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OCZ Enyo 128GB USB 3.0 Portable SSD Review

Author: Ryan Shrout
Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: OCZ Technology
Tagged:

Performance and Conclusions

Benchmarking was done on my personal
system in order to simulate as close to a real world environment as
possible.  The system hardware is as follows:

  • Intel Core i7-860
  • ASUS P7P55D Premium motherboard (integrated USB 3.0 with NEC
    controller)

  • 6GB Corsair DDR3-1333 memory
  • Intel X25-M 160GB SSD

  • PC Power and Cooling 900 watt power supply
  • Corsair 800D chassis

Much like we saw Super Talent implement in our SuperCrypt USB 3.0 thumb drive review, OCZ is recommending the installation of a third party driver in order to get the best performance from the Enyo external drive.  While we can understand both ST and OCZ wanting to get the best available performance of their drives the truth is that I find most people would NOT install this driver on every PC they connect them to; that is part of the great simplicity of USB-based storage devices.  Regardless we have tested the Enyo with and without the driver so you can see the differences in performance.  I also ran the Enyo in a standard USB 2.0 port as well and included the best results from the Super Talent USB 3.0 thumb drive for comparable data points. 

The HDTach results shine a pretty good light on the performance of the Enyo from OCZ.  The burst rate is lower than that of the Super Talent thumb drive but performance in sustained read speeds are about equal at 185-195 MB/s.  Write speeds are a very different story though as the Enyo is by far the faster of the two USB 3.0 drives. 

Our ATTO benchmark runs show a noticeable difference between the Enyo and the Enyo with the custom OCZ driver - read speeds go from 200 MB/s to over 250 MB/s while writes go from about 175 MB/s to 220 MB/s.  Without the driver the OCZ Enyo is just slightly slower in top read speed than the Super Talent USB 3.0 thumb drive but the Enyo does run faster once the driver is installed.  On writes the Enyo is dominate with or without the driver. 
Conclusions

The OCZ Enyo portable SSD is an incredibly fast external storage solution that easily rivals the performance of internal SSDs but in a much more convenient package.  The drive has some style to it as well with a slick anodized aluminum finish and clean lines enveloping its svelte dimensions.  As our performance numbers above indicate the Enyo is faster than the Super Talent SuperCrypt USB 3.0 thumb drive we first tested last month and should appease even the most demanding mobile user. 

Of course, with all/most USB 3.0 accessories you get the benefits of backwards compatibility to USB 2.0 speeds so you will still be able to use the OCZ Enyo on your notebook or on your secondary systems that don't have USB 3.0 support integrated into them yet.  Speeds will still top out at the near maximums of USB 2.0 but there is nothing that can be done about that other than pushing the move to USB 3.0 along. 

The Enyo isn't cheap though:

  • 64GB - $229
  • 128GB - $409
  • 256GB - $819

That puts both the 64GB and 128GB models at about a 15% lower price than the Super Talent SuperCrypt USB 3.0 thumb drive though the 256GB model is actually just a bit higher.  No doubt this is still a high premium for USB 3.0 external and SSD storage: $3.19/GB for the 128GB model I tested today.  OCZ tells me that the availability of the Enyo will start in about a week or two as the parts hit the channel.

For those of you curious, there are usage models for super fast external drives:

For a usage example, I recently
downloaded a couple of 7GB ISO files of the new Adobe CS5 Master Suite
in preparation for a couple of articles.  I then wanted to install them
on a PC in my office.  Rather than burn a couple of dual-layer DVDs
(slow process) and install them from there (slow again) I copied the
ISOs to my USB 3.0 drive and then copied them to the second PC.  Both
PCs had USB 3.0 and by just eyeballing the Windows copy screen I wrote
to the USB 3.0 drive at about 140 MB/s and read from it at about 170
MB/s.  It took just about a minute and a half to copy 14GB of data from
the USB 3.0 drive to the secondary machine's desktop.  Nice.

I feel it bears repeating that despite all of my exuberance about USB 3.0 I am wary about its adoption speed thanks to
Intel's platform division dragging its feet.  Intel has stated that
consumer desktop chipsets will not see an update for the remainder of
2010 and thus we can be sure that Intel-based motherboards will not come
with USB 3.0 support unless the vendors pay to integrate a third party
controller.  While enthusiasts will likely find USB 3.0 all around, the
Dells and HPs of the world may not and it is that mass customer base
adoption that will really push vendors like OCZ (and hundreds
of others) to update to USB 3.0 ready hardware and allow them to lower
prices.  Just as I fear is happening with Intel holding back SATA 6G
adoption, we need to work to make sure they don't do the same to USB
3.0.

If you have USB 3.0 in your system already, or were thinking
about the ASUS U3S6 or ECS
add-in cards
, then you need a device like this to truly see its
potential.  You can use it for speedy backups or moving large amounts of
data between USB 3.0-ready systems or just sit there and read and write
to it to see how fast it can go. 

In comparing the two USB 3.0 drives we have seen at PC Perspective so far the Enyo is definitely the faster but has the added requirement of carrying a cable with you everywhere you need the drive.  It is a bit less expensive so that also helps us appreciate the look, design and speed of the SSD.  OCZ's Enyo won't fit in everyone's budget but if you are looking for a slick external drive for incredibly fast backups then it is worth a try!



Check out our video review above!


October 13, 2011 | 10:16 PM - Posted by Georg (not verified)

My OCZ Enyo 128GB SSD failed after one week of use. The computer did not recognize the drive anymore. I contacted OCZ and after about one week they declared my drive defective and agreed to replace the product. Unfortunately, I had already stored numerous confidential files on it. I was thus not prepared to return it since I did not want other people to have access to my data, in case OCZ could repair and read the drive.

I suggested that I would return it without the solid state memory chips, but they insisted that the whole drive had to be returned without any modification. They also had no advice on how I could clean the data off the drive.

The result is that I have totally wasted my money. So if you buy the Enyo SSD, make sure that you do not store any data on it that you are not prepared to share with others, in case you may want to return the drive.

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