Speedier than most of your USB sticks: Corsair Flash Voyager 16GB USB 3.0 review

For as long as USB storage devices have been in the market Corsair has been pushing the technology to the limits. A few years ago it introduced its Flash Voyager series; with a flexible rubber casing and high transfer speeds the range has always exuded quality. Now with every motherboard on the market featuring USB 3.0 Corsair has updated its range to include this technology.

The USB 3.0 specification has a theoretical maximum transfer speed of 572MB/s which is a 10 fold increase over the 57MB/s offered by USB 2.0. The Corsair Flash Voyager 16GB has a maximum read speed of 70MB/s and write speed of 19MB/s these speeds seem very slow when you consider the maximum speed of USB 3.0 but there is more to consider than just the interface speed. The bottleneck now lies not in the interface but in the speed of the flash memory on the USB stick itself.

Theoretical talk aside this stick put up some very interesting numbers when we pit it against the Mach Xtreme FX 16GB USB 3.0 stick. Both units showed excellent sequential read speeds with a small 1% difference between them. When comparing sequential write speeds Corsair came in with 20.24MB/s while Mach Xtreme dominated with 35.59MB/s. The tables were turned slightly when we compared random read speeds with Corsair taking a convincing 5% lead in these tests.

The picture becomes slightly clearer when we compare the current retail prices of $35 for the Corsair Flash Voyager and $75 for the Mach Xtreme FX in fact Corsair offer a 32GB variant for as low as $75 and it boasts a 39MB/s write speed. Considering the performance enclosure quality and price the Corsair Flash Voyager 16GB is amazing value if you’re looking for a new USB stick.

Available from Corsair retailing for $35.
APC rating: 8/10 (Highly Recommended)