USB Flash Drives: Speed Vs. Capacity

OCZ Rally 2 Turbo 4 GB


OCZ, known (and recognized) for computer memory, has steadily expanded its product offerings over the last several years. While still a highly respected brand in the memory world, OCZ has made a name for itself with power supplies, memory cards, SSD drives, peripherals, and USB flash drives. The Rally 2 Turbo flash drive is a high-end model, with very impressive performance claims. This is not unlike Corsair, a memory manufacturer who also offers the very good Voyager GT and Survivor GT.

Cap loss risk

That said, let’s turn our attention to the Rally’s design. This is a key with a very classic design: long and slender, but of modest size - 2.2 inches long and a little over .6 inches wide. The shell is black aluminum, with a cap to protect the USB connector. Unlike the 4 GB Firestix from Buffalo, however, there’s no way to keep the cap attached to the drive when plugged into a USB port, which increases the risk of losing it. The key comes with a lanyard and extension cable.

Finally, a rival for the Corsair GT

We were highly impressed by the performance of the Rally 2 – its speeds were identical if not better than those posted by the GT models from Corsair. In the case of large file write speeds, the Rally 2 came in with a speed of 22.6 MB/sec., compared to 21.1 MB/sec. with the Corsair Voyager GT.

The 4 GB of storage can be filled in just under3 minutes. As for read speeds, the two keys had the same 27.9 MB/sec rate, also with large files. The drive can be emptied of its contents in 2 minutes, 20 seconds.

OCZ Rally 2 Turbo 4 GB
  • Excellent speeds!

  • Ships with lanyard and extension cable

  • Pleasing design

  • Cap can get lost

OCZ wants to play in the bigs, and proves they can with this truly fast USB key. The only criticism comes from inability to keep the cap attached the drive when in use.

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  • kelfen
    for capacity I honestly take a hard drive put it in a case that converts it to a usb and bamb much cheaper means to a much larger usb.
  • kelfen
  • GoOakland
    I like the OCZ ATV of all the flashdrives on the market. They are just as fast as the Rally and are practically indestructable. They also come with somewhere to put the cap...the Rally's only problem. The ATV may look ugly from a picture standpoint but once in hand you will fall in love with how rugged it feels. In the end, the ATV is just like the Rally but with the various benefits of being rugged
  • kato128
    Why are they testing 4gb flash drives? Who actually buys one that small these days and cares about performance? Feels like I've stepped back into 05. Can we get reviews on more 32GB+ models? Capacity is key with these things and while I can't speak for everyone, I know I want to see which 64 and 128gb drives are quickest.
  • belardo
    I actually use 1-2GB drives, they hold enough... and if/when lost or destroyed - its not much data. With that said.

    My favorite USB Flash Drive is Sony. They cost a bit more, but there is NO cap to lose and its slide-design is excellent. I've used some sliders by PNY which you have to FIGHT to keep open when inserting into a PC... and on others, even if the CAP does fit onto the key, I lose them.

    But the Sony Microvaults work great. Its worth it.
    They look great, work great. You push in the click-button and it pops open and stick it into the USB port. When you pull the stick out, it snaps shut. Check out the link below!


    BTW: The 2~4GB models currently include Michael Jackson's Thriller Album + modern remixes + Music videos (500mb) for $2 more than the empty packaging (discontinued) - they are DRM free.

    PS: I just washed mine 2 hrs ago... this time it didn't go into the dryer. Still works, like the ones that have been dried. :)

    This the BAD thing about thumb-Drives that we didn't have problems with FLoppies or CDRs... leaving them in our pockets :)
  • pelican3
    Agree with earlier comments, who is going to spend on a 4GB drive in 2009, regardless of performance? Needs to be 16 GB to get consideration.
    How about including eSATA sticks for comparison/testing. I have OCZ Throttle and its great, USB or eSATA, direct to laptop. eSATA loads quicker and seems to read n write quicker too. Is this limited by flash structure? or USB speed? Maybe Win drivers?
    Can we beat up on manufacturers who make USB caps that fall off and get lost in the first days of ownership. I have OCZ ATV, which is great but have now drilled the cap and the case and attached with thin parachute cord. Its the only stick I have with a cap now.
  • spanner_razor
    At the end of the day it's all well and good to compare drives accross the board but you have to do it based on what site you prefer really. If they don't stock it then it's not an option, I went for the OCZ Diesel 16GB which has fairly impressive write and read speeds at 30 and 15 though drives have moved on a bit since then and the cap issue as raised by Belardo is a good point.
  • jacobdrj
    Speed Vs. Capacity Vs. RELIABILITY:
    2 facts hold true: Drives advertised as particularly LARGE or FAST tend to be UNRELIABLE. Just take a gander at newegg's reviews of 'turbo' drives and 'ultra high capacity' drives. They tend to have data corruption issues from 'pushing the envelope'.
  • apmyhr
    Don't dismiss 4GB drives. They are great for mounting Vista or Windows 7 ISO images to let you install in a fraction of the time. I could see myself grabing a few just for that purpose.
  • apmyhr
    I use to love flash drives because I was too lazy to transfer files with CD's or floppies. But now I'm getting too lazy even for flash drives. I mostly use file sync tools like Live Mesh to transfer all my documents now.
  • dconnors
    Usually, my philosophy is "bigger is better". However, smaller USB drives still serve a purpose. If you are using a flash drive for work and nothing else (spreadsheets, backing up emails, docs, etc.), a 16 or 32 GB+ flash drive is overkill. Only when you get into transferring large media files and backing up things like .isos, etc does a larger USB drive really serve a purpose.

    Personally, I have a few different small USB drives that I consider to be "disposable", meaning if they are lost, damaged, or god forbid stolen, I wouldn't completely freak out. All of these disposable drives are 2 and 4 GB models, and are easily replaceable (as in they don't hit the wallet too hard).
  • bobw
    I miss the easy-to-use write protect switches. Memorex had them on their old thumb drives. Malware can't infect it if it's write protected.
  • Anonymous
    And what about the security/privacy features in some USB drives? Like Verbatim's Store 'n' Go Pro? Does anyone have any experiences to share on those? How much do they slow file I/O?
  • maxcue
    It would be great if they could squeeze an HD radio into one; that would help put a nail in the coffin of the last great analog medium: broadcast radio. Yet how many products include HD radio? Mostly higher-end receivers as far as I know.
  • dconnors
    maxcueIt would be great if they could squeeze an HD radio into one; that would help put a nail in the coffin of the last great analog medium: broadcast radio. Yet how many products include HD radio? Mostly higher-end receivers as far as I know.

    I think Insignia (best buys brand) is the only company who offers a handheld HD radio right now. Other than that, its in car decks, receivers, stuff like that.
  • Anonymous
    This is the fastest drive on the market period. The write speeds spoil you. You can never go back. Too bad it is so expensive though.