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Corsair Flash Voyager USB 2.0 Drive

Corsair has jumped into the USB Flash Drive market. Do they have what it takes? YES and then some!

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INTRODUCTION


Corsair is a company that has been in the memory business since 1994.  They have always been on the leading front of memory technology for desktop PCs, notebooks and servers.  Since they have done so well in these markets and know technology very well, they have decided to go into the removable storage market, which of course is memory being housed in different devices.

With this, they introduced their Flash Memory Family.  This consists of the Compact Flash Memory Cards, SD Multi Media Cards and the Flash Voyager line of USB drives.  Today, I am going to be looking at the Flash Voyager line.  I actually have a 128MB version and a 512MB version of the drive.  Interestingly enough after talking to Corsair, they do not perform the same.  It seems that the bigger the drive, the better the throughput performance gets.  You will see that shortly in the tests I did.

SPECIFICATIONS AND FEATURES


Let’s see what Corsair tells us about the drive.

Corsair Flash Voyager USB drives are rugged, stylish, compact, reliable, and exceptionally fast, making them ideal for transporting MP3s, digital images, presentations and more. With data transfer rates up to 19Mb/sec, Flash Voyager drives are fully Hi-Speed USB 2.0 compliant, and are backward compatible with USB 1.1. They support Plug and Play with most operating systems. Their durable rubber casing is easy to grip and water resistant. These highly portable drives are available in capacities ranging up to 1GB.

 

Features:

  • Plug & Play functionality in Windows® XP, 2000, ME, Linux 2.4 and later, Mac OS 9, X and later
  • Drivers on CD for Windows® 98
  • Lanyard, USB cable and driver CD included
  • Supports sustained read speed of 19MB/sec
  • Supports sustained write speed of 13MB/sec
  • Ten year warranty

As you can see by looking at the drive, its shape will not let two drives be plugged into USB ports side by side.  Corsair, however, does include a extension cable though.  The drive is also covered in a rubber like substance to help prevent shock to the drive. 

SOFTWARE


The Flash Voyager comes with software to partition the drive, format the drive, make the drive bootable and security.  I am not able to test the bootable part since none of my machines are capable of booting off a USB device.

 

As with every USB drive I have looked at with security, the drive’s software must be installed on the local machine for you to have access to the secure partition.  You also only gain access after entering the password.  The feature that makes the Flash Voyager stand out is that the software will let you look at both partitions once you have typed in the password.

PERFORMANCE


To test the speed performance of the drive, I used Sandra 05 and HDTach 3.  I tested the Voyager Drives against the Crucial Gizmo 256MB, which is also a USB 2.0 drive.

Sandra 05 File System Benchmark

Crucial Gizmo 256MB: 5MB/s
Corsair Flash 128MB:  13MB/s
Corsair Flash 512MB:  16MB/s

You can see the Flash Voyager of both sizes surpassed the Crucial drive with performance three times faster! We also see that the larger Corsair Flash Voyager is a bit faster than the smaller version.

HDTach 3


The Crucial Gizmo is slow compared to the two Corsair Voyagers.


The 128MB Corsair Voyager is very quick with an average readspeed of 17.5 MB/s


The 512 MB Corsair Voyager is even quicker averaging 19.3 MB/s

Here we see the same results we saw with Sandra 05.  The Corsair drives offer much better performance than the Crucial drive.

CONCLUSION


Corsair has done a good job with the Flash Voyager drives.  They are the fastest USB Flash drives I have looked at.  The software security feature is nice since it does let you look at both the secure and unsecure partitions at the same time.  The rubber covering of the drive provides the drive with a protective cover that keeps the device from damage from water and being banged around.  Mine is on my key chain and has taken quite a beating without having any issues.

Pros:
+ Very fast performance
+ Security software lets you look at both partitions at once
+ Price in the 60.00 range (find lowest price)

Cons:
- Too wide to put 2 drives next to each other on USB ports
- Rubber cover does attract dust

I award the Corsair Flash Voyager the Bjorn3D Seal of Approval.

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