Corsair 256 MB Flash Drive

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Chuck’s review.


I was at my “Local Electronics” store picking up a few items, when I decided to
browse the flash media area. There were a couple of empty bins, which were items on sale and now sold out.
Then there were a few “Sale” prices posted on the ends of those little wire rack pegs, trying to grab my attention.

One in particular did raise my eye, one that said “CORSAIR” on it.

Now I’ve learned when dealing with computer parts, a major name brand can and usually does hold “some” weight with me. So I pulled one of the little plastic containers off its peg.

Hmmm…. This is what I pretty much read:


  • Plug & Play functionality in Windows ® XP, 2000, ME, Linux 2.4 and later, Mac OS 9, X and later
  • Security application lets you create a password-protected partition
  • Drivers on CD for Windows ® 98
  • Lanyard, USB cable and driver CD included
  • Supports sustained read speed of 19MB/sec*
  • Supports sustained write speed of 13MB/sec*
  • Ten year warranty
  • *CMFUSB2.0-128 supports 9MB/s read, 6MB/s write

Well, now wait a minute, here is a Sony one, same size (256 MB) same price ($29.99);
I looked over the Sony and it looked just as good to me. Oops, wait a minute – nothing about a warranty. Crud – back on the shelf it goes.

Last line….. fine print…… Ahhh, Sweet!! 10 YEAR WARRANTY.

I hate to say I break things on occasion. Although my wife would say on more occasions than not I do, and possibly not by accident. So a warranty does matter to me.

So, out via the registers, ($100 later) I went with my 1 bag of stuff. :

Remembering Joe had done an article (HERE) on a Flash Drive a short while ago, I figured I could
match this one against his. I remembered he used HD Tach to run the test & I have that
one amongst my files… somewhere.

Below are some screen shots of what results I obtained using the same test program.


Short Test 1


Short Test 2


Long Test 1


For comparison, a 40 Gig Maxtor I had installed at the time. (POS/DOA)

Long Test


Compared to the read speeds Joe found (8 – 14 MB/s), the Corsair’s performance lags quite a bit. But I figure for my first Thumb type drive, a 10 year warranty and a fair price (IMHO),
I couldn’t go wrong. I’m not gaming off it, I’m using it to transfer files to and from work.
It’s small, light weight and coated in rubber!!

-Note: In the first pic, it shows 255 MB on the drive. I had a copy of “My Favorites – I meant to transfer to another computer on the drive at the time.


UPDATE: 10/05/2005

After receiving a few e-mails concerning my test results, there was a concern that I did not have USB 2.0 support enabled, or there was something wrong.

I did some checking into the BIOS and found a “Few” things.
I also updated to SP2 for XP Pro just for this testing.

After reading the e-mails,
I posted in the forums.

OK, fully updated to SP2.

I re-ran all the tests. At first I came out with the same results. I then went into my BIOS and dug deeper looking for various Controllers for data transfer. I did have the “USB version 1.1+ and 2.0 – Enabled”
but I did not have USB Compatibility turned to “Enable” also (it now is enabled).

I went into the Integrated Peripherals and found that the On Chip IDE Devices were
Disabled (now Enabled), Master PIO and Master Drive Ultra DMA on Auto

I also went into the IDE2 and found the same thing. I also checked the PnP/PCI Configurations and saw that there is an IRQ assigned for USB (A good thing -right?).

OK, system fully updated save BIOS and reboot; defrag system / Reboot.

I Re-ran ALL tests – guess what?

For the Flash Drive, it made absolutely NO DIFFERENCE.

For my Maxtor 40 gig drive, it made a HUGE DIFFERENCE – the average read rate was over 3 times faster!

And now for some screenies:


Short Test on Flash Drive


Long Test on Flash Drive


Short Test on Main HD


And the Long Test on Main HD


The previous test read rate was 16.4 MB/s vs 52.3 MB/s after updating.

Thanks to everyone who e-mailed me about this – I’m sure that your results may vary depending on system and setup.

After receiving several more e-mails & I looked into it some more. I agree, 1.1 is not good for a flash drive.

  1. I uninstalled the USB driver and rebooted; the system recognized it and installed the “newer” (?) drivers;
  2. I re-ran the test – same thing;
  3. I clicked on the little icon in the tray: “using in “slower” USB port
    *needs moved to faster (2.0) port”

Now this is strange here, I only have 2 USB ports on the back of my mobo. I went into Device Manager and through a “few” properties windows, I was able to select “Optimal performance” for the Flash Drive.

I re-ran hard drive tests long and short:

Short came out to 16.3 MB/s Average Read

Yes, I guess I missed this, but now I can no longer just pull the drive (Hot Swap) out. I need to click on the little icon in the tray and go through the Windows program to remove it safely.

Speed or Convenience?

I had to wait close to one minute before safely removing the drive.

A big thanks Malcom Cleary who e-mailed me about this.


Short Test on Flash Drive


ChuckZ – Aka WarriorII Senior Member

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