Enthusiast memory maker OCZ has finally provided a potential use for the USB 3 ports that are now cropping up on new motherboards. The company has just launched an external solid state drive called the Enyo, which should be able to take advantage of the new port’s 5Gb/sec of bandwidth.
Clearly designed to appeal to the gadget lover’s senses, the Enyo comes in a swish anodised aluminium case, and also comes kitted out with blue LEDs. More importantly, however, it doesn’t require an external power source, as it gets all the power it needs via USB.
Based on multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash memory, the Enyo comes in capacities of 64GB, 128GB and 256GB. The top two models have very similar specs, coming with 64MB of onboard cache and a claimed maximum read speed of 260MB/sec. OCZ says the drives can write at up to 200MB/sec, with a sustained write speed of 150MB/sec.
However, the 64GB drive is a bit slower, presumably because, like Corsair’s 32GB Nova drive, it has fewer chips and therefore less interleaving. According to OCZ, the 64GB drive can read at up to 225MB/sec, but its maximum write speed is much slower at 135MB/sec, and its sustained write speed is just 40MB/sec.
OCZ’s CEO Ryan Petersen claims that the USB 3 interface will “make transferring anything from spreadsheets to high definition movies significantly faster than traditional media.” Although OCZ hasn’t provided any comparative benchmarks for the Enyo against standard hard drives, it has provided some figures that show the difference between the various USB interfaces.
According to the company, transferring a 6GB DVD to your hard drive takes over two hours using USB 1, over three minutes with USB 2 and just 20 seconds using USB 3. The Enyo will, of course, also function on USB 1 and 2 ports, but will just run slower.
According to OCZ, the Enyo will work with all the major PC operating systems, including Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 and Linux, and it will also come with a three-year warranty.
There’s no word on pricing or availability yet, but OCZ assures us that the drives are shipping worldwide now, so they should start appearing in retail shortly.