Kingston Versus IronKey – Who Has The Fastest FIPS Flash Drive

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CrystalDiskMark v3.0.1

CrystalDiskMark is a small HDD benchmark utility for your hard drive
that enables you to rapidly measure sequential and random read/write
speeds.

1000MB Files Test on USB 2.0 Header:

CrystalDiskMark v3.0.1 Benchmark

We ran CrystalDiskMark 3.0.1 five times with a setting of 1000MB, which is the default testing configuration. The first area that we want to focus on is sequential read and write speeds.

CrystalDiskMark v3.0.1 Benchmark

Benchmark Results:

As you can see the Kingston DataTraveler 4000 and Vault Privacy Edition series both performed very well and had read speeds over 30MB/s, with the exception of the Kingston 2GB Flash drives. Overall, the Kingston drivers were found to be faster than the IronKey Basic and Personal series drives. The Kingston 2GB Flash drives have less MLC NAND Flash and as a result it has fewer connections to the controller and that results in slower performance. When it comes to write performance most of the drives were roughly 10-11MB/s, which is respectable. The Ironkey Personal S200 8GB Flash drive was the best performer in terms of write speeds. 

CrystalDiskMark v3.0 Benchmark

Benchmark Results:

Just for fun we’ll toss in the random test results with a 512KB file size. Random read and write speeds should be looked at when running applications or operating systems, which isn’t something these drives are designed to do. Usage scenarios change over time though and since we did the tests we thought we’d show you how these drives perform. The IronKey S200 series Flash drives use SLC NAND Flash and are very fast at random writes as they were nearly 3x faster than the MLC NAND Flash based IronKey D200 drives.  The Kingston DataTraveler 4000 and Vault series use MLC NAND Flash and as you can see aren’t designed to do random writes. They did excel at Random read speeds though as the drives were still turning in scores above 30MB/s in the 8GB and 4GB capacities. The Kingston DataTraveler 4000 and DataTraveler Vault 2GB drives were significantly slower in the write tests.

These results are interesting, but how do these drives perform in the real world?  Let’s take a look and find out!

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