Video Perspective: Corsair Flash Voyager GTX 128GB SSD-based USB 3.0 Drive
Need 128GB at 450 MB/s in your pocket?
We don't normally do reviews on USB flash drives, even if they are USB 3.0 based. But the Corsair Flash Voyager GTX turned out to be a bit different. Not only is this a USB 3.0 capable thumb drive, it is powered by an SSD controller, pushing performance as high as 460 MB/s in our testing! Add to that capacity options of 128GB and 256GB and you have a flash drive that really stands out from majority of the market.
Check out the video review below that Allyn and I made about the Corsair Flash Voyager GTX 128GB flash drive and then continue on to see some more pictures and our quick benchmark results.
The Flash Voyager GTX is a bit large in pantheon of USB thumb drives but it's actually smaller than I expected it when I heard the capacity options available. You'll definitely be able to keep this around your neck or in your pocket without noticing it and you may still be able to keep it on your key ring.
What do you do with 128GB or 256GB of flash drive? Well, other than the obvious of having a huge capacity drive for your "sneaker net" implementation at your home or office, you can investigate more interesting usage models. If you are looking for a more secure place to store sensitive files that you don't want on your home or work PC full time, just keep them on the Flash Voyager GTX and plug it into a USB 3.0 port when you want access. You'll get performance on par with an SSD but the ability to quickly disconnect it.
Another option is to use the drive as a Windows to Go or bootable drive. Installing Windows 8 to a flash drive isn't quite as easy as we would like, but it's definitely possible and thus allows you to create a bootable, portable operating system drive that you can move from workstation to workstation. Want to keep your office and home machine installs completely separate? With a few setup issues to deal with, you can boot into a personal "install" at work without putting sensitive data at risk. That might make IT people like Jeremy and Josh weep a little, but hey, I'm here for the consumer!
With the Corsair Flash Voyager GTX drive you'll get stunning USB 3.0 performance as well, hitting as high as 460 MB/s read speeds and 370 MB/s write speeds in my testing. This is thanks to the Phison PS3109-S9 SSD controller found in the flash drive, the same used in Corsair's Force LS series of SSDs. Corsair wouldn't tell us what actual flash is being used on the drive, but it's obviously damned quick. Put in a USB 3.0 controller to bridge the SSD controller to the PC and you get speed like this:
Max Read: 462 MB/s; Max Write: 371 MB/s
These results were testing using an ASUS Z97-Deluxe motherboard with a Core i7-4790K as the processor and with UASP enabled. UASP enables a SCSI-like queuing capability for USB that the standard BOT protocol doesn't support, allowing for more "SATA-like" performance. Without UASP enabled though, you are still able to see good performance.
Max Read: 389 MB/s; Max Write: 205 MB/s
Even at 389 MB/s read and 205 MB/s writes, you'll be able to use the GTX drive as if you were connected on a standard SSD-enabled PC.
With a 128GB and 256GB capacity option, the Flash Voyager GTX isn't exactly cheap. Corsair has set the MSRP at $119 and $199 respectively, creating cost per GB ratings of $0.92/GB and $0.77/GB. That is steep for a USB thumb drive, but you really need to think of this as more than just a "thumb drive" that you keep in your bag to grab that video file from your friend's laptop in class. It can be so much more, as long as you have the need for it and the use model to match. If you just want a USB 3.0 128GB thumb drive and don't care about performance, then you need to be looking at something like this that sells for $45 on Amazon.
I come away from the USB 3.0-based Corsair Flash Voyager GTX 128GB flash drive impressed with its performance and form factor. For any user that thinks it would be handy to have an ultra-fast external storage device without the need for a portable 2.5-in SSD cage and cable, this product will fit the bill perfectly.