Of course, the main concern is performance. For testing I’ve compared the Flash Voyager GT with the Kingston 1GB DataTraveler ReadyFlash and a generic 2GB memory key of which there are many in the TR office.
For testing I began by testing ReadyBoost performance using PC Mark 05’s HDD Tests on a laptop running Vista with an Intel Core Duo T2500, 2GB RAM and a 120GB hard drive. Tests were conducted three times with no ReadyBoost, and then three times with 1GB of ReadyBoost with each USB key. The system was restarted before each new test, and an average was taken from the three results.
The control score, with no ReadyBoost, was 2948. With 1GB of ReadyBoost the Kingston came out on top with an average of 4014, but second was the Generic flash drive with 3920 while the Corsair Flash Voyager trailed with a modest 3345. To say the results were puzzling is putting it mildly, and resulted in no small amount of head scratching and frustration. Having run the tests with the same results each time two theories came to light; either the Voyager GT has lower access times or Vista simply didn’t like it for some unknown reason.
This does tally too, because of all the drives the Corsair was the only one to fail to initialise properly during boot-up. Whether this is a problem with the device drivers, or with Vista, is difficult to determine but to check on the access times I ran HD Tach 3.0, a synthetic benchmarking tool for testing hard drives and flash memory.
The tests showed that the Voyager GT certainly doesn’t have a problem with access times, with an excellent 1.1ms random access time while the Kingston trailed with 1.6ms and the generic drive with 2.1ms. In which case one can only surmise that the ReadyBoost tests are an anomaly, so it’s best not to read too much into them other than to say the Voyager GT may have an issue with Vista – or vice versa.