OCZ Rally 2GB and 512MB USB 2.0 Dual Channel Flash Drives

Written by John Chen    Sunday, 16 October 2005 11:00
Article Index
OCZ Rally 2GB and 512MB USB 2.0 Dual Channel Flash Drives
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 5
All Pages
Introduction

Everyone knows that OCZ is known for making some of the fastest enthusiast memory around.  Everyone should also know that they offer some of the best customer service and warranty plans.  The company has been making quite an impact in the memory department, both enthusiast and non-enthusiast.  If you can recall, we were quite surprised that they had released their Titanium series.  The Titanium was targeted for mission critical systems and low end servers.  I found it a bit odd since it did not look like server memory and did not really behave like server memory.  I loved it not for the purpose it served, but for the warranty behind it.  Name one other company that would send you a replacement product BEFORE they get back the defect.  Talk about great service.  While not 100% perfect, OCZ still did manage to step into the server category.  They just need to really differentiate their Titanium from their enthusiast stuff. 

The company is back again to introduce a brand new product.  The number of computer users in an average household is growing insanely with each passing year.  This can only mean that more and more files are being created and used.  This also means that people are looking for ways to carry around their precious files, hence the lead to OCZ's new Rally USB 2.0 flash drive. 

 


 

OCZ Rally 2GB and 512MB USB 2.0 Flash Drives

The package of the flash drive comes with the drive itself, a lanyard, a small key ring, and a USB 2.0 extension cable.  The Rally flash drive is enclosed in a hard aluminum casing with a black finish.  The drive itself is pretty light and is very durable.  The only gripe I would have with such a design would be that it cannot really be thrown around or dropped very often.  But then again, who in the right mind would actually throw around flash drives?  I do have to admit though that the Rally looks amazing.  It is sleek and clean, just the way I like my toys to look.

Here is an image of the 512MB Rally with the 2GB Rally.  The only difference between the two would be the size of the Rally image.  There is absolutely no difference in size and both of them weigh about the same.  The big news about the Rally is the dual channel capabilities.  Although GeIL announced dual channel USB 2.0 flash memory earlier this year in Computex, we have yet to see it available for purchase.  This makes OCZ the first to release a retail dual channel USB 2.0 flash drive.

 


 

Test Setup

Test System:

  • AMD Athlon 64 3000+ Venice
  • DFI NF4 SLI Infinity
  • 2 x 1GB OCZ Platinum PC4000 EB
  • Leadtek Geforce 7800 GTX

Competition:

  • 512MB Corsair Voyager

The USB flash drive that I used for transferring my data was the Corsair Voyager.  The Voyager is a great small device that has never let me down.  The looks might not be all that but it is sturdy and the rubber material prevents the drive from being damaged.

Testing Methodology:

The Rally and Voyager drives are tested with the popular benchmarking programs SiSoft Sandra and HDTach.  Both these benchmarks are able to calculate the read and write speeds of the flash drives.  Since these are synthetic benchmarks, I included another test that is done in a "real-life" situation.  I copied my small music folder of 390MB with 58 files to the drives.  I recorded the time it took to transfer the complete folder and also recorded the time it took to delete the folder.  I had a stopwatch with me and started the time recording as soon as I clicked paste or delete.  Of course there will be a human error of +/- 1 second so please keep that in mind. 

 


 

Results

HDTach

  8MB 32MB
Corsair Voyager 512MB
OCZ Rally 512MB
OCZ Rally 2GB

The read performance of the Rally just dominated in this benchmark, by a good lead too.  Notice the random access time required for both the Rally drives.  It is significantly lower than the Voyager.

SiSoft Sandra Removable Storage/Flash Benchmark

  Corsair Voyager 512MB OCZ Rally 512MB OCZ Rally 2GB
Combined Index (operations/min) 5840 1050 1357
Endurance Factor 9.0 13.4 13
512B File Test (operations/min) 3852 1163 1514
32kB File Test (operations/min) 10329 1157 1488
256kB File Test (operations/min) 3738 955 1230
2MB File Test (operations/min) 547 304 377
64MB File Test (operations/min) 18 15 19

Wow.  The Voyager just turned around and dominated in this field.  I was a bit iffy about the results so I tested all the drives a total of three times and took the average.  Time after time, the Voyager beat out the Rally.

SiSoft Sandra File System Benchmark

  Drive Index
Corsair Voyager 512MB
OCZ Rally 512MB
OCZ Rally 2GB

According to Sandra's File System benchmark, the Rally regains the lead with blazing fast results. 

"Real Life" Testing

  Time to copy 390MB (58 files) onto drive Time to delete 390MB (58 files) from drive
Corsair Voyager 512MB 28 seconds 2 seconds
OCZ Rally 512MB 45 seconds 6 seconds
OCZ Rally 2GB 30 seconds 4 seconds

It wouldn't be proper testing if we didn't include a real life test to measure the Rally's read and write speeds.  As mentioned earlier, I used a stopwatch to record the times taken to copy the 390MB folder onto the flash drives and the times to delete the folder from the drives.  After an average of three tests, the Voyager consistently beat out the Rally, and by good margin too.  The same USB 2.0 port was used throughout all times to ensure consistency.  I am just puzzled at how the Rally's dual channel capability was not faster than the Voyager.  The 2GB Rally performed really closely, but the 512MB version was really slow in this test.  Although there will be the human-error factor, it does not warrant a 17 second difference.  I am not that slow at clicking the start and stop button.

 


 

Conclusion and Thoughts

OCZ's first step into the flash memory department seems to be of mixed results.  You would think that the dual channel capability of the Rally would dominate in performance, but it was not so.  The Rally did win a couple of the synthetic benchmarks, but when it came down to a real life situation where a file was transferred, it could not keep up with competitors.  I think the important things that end users will care about would be the transfer rates, price, and durability.  Unfortunately durability is not a test that we can really conduct.  From the looks and build of the Rally, the small flash drive can withstand a good amount of beating before it is totally destroyed.  The price tag of the Rally is marked competitively against their competitors, which makes OCZ's solution a reasonable choice.  The performance side of the Rally is neither incredible or extremely poor.  It wins and loses here and there, but in the end, it comes down to just being another portable USB 2.0 flash drive.  All that really matters, at least to me, is that the capacity is big enough to hold my files.  So is the dual channel capability a fluke?  I wouldn't say so, but the real life performance sure didn't benefit from it.  The Rally does look good next to my "true" Darth Vader Lego toy though.

Pros:

  • Looks great
  • Black aluminum casing
  • Small, not bulky
  • Well priced

Cons:

  • Dual channel capability shows no benefit in real life testing

We would like to thank OCZ for providing us the sample.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free to hit us up in the forums. You can also check out more of our latest reviews on the front page.