Corsair Flash Voyager GTR 32GB Review

jlqrb - 2010-03-18 11:24:21 in Storage / Hard Drives
Category: Storage / Hard Drives
Reviewed by: jlqrb   
Reviewed on: March 22, 2010
Price: $106.99


These days flash drives are being released fast and furious and there is no shortage of size, speed or brands to choose from. Though with so many flash drives on the market, it can be hard for one brand to stand out over another, but the Voyager series from Corsair has managed to do just that. This line of flash drives offers a balance of performance, durability, price and even in the face of steep competition has managed to be the go to choice for many users worldwide. Corsair is now expanding the Voyager's current line-up with the addition of the new GTR drive. The GTR is a high performance flash drive that maintains many aspects of the original Voyager, but has an updated yellow color scheme, enhanced performance and will be released in 32GB, 64GB and 128GB flavors. This new series uses a quad-channel architecture that allows for extremely fast read speeds of up to 34MB/s and write speeds up to 28MB/s. On paper and in Corsair's internal lab tests the Voyager GTR line is presented as a very fast product. Before we can crown a new performance champ though, we will have to put it through our rigorous benchmarking process to see if our testing can match what Corsair's labs has produced.

Closer Look:

The Corsair Voyager GTR comes packaged in a clear plastic blister casing that displays the drive on the front side as well as lists information such as the size, series and USB support for the drive. The front also has an image of a wrap tunnel with the drive appearing as if it is traveling though it, highlighting the speed of the GTR series. The back side of the packaging explains that the Corsair Flash GTR is built for speed and also has a list of the included accessories; both the explanation and accessories listings come in multiple languages. Below these you will find a graph of one of Corsair's lab tests, which shows the GTR completing a transfer of 37,000 typical files in just 6 minutes 48 seconds, whereas an unnamed brand drive finished the same transfer at a much slower 37 minutes 24 seconds.











With the drive out of the packaging you can see that the Voyager GTR has a very recognizable Corsair design. It uses the same durable rubber padding that has been proven time and time again to protect Corsair's drives from pretty extreme damage, but the GTR uses a yellow and black color scheme to separate it from the other flash drives models. Looking at the front of the drive you have the Corsair logo on the top removable cap, the Flash Voyager GTR logo on the drive itself and an oval shaped activity light toward the end of the drive. The reverse side of the drive has been kept simple and all the info you will find here is Corsair's website address. Removing the top cap reveals the USB 2.0 head, which is where you will connect the drive to your PC or laptop to transfer data. Of course, you don't get just the drive, like with other Voyager products you also get an included lanyard and USB extension cable.




Now that we have had a good look at the drive, we can move on and start the testing to see if it is as fast as Corsair claims. Also, take a look at the image below and read on if you want to see if the Corsair Flash Voyager GTR survives or meets a watery doom!


Voyager GTR
Min Read: 34MB/s
Min Write: 28MB/s
USB cable and lanyard
Limited 10-year warranty





All information on this page is courtesy of Corsair Memory


To test the performance of the Corsair Flash Voyager GTR, I will be comparing it to other drives on the market by running it through benchmarking programs, such as Flash Memory Toolkit and SiSoft Sandra, as well as some real world testing. The combination of these tests should give us a good idea of how the drive will perform in comparison to other USB Flash drives. Prior to testing the drive, the Corsair Flash GTR was formatted using the FAT32 file system, with the unit size set to default. All tests will be performed with the Corsair Flash drive in the rear USB port on my motherboard to get the most accurate results.

Testing System:


Comparison Drives:


Read Speed - Low Level Benchmark:

The first Flash Memory Toolkit test will measure the read and write performance of the drive - higher is better.






 Well, the Corsair Voyager GTR is off to a strong start, managing to beat out all the other comparison drives by a decent margin.


Read and Write - File Benchmark:

The second benchmark in the Flash Memory toolkit is the file read and write test. It will give us a speed in KB/s. The program uses five different files of 1MB, 2MB, 3MB, 4MB, and 5MB. Once again, higher is better.





















Once again the Voyager GTR managed to smash the competition and was the top performer in all read and write tests.


Read and Write - File Benchmark:

SiSoft Sandra gives detailed information about the hardware installed in your system and can be used to test the performance for specific components. In this test, it will gauge the read and write performance of varying file sizes in MB/sec - higher is better.




















Endurance Benchmark:

The endurance benchmark tests the speed at which the thumb drive writes to specific sectors. This time, results are in KB/sec.



The trend continues with Sandra 2009, as the Corsair Voyager GTR once again comes out ahead of all the other drives by a wide margin, especially when it comes to write speeds.


Write - File Benchmark:

The last benchmark I will perform on our guinea pig is the writing of our custom OCC files. These are the same files used in the WinRAR benchmark. The time required is indicated in seconds. I will start the stopwatch at the same time as I click on 'copy' and stop it as soon as the 'copying' window disappears. So this time, lower is better.
















The Corsair Voyager GTR was the fastest drive in two of the three tests, again making it the fastest drive tested.


The Corsair Voyager GTR is by far the fastest flash drive that I have tested to date. The drive utilizes a quad-channel architecture, which allows for incredible speeds of up to 34MB/s reads and 28MB/s writes. With its high read and write speeds the Voyager GTR managed to outpace the competition and in test after test, left all other drives in its dust. This drive is perfect for those who transfer large amounts of data and don't like to waste time waiting while the drive is transferring or accessing the data. With the GTR drive you won't be wasting any time and in fact I was able to use the copy and paste method with a nearly 7GB file and finish the transfer in less than ten minutes. This is amazing considering that I used another drive with the same file and it took nearly twenty minutes to complete. That is a savings of fifteen minutes to get your data transferred and move on to your next task. On top of the amazing performance, the Voyager GTR series boasts an impressive amount of storage and can be purchased in 32GB, 64GB and 128GB models, depending on your storage needs. To put that in perspective, the smallest model, which is the 32GB drive we are looking at today, can store up to 7782 songs, around 15565 digital photos and 152 hours of video. This amount of storage is beyond the needs of many users, but as file needs grow it is nice to know that your drive has the capacity to handle your files for years to come. Also, with the GTR series you get some of the features that have made the Corsair flash drives so popular over the years, the durable rubber casing, a long warranty period and the included accessories. The rubber casing that Corsair uses with the Voyager GTR looks cool, is shock proof, water resistant and has been proven to protect Corsair's drives from drops, bumps, spills and the occasional getting run over with a car. I have used Corsair flash drives in the past and know first hand how durable they are. However, I was skeptical of the casing being water resistant; so to test this out, I dropped the drive in a glass of water, left it submerged for around 15 seconds and then let dry overnight. The next morning the GTR drive was dry and to my surprise worked as if nothing had happened. If the casing does somehow fail you and the drive dies, Corsair has your back with a 10-year warranty.

One knock on the drive would be that it doesn't utilize the new 3.0 USB interface, which could have enhanced the performance to an even greater level. But since most users still don't use USB 3.0, it does make sense to stay with the current USB standard and push it to its maximum instead of adapting a new technology, especially one that is not yet widely in use. One other thing I found out during the review is that the cap, though it fits tight when on the drive, can be easy to lose when not on. In the end, I did find my misplaced cap, but if you lose yours and can not recover it, Corsair does offer replacements that you can request directly from its website. Overall, the Voyager drive is amazing and even though it comes with a slightly higher premium than the other Corsair series, it is without a doubt definitely worth it.