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  August 7, 2008

How fast is your Promotional USB’s?


So, you have your nice new shiny USB Stick. The print looks good, it’s well built, and you’re ready to go. Then the phone rings. That new USB stick you’ve got, could you put a few files on it and bring it round later?
This is often where true quality shines through.

We recently obtained branded USB sticks from some of our better rivals and performed speed tests on them. We also threw in a major high street USB Brand, just to see how we compared to the premium consumer sticks.

The worst of our rivals came in at 1 Megabyte writing, with just under 8 Megabytes reading speed. This was followed closely by our other rival, who clocked in at 1.18Megabytes writing. Their reading speed, however, came back at a shocking 4.81Megabytes per second. Now this may or may not mean much to you, so lets put it into context. Both of them would require approximately fifteen minutes to fill up a 1GB memory stick. The slower reading stick would then take almost four minutes just to read that data back off of the stick, with the better of the two coming in at just under two minutes.

Next up was the high street brand. This performed far better, 3.8Megabytes writing speed and 9.9Megabytes reading speed. Just over four minutes here to write a full gigabyte to the stick, and again just under 2 minutes to read the data back.
Now for our results. We picked a random stick out of our local stock, and found writing speeds of 4.1Megabytes per second, and a reading speed of 15.8Megabytes per second. Our one gigabyte stick would be writing at the same speed that some of our rivals are reading. Four minutes would leave you with a full memory stick. It would then take approximately one minute to read it back off of the stick.

So, why is this the case?

In other blog posts I’ve talked about the difference between good and bad suppliers. There are companies out there using dodgy controller chips, hacked memory and recycled chips. While we can’t verify for certain that the rivals we tested don’t take part in these practices, this probably wasn’t the case in this situation. It was a simple case of “acceptable” quality against high quality.

Flash memory is available, from the major suppliers (such as Sony) in both “A” and “B” grade. The B grade memory is perfectly good memory that failed to meet certain standards with regards to speed, reliability and performance. However, it was deemed “acceptable” for certain uses, therefore didn’t end up in the bin with really bad chips. This B grade memory is then put into promotional USB drives in order to cut costs. After all, they are being given away free, right? I’m sure your customers won’t blame you if they end up slow, unresponsive and ultimately unreliable in comparison? Will they? I mean, they were free, after all?

At USB Company, we’d rather not take that risk. We believe in only using the highest quality memory, paired with the highest quality controller chips, put together in the highest quality factories, complete with the highest quality finish. The result of that is plain to see.= Faster chips, far lower failure rates, and lots of very satisfied customers.

So ask yourself. Would you be happy if it took you almost 20 minutes to write some data onto your USB Stick then copy it onto another computer?

If your friend was doing the same thing in five minutes, I bet you wouldn’t be.