Testing and Methodology
At first we were at odds as to how to test the VisionTek USB Pocket SSD, it’s listed as a SSD but it uses a USB 3.0 interface so testing against internal SSD’s using a mSata interface you’re comparing Apples to Oranges. Compare it to a SSD in a USB 3 external drive enclosure and you’re comparing it to a drive with an enclosure between a normal SSD and the USB port. We know of one other drive with this form factor and direct USB 3.0 connection and are attempting to obtain one for direct comparison. Until then we will be doing a standalone review on the VisionTek USB Pocket SSD. It’s just one of the conundrums you run into with unique products and an un-avoidable part of reviewing.
As usual every review starts with a clean fully updated install of Windows 8.1 with all drivers completely up to date. All background tasks such as platter drive indexing turned off, prefetch and cache cleared between each test. Each test is ran 3 times and the results averaged, or we take the median run and post that image. Mp background programs are allowed to run, no music playing no download no streaming the entire systems resources are devoted to the test and every effort is made to ensure nice clean uninterrupted test runs.
Lets talk about expectations. The VisionTek drive is shipped formatted to 512K sized blocks using the NTFS file system. We understand that to get the most out of the drive it needs to be formatted to 4K blocks and XHCI / UASP should be enabled. That’s not very real world, the average end-user is going to take the drive out of the package and plug it in and use it as shipped. Making special allowances for the drive and reformatting it to get higher scores goes against our grain so we are not presenting the drive in that manner. We took it out of the package and tested it as shipped.
We did reformat the drive to 4k and enable XHCI / UASP and attained speeds, both Read and Write up around the 440MB/s range as advertised. So if you desire to get full speed use this procedure.
- Select the drive in “My computer” and right click, select “format”
- Change the allocation unit size to 4096 bytes
- Type a volume Label
- Ensure “Quick format” is checked
- Click “Start”
As with any format procedure there are minimal risks which you assume if you follow the outlined procedure. Make sure you have the correct drive selected don’t wipe out your music and movie collection. We have no idea what reformatting to 4k will do to the longevity of your VisionTek USB 3.0 Pocket SSD. We are merely relating the information we found to attain full advertised speeds and make no claims or recommendations and if you decide to use the procedure you assume the risk on your own accord.
|Case Type||Corsair Obsidian Series 800D|
|CPU||Intel Haswell E 5930k 3.3GHz|
|Motherboard||Asus X99 Deluxe|
|Ram||Kingston Fury 32GB 2400MHz (15 – 15 -15)|
|CPU Cooler||Thermalright Ultra 120 RT (Dual 120mm Fans)|
|Hard Drives||Kingston M.2. SM2280S3 120GB M.2. SSD2x Crucial 240GB SSD in Raid 0|
|Optical||Asus Quiet Trac BR|
|GPU||EVGA GTX 960 SSC|
|Case Fans||120mm Fan cooling the mosfet CPU area|
|Testing PSU||SilverStone 1500W|
|Any Attempt Copy This System
Configuration May Lead to Bankruptcy
|USB Flash Bench|
Performance - 8
Value - 8.5
Innovation - 9
Features - 8
Quality - 8.5
The VisionTek USB 3.0 performed well but to perform at full speed requires a re-format to 4k sectors. Even using legacy 512K sectors performance was high and the drive is durable enough to survive the toughest road warrior.