A flash drive was dropped at my door a few days back that, not so long ago, I would never have foreseen. It is the Kingston Ultimate GT USB 3.1 Gen 1 flash drive and its storage capacity is an amazing 2TB. Considering that it is probable twice as thick as a normal flash drive, it’s pretty amazing that I can throw a device in my pocket, capable of containing 34,000 hours of music, 1000 hours of video or 620,000 pictures.
Shipped in a silver metal case, the Kingston Ultimate GT 2TB USB 3.1 flash drive is available in 1 or 2TB capacities, comes with a blue USB 3.1 Gen 1 cable and Kingston branded black mesh carry bag, and it is capable of speeds up to 300MB/s read and 200MB/s write. The Ultimate GT itself is constructed of two pieces of very sturdy silver anodized metal that slide open of closed to reveal the USB 3.1 Gen 1 connector, protecting it against the elements and temperatures ranging from -20 to 85DecC. Dimensions of this flash drive are 75.18mm x 27mm x 21.02mm and it comes with a 5-year warranty.
As for pricing of the Kingston Ultimate GT flash drive, hold your breath because this is definitely a niche item, wanted by those needing to store large libraries of video, music or images. A quick check of Amazon brings the 1TB version in at $915 and the 2TB version in at $1562.
ATTO Disk Benchmark is perhaps one of the oldest benchmarks going and is definitely the main staple for manufacturer performance specifications. ATTO uses RAW or compressible data and, for our benchmarks, we use a set length of 256mb and test both the read and write performance of various transfer sizes ranging from 0.5 to 8192kb. Manufacturers prefer this method of testing as it deals with raw (compressible) data rather than random (includes incompressible data) which, although more realistic, results in lower performance results.
ATTO Disk Benchmark displays speeds of 265MB/s read and 202MB/s write but, perhaps most interesting, is how low transfer performance is at those lower sample sizes. There is a reason and it is not the fault of the drive whatsoever. This drive is built to store media. Its top data transfer speeds will be seen with videos, music and pictures and, well, just like all storage mediums, the larger the file the lower the transfer speed.
Running these flash drives on my (old, 2013) Dell XPS-15 notebook gives variable results. Each of the notebook’s three USB 3.0 drives has consistently different benchmark results. Probably because the hardware, etc is so worn-out, now after four years.
Crystal Disk Benchmark is the quickest, easiest to run. Because the app is “upgrading” a few times yearly, I generally use the latest version, oping that the results do not vary. Always on the same & fastest USB 3.0 hardware port, without any other CPU demands when benching.
Even then I find Crystal Disk Benchmark varies a few percent, each run. Single-run, or multiple run; it varies. The factory default is the average of five runs. Even this varies, each five-run session.
The big advantage of Crystal Disk Benchmark is that it has a data-base ready file save of results (cut & paste from the htm file), as well as a GUI image summary of the reports. Falsh drives seem to report similar results, independent of the file size afaik. So quick tests are on five-runs of the smallest file size.
Other speed i-o bench tests seem too fussy, etc imho.