SuperTalent Pico 32GB USB 3.0 Thumbdrive Review

Storage/Other by jmke @ 2013-11-15

SuperTalent launched their first Pico drive in 2008, now they are back with the same compact design, but much larger and promising higher speeds thanks to USB 3.0 interface. Let us put it to test.

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Performance Tests

We ran a few performance tests on a Lenovo T530 laptop (configured with quad core CPU, 8Gb memory and 180Gb SSD storage). As well as with a Synology DS1513+ NAS. Performance on the laptop and NAS was very similar, only negligible differences related to file system choice were detected.

The Pico comes formatted as FAT32 from the factory:



On a 32Gb USB drive the file system does make a difference, FAT32 might be compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux, it does have some serious limitations regarding path length, but more importantly: file size. FAT32 maximum single file size is 4Gb. Trying to place a full size DVD copy on there (which is >8gb) is impossible out of the box. Formatting the drive to NTFS or exFAT resolves this issue. We understand the reasoning, compatibility wise for Super Talent to ship the drive with FAT32, but it would be good if they mentioned the downsides of keeping the drive on FAT32.


Our first test compares performance of the Pico 32gb Flash drive formatted with FAT32, NTFS and EXT4



Using ATTO Disk Benchmark, the read test with both file systems is almost the same; both topping out ~90Mb/s when file chunk size reached 16k.
4k read speed at 30Mb/s is also commendable!


The write tests shows a bigger difference at smaller file chunks, with a large performance in favor of FAT32. As the file size grows the performance becomes again very similar.


The last test on the Synology, we plugged the Pico into an USB 3.0 port on the NAS and accessed the 32Gb space through SMB Network protocol from a client.


The performance advantages goes to the EXT 4 file format, understandable as the Synology is running a Linux based OS,
and writing/reading to FAT32 has a small overhead.



The Pico delivers very satisfying read performance, the write speeds are less stellar, barely matching USB 2.0 throughput speed. How does it compare to a similarly sized device from the competition? Colleague reviewer Stefan put the Patriot Tab through the grinder before; here's how both match up.


When it comes to reading performance, the Patriot Tab USB 3.0 stick is clearly superior.



(4KB test results are *1000 *10 for clarification on the chart)


The File System test of HD Tune Pro gives some interesting numbers. The sequential read test has the Patriot in the lead as expected. But when it comes to write speeds the SuperTalent drive pulls ahead, writing sequential the Pico is almost twice as fast, writing small files (4KB), the Pico is 8 times quicker!

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