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Corsair Flash Voyager GT 128GB
Corsair says the performance of the drive is limited by the USB 2.0 interface

Corsair is a big name in the enthusiast gaming and computer circle. The company makes some of the most popular RAM for computers along with a full assortment of flash drives and SSDs. Corsair has announced its latest flash drive today called the 128GB Voyager GT.

Corsair claims that the performance of the drive is only limited by the speed of the USB 2.0 bus. The drive is hailed as the world's fastest 128GB USB flash drive. The 128GB GT uses a dual-controller architecture to provide SLC level performance with MLC NAND flash memory.

“High performance is a key requirement for super-high capacity flash drives, such as the 128GB Voyager GT, simply because it is able to store such a large volume of data,” said John Beekley, the VP of Applications at Corsair. “The 128GB Voyager GT is nearly twice as fast as other high-capacity flash drives, which means less time waiting for your music, video or office files to copy to and from the drive.”

Thanks to its architecture, the flash drive can reach claimed read speeds of 32MB/sec and write speeds of up to 25.6 MB/sec. The drive is housed in a water-resistant rubber case to protect the drive from damage from water or shock. The drive is available to purchase now from Corsair and its authorized distributors. The MSRP for the drive is pegged at about $390.

“The 128GB Flash Voyager GT is ideal for those who need access to a huge volume of data in a format that’s convenient, durable and extremely fast,” said Jim Carlton, VP of Marketing for Corsair. “The 128GB Flash Voyager GT can store massive video, photo and music libraries, yet it’s less than half the size of a solid-state drive, effectively obsoleting less-reliable, portable mechanical hard disk drives.”

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Looks awesome!
By JackBurton on 8/13/2009 11:30:29 AM , Rating: 5
It looks awesome but I sure ain't paying $390 for it. Once it gets down to under $100 I might pick one up.

RE: Looks awesome!
By troysavary on 8/13/2009 11:34:51 AM , Rating: 3
If you are really worried about the speed of your thumb drive, you'd get an eSATA drive anyway. They stomp all over any of the USB ones.

RE: Looks awesome!
By Demon-Xanth on 8/13/2009 11:48:48 AM , Rating: 2
Sadly, eSata is currently far from ubiquitous. USB on the other hand, is.

...and part of me wants a reason to upgrade from my 4GB Voyager.

RE: Looks awesome!
By troysavary on 8/13/2009 11:55:09 AM , Rating: 2
I just bought one of those inserts that go into a 5 1/4 drive slot. It has slots for the various memory cards, 4 USB ports, 1 IEE 1394, headphone out and mic in, S/PDIF and 2 eSATA (that plus into the standard SATA header on the mobo and the SATA power connector from the power supply). That covered just about any external connectivity I'd need all in one unit.

RE: Looks awesome!
By robert5c on 8/14/2009 12:38:07 PM , Rating: 2
congratulations, so that will work on your system, but the point of such a product is to have PORTABLE, fast, large volume storage. your argument for eSATA is pointless, as already mentioned, you won't be able to go to work, or any client, or who knows where, and plug in all the time...

your argument of there’s another product better then this is pointless...because the “this” isn’t actually the same situation…, its meant for someone who’s needs conform exactly to what this product offers.

there’s a product for everything, and there's someone for everything that waste's time to mention there's another product, for something completely different.

RE: Looks awesome!
By TomZ on 8/13/2009 11:57:44 AM , Rating: 3
With USB 3.0 around the corner, there really is no future for eSATA drives. A USB 3.0 drive would have the advantages of (a) including power in the connector, and (b) being backwards compatible to be used in USB 2.0 ports.

Now why oh why didn't they put some form of power on that connector...?!?

RE: Looks awesome!
By piroroadkill on 8/13/2009 12:01:24 PM , Rating: 2
Kind of like Firewire 800, which can provide way more power than USB? I'd rather see firewire used instead of esata. Sadly, Firewire is also now extremely niche.

RE: Looks awesome!
By steven975 on 8/13/2009 3:05:48 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, there are powered eSATA connectors now...or really soon.

plus, a drive that is natively SATA is always going to be faster on eSATA than it is on USB, regardless of the version. And last I checked no drive is USB native...even the USB flash drives.

RE: Looks awesome!
By TomZ on 8/13/2009 3:36:37 PM , Rating: 2
USB flash drives aren't SATA native either, so at least for this type of drive, that's a moot point. Larger SSDs are a different story.

It's too late for eSATA's going to suffer the same fate as Firewire.

RE: Looks awesome!
By joos2000 on 8/14/2009 8:19:28 PM , Rating: 2
Indeed, too little too late.

RE: Looks awesome!
By jlips6 on 8/14/2009 12:27:27 AM , Rating: 2
so, in a couple weeks then?

RE: Looks awesome!
By SiliconDoc on 8/14/2009 7:20:26 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly, at $390.00 one can pickup a core2 notebook, or any netbook, or a mid-midtower gaming sys.
Note in their blabbering promotion they claim it's the fastest of the LARGE usb drives.
In other words, your dual channell 2 or 4 gig usb stick will spank it.
That makes the $390.00 prioetag a price with one to many digits to the left of the decimal point.
390 bucks, hey why don't we just buy them 50 shares of stock and mail it to them. WHAT A CROCK !

RE: Looks awesome!
By Shadrack2 on 8/14/2009 8:05:32 AM , Rating: 2
Really? How do these 2 and 4 gig usb sticks get around the limits of USB 2.0?

Agreed, the price is too steep for me but then again I'm managing fine with my $10 Kingston stick.

By Spivonious on 8/13/2009 11:59:26 AM , Rating: 4
How are these drives for the Vista ReadyBoost feature? It sure would be nice to have 128GB of RAM.

RE: ReadyBoost?
By piroroadkill on 8/13/2009 12:03:07 PM , Rating: 4
Yeah, wouldn't it just. Only, you're looking at 25MB a second vs 6400MB a second for ddr2-800.

RE: ReadyBoost?
By XZerg on 8/13/2009 1:07:48 PM , Rating: 3
The Ready Boost drives weren't competing against RAM... they were there to help boost load time against hdd access... yes they, boost drive, are typically slower than hdd's sustained and burst speed but are faster when comparing random read/writes - something that occurs during boot up times a lot.

Although this never made any major difference.

RE: ReadyBoost?
By StraightPipe on 8/13/2009 4:48:10 PM , Rating: 2
Sata HDD's are faster than USB2 also... moot point.

Readyboost is a marketing thing that was supposed to help uber-slow under memoryied PC' failed.

RE: ReadyBoost?
By hechacker1 on 8/13/2009 5:19:50 PM , Rating: 2
No you missed the point of the parent's post.

Readyboost is useful for quickly accessing small random data with flash memory's sub 1ms access time.

Vista/Windows 7 prefetches small random data to the readyboost drive so when you do need it, you can access your application much faster, not waiting for the hard drive's 7ms seek (Raptor 10K).

It does help with certain applications, like web browsing, where you are constantly reading/writing small random data for caches and database storage (awesomebar sqlite). Or loading Firefox where it loads tons of small files.

Even on a PC with tons of RAM it can help because Vista intelligently preloads data that can be speed up by your Readyboost drive. Things that won't benefit get preloaded into RAM by superfetch, or must load from your HDD.

Of course, the more ram you have the less effect this has (especially if all your data can be preloaded), but for those of us who really use all our ram, the HDD becomes the slowest part of the PC with its slow seeks.

However, there would be no point to Readyboost if you already have an SSD with fast random read/writes.

RE: ReadyBoost?
By epobirs on 8/14/2009 5:36:34 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, ReadyBoost has no meaningful value on systems above 1 GB RAM.

Keep in mind this was being developed in 2005-2006 when the memory requirements of the upcoming Windows release was looking like a severe problem for a lot of existing systems that were typically well under 1 GB of RAM. Worse, a lot of those systems couldn't be expanded much. My workhorse Dell P4 system, which is still in daily use, used Rambus memory and topped out at 768 MB. I never had any intention of putting Vista on that machine, using it as a reason to build a new one instead, but a lot of people expect to be able to upgrade.

When I built my C2D system for hosting Vista, it started with 2 GB of RAM. I had a USB card reader occupying a front bay and used a 2 GB Compact Flash card for ReadyBoost. It made no detectable difference but I assume it was too subtle to easy recognize and that it was making a difference in small cumulative speedups for a better overall experience. But after seeing some details on how ReadyBoost actually works, this turned out to be fantasy for any system that wasn't struggling against limited RAM. Worse, it was creating additional overhead. If anything, it was detrimental to adequately equipped systems performance. The CF card was thankfully cheap but the money would have been better spent on the RAM I eventually upgrade to 8 GB, along with Vista 64-bit, then Win7 64-bit. The cost for the 8 GB was less than I spent to add 32 MB to a 16 MB Pentium 133 system back in 1996. I was pretty psyched that I had 48 MB compared to the 48 KB in my Atari 800. Ten thousand times the RAM!

At the time, ReadyBoost was a solution for machines that lacked the expansion capacity and made for a simple end-user installation. It did nothing, nor was it expected to, for performance on systems with adequate RAM. A different technology, ReadyDrive, was instead created to exploit flash memory in conjunction with a conventional hard drive. This is most commonly seen on laptops supporting the Intel Turbo Memory modules. These come in sizes ranging 1 GB to 4 GB. The idea is to get much of the advantages of an SSD at only a minor cost premium over a conventional hard drive alone.

The value of ReadyDrive has also been difficult to ascertain. It has generated notably little excitement and Apple has chosen not to implement it in the MacBook line AFAIK.

RE: ReadyBoost?
By XZerg on 8/13/2009 12:24:07 PM , Rating: 2
You are much better off picking up an actual SATA SSD drive instead. Not only are you paying huge premium matching the SSD you are getting $hitty performance too.

This is definitely not worth the price is it selling for. Yes good capacity and small size but the price and performance are such a huge bummer. The other thing is when you pay such a huge premium and USB3 being just around the corner this seems even more pointless - better off picking up a cheaper and smaller for now if you must have one.

RE: ReadyBoost?
By KentState on 8/13/2009 3:21:02 PM , Rating: 2
You can only use up to 4GB for ReadyBoost and past a ratio of 2.5:1, it doesn't add any more performance.

128Gb Bic Lighter for > $390 ? No sir.. try this..
By thudo on 8/13/2009 12:02:26 PM , Rating: 2
500Gb 7200Rpm 2.5" Seagate Momentus Drive + Vantec 2.5" USB2.0 Enclosure = $150 w/taxes.

While its a larger footprint than a pen/key drive, its FASTER, way less than 1/2 the cost, almost 5x the capacity, and runs exclusively on a single USB2.0 cable not needing extra power at all (except on slower USB1.1 interfaces but bah so few of those nowadays). You can even put this thing in your shirt's breast pocket (yes it fits!)

I always scoff at these large capacity pen/key drives and their cost. Pathetic when a much better solution has long since been available. Totally changes offline mobile storage!

By GaryJohnson on 8/13/2009 12:57:12 PM , Rating: 2
The particular advantage of flash over magnetic disk for portable storage is durability. If a flash drive falls out of your breast pocket onto pavement it's probably going to be ok. If a 2.5" HDD falls like that you should be expecting some data loss.

By thudo on 8/14/2009 10:42:45 AM , Rating: 2
Like we haven't seen data loss on a key drive -- riggghhttt..

$390 128Gb vs $150 500Gb -- so you sacrifice size for something that holds 3-4x more, is faster, cheaper, blah blah blah.

I get far more technological complements via IT people re: my solution because of those particular specs I've mentioned. Key drives are waayyy too expensive for what they are. Stupid. They don't hold close to the space needed and don't see how anyone in IT could justify the cost -- its asinine!

By thudo on 8/14/2009 12:19:29 PM , Rating: 2
Oh and one other MAJOR advantage to the external 500Gb 7200rpm USB2.0-only powered enclosure..

ITS SCALABLE TO THE NEXT INTERFACE CHANGE! When USB3.0 comes out end of this year and when enclosures with it are available I pop out the drive and put it into the new USB3.0 enclosure. Done! Keydrives are fixed tech. Sad..

By rameshms on 8/13/2009 1:04:16 PM , Rating: 3
You are comparing apples to oranges.. Try carrying the external hard drive in your keychain..
Both product have their advantages & disadvantages. Clearly this product was meant for folks who are willing to spend $$

By Parhel on 8/13/2009 1:13:11 PM , Rating: 1
You are comparing apples to oranges.. Try carrying the external hard drive in your keychain..

From the picture, this doesn't look like something you'd carry on your keychain either. Maybe I'm wrong, but it looks closer in size to a cellphone than your average thumb drive.

By monomer on 8/13/2009 5:15:58 PM , Rating: 2
Scaling the picture to match the USB plug, the 128 GB Drive is about two times larger than my cheap plastic usb drive, or about three times the size of my aluminum usb drive.

So, while it is significantly larger than standard drives, it is still small enough that I'd keep it in my pocket, though I can see how isome would find it a bit bulky.

By The0ne on 8/13/2009 5:32:55 PM , Rating: 2
Or compare it to smaller capacity Voyager and it's a "tad" bigger. Compare it to my 8gig ST drive it's it's easily 10x bigger. Pick your comparisons but still pockit-able (not a word!) :)

By monomer on 8/13/2009 5:07:22 PM , Rating: 3
You don't keep an external hard drive in your pocket, silly... you wear it around your neck using a lanyard as a fashion statement.

How long it takes to fill it?
By Roy2001 on 8/13/2009 11:43:35 AM , Rating: 2
USB 2.0 usually means 1GB/min. So you need about 2 hours to fill it ideally.

RE: How long it takes to fill it?
By Spivonious on 8/13/2009 11:57:57 AM , Rating: 2
USB 2.0 spec is 480Mbps, which is 60MB/s, which is 3.6GB/min.

RE: How long it takes to fill it?
By rudolphna on 8/13/2009 12:12:29 PM , Rating: 5
Theoretically, yes. But as with any bus, you never reach the rated speed. In the case of USB, which is renowned for its enormous overhead, CPU usage, and overall poor performance, you are lucky to get 30-35MB/s across the bus. Don't believe it? Get an external USB harddrive and run HDTach. It sits at 35MB/S for the entire disk test.

RE: How long it takes to fill it?
By epobirs on 8/14/2009 5:39:49 AM , Rating: 2
That assumes any one device can completely take over the bus. But it can't. It would be a disaster if it were allowed. Imagine completely losing your keyboard and mouse during a large write to a USB drive.

RE: How long it takes to fill it?
By MrPickins on 8/13/2009 12:30:45 PM , Rating: 3
The rated write speed (from the article) is 25.6 MB/s.

128 GB * 1024 MB/GB = 131072 MB

131702 MB / 25.6 MB/s = 5102 s = 85 min 2 s

Sounds like best case scenario to fill from empty is ~1.5 hr. I wouldn't doubt it could stretch to 2 hrs if the files are small enough.

USB 3.0
By Senju on 8/14/2009 12:16:53 AM , Rating: 2
Why now wait until USB 3.0 comes out? I hear there are plans that it will come out this year?

RE: USB 3.0
By TomZ on 8/14/2009 10:44:35 AM , Rating: 2
It's "out" just takes time to work its way out into motherboards and devices.

No big whoop
By Vidmo on 8/13/2009 3:03:07 PM , Rating: 2
I have a 16GB thumb drive on my keychain that can do 22MB/s read and 15MB/s write and it only costs me $15.

By jimbojimbo on 8/13/2009 3:26:14 PM , Rating: 2
Sure this sucker's bigger but I'd hardly call it super fast. Not to mention the Patriot is half the width. Good luck plugging something else next to this behemoth.

No, it's not faster.
By StraightPipe on 8/13/2009 4:46:41 PM , Rating: 2
So stupid. it's limited to USB2.0, like all the other thumb drives, so you're not going to see performance over 35MB/s; nothing to brag about.

It's like saying my 1000HP car is faster than yours, but the USB port wont let it get out of first gear...

Still USB 2.0 Restricted
By Kahnivorous on 8/14/2009 12:12:15 AM , Rating: 2
I've been playing around with Patriot Memory's 128GB XPorter which was announced and sent to a few weeks ago. Read times remain around 29 to 32 MB/s, but actual write averages aren't constant. Burst write speeds are sequentially up there, but not in Random tests. Still, it stores a huge amount of data reliably.

The problem still remains that USB 2.0 can't take advantage of these performance drives. And, ASUS announced a USB 3.0 capable motherboard, but quickly pulled it. (Reasons unknown.) Until some USB 3.0 support comes out, we can't really test the full capabilities of these large capacity USB drives with the improved controllers and are stuck with real world results.

But, again, it sure makes lugging around a big hard drive pointless.

By deegee on 8/16/2009 3:59:00 PM , Rating: 2
I have a Corsair 8GB flash stick and they do make good thumb drives.
However, for fast read/write performance I always use my Maxtor OneTouch USB 250GB drive instead. 32MB/s read and write. Powered from the USB port. Only cost me $65. Much cheaper than this new Corsair drive.
Get that thumb drive under $100 and I would consider it.

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