Corsair Flash Survivor GT 32GB USB Flash DriveDec 13th, 2009 | By Simon
Corsair Flash Survivor GT 32GB USB Flash Drive
: 12/13/09 – 10:01:26 PM
Page 1 : Introduction
When the 8GB USB drives came out I thought for sure that was going to be more than enough space for everyone. How much stuff could you actually be transferring where a 16, 32 or even 64GB drive would be required? However, when I started backing up my hard drive, I realized how easy it was to fill up an 8GB drive.
Today we feature the 32GB Corsair Flash Survivor GT, the second largest flash drive in the family. The Corsair Flash Survivor GT, also available in a 64GB size, boasts a water resistant aircraft-grade aluminum house as additional features to a lightning fast drive.
Page 2 : Features & Specifications
The Corsair Flash Survivor GT isn't your standard flash drive. It's not meant to be the smallest one on the market. Corsair has instead focused on providing a product that will withstand the test of time and any weather or damage you may face. Heading over to the Flash Survivor GT website, we see the following features:
- Encased in extremely strong CNC-milled, anodized aircraft-grade aluminum.
- Water resistant to 200M through the use of a EPDM waterproof seal.
- Protected from vibration or impact damage through the use of a molded shock dampening collar.
- Plug-&-Play with any USB 2.0 certified peripheral computer port (backward compatible with USB 1.1).
- USB extension cable and Dog Tags included.
- Protected by a Limited 10-year Warranty.
The ten year warranty is determined by the wear level. Each integrated chip has a finite number of write cycles before it fails. With the Flash Survivor GT that number is 100,000 cycles. For the drive to fail in ten years you must write on each IC 27.4 times per day: 100,000 divided by 10 yrs divided by 365 days per year. That means for the 32GB model, you need to transfer 875GB per day to the Flash Survivor GT for it to fail before the warranty is up.
Details of the drive performance aren't listed on Corsair's website, but some searching reveals the theoretical maximum read speed of 30MB/s and write speed of 16MB/s. We'll test this out in a moment.
Page 3 : Package & Contents
There's not too much to the Flash Survivor GT package. The blister package shows the Survivor GT in its aluminum case and photos are printed on the insert showing what the drive looks like. A second vacuum-formed area hides the accessories from sight. There's not too much information on the package regarding performance but a few features are printed.
Corsair has included a dog tag and a USB extension cord as accessories to the Survivor GT. The extension cord is a useful addition as the Survivor GT isn't like your typical slim USB drive. The extension cord might actually be required for some users.
The Survivor GT isn't actually small due to its cylindrical design but it isn't very big either. I would equate it to about the size of a roll of quarters.
The bottom of the container is flat and allows you to stand the tube upright. The top has a slot for a lanyard or keychain. To open the enclosure you must rotate the top of the drive, indicated by the yellow arrows. A couple of turns and the drive can be pulled out.
Staring into the aluminum tube there isn't very much to see. The cylindrical design makes the drive feel very sturdy; it would take a fair amount of force to dent the enclosure.
Just above the threads on the Survivor GT is an EPDM o-ring. This o-ring prevents water from getting into the enclosure and damaging the drive. Periodic inspection should be done to ensure the integrity has not been compromised. You can probably find a replacement o-ring for a few dollars at your local home hardware store.
Page 4 : Testing & Performance
In order to test the Flash Survivor GT, I will be subjecting it to a few benchmarks: IOMeter, ATTO Diskbenchmark, Crystal Disk Mark and HD Tach. I won't cover any installation details because it is plug and play – no drivers or software required. I will compare performance on my Windows XP machine against a rival flash drive. The Flash Survivor GT is also compatible with Windows 7.
- CPU: Intel C2D Q6600 (G0 SLACR L731B434) @ 2.71GHz
- MB: Asus P5E3-Dlx Wifi-AP Edition
- GPU: Sapphire HD 4850 X2 Catalyst
- RAM: Aeneon 2×2GB XTune DDR3-1600 (AXH860UD20-16H) @ 1800MHz 10-10-10-30 1T
- PSU: Cooler Master Real Power Pro 850W
- CPU Cooling: Thermalright HR-01 w/ 120mm Antec Tri-Cool Fan
- PWM/NB/SB Cooling: Stock/Stock/Stock
- HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 80GB 7200RPM 8MB Cache (ST3808110AS)
- OS: Windows XP Pro SP3
USB Flash Drives
- Corsair Flash Survivor GT
- OCZ ATV Turbo
IOMeter is an I/O subsystem measurement and characteristic tool for single and clustered systems initially designed by Intel.
IOMeter is both a workload generator (that is, it performs I/O operations in order to stress the system) and a measurement tool (that is, it examines and records the performance of its I/O operations and their impact on the system). It can be configured to emulate the disk or network I/O load of any program or benchmark, or can be used to generate entirely synthetic I/O loads. It can generate and measure loads on single or multiple (networked) systems.
I configured IOMeter to create a 1GB file on the target device and it will pull the performance over 5 minutes and report back the average transfer rate for various block size transfers: 4KB, 16KB and 32KB.
ATTO Diskbenchmark is an old but popular benchmarking tool. It captures the read and write performance at different transfer sizes for a fixed file size.
Crystal Disk Mark
Crystal Disk Mark tests the read and write speed for a user selected file size at three different transfer rates: sequential, 512K and 4K. I selected a 1000MB test file.
The previous benchmarks only test a portion of the drive and in order to see the performance from start to finish, I switched to HD Tach for the finale.
Page 5 : Conclusion
Corsair has done it again. The Survivor GT is one of the fastest flash drives available on the market that is also rugged and water resistant. It may not have the absolute fastest read times – it's close but my OCZ ATV Turbo manages to edge it out a tiny bit, but it certainly has one fast write speed.
The Corsair Flash Survivor GT manages an average write speed of 21MB/s and 33.5MB/s with HD Tach. The strong yet lightweight aircraft-grade aluminum enclosure with EPDM waterproof seal means I'll be able to trek through rain or snow and even drop the drive a few times off my desk without worrying that it will suffer any damage.
- Fast performance
- Rugged design
- Larger design may block adjacent USB ports
I'd like to thank Corsair for making this review possible.