most of the drives improve their speed when writing a 100MB file. Although the Buffalo and Super Talent are still in the lead, their pursuers have got much closer. We mean the Patriot Xporter and the OCZ Rally2 whose write speeds have improved the most as the size of the test file has increased. There are the same names in the bottom of the diagram, yet we can note the considerable growth of speed of the SimpleTech drive.
The last diagram of this section proves that the increase of the file size to 100MB doesn’t affect the read speed as much as it does the speed of writing. The 4GB Corsair is the fastest again, and the Buffalo is second. They are followed by five drives that have similar results. And we’ve got the same trio of losers: the drives from TwinMOS, SanDisk, and RiDATA.