When it comes right down to it, high performance flash drives are more of a niche product than anything. The standard consumer just wants something that looks good and does the job. As high performance flash drives proliferate in the market, we tend to see a couple drives released here and there that offer down right amazing read performance with a trade-off of poor write performance. Today, though, we have one drive that stands out in the pack and offers tremendous performance on both sides, the Mushkin Ventura Ultra.
The Ventura Ultra was first spoke about at CES 2013, and at that time it was more of a paper launch than anything else, but now we have a real drive in our hands and testing has completed.
The Mushkin Ventura Ultra is the first real consumer flash drive to offer a SandForce FSP in tune with high quality MLC NAND. Capacities of this drive range from 60GB and 120GB all the way up to 240GB. Additionally, if marketing numbers are true, the Mushkin Ventura Ultra offers 450 MB/s reads and 445 MB/s writes. Warranty is listed at two years.
Right off the bat, the Ventura Ultra brings back memories. The days of DFI motherboards and Mushkin Ridgeback memory.
The Ventura Ultra uses aircraft grade aluminium in a single-piece design, apart from the rubber cap.
Here we have the blue USB 3.0 port and right above the activity LED.
As stated in the introduction, the Mushkin Ventura Ultra uses a SandForce FSP at its heart. With the SandForce FSP, Mushkin is able to incorporate an 8-channel design.
One of the lesser-known features of running Microsoft's new operating system Windows 8 is the native capability of USB Attached SCSI or UASP. In benchmarking flash drives, we utilize ATTO Disk Benchmark followed by DiskBench and our custom set of real-world data, and is by far the most important comparison when looking for a flash drive for everyday use.
Recently we have added our very own Price vs. Performance charts for both read and write performance of each drive, for these charts we take the average sequential performance over five runs and divide it by the price per GB. All pricing information is updated before a new drive is added and is taken from certified channel retailers such as Newegg or Amazon.
The Mushkin Ventura Ultra is factory formatted with the NTFS file system. The usable capacity after formatting is 223GB.
In ATTO, we were quite astonished with the performance. In fact, this is the first drive we have tested that maximizes that bandwidth of the USB 3.0 bus in both read and write speeds.
In our real-world testing, the Mushkin Ventura Ultra arrives in the fourth spot in our charts, right behind the HyperX and SanDisk Extreme.
As far as price vs. performance goes, the Mushkin again lands itself near the top of our charts.
The Mushkin Ventura Ultra carries all the design cues and durability that made me fall in love with the Ridgeback DRAM back in the day. So, it's no surprise that I too love this drive. The durability of the unit is top notch, thanks to its aircraft grade aluminium and single-piece design and the performance - well, it's top notch as well.
Within our testing, I was able to cap the available bandwidth of the USB 3.0 spec, where the drive offered 452 MB/s read and 456 MB/s write. Throwing around some real-world data, the Mushkin did quite well too. DiskBench put the drive in the fourth spot in our charts, and again in price vs. performance, the Ventura Ultra landed near the top.
Now there is one drawback, or rather something I feel I should mention. The Mushkin Ventura Ultra, because of its performance and actually being a real SSD in a USB 3.0 overcoat, does get a bit warm after extensive file activity. Now, I'm not saying hot enough to burn you, but you will notice the warmth when you pull it from your PC after a day's use.
Pricing at this time for the 240GB capacity tested here today is set at $259.99 and comes with a two-year warranty.