Transcend JetFlash 620 64GB pen drive review
Test PC and testing procedures
The following are the specifications of the computer this product has been tested on.
- Crucial 2GB x 2 kit 240pin DDR3 PC3-8500
- Gigabyte S1156 Intel P55 motherboard – GA-P55-UD4
- Intel Core i5 Quad 750 2.66GHz 8MB cache
- Antec Three Hundred Black Case
- Sapphire HD4350 512MB PCIe DVI graphics card
- Samsung Black DVD+/-RW SH-S223B SATA
- Lite-On DVD+/-RW SOHW-1693S ATA
- OCZ Vertex 2 120GB SSD FW v1.29
- Samsung F3 1TB 7200RPM HDD
- WD RE4-GP 2TB 5400RPM HDD
- ASUS U3S6 PCIe x4 USB3.0 / SATA 6Gbps
- Corsair 450W ATX PSU
- Windows 7 64-bit Enterprise Edition
- Nikon D60
The camera was used for taking the product photography.
To test the performance of the pen drive, we will be using the following test applications in this review:
- HD Tune Pro
- CrystalDiskMark x64
- (Various in-house batch file scripts)
Unlike low capacity USB pen drives where most people leave the drive formatted in the default FAT/FAT32 file system, when it comes to pen drives with 64GB or larger capacity, some users will reformat the drive as exFAT or NTFS to be able to store files greater than 4GB. As we have noticed before, switching from FAT32 to NTFS also has a very noticeable difference in write performance due to the way Windows handles each file system.
To cover the three popular file systems as well as the Private Zone, we will rerun each benchmark to cover each scenario:
- FAT32 formatted
- exFAT formatted
- NTFS formatted
- Private Zone (FAT32 formatted)
Due to the variation in performance form one USB controller to another, we will conduct all tests in this review using the same front USB port on the review PC.
For the real-world testing, we will test the following:
- Copy a large 1GB file from the RAM drive to the HDD.
- Read the 1GB file.
- Copy a large 1GB folder consisting of 8,247 JPEG files in a hierarchy of 245 folders.
- Read this entire folder’s content.
- Copy a single folder containing 187 MP3 files, totalling 987MB.
- Read the all the MP3s in this folder.
- Delete the complete photos folder.
We chose a RAM drive as the file copying source to minimise the latency as much as possible by the read source. For the read tests, the files are simply read by our script without being stored anywhere. All timings are measured by script with accuracy to 1/100th second. The computer was rebooted prior to the read tests and again prior to the delete tests.
The purpose of the delete test is to show how long it takes to delete a large folder, as this task is usually quite tedious with a FAT32 file system and especially on a USB pen drive.
Original File System
Before we conduct any tests, we will first take a look at the file system this drive came pre-formatted with:
As with any other modern hard disk or removable disk, manufacturers rate the capacity in multiplies of 1,000 bytes, so 64GB means 64,000,000,000 bytes. From the above screenshot, we can see that the drive is just above this figure, but right next to this mark, we see 59.8GB. You may wonder, where’s the other 4.2GB? Like Solid State Drives, USB pen drives reserve a small amount of capacity for wear levelling as well as to provide spare capacity to replace worn out sectors over the lifespan of the drive.
So what about the security software that comes stored with the drive? Unlike most pen drives and external hard disks that store the software in the user storage area, this pen drive stores the software in a separate area that appears as a CD-ROM drive when plugged in. The following image shows the virtual CD-ROM, along with the Private Zone partition enabled:
The following ‘CHKDSK’ screen gives some more technical information about the file system, such as the allocation unit size:
All FAT32 tests are conducted with this factory formatted file system. Only when we complete these tests do we format the drive in NTFS or exFAT to carry out all the tests again under the alternative file systems.
Now let’s head to the next page, where we carry out some benchmarks…