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FC-Test

Now let's check the drives out in FC-Test. Running a little ahead, we can tell you that it produces the same general picture as CrystalDisk Mark except for one nuance.

The Kingston beats the opposition in the read test and is followed by the external HDD from Seagate. The remaining flash drives deliver similar performance, the Transcend being just a little better than the Silicon Power at reading.

The picture isn't so clear in the test of writing although we've got the same pairs of leaders and losers.

The Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate G2 is slower than the external HDD when writing a single large file, but goes ahead with medium and small files.

Oddly enough, the second-generation Kingston performs very differently in the write tests from CrystalDisk Mark and FC-Test. Compared to the first-generation model we tested in our previous review, it is slower in every write test from CrystalDisk Mark except for sequential writing. FC-Test, which is closer to real-life applications, produces a completely different picture: the second-generation model is somewhat faster than its predecessor in each mode.

The Silicon Power is ahead of the Transcend in terms of sequential writing but the latter is better with small and medium-sized files. The Transcend is overall the faster drive in this pair.

Compared to the Kingmax ED-01 from our previous test session, these products are somewhat slower when writing a single large file, but faster with small and medium-sized files where the Kingmax failed completely. This may be due to the difference in the USB 3.0 controllers, though (the ASMedia controller proved to be faster than the EtronTech when writing small files to a fast flash drive, but we guess we should leave this topic for a comprehensive review of USB 3.0 controllers).

Conclusion

The Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 G2 is surely the star product of this review. It proved to be superior to the other two USB 3.0 flash drives in every parameter and could even challenge the external HDD. So if you used to prefer portable HDDs for their speed rather than storage capacity, it's time to switch to modern flash drives which deliver the same performance but are much easier to handle. Rather large for a flash drive, the DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 G2 is still much smaller than an external HDD.

The Transcend JetFlash 700 and Silicon Power Blaze B10 can also be considered as rather fast portable storage media if you don't mind their low write speed, especially with medium-sized and small files. These two are quite fast at reading files of any size and do not slow down much when writing large files. They are affordable and comparable to ordinary USB 2.0 products in price. Somewhat faster and cheaper, the Transcend JetFlash 700 may seem more appealing than the Silicon Power Blaze B10. But again, you must be aware of their ambiguous speed characteristics. They are fast when reading or when writing large files, but are no better than regular USB 2.0 flash drives when writing small files. They were also inferior in speed to the external HDD.

 
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