ReadyBoost Flash Drives Lack Significant Boost

At a Glance
  • Ridata Twister EZdrive

  • Kingston Technology 2GB DataTraveler USB Flash Drive

  • Lexar 4GB JumpDrive Lightning USB Drive

    PCWorld Rating
Page 2 of 3

Software and Style

You pay for the Lexar's speed. If you price drives of the same capacity, Lexar charges substantially more for its JumpDrive Lightning series. However, it comes with PowerToGo, Lexar's branded version of the Ceedo operating environment for running applications from the drive, plus Lexar's own Ceedo-based encryption program. And the Lexar's shiny, stainless-steel exterior looks, well, flashy.

True to its name, the Ridata Twister opens like a pocketknife (with no cap to lose) and bears the classiest design. The Kingston, meanwhile, is your basic light, thin flash drive.

If launching a program in Vista feels lethargic, one of these drives may help--a bit. But installing more RAM inside your PC would help a lot more.

ReadyBoost Drives Won't Speed Vista Perceptibly

Lexar's drive was the fastest of the three, but none of the devices significantly improved PC performance using ReadyBoost. Click the chart icon below for details.

ReadyBoost Drives Won't Speed Vista Perceptibly

None of the drives significantly improved performance using ReadyBoost, though Lexar's drive was the fastest at file transfers.

Performance on an HP Compaq dc5750 desktop PC Performance on an HP Pavilion tx1000 notebook PC Performance on a 3.4-GHz Intel Pentium D desktop PC
FLASH DRIVE PCW Rating WorldBench 6 Beta 2 without/with ReadyBoost 1 % speed increase in loading applications on desktop PC WorldBench 6 Beta 2 without/with ReadyBoost 1 % speed increase in loading applications on notebook PC Number of seconds to write large file to drive 2 Number of seconds to read large file from drive 2 Bottom line
Lexar Media JumpDrive Lightning
Street: $89 (4GB)
PCW Rating: 81 Very Good 42/39 6% 32/30 6% 35 25 Fastest by a wide margin, this expensive drive also comes with the Ceedo operating environment for running applications.
Kingston DataTraveler ReadyFlash
List: $24 (1GB)
PCW Rating: 77 Good 42/41 6% 32/31 5% 45 43 This basic flash drive offers nothing exceptional, but it performed adequately for normal file-copying tasks.
Ritek Ridata Twister EZ Drive
Street: $25 (1GB)
PCW Rating: 75 Good 42/40 6% 32/32 4% 187 47 The black case and cap-free pocket-knife design are attractive and practical, but the drive's write speed is slow.
Prices are as of 4/30/07. Click the flash-drive links above to get the latest prices. Boldface indicates the best result for each test.
FOOTNOTES: 1WorldBench 6 Beta 2 scores were customized for this story and do not represent the full scores of the test PCs. 2 Large-file size was approximately 760MB.

Lincoln Spector

At a Glance
  • Ridata Twister EZdrive

  • Kingston Technology 2GB DataTraveler USB Flash Drive

  • PCWorld Rating
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