As more and more high performance flash drives are released into the market, we tend to see a few devices released from time to time that offer amazing read performance with a tradeoff of poor write performance. Today however we had the opportunity to review a particular flash drive that really stands out from all the rest and offers a tremendous performance on both sides of the coin.
The Mushkin Ventura Ultra 240GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive was first discussed at CES 2013, and at that time it was more of a generic launch than anything else, but now we’ve actually had some experience with the flash drive and testing is fully completed. The Mushkin Ventura Ultra is one of the first real USB flash drives to offer a SandForce FSP in tune with high quality MLC NAND. Memory storage capacities for this flash drive range from 60GB and 120GB all the way up to 240GB. On paper, the Mushkin Ventura Ultra claims to offer 450MB/s reads and 445MB/s writes. The warranty is listed at 2 years.
The device uses aircraft grade aluminum in a single-piece design, apart from the rubber cap. The Mushkin Ventura Ultra uses a SandForce FSP. With it, Mushkin is able to incorporate an 8-channel design. One of the (less known) features of Windows 8 is the native capability of USB Attached SCSI or UASP. In benchmarking USB flash drives, we used the ATTO Disk Benchmark followed by DiskBench and our custom set of real-world data, and are by far the most important comparison when looking for a USB flash drive for everyday use. With the ATTO test, we were very surprised by the performance numbers. Actually, this is the first USB flash drive we have tested that maximizes the bandwidth of the USB 3.0 bus both read and write speeds. In our real world tests, the Mushkin Ventura Ultra also performed wonderfully, but not the fastest we’ve ever seen.
As far as price vs. performance, the device also ranks incredibly high among existing flash drives. The durability of the Mushkin is equally top notch, thanks to its aircraft grade aluminum and single-piece design. Through our testing, we were able to max the available bandwidth of the USB 3.0 specification, where the flash drive offered 452 MB/s read and 456 MB/s write. The only real problem was that the Mushkin Ventura Ultra, because of its performance and actually being a real SSD in a USB 3.0 overcoat, does get a bit warm after extensive file activity. It’s not hot enough to burn you, but you will notice the warmth when you pull it from your PC after a day’s use. Pricing at this time for the 240GB capacity tested here today is set at $259.99 and comes with a two-year warranty.