Overclock.net › Components › SSD › VisionTek USB Pocket SSD 120GB

VisionTek USB Pocket SSD 120GB

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Pros: Large storage density, Price, Impressive performance, Bootable, Rugged design

Cons: Lower than advertised performance in most situations

VisionTek's USB Pocket SSD may look like a typical flash drive, but it is so much more. It packs the hardware of a desktop SSD into a device the size of a USB drive. Where the Pocket SSD differs from other drives is in the controller. Instead of a cheap USB controller, the pocket SSD packs a full-blown SandForce SSD controller. This should give it theoretical speeds of around 450MBps. VisionTek is known for their graphics cards so does this entry into the portable SSD market live up to those high standards? Let's find out.


The box lists all the key features like the fact that the Pocket SSD doesn't require additional power and can achieve up to 455MBps read and 440Mbps write. The back lists tech and warranty specs. Inside the SSD is an LSI SandForce 2281 controller capable of up to 39,000 IOPS. The drive is over provisioned by 7% to prevent future data loss. It is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux.



The unit is just over 3.5" long and features a substantial metal outer covering. Along with protecting the internals, it also acts as a heatsink. The raised grooves and rubber center provide plenty of grip ensuring the drive won't fall out of your hands. In the unlikely case that that would happen you would still be protected- the thing is built like a tank. A rubber cap sits on the end to cover the USB connector. It is snug and won't easily fall off. While in use the cap fits on the key chain ring at the end of the drive. This metal connector won't easily break and should last for a long time even with substantial abuse.



The drive is a bit wider than most typical USB devices so there could be some compatibility issues on devices like laptops. The only notable physical feature is the green activity LED in the front. Other than that it is a metal box with a USB3.0 connector on the end.



Moving on to performance test now. VisionTek advertises speeds up to 455MBps read and 440Mbps write. Those are ideal numbers under certain conditions. Benchmarks like ATTO which use highly compressible data will reach right up to those advertised speeds.



For Crystal Disk and AS SSD, benchmarks that generally use incompressible data, we see very different results. These numbers are more telling of performance in day to day use. Most workloads deal with a combination of compressible and incompressible data so expect numbers in between. Most likely you won't notice a huge reduction in performance unless you do lots of content creation or storage intensive work. I found HD video file transfer speeds to be between 100MBps and 180Mbps. This is 2-3 times faster than normal USB3.0 drives and 10 times faster than USB2.0 drives.



In terms of real world performance tests, the Pocket SSD stands out as a portable windows boot drive. It is just the right size for a Windows installation with a few additional programs. This is perfect for an IT professional or anyone who regularly troubleshoots computers. Instead of carrying around a hard drive with an external adapter or a DVD drive with installation media, they can use the Pocket SSD. I achieved an average Windows 8.1 boot time of 13.87 seconds. This is pretty impressive considering a top-of-the-line SSD booted the same image in 11.15 seconds. Windows sees the drive as just another hard drive.



To conclude, the VisionTek 120GB Pocket SSD is a very interesting product. It offers SSD like speeds in a USB drive footprint. Although you won't achieve the advertised speeds on most workloads, they are still possible too far off. Coming in at only $100, the Pocket SSD offers tremendous cost per gigabyte. It offers high speeds in a portable, rugged design while not breaking the bank. I don't really think you can go wrong with the VisionTek USB Pocket SSD.
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VisionTek USB Pocket SSD 120GB
Description:

The pocket-sized, bus-powered SSD that offers the speed, performance, and storage capacity of an internal SSD. For Windows®, Mac® OS X®, and Linux® based computers. Whether you're wanting to transfer large files such as uncompressed images, back up an entire system, or create a pocket-size bootable operating system drive, the VisionTek USB 3.0 Pocket SSD is the performance and convenience solution for creative professionals, IT power users, and anyone seeking ultra-fast media and large file transfers. Not An Ordinary Thumb Drive While the VisionTek USB Pocket SSD looks like any other high-capacity flash drive with a USB 3.0 connector, that's where all similarities end. More than pure storage, it's a full-blown Solid State Drive featuring a high-performance SandForce® controller. That means you'll experience up to 455MB/s Reads and up to 440MB/s Writes... as quick as the fastest internal SSDs1, yet with the proper set-up, you can run a variety of operating systems with full capabilities. Uses The Common USB Port Millions of computers have been put into use since the USB 3.0 interface was introduced in 2008. That means no matter where you are, you'll be able to access a PC or Mac to utilize the VisionTek USB Pocket SSD. Just plug the drive into a computer and you can start working at supercharged speeds!2 Faster For Real-World Uses While scoring high on synthetic benchmark tests gets all the glory, the real focus should be on how an upgrade performs under real-world use scenarios. Any kind of travel demands entertainment, so you'll want to carry some HD movies with you. Compared to traditional external storage, you can transfer 35GB of movie files to the VisionTek USB Pocket SSD 26% faster. Tougher & Faster Than Other Pocket SSDs While other portable pocket SSD options exist, they're no match for the VisionTek USB Pocket SSD. No pathetically weak plastic case here... being able to handle the rigors of portable use demands a tough aircraft-grade aluminum housing. And while the best competitors can only muster up 250MB/s write speeds, the VisionTek USB Pocket SSD offers up to double that speed. Nearly 4x More Storage Capacity For Tablets With today's most popular tablet computers offering a maximum of 64GB of internal storage, you can use the VisionTek USB Pocket SSD as a high-capacity external storage upgrade and increase your storage capabilities by up to nearly 4x more. Run Windows On A Mac Whether you're a fan of PC games, want to run a specialty Windows only app, or are a web designer needing to confirm your work looks correct, the VisionTek USB Pocket SSD now can bring you the best of both operating system worlds. Just by downloading and installing Boot Camp® drivers along with a legal copy of Windows 8 or higher, the VisionTek USB Pocket SSD lets you boot a full Windows environment without having to partition your internal drive. Jump from an iMac to a Mac mini to a Mac Pro without having to copy settings, files, or configurations. (see tab below for how-to tips) Multiple Uses for Multiple Users The VisionTek USB Pocket SSD offer the flexibility to be used for specific needs such as: a custom user environment with approved videos, games, etc. for young children. high speed backup. downloading and saving uncompressed HD content. a backup drive for photographers/videographers. Shoot on SD card, transfer to computer for editing, save on VisionTek USB SSD for accessibility anywhere. a bootable drive to run your Windows desktop and apps on other PCs and even a Mac. See tab below for how-to tips. Have WTG Questions? Get Answers! Windows To Go® is pretty straightforward, but for those users that have in-depth questions, Microsoft offers a thorough FAQ page, available here.

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