As far as testing is concerned, I treated this drive like any other hard drive I bring into the lab to stress out. Granted, I don't expect a 4200-RPM drive to measure up with modern IDE and SATA models (especially with the USB interface), but I still want to have some solid numbers to relate to when I begin talking about performance.
When it comes to testing out hard drive performance, one of the best utilities around is HD Tach. While synthetic in nature, it still does a fair job of monitoring drive transfer rates as well as access times and burst speeds. Once we've thrashed the drive a few times and taken an average of the results we'll resort to a bit more direct means of testing. I'll take the installation file for the Farcry demo and start moving it from the system to the drive and then back again. This particular file weighs in at a hefty 496MB so should give us a good reading of the performance of the external drive.
Before we delve any deeper, though, lets take a look at our test system:
ABIT AV8 Motherboard - VIA K8T800 Pro chipset (Supplied by ABIT)
Athlon64 FX-53 @ 2.4GHz (Supplied by Newegg.com)
Swiftech H2O-120 water cooling (Supplied by Swiftech)
2x 512MB Mushkin "Redline" PC3200 DDR Memory (Supplied by Mushkin)
Sapphire X850 XT PE (Supplied by Sapphire)
Western Digital 80GB 8MB SATA Hard Drive
Our testing will be a rough comparison of this little hard drive and two Vantec branded external USB enclosures. The drive being tested within the Vantec enclosure is a Seagate 40GB model with a 7200-RPM spindle speed and a 2MB buffer. While this may seem like overkill, it is still a good idea to know where this type drive fits in with regard to a normal drive being used in an external manner.
After running the HD Tach test, I was more than a little impressed. While you may glance at the graph above and say it doesn't fare well, I would remind you that the X-Micro is being compared to a full sized hard drive with a spindle speed nearly twice as fast as the Toshiba 1.8" drive in the DisGo. It even managed to beat out the second generation NexStar unit in overall burst speeds!
Timed Data Transfers
Here we see a very similar result as shown above and again, I have to say that this isn't bad at all given the small size and convenience of the X-Micro drive. While it won't set any speed records, it will provide you with a very usable transfer rate that makes the DisGo a serious contender when you begin looking for portable storage.
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