Computer show schwag

15 10 2011

I recently went to a big computer show and I ended up with the normal schwag. Pens, led flashlights, pens with led flashlights, and of course USB flash drives. In fact, I ended up with several flash drives from various vendors. I plugged one in and tried to copy some data to it, only to find that it was TERRIBLY slow. It really was painfully slow. That is why I decided to do some benchmark testing. Nothing too fancy, just the standard utility that ships with Ubuntu LTS 10.04.

System->Administration->Disk Utility

Now because I don’t want to seem too childish in whining about the results, I will not post the vendor names.

As a standard benchmark, a 5$ USB disk from Newegg.
Size 1GB
Max Read 20.1 MB/s
Avg Read 19.2 MB/s
Max Write 5.2 MB/s
Avg Write 4.1 MB/s

A vendor who sells SANs:
Size 1GB
Max Read 20 MB/s
Avg Read 18.6 MB/s
Max Write 5 MB/s
Avg Write 1.9 MB/s

A second vendor who sells SANS:
Size 1GB
Max Read 20.7 MB/s
Avg Read 18.7 MB/s
Max Write 2.8 MB/s
Avg Write 1.6 MB/s

A large enterprise-grade system vendor:
Size 1GB
Max Read 13.1 MB/s
Avg Read 12.3 MB/s
Max Write 3.4 MB/s
Avg Write 3.0 MB/s

A large desktop system vendor:
Size 4GB
Max Read 16.7 MB/s
Avg Read 14 MB/s
Max Write 2.3 MB/s
Avg Write 1.4 MB/s

A Linux vendor:
Size 2GB
Max Read 18 MB/s
Avg Read 16.3 MB/s
Max Write 3.2 MB/s
Avg Write 2 MB/s

A software company for supercomputing:
Size 2GB
Max Read 17 MB/s
Avg Read 12.7 MB/s
Max Write 2.7 MB/s
Avg Write 2.2 MB/s

I found it very interesting (and worthy of this post) simply because of the fact that these flash drives have such terrible write speeds. I understand that each company handed out 100’s of these flash drives and that 5$ each would add up quickly so they went for a much cheaper alternative. Still, it is rather annoying that the write speeds are so terrible. Especially on a 4GB drive. That is a decent amount of space for the files I carry around but at a max of 2.3MB/s transferring files to fill that would be roughly half an hour at peak speeds. Closer to an hour more than likely.

Then again, I really can’t complain too much. I did get a bunch of free flash drives that I am sure I can find a use for.


Thanks to all the vendors who gave me free schwag!



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