in Storage

Crucial 512MB Gizmo Overdrive

crucialgizmo

Introduction

As computer enthusiasts we are constantly striving to achieve that faster CPU, that better performing graphics card or that that top overclocking ram. However, we rarely think about the storage side of things, portable storage that is. Since the advent of USB drives, they have gone through some drastic changes. From clunky, low data rate transfer USB1.0 drives, to a slight speed boost with USB 1.1, finally we had USB 2.0. With high speeds now available, “Cool” USB has become the new thing, from earrings to Lego bricks. Enter the Crucial Gizmo 512mb pen drive, a very clean, professional looking drive there to cater for all your data transfer needs, but does it make the cut? Read on to find out.

A little about Crucial

The Crucial story starts with Micron Technology, Inc., one of the largest dynamic random access memory (DRAM) manufacturers in the world and the only one based in the U.S. Headquartered in Boise, Idaho, Micron manufactures DRAM chips and assembles them into high-quality memory modules for sale to original equipment manufacturers (“OEMs”) worldwide.

Over the past 26 years, Micron has learned that when you make some of the very best memory in the world, lots of companies want it, from computer makers to wireless device manufacturers to printer producers. (And we’re really glad that they do!)
But then Micron asked, well, what about the end user? What about the everyday folks who want to upgrade their existing systems with OEM-quality memory—the home desktop user, the IT network guy, the student notebook user? Why don’t we offer our memory to the public, at factory-direct pricing?

So in 1996, Micron responded to a growing demand for high-quality memory upgrades among end users who wanted the best possible performance from their systems. Micron launched Crucial Technology in November of that year, and for the first time, end users had the opportunity to buy directly from the manufacturer the same memory modules bought by the world’s major OEMs for original installation in their systems.

Having a direct sales division focused on selling Micron’s DRAM to the public was apparently an idea whose time had come, and eight successful years later, we have expanded our product line to include graphics cards, flash cards and readers, and USB flash drives.

Gizmo Overdrive Specifications

  • Compatibility: USB-certified
  • Regulatory compliance: CE, FCC
  • Lifetime warranty
  • 13MB/s (80X) write speed
  • USB (2.0)

First Look

As you can see from the packaging, we have a nice clear insight into what the product is, what it can do and how it all looks.

crucialgizmo
crucialgizmo

From the back we are given a nice list of features in multi languages, plus a little look at the erm, string… you…get …with it.

When I went to open this product, I was sad to see it was the kind of hard plastic stuff that requires a pair of scissors and a bit of nerve. Without these instruments of package destruction, you could be looking at some nasty cuts on your gaming hands, something we definitely don’t want :).

After popping out the little “fellar” we get our first good look at our new pen drive. Very smooth and slick white casing with “Crucial” and some other crucial (get it?) information on it such s the site of the drive and the fact that it’s “Certified Hi Speed USB”.

crucialgizmo

Also bundled in is the manual, gives all the pen drive noobies a little incite in how to work it as well as the usual drivvle about copyright and warranty information. The little bit of straight that I mentioned earlier, turned out to be a strap that allows you to wear the drive round your neck, round your dog, wife or anywhere else you feel you need to hang your Gizmo.

crucialgizmo
crucialgizmo

Once plugged in it was nice to see that the drive had a little red LED that flashes when its first plugged in, when its recognized and when its transferring data to or from the drive.

Onto the testing…

crucialgizmo

Testing

Sisoft Sandra is our friend today when it comes to benching this little guy. For those of you that don’t know, Sandra is a multi benchmarking and system analysis tool. It not only tests the speed of certain parts of your computer, it also tells you ever little bit of information you could ever want to know about it. It also features a burn-in tool, for when you first get that CPU and want to wear it in, or if you just want to temperature test your hardware.

The first test I ran was a simple file transfer speed test. The little drive gave us quite an impressive 29mb/s, nice and quick.

A few other tests Sandra can do, is measure the operations per/min and the kb/s the drive has for different file sizes. So for all you tech heads, here’s a print out from Sandra’s report:

512B Files Test
Read Performance : 49182 operation(s)/min (410 kB/sec, 2x)
Write Performance : 1763 operation(s)/min (15 kB/sec, 0x)
Delete Performance: 18858 operation(s)/min
File Fragments: 1.0
Combined Index: 5329 operation(s)/min

32kB Files Test
Read Performance: 26727 operation(s)/min (14254 kB/sec, 80x)
Write Performance: 2840 operation(s)/min (1515 kB/sec, 8x)
Delete Performance: 18434 operation(s)/min
File Fragments : 1.0
Combined Index : 7491 operation(s)/min

256kB Files Test
Read Performance : 6833 operation(s)/min (29154 kB/sec, 165x)
Write Performance : 2641 operation(s)/min (11268 kB/sec, 64x)
Delete Performance : 17654 operation(s)/min
File Fragments : 1.0
Combined Index : 4829 operation(s)/min

2MB Files Test
Read Performance : 957 operation(s)/min (32666 kB/sec, 185x)
Write Performance : 436 operation(s)/min (14882 kB/sec, 84x)
Delete Performance : 16153 operation(s)/min
File Fragments : 1.0
Combined Index : 756 operation(s)/min

64MB Files Test
Read Performance : 30 operation(s)/min (32768 kB/sec, 186x)
Write Performance : 15 operation(s)/min (16384 kB/sec, 93x)
Delete Performance : 7409 operation(s)/min
File Fragments : 1.0
Combined Index : 25 operation(s)/min

Conclusion

There isn’t really a lot you can say about a pen drive, but there are a few things I would like to mention when it comes to the Gizmo Overdrive 512mb. It’s a very clean, good looking pen drive, with great read/write times, and a fast data transfer rate. It doesn’t break the mould, or let you down, it does exactly what it’s supposed to, store your stuff while looking good. It would also be nice to have some of the protection systems that Crucial have added to their more expensive drives, but if you are worried about safety, you would be buying one of those anyway.

Pros Cons
Fast Not awesomely quick
Looks clean and professional No protection like more expensive drives
Handy dangle string (lanyard) Dangly string (lanyard) is a bit long