Portable storage has come a long way over the past few years. I can still remember the days when floppy disks were the only affordable portable medium, and in order to get some files around to your friends house you often needed a box of 10 floppies and an archiving program capable of splitting files into 1.4mb chunks. Things have moved along quite a bit since then and today I certainly couldn't do without my trusty USB hard disk for keeping all my data with me on the move.
Today we'll be looking at OCZ's latest revision of their award winning 'Rally' Flash Drive aptly named the 'Rally2'. OCZ have gone back to the drawing board in an effort to make a smaller and more stylish version of the 'Rally' whilst still keeping the performance and durability the original drive was renowned for.
"The OCZ USB 2.0 Rally2 Flash Drive is the sleeker and more ergonomic version of the original Rally. The redesigned Rally2 features a more stylish housing accompanied by a new signature OCZ ultra-bright orange status LED and still houses the renowned OCZ dual channel technology that made the first Rally the choice flash drive among enthusiasts. Thanks to the implementation of leading edge Dual Channel technology, the Rally2 puts data transferring in the fast lane and leaves the competitors in the dust. "
• High Speed USB 2.0 • Certified True Plug and Play (Compatible with MAC OS X) • Dual Channel Technology • Available in 512MB, 1GB, 2GB and 4GB capacities • Dimensions: 2 5/8"(L) x 5/8"(W) • Aluminium Chassis • Orange LED Status Light • Lifetime Warranty
Accessories • Lanyard • USB extension cable
Blazing Speed • Up to 28MB/s (read), 15MB/s (write)*
OCZ have always been one of the leaders in the high performance DDR memory market and it's good to see that nothing has changed when it comes to flash memory devices either. The Rally2 has some very impressive transfer rates for a flash memory device with up to 28MB/s read and 15MB/s write largely thanks to the dual channel operation of the device.
OCZ Rally2 2GB USB2 Flash Drive Page: 2 Packaging
OCZ are well known for their 'flashy' packaging, and the Rally2 drive is certainly no different. The drive comes sealed inside a clear plastic blister pack backed with a printed card insert, allowing you to get a good look at the Rally2 before making your purchase.
The front and back of the packaging offer some basic specifications on the unit: Dual Channel, High Speed USB 2.0, Lifetime Warranty and Aluminium Housing. OCZ also mention that the Rally2 is one of the fastest flash drives on the market - and given the quoted transfer rates of the drive i'm certainly not going to disagree.
As flash drives are pretty much "Plug'n'Play" there's very little that a manufacturer can include with the drive in terms of bundled extras. OCZ have included both a lanyard and a USB extension lead with the Rally2, but one thing i think would be great on drives of this capacity is some pre-loaded freeware utilities that might come in useful for the average end user.
With very little technical difference between most flash drives the only distinguishable features to most users will be size, price and appearance. Most people will know what size drive they are looking for depending on their budget, so when faced with multiple drives of the same size and similar prices the deciding factor often comes down to appearance.
The OCZ Rally2 has a professionally styled sleek black aluminium exterior printed with OCZ's logo on one side and the Rally2 logo on the other. Both ends of the drive are tipped with clear plastic with one end featuring an orange LED that flashes when data is being transferred to or from the drive.
Should you want to wear the Rally2 around your neck (don't all rush at once!) OCZ have provided a 'lanyard' that can be tied to the Rally2 for this purpose. I was slightly disappointed to see that OCZ didn't fix the cap covering the USB connector to the rest of the device as this is likely to get lost easily.
OCZ Rally2 2GB USB2 Flash Drive Page: 3 Test Setup
The following benchmarks have been conducted using the test system specified below:
Testing of the drives transfer speed will be performed using both Sisoft Sandra XIb and HDTach benchmarking programs. Please note that the Sisoft Sandra test (bottom-left) shows comparison figures against internal hard disks and therefore should be taken for its results only rather than comparison graphs.
The Sisoft Sandra results on the left show that OCZ's stated read speed of 28MB/s is extremly close to the truth with our results coming in at 25MB/s. The random access speed of the drive is also extremely respectable at 4ms, beating all of the IDE hard disks listed including the renouned Raptor.
Sandra also provides a removable storage benchmark utility for comparing the performance of flash based products against eachother. From the results on the right we can see that the Rally2 is a respectable portion faster than any of the other flash drives used in the testing with a rated speed of 5202 operations per minute.
OCZ are well known for their high performance, stylish products and the Rally2 is certainly a credit to their line-up. With its hard wearing aluminium chassis and slimline design the Rally2 is likely to be the envy of generic plastic flash drive users everywhere.
Currently selling over at Ebuyer for £28.19, the Rally2 may be a little more expensive than some other 2gb USB drives, but if performance is on your list of requirements for your next portable storage purchase then you should definitely put OCZ's Rally2 near top of your shortlist.
Pro's • Rugged Aluminium chassis. • Fast data transfer speed. • Sexy design. • Lifetime warranty. • Reasonable pricing.
Con's • USB port cap is not attached to rest of drive.
Thanks to OCZ for providing the Rally2 for review.