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Reviewed by: Trevor Flynn [11.17.05]
Manufactured by: OCZ Technology

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Introduction

The floppy drive is dead...long live the flash drive! USB Flash drives sure have come a long way.  Touted originally as a larger replacement for the floppy drive, these fancy new "key" drives were released in sizes ranging as high as 32MB. With the decrease in flash memory costs, these drives can now be found in 2GB+ sizes; more than large enough to hold a myriad of media files, your favorite applications, or even an entire Operating System, all which can be run at increasingly fast speeds directly from the drive itself.

Though it might seem a natural extension for a company that specializes in high-end memory products to release a USB flash product, OCZ is later to the game than most. In fact the Rally Drive lineup was only just released days after our very popular Q3 Portable Storage Guide.

To make up for their tardiness they've come to the market with what they claim to be the fastest flash drive available. By utilizing dual channel technology OCZ claims their new Rally Drives can reach read transfer speeds as high as 28MB/Sec on the 512MB model (25MB/Sec and 23MB/Sec for the 1GB and 2GB model respectively).

Does the Rally drive meet those claims? Does dual channel offer any significant performance increases in the USB Flash Drive world? Will I be able to finally take a product photo that's not badly lit?  Read on to find out!

Dual Channel...well Duh

Is it just me, or was having a dual channel flash drive one of those ideas that was just so obvious that no one thought of it? After hearing about the new Rally drive and its dual channel technology I'm sure more than one competing product engineer was smacking themselves in the forehead.

Judging from our experiences with DDR RAM, we won't see the massive speed increases once promised by synthetic benchmarks, but instead might expect to see roughly a ten percent real world increase from a dual channel implementation; more than enough to place OCZ just ahead of the competition.

Full Aluminum Jacket

Today we will be testing the 1GB model of the Rally Drive today which sits right in the middle of the three model lineup in both price and performance.

The Rally Drive is encased almost entirely in sleek black aluminum. Aside from looking good, the aluminum casing will also help with heat dissipation (The drives can actually get noticably warm). The construction is very sturdy and would easily survive multiple small drops, though probably not as well as the rubber encased Voyager drive from Corsair.

The aluminum cap fits snugly however once off is very easily lost. My personal preference has always been for some sort of retractable cover which looks both sleek but remains functionally sound, or at the very least something that can be clipped over the end for storage during use.

The included bundle is small as is the case with most USB drives, consisting of a simple lanyard and a USB extension cable.

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