Review OCZ Enyo USB 3.0 portable solid state drive
Fast, faster, fastest?
OCZ offers a fast Solid State Drive with USB 3.0 interface in an elegant case. Read on to learn about its advantages and whether it delivers a good performance in practice.
The current generation of Solid State Drives has overcome the difficulties of the first models. Often, they just differ in terms of performance and capacity. Partly, they clearly outperform usual hard drives. Only their steep prices hinder that they get more widely spread. At the time of writing they cost at least about 1.50 Euro per GB. Depending on the model, they can even be clearly more expensive. Therewith, the memory costs more than 10-times as much as e.g. a 2.5 inch hard drive with a capacity of 500GB and a revolution speed of 7200 rpm and just 12 ct/GB.
In terms of price the OCZ Enyo is not different. At the time of writing it costs about 155.- euro (64 GB), 280.- euro (128 GB) up to 600.- euro (256 GB). Our test sample has a capacity of 128 GB Speicher and is, at a price of 2.20 euro/GB, the most reasonable model.
The external drive comes inside an elegant retail box and impresses with its simple, but fine aluminum case at the first glance. The size of about 12 x 5.6 x 0.9 cm is visibly smaller than any 2.5" hard drive. The weight of 75 g is clearly lower than the manufacturer information (87.7 g). Together with the cable (about 50 g) it should not add too much to the weight for a daily mobile use. In comparison: A Kingston Solid State Drive of the Now V Series weighs 86 g. On the case there are just the USB 3.0 interface on the rear and two unobtrusive indicator-LEDs. Less is more.
The OCZ Enyo came with a standard driver preinstalled, which was soon updated by a performance driver. The later is not yet available on OCZ's support side. We tested both to find out the differences. Our test system is the MSI 880GMA-E45 mainboard with 2 NEC USB 3.0 ports, which is already well known from some of our reviews. We used Windows 7 64bit Home Premium as operating system.
Already the first runs with the standard driver give rather good results. We tested using the Crystal Disk Mark 2.2 in its default settings. Though we repeated the test multiple times, the results did only marginally deviate. The drive achieves 178 MB/s in sequential reading, 117 MB/s with 512k blocks and still 16 MB/s with 4k blocks. During the write test the high write rate at 512 blocks is particularly striking. It hardly differs from the write rate at sequential writing. To summarize, the performance is good considering it is an external drive.
Using the performance driver, which is not yet officially released and which we got solely for testing proposes, the results even improved. The drive achieved 238 MB/s at sequential reading and 180 MB/s at sequential writing. First of all, these value tie the record of the USB 3.0 interface in our test system. Secondly, these are the best results we recorded for external drives so far. A similar performance gain can be recorded at reading and writing 512k blocks. However, the results stayed the same when reading 4k blocks, while the write test was interrupted by an error message again and again. The access time of 0.2 ms is typical for SSD drives and does not allow a delay.
We could hardly achieve such high results in combination with USB 3.0 interfaces in notebooks so far, because their USB-3.0 chips had a performance limit of about 120 MB/s.
During mobile use the OCZ Enyo is powered via USB-3.0. We tested it with multiple interfaces (also USB-2.0) and could not detect any problems. The drive always worked reliable and was recognized by the computer at once.
The OCZ Enyo USB 3.0 already delivers a very good performance with its standard driver. Compared to other external, mobile storage solutions it brings a big performance advantage about. Because it is light and small, it also has premium mobile properties. The only, yet important disadvantage is its high price. At the time of writing the top model costs about 280.- Euro.