Compact Flash 1GB drives are now very reasonable purchases – Joe
SUMMARY: Compact Flash 1GB drives are now very reasonable purchases.
I’ve been using “pen drives” for some time, starting with the first ones at 16 MB. With the purchase of my digital camera, I’ve managed to collect a whole range of compact flash cards, ranging from 8 to 512 MB; I’ve used these for data transfer as much as for my cameras, but I always needed a card reader – not a real problem, but don’t forget one when you’re on the road.
With the sharp drop in compact flash memory, the 1 GB barrier has cracked wide open, with entry level prices of about $70 or less with special promotions. Flash Drives at 1 GB have a special interest, as you can download a full CD ROM onto a 1 GB drive with space left over. The other obvious benefit is you don’t need a card reader with these drives and they don’t require loading drivers (except W98) to work.
I recently purchased a Memorex 1GB Travel Drive and have found it incredibly handy, both on the road and at home, so I thought I’d run some benches and see how well this $70 or so drive stacks up.
The drive has an activity light
to indicate access and features a lock
to protect overwriting critical data – a very handy feature when using this drive to carry data on the road.
The one thing I do not like about this drive is its shape – the circular shape is a pain if you’re using a hub or have other devices in nearby USB ports – I found it too wide to allow other devices to fit with it (I found this out after I bought it).
I ran HD Tach 3.0 on an Asus Z71A laptop – a typical configuration with USB 2.0 ports. The first benchmark is the short test, then long:
The test does highlight one major benefit – the access times are very fast compared to mechanical drives – no real surpise here. However, the data transfer speeds are nowhere near hard drive levels, although more expensive versions will show higher transfer speeds.
For portability and storage size, a 1 GB compact flash drive can be a real time saver. Performance is not at mechanical drive levels, but is perfectly adequate for data transport and storage.