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Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 Gen. 2 USB 3.0 Flash Drive Review
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The Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 Generation 2 may look like the original DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 flash drive but it's quite a different beast underneath the plastic and aluminium exterior. The G2 boasts a read speed of 100 MB/s and a write speed of 70 MB/s, which are 20 MB/s and 10 MB/s faster than the G1 respectively.

Our tests using IO Meter showed that the improved DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 G2 flash drive is actually capable of delivering a read speed in excess of 126 MB/s and a write speed of 100 MB/s. That's 26% and 42% faster than the rated read and write speeds.

In our real-world file transfer test though, the Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 Generation 2 was capable of a sustained read speed of 61 MB/s and a sustained write speed of 39 MB/s. At those speeds, it would take under 14 minutes to completely fill out this 32 GB flash drive, and under 9 minutes to copy out its entire contents. In other words, this is a very fast USB flash drive.

Even when used with the far more common USB 2.0 ports, the Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 G2 was much faster than the USB 2.0 flash drives we tested. It managed to deliver a peak read speed of 37 MB/s and a peak write speed of 29 MB/s - far above what USB 2.0 flash drives are capable of.

Kingston also reduced the drive's power consumption and thermal output. Unlike the original DT Ultimate 3.0, the improved DT Ultimate 3.0 G2 no longer needs to use a Y cable for extra power input from USB 2.0 ports. The G2 also runs cooler, chopping almost 3°C off the G1's temperature at full load.

However, we should point out that the G2 is much slower than the G1 at random writes and small sequential writes. In fact, it's basically much slower at all kinds writes, except for large, sequential writes. Fortunately, this is the only kind of write speed that matters if you only use this drive to copy and share large files. If you intend to boot an operating system off this drive though, then the poor random write performance is going to hurt.

Overall, the Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 Generation 2 is an excellent choice if you are looking for a fast, spacious USB 3.0 flash drive to copy and share large files. Even when used with USB 2.0 ports, it proved to be much faster than USB 2.0 flash drives. Once you have seen how fast it can transfer files, you can never go back to USB 2.0 flash drives. It's that fast.

Despite its single-minded focus on large, sequential transfers, we feel that the Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 G2's phenomenal performance and reduced power consumption is worthy of our Reviewer's Choice Award. Congratulations, Kingston!

For the lowest current prices on the Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 G2, click here!


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Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0
   Generation 2 Overview


Kingston DataTraveler Flash Drives


The 32 GB DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 G2
Size, Usable Capacity, Specifications


Testing The DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 G2
Maximum Case Temperature


Sustained Read Transfer Rate
Sustained Write Transfer Rate


4 KB Random Access Performance
512 KB Random Access Performance


4 KB Sequential Access Performance
512 KB Sequential Access Performance


Conclusion, Award


Questions & Comments

Please feel free to post your questions or comments here!

Date Revision Revision History



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