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So I’m sure by now you know I like my USB drives, they’re great little devices that are in use by most anyone that has a computer, they’re just so darned useful really. So I’ve got to run another USB drive review this week, and maybe another one, tomorrow though won’t be another USB review.

OCZ is a company that primarily caters to the enthusiast crowd, and for good reason, they’re products are excellent quality and top performing, their products are for those that desire the best. It seems though OCZ is not quite as mainstream as companies like Sandisk, Kingston, PNY and others, proof of that is in my last little UBS roundup, some of the comments mentioned something along the lines of why use an off-brand like OCZ, and where are the real brands? I hate to be the one to burst your bubble, but OCZ is a real company, one that makes some of the best memory related products on the market today, along with of course other products as well. Just because a company is not mainstream and their name isn’t plastered everywhere doesn’t mean they aren’t good.

Up on the review block today is the OCZ Diesel 16gb USB Flash Drive, it’s very well made with it’s aluminum housing and it’s got some impressive speeds as well. Continue on to see how it compares to the others I’ve tested this past week… </P<


The OCZ Diesel comes in the packaging that we all love to hate, the sealed plastic clamshell style package. We can plainly see the drive through the front, and there’s a little bit of information on the front and back as well.

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As I mentioned in the intro the Diesel does have an aluminum housing, it’s black in color with the word DIESEL on the front with the capacity listed on the bottom, and the OCZ logo on the back. The cap is plastic and it fit on the USB connector tightly so you won’t have to worry about losing it. On the bottom is another clear plastic end cap that does not come off, but does have a place for a lanyard or keychain.

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Specifications:

OCZ Diesel 16gb USB 2.0 Flash Drive

Model: OCZUSBDSL16G

Fuel your computing experience with the OCZ Diesel Flash Drive. With plenty of room for all our favorite songs, photos, and documents when you’re on the go, the Diesel offers up to 16GB of storage for your traveling data. For the mobilized student or professional, the OCZ Diesel is a sleek, sturdy, and affordable flash drive that gets the job done and offers the reliability you expect from OCZ Technology.
Available in an array of capacities to suit your personalized needs for storage, the OCZ Diesel is available in 2GB, 4GB, 8GB, and incredible 16GB.

Specs:
-USB 2.0 Certified      
-Mainstream Speeds      
-Aluminum Chassis      
-True Plug and Play (Compatible with MAC OS X)     
-2 Year Warranty


The OCZ Diesel does have a red LED indicator in the bottom end that blinks to show activity.

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On to the testing part of this review, what you really want to know is how well it performs or doesn’t right?

I’ve put the OCZ Diesel 16gb USB drive up against others I’ve got on hand. The drives are the OCZ Rally2 4gb, Corsair Flash Voyager mini 4gb, Sandisk Cruzer Enterprise 2gb and a Super Talent drive, as well as the PNY 16gb Attaché, PNY 32gb Attaché and the Pico-C 16gb.

First up is SiSoft Sandra 2009 SP2 Removable Storage Test, results are lowest to highest in ordering.

Before we get to the graph, here’s a refresher of what the things in the graph mean exactly:

Combined Device Index: is a composite figure representing an overall performance rating based on the average of the Combined Index figures over the four file sizes. (Higher is better, i.e. better performance)

Endurance Factor: is a figure representing the Wear and Life Expectancy of flash devices; this is obtained by dividing the average performance (normal condition, i.e. sequential write) to the lowest performance (high-stress condition, i.e. same block re-write).

It measures the relative improvement of endurance caused by the wear levelling or flash management algorithm; the absolute endurance of a device (i.e. its expected life-time) is directly dependent, in addition to this Endurance Factor, on the nominal manufacturer rating of maximum erase/reprogram cycles, which is typically 100,000+ for SLC and 10,000+ for MLC devices. (Higher is better, i.e. longer life-time for the device)

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According to this graph the OCZ Diesel doesn’t look too good overall, but it does have a decent Endurance Factor.

Here’s the 256MB Files Test part of the Removable Storage Benchmark, results are lowest to highest in ordering using the Write Performance as the reference for ordering.

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Here we see a bit different ordering, we see the Diesel coming in near the middle of the chart with very good Read Performance and Average Write Performance.

Next up is my favorite test, DiskBench, this tells us in real time (seconds) how long it takes to do a task. The tests I run are for Copy To, Copy From and Read From the USB Drives, these I feel are the most common things people will do with their flash drives. For all testing I use the same 350MB .AVI Video file.

In the following graph lower times are better, the ordering of the graph is base on Copy To or Write Performance, ordered from best to worst.

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Here we see the OCZ Diesel performs very well with the Copy From and Read Tests, and comes in at a little over 24 seconds for writing the file to the drive, which is better than average really. So in this test we can see that the Diesel is a decent performer overall, 24 seconds is not bad at all to write a 350MB file.

Now here is the second part of the DiskBench Test, the actual transfer rates in MB/s, same arrangement best to worst. Higher transfer rates are better, and using the Copy To performance as the reference for ordering.

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We see the OCZ Diesel pushes over 30MB/s for the Copy From and Read From speeds which is very good, and we’ve got a little over 14MB/s for the Copy To or Write speed which is very good as well.


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Conclusion:
The OCZ Diesel 16gb USB 2.0 Flash Drive is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a good combination of speed, portability and quality. It performs admirably well in my tests with above average scores and quick transfer times overall.

9

Pros:
Decent speeds overall
Very well made
Small and portable

Cons:
None really

Grades:  
Overall score-9-10
Design score-10-10
Performance score-8-10