When it comes to flash drives, we don't often see SandForce mentioned. Apart from the Ventura Ultra from Mushkin and a handful of Windows to Go drives from various vendors, the SF2281 is mainly found in internal SSDs. Today, with the introduction of the USB 3.0 SSD from VisionTek, we add yet another SandForce powered flash drive to the list.
The VisionTek USB 3.0 SSD pen drive is built from the ground up utilizing the SF2281 controller paired with either 120GB or 240GB of asynchronous NAND flash. Marketing numbers depict 455 MB/s reads and 440 MB/s writes, while compatibility extends to modern Windows operating systems and OS X.
In addition to the specifications above, with the VisionTek being powered by the SandForce controller this drive has the ability to run and boot Windows 8 or OS X. MSRP of the VisionTek USB 3.0 SSD in the 240GB flavour is listed at $179.99 with a two-year warranty.
The VisionTek USB 3.0 SSD comes in plastic bubble packaging. The capacity of the drive is listed in large print at the top, while you get a peak at the drive below.
As you can tell, the VisionTek drive utilizes a design similar to another flash drive we tested a year or so ago. Capacity and branding is set in the center of the drive.
Flipping the drive over, we can get a better look at the design of the drive. It's also worth noting that this drive is larger than most drives, and as such, could block adjacent ports in a stacked USB 3.0 configuration.
Looking at the connector end we find it colored appropriately.
The VisionTek USB 3.0 SSD is factory formatted with the NTFS file system, the usable capacity after formatting is 223GB.
Sequential performance for the VisionTek USB 3.0 SSD came in at 139.89 MB/s read and 149.46 MB/s write with incompressible data. It is worth noting that with compressible data this drive does reach closer to its marketing numbers.
Moving over to 4K performance, we found the VisionTek drive miles ahead of any flash drive we have tested. Read IOPS came in at 15,293, while write IOPS reached 30,305.
Price/Performance put the VisionTek in second place behind the MX Technology LX.
The VisionTek USB 3.0 SSD carries a decent amount of build quality, although the enclosure does seem to be some sort of alloy rather than the aluminium we found in the Ventura Ultra. With that said, the VisionTek solution doesn't get nearly as hot as the Mushkin did, and in fact measuring with our infrared thermometer, temperatures peaked around 90F during testing.
Performance with incompressible data was subpar in my mind, but as we know results were typical with what you would find with the SF2281 controller. Sequential read peaked at 139 MB/s and writes peaked at 149 MB/s. Even with those numbers, the price/performance result was quite good with the VisionTek coming in second in our charts thanks to the excellent pricing. VisionTek has effectively priced the 240GB USB 3.0 SSD about $80 cheaper than the Ventura Ultra from Mushkin.
PRICING: You can find the VisionTek 240GB USB 3.0 Pocket SSD Drive (900719) for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.
United States: The VisionTek 240GB USB 3.0 Pocket SSD Drive (900719) retails for $174.95 at Amazon.
|Quality including Design and Build||85%|
|Bundle and Packaging||85%|
|Value for Money||90%|
The Bottom Line: Even with the subpar performance numbers, the VisionTek USB 3.0 Pocket SSD flash drive carries excellent capacity options and the ability to be a bootable drive. Along with this, pricing for this solution is within reach for most consumers, making it great value for users wanting the aforementioned features.
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