OCZ has been an innovator in RAM and Flash memory for years, and when I heard that they were sending me one of their brand new flash drives, the ATV Turbo, to review, I immediately dropped what I was doing(changing the spark plugs on my car) in shear excitement.
The ATV series flash drives from OCZ are a brand new lineup, designed specifically for extreme outdoor conditions that are waterproof and debris resistant, and are covered in shock proof rubber housing. As if being able to give this flash drive to your 4 year old son to hold while he is playing the mud wasn’t enough, they also claim that it has blazing fast speeds of between 33-35mb/s READ and 26-30mb/s WRITE, with support for Windows Vista READYBOOST.
When I received the ATV Turbo the other day, I immediately took a look at what I had. Packaging for the ATV Turbo is pretty much standard for all OCZ Flash drives, the plain plastic package. Let’s have a look at that package so that you know what your buying should you see it on store shelves.
The difference between the ATV Turbo and the regular ATV flash drive is that the Turbo model has a unique yellow and black color that gives it the appearance that it belongs on a construction site. Possible references to its durability, but the colors alone do not invoke any “turbo” feelings, but the test results remain to be seen.
Despite the odd coloring, it is an absolutely fantastic looking flash drive in comparison to others on the market, and I will happily use this drive anywhere. Included on the chain attached to the drive, is what OCZ calls a “cap holder”, but basically it’s just another piece of rubber that you slide the cap over so that you don’t lose it while the drive is in use.
Our test drive is a 4GB drive, like all large size drives, the more space on the drive, the larger the drive becomes. This particular flash drive measures approximately 3 ¼ inches capped.
When the drive is inserted into the USB port on your computer, there is a small LED that will light up orange indicating reading or writing to the drive.
For our testing today, we will pit the OCZ ATV Turbo against a common enemy, the Corsair Flash Voyager, known for its durable outer shell and quick read/write speeds.
We will be using a series of drive benching programs today to measure read and write speeds in and out of the two drives, our program list for today will be…
- HD Tune 2.54
- HD Tach 188.8.131.52
- SIS Sandra Pro Home 2007
To start things off, a quick examination of the formatting of the drive is in order, using My Computer and selecting properties on the OCZ ATV Turbo, we can see that the drive is formatted for FAT32 and 3.85GB are available to us for use.
As we delve into the more serious testing, the OCZ ATV Turbo flat out
stomped the Corsair Flash Voyager in every test result. The OCZ flash
drive lived up to its expectations with some of the highest performance
numbers we have laid our eyes on for flash drives, but enough with the
chit chat, let’s get to the results.
The charts don’t lie; OCZ has again proven itself in the area of flash storage devices, on all of our tests we achieved 31mb/s or higher read speeds as well as write speeds right on target between 26-30mb/s.
Style: 9/10 – A very stylish drive, the colors are bright and bold, the writing on the drive makes it look fast, and the rubber housing screams rugged.
Price: 6/10 – The price of this drive in comparison to other drives of similar size (4GB) is very steep, the only retail location we could find at this time had it priced at 96 dollars, making it very pricey. For what the ATV Turbo offers you could say it’s a fair compromise, but in retrospect, you have to consider that most people will not pay that much for the sake of transfer speeds.
Durability: 9/10 – The OCZ ATV lineup is designed for exceptional durability, although we do not include extreme environment tests, you can trust that the OCZ ATV and ATV Turbo will stand up to whatever you can throw at it, within acceptable means. Now should that mean you’re accidentally running it over with your Ford F250 SuperCab, we cannot guarantee it will still work afterwards. But under normal conditions, such as an accidental spill of your coffee, your ATV series flash drive will be just fine, if not smell like French vanilla mocha latte.
Portability: 7/10 – Although our 4GB ATV Turbo only measured 3 ¼ inches, it is still slightly large in comparison to other drives. It can definitely fit in your pocket but if you compare the portability of this drive to that of OCZ’s Mini Kart, you will have less options of how you transport your drive around.
Performance: 10/10 – This drive is by far one of the best performers in the flash drive category we have had the pleasure of testing. There is nothing else to say other then, its fast.
I am truly impressed here and I would like to commend OCZ for bringing us another fine product, this time in the area of flash media storage. The only notable concerns I have about this drive is the chain used for attaching the “cap holder”, the chain is rather cheap, and I would worry about it breaking under pressure, also, I am a bit disappointed that the cheap chain used to hold the “cap holder” to the drive is the only available option for attaching this drive to a key ring, sure if your daring enough you might be able to get it around the rubber of the drive, but the rubber end is so thick I doubt that will be possible. Aside from that the only other issue I may see in durability is how long it is, given the length of the drive I would be also concerned that should enough pressure be applied in one area, the drive itself on the inside could snap in half, under the protective rubber housing. All in all, we have another excellent product from OCZ.
Total Score: 8.2/10