Wednesday , 20 August 2014
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SuperTalent USB 3.0 Express Dram Disk Review – Simplicity With Ultra High Performance

For the first time in awhile, I am sitting here stunned at what I just learned, and experienced, in new technology.  Just as I could use words such as amazing, unbelievable and remarkable to describe the Super Talent USB 3.0 Express Dram Disk, I could also grab your attention telling you that the ST Dram Disk’s PCMark Vantage Total Point Score was 851915 with a top transfer speed of 5007MB/s.  Not believing this ourselves originally, we decided to move a 2.5GB 1080P video file to determine the transfer speed and it couldn’t be done as this file was transferred in tenth’s of a second, if not faster. Do we have your attention yet?

SuperTalent DramDisk Angled

The Super Talent Dram Disk is a USB 3.0 flash drive that, when installed in any Windows system, creates an ultra high-speed ram drive that works in tandem and syncs in the background with the flash drive itself. It is available in capacities of 8, 16 and 32GB and Amazon pricing now reflects prices of $12, $18 and $56.  Advertised performance is 5388MB/s read and 4041MB/s write, but we have reached performance speeds well above that in our benchmark software.

SuperTalent DramDisk Exterior FrontSuperTalent DramDisk Exterior Back

The SuperTalent Dram Disk is actually the second similar product released in the past few months that uses PC memory to significantly improve performance. The other, of course, is the Samsung EVO SSD which uses RAPID technology to significantly increase the SSDs file transfer speeds as well. Where the EVO uses memory to tackle the SATA 3 performance bottleneck, the Dram Disk does the same by eliminating the USB 3.0 bottle neck.  Super Talent accomplished this by having any data  that’s placed on the DRAM volume automatically sync to the flash drives volume in the background without the users knowledge.

Dram Disk Volume

SUPER TALENT DRAM DISK INSTALLATION

Using memory, most commonly refered to as  ram disks, to improve system performance is not new by any means, however, lack of simplicity has kept this from becoming popular.  Super Talent has done very well here.  All that is required to get the Dram Disk functioning properly is inserting the flash drive and agreeing to the next few screens.  Once complete, you will find a new STT_VDisk drive on your system and an icon bundled with the rest on the right side of your task bar.

SuperTalent DRAMDisk User PanelThe Options screen allows you to select the size that you want for your Dram Disk, adjust the sync timing anywhere from 30 to 180 seconds, and has folder buttons for the USB and Dram volumes.  An interesting observation is that this, if the drive is pulled without hitting the Exit button, the user is given a 60 second window to reinsert and exit the Dram Disk properly before data risks being lost.

Warning

About Les Tokar

is a technology nut and Founder of The SSD Review. His early work includes the first consumer SSD review along with MS Vista, Win 7 and SSD Optimization Guides. Les is fortunate to, not only evaluate and provide opinion on consumer and enterprise solid state storage but also, travel the world in search of new technologies and great friendships. Google+
  • albert89

    If I can get half the performance from DRAM disk that the editor is claiming on my aging 2007 HP Pavilion notebook that has win8 pro then I’m in !

  • Benjamin Hojnik

    to me it looks like just another flash drive with ramdisk software…

  • Tucker

    Another shitty review from a shitty site.

  • matthew h

    Hardware such as this has certain requirements. You need to have enough ram (16gb preferably) if you want a large “dram disk” such as 8gb or 32gb if you want 16gb. Two when you plug it in, it starts synchronizing what you have stored, so when you want to use it a minute later, it will already be saved in the ram, so they appear impossibly fast. Three, it only works on windows based computers and *appears* to require the included software to be installed on any computer you use it to function.

  • Jon

    So I need to have enough free system RAM to make a RAM disk to hold the files, AND USB 3.0, AND Windows, AND the special software–all just to enable a background file copy? What’s the use since I can’t really do anything with the portable flash disk until the background sync from RAM is finished (which still happens at the same speed as a standard USB 3.0 flash key)?

  • Scott Guthrie

    What a terribly misleading product. As Jon points out (and the spec sheet backs up), this is merely a standard USB drive. All you are doing is “pre-copying” the file to RAM for later writing onto Flash. Eh? What’s the point? Now, if Supertalent put a 8GB of RAM on the thumb drive and used a battery backup to keep the RAM alive…then it could do what the article implies. But otherwise it’s just a bit of faking out the user. Ridiculous.

  • iq100

    What is the source for the 2.5GB or larger movie transfer? Sounds like it already in memory. If on disk/SSD/flash then you could not get sub 1 second transfer speeds.
    I don’t think these transfer to RAM Disk amazing times mean much, since it is the end to end transfer times that matter. The transfer from RAM disk to SuperTalent flash stick MATTERS. Am I missing something here? You are just measuring RAM speed, which is usually 10GByte/sec. You are not measuring the NAND flash die transfer speed.

    • http://thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

      You are right. The transfer is done in the new RAM drive from one spot to another in order to demonstrate (or at least try) the speeds achieved while using that drive. The flash drive was obviously too small and we think that using a larger data file might be able to yield numbers. The benefit of this drive is specifically geared towards those that work in media intensive data environments where manipulating the media benefits from such.

  • matthew h

    looks like this is marketed towards a very specific segment of customers, and not the general public, despite what it may visually appear to be.

  • Pinkar

    Interesting drive. Now you’ve got me wanting yet another cool device!

    Once installed how long does it take to initiate the next time you plug it in? How long does it take to properly disconnect the drive? Does the Dram space vanish on PC shutdown and have to be reloaded the next time the device is plugged in?

  • Kobaljov

    So what’s the real transfer speed of the pendrive? (not the RAM)..

    • http://thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

      63MB/s read and 6MB/s write. Having spoken to Super Talent, be ready for a speedier release in the future and try to keep in mind that this drive syncs in the background while you work.

  • albert89

    Will this work on Win8 ?

  • mjk

    I have
    an ASUS Zen Ultrabook i7 with 4GB on board RAM with USB3 (windows7). When away
    from the office I am frequently running 3D software packages such as 3D Rhino,
    which are RAM hungry at times. To speed things up significantly would the USB
    3.0 Express Dram?Disk
    be of any benefit to me and if so what size (as I only have 4Gb on board and there is some sort of ratio which I don’t understand either) – when rhino is open I have 40% left – work files are usually in the region of 250-500mb. Is the work files that I would be synchronizing?
    any feedback would be appreciated

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