OCZ Throttle 32Gb eSATA and USB Memory Stick Review

Storage/Other by jmke @ 2010-01-21

The fastest memory stick on the face of the earth? OCZ is definitely gunning for the title with their Throttle eSATA 32Gb unit, we measured read speeds up to 85.9Mb/s, almost three times as fast compared to your standard USB variation. More performance numbers and stress testing inside.

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Performance Tests

We used a reference Dell Optiplex 760 featuring Intel Q35 Express chipset and 2.8Ghz Core 2 Duo CPU and 2Gb for the performance tests. We included the performance results of one of the top performing USB tested in the past on our previous * test setup, the Kingston DataTraveler HyperX 4GB.

We start of with a simple random access test in HD Tach 3.0

Madshrimps (c)

Over USB the Throttle scores quite well, switching to eSATA halves the random access time again, well below 1 millisecond.

Madshrimps (c)

Concentrating on the USB performance first, the Throttle is almost on par with the HyperX in average read speed. Once connected to the eSATA port the performance easily doubles, with the burst speed closing in on the claimed 90Mb/s.

ATTO HDD Benchmark v2.34 allows for read and write tests using different file chunk sizes, allowing you to see how performance scales:

Madshrimps (c)

Using the USB interface the Throttle in not able to best the HyperX in raw larger file chunk size, trailing by ~6Mb/s in the read test. The eSATA interface proves vastly superior here, especially with smaller file chunks the performance is 4-5x higher compared to USB. Once large file chunks are reached the performance is surpassing 90Mb/s !

Onto the write tests:

Madshrimps (c)

OCZ mentions write speeds of ~30mb/s, from our results we can see that over eSATA the Throttle already surpasses this claim at 8k file size chunks, and this flash drive is able to pass the 50Mb/s mark!

Switching to USB the Throttle is noticeably slower, averaging ~18Mb/s and trailing the HyperX again.
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Comment from geoffrey @ 2010/11/05
Messing around with HTPC & XBMC lately, I stumbled upon the task of finding a proper data holder which:
1) boots super fast
2) is fast enough in main XBMC usage

USB keys are large enough to cary XBMC Live, cheap and bootable, but unfortunately "insanely slow" to boot from. But then there is the OCZ Throttle key!

NOTE: the Throttle key needs power from the eSATA/SATA port of your mainboard if using that interface. If your mainboard doesn't offer you that option you can perfectly connect the miniUSB port from the OCZ key to your pc USB port or USB hub, in that way you'll be powering the OCZ Throttle through USB whilest using eSATA for data transport.

XBMC install afterwards went smoothly and 5 minutes later the system went onlince for the first time. Check it out:

System used:
E8600 @ 2GHz
MSI P35 Platinum
NV 8800GT
OCZ Throttle 32GB eSATA interface

Top notch performance, hot boot in 20s and smooth XBMC usage just as I required. Sale price for the 8gb unit is 30~40 euro, pretty much beats many mechanical hard drives and blows away all USB keys.