Mach Xtreme Technology MX-ES 32GB USB 3.0 Pen Drive Review

Flash drive technology has advanced over the years and in recent months we have seen some lightning quick USB 3.0 models hitting the market. Today we’re looking at the MX-ES 32GB USB 3.0 Flash drive. The Drive is available in 8Gb, 16GB and also 32GB capacities. We are testing the biggest 32GB version today, which also the fastest of the three drives available.
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Thanks to its use of advanced SLC NAND flash technology, the MX-ES USB3.0 flash drive transfers data in the fast lane, featuring ultra high transfer rates making data transfer easy. The MX-ES Series USB3.0 pendrive utilizes SLC NAND flash to offer higher performance and longer endurance over traditional MLC NAND flash, which is typically used in other USB3.0 pendrives.
32GB Capacity Specifications:
  •  Interface Type: USB 3.0
  •  Dimension: 69.5 x 17.0 x 8.2mm (LxWxH)
  •  Lightweight: 32g
  •  Max. Read Performance: Up to 170MB/s*
  •  Max. Write Performance: Up to 185MB/s*
  •  Hot Plug / Removal: Support
  •  Shock Resistant: 1,500G
  •  Vibration: 20G
  •  Altitude: 80,000ft
  •  Operating Temp: 0? ~ +70?
  •  Storage Temp: -45? ~ +85?
  •  OS Support: Windows 7 / Windows Vista / Windows XP / Mac OS X
  •  Certifications: RoHS / FCC / CE / Windows 7
  •  Other features: SLC NAND Flash / Ultimate Endurance / World-class Reliability
  •  Warranty: 5 Years
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The EX-ES pen drive is packaged in a blister pack, which is standard for many pen drives. The packaging mentions the SLC technology “Extreme performance, World-class reliability, Ultimate endurance, optimised for Asus and USB 3.0 mainboards.”
The capacity of the drive is mentioned in the bottom left corner of the packet. Next to the sticker are two boxes stating that the pen is “Optimised for Asus USB 3.0 mainboards” and “Version SLC Warranty 5 years”.
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The back of the package mentions the use of NAND Flash technologies while boasting highly of the speeds of the device. Again reiterating that the pen drive is optimised for Asus Mainboards. A graffiti style logo sits at the foot of the packaging reading “Mach Xtreme Technology”.
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The packaging appears to be the same for all capacities of the pen drive.
The housing of the drive is the same for all capacities with dimensions of 69.5.0mm x17.0mm x 8.2mm. The housing is made from a light metal. Also drive has a loop for a lanyard or keyring, the looped section is clear, allowing the blue L.E.D to be visible when in use.
To test the device we used the following configuration.
Processor: CPU Intel i5 3570k.
Memory: G.skill X 1,600mhz 8GB (2x4gb).
Solid State Drive : Samsung 840 250gb SSD.
Motherboard : Asus Sabertooth z77.
Power Supply: Seasonic Platinum 1000w.
Graphics Card: Nvidia GTX Titan.
We used a 4GB file made up of mixed files and transferred to and from the MX-ES 32GB Drive. 
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Our findings indicate a huge increase in read bandwidth when moving between the USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 interface. The USB 3.0 was around 4x faster at transferring the same files when comparing the read speeds, although the write speeds were not so far apart.
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After testing the mixed files and seeing that the write speeds felt somewhat lacking, we decided to look at singular larger files, in this case a 24.1gb MVK video file. Alongside this we wanted to see how the MX ES performed when transferring 4GB of the same file type. In this case we used JPEG files.
As you can see the results are much more impressive when transferring larger video files – recording reads of 136 MB/s and writes of 146 MB/s. The 4GB of Jpeg files that we used also shows pretty good speeds when comparing to the mixed file results. The 4GB of jpegs came in with reads of 146.2 MB/s and writes of 91.2 MB/s.
CrystalDiskMark is a program to help measure the performance level of hard drives, solid state drives and external media.
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We performed all of the tests multiple times to rule out inconsistencies. As you can see, the results we got are very close. Due to the nature of this kind of flash, and via the USB 3.0 interface, 4k and 4k QD32 performance is substantially worse than from a native SSD drive across a SATA connector
Our results are very close to the manufacturer claims of 170MB/s read with 185MB/s Write. This is reassuring to see.
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After testing the USB 3.0 speeds, we decided to see how USB 2.0 speeds would suffer. The results are pretty much as we would expect – perfectly fine for light backup duties.
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The results above are taken from an older 8GB Sandisk Cruzer Micro drive. This proves that even if you are still using USB 2.0 ports on your computer, there are some gains to be seen by moving to one of the latest drives.
Moving on to testing with ATTO Disk Benchmark. This is the very same piece of software used by MX-Technologies to test the read and write speeds … as noted on the MX-technologies web site.
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With the two sets of results here, you can see slight fluctuations although the results fairly similar. Our findings here are also very close to the results CrystalDiskMark gave us. It seems the drive is fairly consistent during all of the synthetic performance tests, living up to MX-Technologies claims again.
The Mach Xtreme Technology MX-ES is an excellent, cost effective pen drive exhibiting strong performance characteristics.
The MX-ES 32GB USB 3.0 synthetic performance results were very positive, peaking at over 180 MB/s in our tests. In real world terms mixed file writes could drop to around 21.3 MB/s, which is to be expected considering the price point.
The MX-ES 32GB really did show us what it can do when working with larger files, as well as numerous smaller files of the same type. The use of SLC NAND technology over the much more traditional MLC means that we get a higher performance rate as well as a longer lasting more durable device.
Remember an MLC cell is typically rated at 10,000 erase/write cycles, while an SLC cell might last ten times longer before a failure would occur.
Under normal circumstances this drive will last many, many years without an issue.
The MX-ES is a reliable and speedy device with a slimline physical profile. It is thin enough to allow for multiple devices to be connected alongside, even on tightly spaced laptop ports.
The MX-ES USB 3.0 drives are currently available from Overclockers.co.uk, ranging in price from £13.99 to £41.99. The 32GB model we reviewed today, is available here.
Pros
  • Light.
  • Fast read speeds.
  • Durable.
  • 5 year warranty.
  • Slim in design.
Cons
  • Mixed file writes were significantly slower.
Puppy says: A useful, cost effective drive to suit a variety of smaller backup tasks.
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