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11 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Not What I Had Hoped For
, May 11, 2012
Don't get me wrong, this is a great flash memory USB drive at a very reasonable price (not purchased on Amazon but got it a bit cheaper w/ free shipping, even though I am not 100% sure whether it was indeed an OEM item as the cover was not completely secured). It's just that for my particular need, it didn't turn out to be a superb product I had anticipated it to be.
I mainly purchased this item to store my ever growing collection of PDF/HTML and mp3 files. I had also mostly aimed to plug it to my old machine from an early 00's, but I had equally planned to go for a high speed USB (3.0) for the future usage. I tested this drive on two separate machines: an old PIII with a USB 2.0 PCI adapter card (on a 100/133 bus line) as a connector with an equally old hard drive (UDMA 133/7200 RPM), and the second machine being a new laptop with 2x USB 2.0 and 2x USB 3.0, equipped with an incredibly fast OCZ Vertex 3 MAX SSD Serial-ATA III.
I performed several type of tests, one making an evaluation with one or two hard drive/USB benchmark tools, and the other, transferring actual files of various size and quantity to and from each device.
1) Transferring actual files from and to the old hard drive and the USB drive, connected via a PCI card USB 2.0 (with two other USB devices attached -- the motherboard itself has two USB 1.1 that I didn't even bother testing how the flash drive would perform for obvious reasons):
* "Writing small-size files from the hard drive to the USB": transferred over ~9,000 files (for a total of 7.216 GB) of an approximately 0.8 MB on average file-size which came around "4.5 MB/s." Disappointing to say the least.
* "Writing large-size files from the hard drive to the USB": Transferred 2 files for a total of 3.38 GB which resulted in "9.4 MB/s." Again, very poor performance.
* "Reading small-size files from the USB to the hard drive": Transferred ~7,880 files (for a total of 6.795 GB) with a speed of "12.6 MB/s." Not good.
* "Reading large-size files from the USB to the hard drive": Transferred 2 large files with a total size of 3.38 GB, averaging around "15.7 MB/s." Terrible!
2) I then connected the flash drive to a USB 2.0 port of the laptop that has a very fast SSD installed:
* "Writing small-size files from the hard drive to the USB": Transferred over ~6,800 files (for a total of 6.2 GB) with the speed of "6.8 MB/s." Eh!
* "Writing large-size files from the hard drive to the USB": Transferred 2 files for the total of 3.38 GB, performing at "21 MB/s." We're getting somewhere but far from what it has been advertised.
* "Reading small-size files from the USB to the hard drive": Transferred ~6,800 files (for a total of 6.2 GB), resulting in "22 MB/s." Not good.
* "Reading large-size files from the USB to the hard drive": Transferred 2 large files of 3.38 GB with the speed of "30 MB/s." Abysmal!
3) Moving on to a USB 3.0 port on the same laptop:
* "Writing small-size files from the hard drive to the USB": Transferred over ~8,880 files (for a total of 7.4 GB) with the speed of "10 MB/s." What's going on? This is USB 3.0, right?
* "Writing large-size files from the hard drive to the USB": Transferred 2 files for a total of 3.38 GB, getting close to "72 MB/s." Quit a bit of improvement here.
* "Reading small-size files from the USB to the hard drive": Transferred ~8,880 files (for a total of 7.4 GB), tapping at "55 MB/s." Not good, but much better than the other scenarios.
* "Reading large-size files from the USB to the hard drive": Transferred 2 large files of 3.38 GB with the speed of "110 MB/s." Hello!
From the write perspective of large number of small-size files, as you can see, there was a 70% improvement from the old system USB 2.0 to the new laptop's USB 2.0, and another 40% advance on USB 3.0. If you read the 3rd test, the write speed of large files came around 70 MB/s and the read speed of same-sized files evaluated to 110 MB/s. So, the advertised numbers must have used these metrics (large files) rather than smaller-sized files.
I did try to run a few tests using "HD Tune Pro 5.0" which did spit a benchmark list when I ran it on my old machine, but refused to perform any of the "write" operations on any of my laptop's USB ports (2.0 or 3.0). So, I ended up resorting to run all the automated benchmarks using "ATTO Disk Benchmark 2.47". The results roughly matched the advertised figures (note that the total size of all transferred files were 256 MB, 512 MB, and 2 GB, but the outputs were roughly the same for all the test sizes):
* USB 2.0 (laptop)
__size___write (MB/s)__read (MB/s)
* USB 3.0 (laptop)
__size___write (MB/s)__read (MB/s)
Mushkin Ventura Pro 32 GB comes with a quad-channel controller and 768k SRAM cache; wished it was a 8-channel but that would increase the cost dramatically. It does come with a built-in hardware ECC and wear leveling just to make sure the erasures are distributed uniformly so the same segment does not get uneven number of re-writes repeatedly which can result in a flash drive becoming unreliable in shorter span of time -- to put it simply, it increases the longevity of your drive. Like most drives, Mushkin VP supports power saving modes and the firmware is upgradable. It also utilizes MLC NAND to place more bit density on its chip, and even though it attempts to address the reliability by having a "high-reliability" MLC, it suffers from getting incredibly "hot." I was surprised as to how warm this device gets, but at the same time, it cools down in less than 30 seconds after unplugging.
The housing is made out of Aluminum alloy (shock resistance), it is, indeed, sturdy and nice to hold, not to mention that it looks moderately stylish. The flash drive comes with a cap that protects the interface connector, and it is relatively hard to disengage, nonetheless, unlike some other flash drives, it is not a struggle to take it off either. This item does not come with any lanyard, however, and the secure hole is made out of the translucent plastic with enough width to accommodate various thread sizes. One of the negative aspect of this drive is that it is too long, spanning "3 inches." For obvious physical reasons, his would increase the probability of flash drive being accidentally bent and damaged.
As I said, the primary reason for this drive, in my case, is to store PDF and mp3 files, so I have not gotten around to see whether it would perform in any capacity as a USB live (for Windows or Linux).
The bottom line: like most USB flash drives, when it comes to transferring small-size files of many, this USB does not perform any superbly. Let me also add that I was not expecting any miracle of much comparable speed improvement when the flash drive is connected to an old USB 2.0 PCI adapter, but my disappointment mainly stems from its performance on a better system that is equipped with the USB 3.0 and transferring data from/to a SSD drive. Nonetheless, as the results speak for themselves, when it comes to the larger-size files, given if the connection supports USB 3.0, the throughput pars with what has been advertised, even though the actual real file transfer rate might not match the speed found via the benchmark tools.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Cheap and Operational
, March 15, 2011
I bought this item as it was the cheapest I could find for my Toyota Camry 1997, U.S. built, driver side. Although the S&H was high, $11, it was delivered three days after I placed the order.
I wanted to test the mirror prior to painting it fearing it might be defected and they won't accept the return if I had it painted. I used the following video to remove the broken side mirror as the instruction seems very straight forward. Unfortunately, after fiddling with the wire to see if I can unplug it, I realized that it has been buried inside the door panel. Great!!! There was no way I could reach inside and pull it out either.
Off to another video to see how to remove the Camry Gen4 door panel.
I made several errors here. First, I didn't realize a miniature panel inside the door handle should not be taken out in its entirety, but rather simply gets opened on a hing giving access to a screw behind it--I snapped it and took it out which resulted in a broken mini-door panel (1:30 on the video)--no biggie.
Second, the door handle trim has a latch at the back of it pointing to the front of the car. I assumed that it is secured into the catchers from top and bottom, but apparently, in addition to those, there is a latch that must be pulled backward so the trim frame comes out. I once again snapped it and broke the latch. Oops! Got a super glue and reattached the piece that had come off of the door handle trim (2:26 on the video).
When you are done removing all the screws and get ready to tug the door panel out, make sure you pull it out towards yourself and a bit upward, but do not pull it straight upward because there are several plastic connectors that would have to get disconnected with this tug. Also, I noticed that the manufacturer had used some sort of silicon adhesive to the door panel and the plastic sheet covering the electrical wiring to the door frame itself. At last, now I had access to the side mirror wire connector. Tested it and worked perfectly.
On to the painting. I got my Dupli-Color Perfect Match (the color code is on the side fixture of driver's door, i.e. C/TR: 4M9/FB40 as C is for color of the color and TR is the color of trim, clear coat, and sandpaper grit 1,500 from Auto Zone. Cleaned up the mirror with rubbing alcohol to remove any grease, dried it, then covered the mirror, wire, and the bottom part. The mirror is already primed (black color) so there is no need for that. The mirror was difficult to paint because it is not a flat surface but rather a curvature piece and does not stand straight on its own. I had to devise an uneven resting surface so I can waltz around it and have access to every spot on the side mirror. I used the structure in this video provided by Dupli-Color manufacturer to paint the mirror.
I tested the paint on a piece of newspaper which looked darker than my car's but the paper usually extenuates the color somehow. Did a bit of sanding with grit 1,500 and removed any imperfections which was not really necessary. I wiped it clean with a damped microfiber towel.
Next, I began spraying, and things were going swimmingly until I reached the curvature at the bottom. Since it was hard to reach, I flipped the nozzle horizontally on the spray can and went a few rounds making sure I got all the spot, not realizing I was holding the can less than 4" to the surface. Soon, I realize the excess paint was being dripped to the bottom. ARGH!
I had a paint thinner but was afraid I would be getting the primer gutted; besides, it was very wet at the moment. So I bite my tongue and let it dry for 1 hour. Came back and did a wet sandpaper for while on that very spot where excess paint had been accumulated. Got it all smoothed out and sprayed again--this time with caution. Let it dried and applied clear coat.
Installed the mirror, but when I tested it by splashing water on the mirror with windows closed, I realize a few drops were finding their way into the car. The flat plate at the bottom of the mirror hadn't been seated properly onto the body. Corrected it and started reinstalling the door panel. Again, I missed the part where I had to hang the door panel on the top first then snap the plastic connectors in (5:28 on the video). The door has to seat on a metallic rim on top, then you snap the connectors from top to bottom. Make sure you take the tab bracket illustrated on 4:50 in the video before reinstalling the door panel and take the pin out and put it back in once the door panel is in place.
It wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be but a few loopy mistakes frustrated me. The color is a slightly darker but very unnoticeable. Over time, if it is exposed to more sun, I assume it would be completely matched.