Last month Mach Xtreme celebrated their first anniversary. As a company starting business in the middle of a global recession, the hill is high from the start, but once you take a look at the companies Mach Xtreme is dog fighting against, the odds don't look all that good.
Mach Xtreme is taking on the industry big boys, OCZ Technology, Kingston and the rest of the well known companies making SSDs, flash drives and memory modules. In order to survive, Mach Xtreme has to do things differently and that is what they have done from the starting block.
Mach Xtreme offers 'urban' themed products and recruits inner city graffiti artists to design logos and product graphics. The result is a different form of technology, one that offers a unique style while still retaining function.
Today we are looking at the Mach Xtreme MX-FX USB 3.0 thumb drive. Physically the MX-FX looks a lot like the Patriot Magnum; they share the same external aluminium housing, but the Magnum is a USB 2.0 drive and the MX-FX makes use of USB 3.0 technology. Mach Xtreme is offering the MX-FX in 16, 32, 64 and 128GB capacity sizes.
Our 32GB sample has a claimed read speed of 125MB/s and a claimed write speed of up to 80MB/s. All of the drives in the MX-FX Series have different read and write speeds, but today we are focusing on the 32GB drive since that is what we have on hand.
When it comes to price, we found the 32GB model available in the US for 120.73 USD. This is right around the same price of the Patriot Supersonic USB 3.0 Flash Drive we reviewed just the other day. The MX-FX has a higher rated read and write speed than the Patriot Supersonic, although the availability is much lower since Mach Xtreme doesn't have the same number of distribution and e-tail outlets as Patriot has built. This is something that will come with time as the company builds their reputation.
Let's take a look at some benchmarks to get this review kicked into high gear.
ATTO gives us a taste of what to expect from the Mach Xtreme MX-FX 32GB thumb drive. In our testing we achieved read speeds of up to 127MB/s and write speeds of up to 80MB/s. This is far faster than the USB 2.0 limits of 35MB/s.
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Using our standard testing methodology, we did find one area where things weren't so glamorous, and that is the write access times.
In the write access time chart at the bottom of the previous column the Mach Xtreme MX-FX showed signs of JMicron cache style patterns. This is where the drive writes data very quickly until the cache fills and then the time it takes to write increases rapidly.
For a storage device this isn't much of an issue, but if you are planning on running an operating system or virtual desktop like Ceedo, then having a high write access time is not an ideal situation.
In Crystal Disk Mark we get to see the 4K read and write performance of the Mach Xtreme MX-FX 32GB thumb drive. The 4K read speed stays between 4 and 5 MB/s which is very good for a dual channel thumb drive.
The Patriot Supersonic USB 3.0 that we reviewed a few days ago achieved between 7 and 8MB/s, but it uses a quad channel design. Let's take a look and see what this means to the real world file transfer tests.
AS SSD Copy Benchmark was used to determine the real world file transfer speeds of the thumb drives. Three tests are ran; ISO, Program and Game. The ISO file is a large file, Program is a series of small files and Game is a mix of several large and small files.
The ISO test on the Patriot was conducted in 24.07 seconds, a 44.61MB/s rating, while the MX-FX took 28.01 seconds, a rating of 38.35MB/s. The Mach Xtreme was just a little slower in this large file test.
The Program test went a little different and the Mach Xtreme MX-FX outperformed the Supersonic by 27 seconds and 9MB/s.
The Game test, the mix between large and small files also favoured the Mach Xtreme MX-FX. In this test the Mach Xtreme outperformed the Supersonic by 4MB/s, around 4 seconds faster.
The Mach Xtreme MX-FX is a very fast USB 3.0 thumb drive; it's actually one of the fastest we've tested to date, but the MX-FX is not perfect. The only area we didn't like is how the drive handles access times when writing data. But as long as you are not running an operating system on the drive you won't be affected.
As intended, the MX-FX is a portable storage drive and it excels at this function. The price is in line with other USB 3.0 Super Speed thumb drives and the performance is higher.