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Super-Talent Fireball 2GB Flash Drive

Super-Talent is a company that in the last 6 months is starting to spring up everywhere with some very good memory, MP3 Players and Jump Drives. Today we are going to look at their FireBall 2GB Jump Drive. It is going against the Corsair Flash Voyager which up to this review was the fastest USB Jump Drive I have seen and we have many laying around.

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INTRODUCTION

The portability of information is becoming an extremely important topic in all aspects of today’s modern computerized world This holds true especially with security details such as passwords, scripts, and etc. that take little or no space, but with the appropriate encryption are not easily remembered by those that need them. Remember the scenario recently where several government laptops were stolen and quite a few people’s confidential information was at risk? I would submit that if these devices had been properly configured where a properly configured “flash drive” had to be inserted before they would function the risk would have been minimal to all concerned.

Granted the above captioned scenario is extreme to say the very least but the ideology isn’t. Flash drives or “Jump Drives” as they are commonly referred to currently offer everything from this extreme to the ability to take a few small custom programs with you when you travel and must for whatever reason use someone else’s computer. I personally never leave home without mine as my business life virtually depends on the portability of the information I often need to carry.

Super-Talent is a company that in the last 6 months is starting to spring up everywhere with some very good memory, MP3 Players and Jump Drives. Today we are going to look at their FireBall 2GB Jump Drive. It is going against the Corsair Flash Voyager which up to this review was the fastest USB Jump Drive I have seen and we have many laying around.

The real funny thing about this is Joe James of Corsair PR fame is actually the head PR guy at Super-Talent now and sent me the 2GB to go against the drive he sent me about a while back.

Super-Talent: The Company

Headquartered in San Jose, California, Super Talent designs and manufactures DDR and DDR2 memory modules and Flash based storage devices for computers and consumer electronics.

Counting 20 years of Memory Industry experience, Super Talent relies on technical research and its commitment to product development to deliver leading edge memory products to the market. Remaining at the fore-front of today’s fast paced evolution in technology, Super Talent holds multiple patents on DRAM and Flash module design as well as on manufacturing processes. Actually, Super Talent is ranked among the top memory solutions manufacturers in terms of total patents applied under memory device categories.

Super Talent utilizes advanced technology and leading-edge components to produce high quality products with outstanding reliability. Our US based production facility stands as one of the largest and most advanced memory module factories in the USA. Sold under the brand name SuperTalent™, every memory product from the production line is subject to essential hardware and software testing standards for consistency and functionality. Our memory modules are rigorously qualified in Super Talent’s compatibility labs, and are then tested and approved by many top motherboard manufacturers. Our intensive quality control and testing procedures are designed to ensure the highest possible product quality.

FEATURES, SPECIFICATIONS & MORE

The drive comes in a rather hot rod looking from the 50’s/60’s flame design pattern. The drive is also covered in a rubber outer shell like the Corsair Flash Voyager. So lets look at what Super-Talent tells us about the drive on their website:

  • Full Compatibility with USB 1.1 and 2.0
  • Dual Channel Flash Memory Architecture
  • Hot Plug and Play – Insert and Function Like Another Hard Drive
  • Supports Auto Run (Upon Special Request) – Insert and Auto Play like CD-ROM
  • Supports Password Protection
  • No Driver Needed for Most Windows O.S. (Windows 98SE Driver Needed and Available On-Line)
  • More Than 10 Years Data Retention
  • Dual LED Indicates Power On, Data Transfer, Busy
  • Warranty: life time

The thing I always like to see is the lifetime warranty. Super-Talent has told me “this is the lifetime that the original owner has had the product”, Super-Talent is not like some companies that say “lifetime” but yet mean only as long as they manufacture or more importantly support that product.

Here’s the way the package arrived at my doorstep. It’s somewhat reminiscent of the paint job you’d see on the cars in an old James Dean movie for those of you old enough to remember the 50’s. I’m too young as well but watch a lot of the old movies on TV.

The Corsair Flash Voyager (top) and the Super-Talent Fireball (bottom) side by side, before we begin our testing. I wonder if there’s some trash-talkin’ going on?

TESTING

Test System

  • Foxconn nForce 590 Motherboard
  • AMD FX 62 O/C to 3.1GHz
  • 2 GB of Corsair XMS 8000 DDR2
  • 2 Seagate 7500.10 750GB’s
  • 2 XFX 7950 in Quad SLI
  • PC Power and Cooling 1K Watt Power Supply
  • Windows XP SP2

Tests/Benchmarks

  • Simpli Software’s HD TACH
  • SISoft SANDRA 2007 Professional

Testing Methodology

We will be testing the Super-Talent FireBall 2GB Jump Drive using an average of the results obtained from the captioned tests/benchmarks. No enhancements of any type are knowingly being run on the test system that might skew the results in favor of either manufacturer. As per our usual practice tests will also be run on what we refer to as a “real world system” meaning we’ll run all the background applications that we run in every day life and not sequester them as are done by some reviewers to enhance benchmark results. Among the applications running in the background on our test system are:   Norton 2006 Internet Security (a real resource hog), Trillian, InCD, Steam and some other system applications that are too numerous to mention. Our hope in using this approach are to give you as close to possible the results you’d achieve if you were running these benchmarks on a similar system in your home.


Let the Testing Begin

Test Results


HD TACH … Comparative Testing


Benchmark


Super-Talent


Corsair


Random Access Time


3.3 ms


24.2 ms


CPU Utilization


11%


12%


Average Read


27 MB/sec


19.9 MB/sec


SiSoft SANDRA 2007 … Comparative Testing


Benchmark


Super-Talent


Corsair


Random Access Time


7 ms


22 ms


Drive Index


26 MB/sec


19 MB/sec

Also, for durability testing I ran the drive thru the washing machine and the dryer. I’d never admit whether this was accidental or planned but nonetheless the drive still performed flawlessly and the outer casing did not deform. I was actually thinking of using this same “stress testing” approach with all products I reviewed in the future. Unfortunately, discussing this idea with many of my friends in the peripheral manufacturing business immediately convinced me that this was not a solid strategy.


A New King is Crowned

CONCLUSION

As I alluded to in the Introduction, the Corsair Flash Voyager use to be the fastest USB Jump Drive I had ever seen. I’m here to tell you there’s a new Sheriff in town named Super-Talent; and their taking no prisoners! The benchmarks don’t lie, the Fireball is as little as 36% faster on some tests and as much as 575% faster on others. That’s one hell of a difference and it’s rugged to boot (no pun intended).

I did my usual price search on Price Grabber and was amazed to find that the Super-Talent 2GB Fireball was selling in the $50 – $65 USD range. H’mm let’s see: cheap, fast as they come, durable, and dependable; am I dreaming? I didn’t think all those factors existed in one product anymore, but in this case they certainly do. I can highly recommend this product uncategorically to anyone wanting the best flash drive I’ve yet to see manufactured. For the price, performance, durability, and warranty you can’t find a better product of this type on the market today.

Pros:

+  Incredibly fast
+  The price is right
+  Extremely durable framework
+  A real lifetime warranty

Cons:

-  The red and yellow flames may get stares

Final Score: 9.5 out of 10; and the prestigious BJorn3D Golden Bear Award.

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