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BARE FEATS LAB - real world Mac speed tests

REVIEW: VisionTek USB Pocket SSD

Originally posted November 18th, 2014 by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist
Updated November 19th with SanDisk Extreme Pro results
Added info on VisionTek Pocket SSD Processor

Ever wish you could have a 'thumb' drive that was as fast as 'normal' USB 3.0 SuperSpeed drive enclosure? Maybe your wish just came true. Meet the VisionTek USB 3.0 Pocket SSD.

GRAPH LEGEND
OWC Envoy Pro = OWC Envoy Pro USB 3.0 with Aura Pro 480G Flash Blade
VisionTek Pocket (O) = VisionTek USB 3.0 Pocket 256G Flash Drive (OS X Extended format)
VisionTek Pocket (M) = VisionTek USB 3.0 Pocket 256G Flash Drive (MS-DOS FAT format)
SanDisk Extreme Pro = SanDisk Extreme Pro 128G Flash USB 3.0 'Thumb' Drive
PNY Turbo = PNY Turbo 128G Flash USB 3.0 'Thumb' Drive

Test 'mule' was a 'late 2013' Retina MacBook Pro with two SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports.
RED graph bar means the fastest overall in Megabytes per Second.

LARGE SEQUENTIAL TRANSFER TEST
We used the QuickBench custom sequential 1GB test (average of 5 cycles).

SMALL RANDOM TRANSFER TEST
We used a range of 4K to 1024K blocks in the Standard Random test in QuickBench as a predictor boot volume 'house keeping' performance and a simulation of an application that does multiple small random transfers.

INSIGHTS
The VisionTek USB 3.0 Pocket SSD bridges the gap between small fast USB 3.0 flash thumb drives and the faster SuperSpeed USB 3.0 bus-powered flash drives.

It even has enough capacity and speed to serve as an alternate boot volume (including Windows, Mac OS X and Linux). Notice we included the results for the Pocket SSD formatted two ways: Mac OS Extended (Journaled) and MS-DOS (FAT). The second format is the default for most thumb drives including the SandDisk and PNY thumb drives we included in the graphs.

BTW, the VisionTek Pocket SSD has a full LSI 2281 SandForce processor complete with all the DuraClass technologies which DuraWrite for wear-leveling and 7% Over Provisioning. That's very important to know since the slower, lower cost USB Jump drives don't have those features and eventually the flash cells will wear out since the writes are not managed over the entire drive and there are no spares.

As you can see from the photo below, at 2.0 x 1.2 x 0.2 inches, at Pocket SSD is the size of a large thumb drive. At 37 grams, it is lighter than the Envoy Pro (140 grams including the USB3 cable) but heavier than the SanDisk Extreme Pro (17 grams) and PNY Turbo (10 grams).

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WHERE TO BUY THE VISIONTEK USB 3.0 POCKET SSD
Order directly from VisionTek or from their partners including Amazon. Price for the 240 GB model is $174.95. The 120GB model goes for $109.99.

Compare those prices to the OWC Envoy Pro with 240GB Aura Pro 6Gps flash blade at $249 and with 120GB flash blade at $169.

The SanDisk Extreme Pro CZ88 128GB USB 3.0 'thumb' flash drive has a list price of $150 (or $114.95 on Amazon).

PNY's Turbo USB 3.0 Flash Drive comes in 128GB at $34.99 and 256GB at $69.95 (Amazon prices). Though cost per GB is lowest, it is also the SLOWEST compared to the other flash drives featured in this article.

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copyright 2014 Rob Art Morgan
"BARE facts on Macintosh speed FEATS"
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