Walton Chaintech APOGEE AstroDrive 16GB USB Flash Drive Review

Storage/Other by stefan @ 2010-06-12

Walton Chaintech, a company which manufactures lots of products like SSDs, Memory Modules, Memory Cards and Graphics Cards, does also produce Flash Drives. The AstroDrive 266X I have received for review is the smallest in the series, maroon colored. The flash drive has very good performances right out of the box, but Walton Chaintech also included a special utility on the drive to boost the performance even more.

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Performance Tests

Performance Tests

The test bench is composed of the ASUS X55SV laptop, the one that I have used for all the Flash Drive tests I have done before.

When inserted, the red LED from the bottom of the flash drive lights up and blinks only when we access data or copy information onto the flash drive:


After opening the Windows Explorer application, we can see that the drive is not an empty, it holds an application:


The flash drive comes formatted FAT32 and the included application along with the documentation in PDF format takes about 1MB of its total space:


The application that comes with this particular flash drive is meant to boost its read/write speed and it's named USBest Turbo:


When loaded, the application has an information screen, which tells us the name of the flash drive, its capacity, the remaining free space and the Turbo feature status; the Turbo feature can be activated by pressing the Turbo ON button:


Enabling Turbo on Windows 7 x64 is a real issue, because the drivers that USBest application is trying to install are not signed for this particular OS and the device will end up in Device Manager with an exclamation mark:


To make it work we have to disable the "Digital Driver Signing" in Windows 7; one temporary solution would be to press F8 when booting Windows and selecting the option to disable the Digital Driver Signing check. With this operation done, we will be able to use Turbo Mode:


To test the drive speeds in non-Turbo and Turbo modes, I have used the HD Tune Pro application, with its Benchmark tab:

APOGEE AstroDrive 16GB Turbo Off


APOGEE AstroDrive 16GB Turbo ON


Summary Graph ( Read Performance )


To test the write speeds, I have used the File Benchmark test:

APOGEE AstroDrive 16GB Turbo Off


APOGEE AstroDrive 16GB Turbo ON


Summary graph ( Write speeds for 64MB files with 8192 block size )


Here are also some real world tests, in which I have used the Total Commander File Manager, to transfer a file from the HDD to the flash drive and back:

Copy test

APOGEE AstroDrive 16GB Turbo Off


APOGEE AstroDrive 16GB Turbo ON


Read test

APOGEE AstroDrive 16GB Turbo Off


APOGEE AstroDrive 16GB Turbo ON


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