SanDisk Ultra Fit 128GB Review (Page 2 of 8)

Page 2 - A Closer Look, Test System

There really is not a whole lot to talk about when it comes to the design of the SanDisk Ultra Fit 128GB. The drive is so mind-blowingly small, it is barely bigger than the USB connector itself. It is sitting on top of my Apple iPhone 6 in the photo. Other than the sheer wonder of how they managed to squeeze a whole one hundred and twenty eight gigabytes into such a tiny footprint -- along with an interface controller, and whatever else it takes to make it functional -- I do not have a whole lot more to say regarding the aesthetics of this little wonder. The drive capacity (128GB), interface type (USB 3.0), and what I think is a serial number are laser etched onto the metal, as shown in our picture above. Regulatory logos can be found on the other side. The physical USB connector forms the majority of the drive, and ends off with a curve that adjoins a black plastic arch with a slightly wider outer radius. At the end of the drive, the slightly wider and fatter top provides every last thousands of an inch for engineers to fit electronic components inside. From a consumer perspective, it makes it easier for someone to grip the Ultra Fit, and unplug it from their car or computer.

A quick glance at the specifications table pits this portable storage device at 19.1mm long, 15.9mm wide, and 8.8mm thick without the cap at its largest dimensions. The USB connector itself is blue to signify its SuperSpeed compatibility. SanDisk has generously included a tinted plastic cap from the retail package, but since this is primarily a niche product that will most likely end up plugged in most of the time, the cap is probably not necessary. But hey -- it is better to have an included accessory you will never use, than to need an accessory you do not have.

How is the SanDisk Ultra Fit 128GB a niche product? I think its form factor play a big role in determining its purpose. You can attach a lanyard to the Ultra Fit, but beyond that, it is almost impossible to carry it around without losing it. On the other hand, the unobstructive nature of the Ultra Fit will allow you to leave it plugged in to whatever device you are using for capacity expansion or semi-permanent storage. According to the company, this may include hard to reach TV USB ports for video playback, or even your laptop computer. If you are going to store sensitive files on it, SanDisk throws in their SecureAccess software, which allows you to encrypt the drive to 128-bit AES specifications. For me, I plan to use it in my car. Currently, I have a Patriot Supersonic Rage XT 32GB plugged into my 2013 Honda Accord Touring sedan to store all my music. The drive works great, and it has been extremely reliable in the couple of years in handling beyond freezing cold Calgary winters and sizzling summer heat, but it really sticks out like a sore thumb. For four times to capacity and literally a fraction of the size, the SanDisk Ultra Fit 128GB fits the bill perfectly to replace my Rage XT, which you can see in action in my photo above. The Ultra Fit is rated for only 0c to 45c in use, and in cold Calgary winters, songs will stutter or skip for the first minute or so, which can be annoying. Having industrial grade operating range of -30c to 85c will probably be a better idea.

Our above photo gives a clearer view of the top of the SanDisk Ultra Fit 128GB USB 3.0 flash drive. The black plastic is textured on top to give it a bit of visual flare, along with SanDisk's logo printed on top, leaving no ambiguity about the creators of this product. Impressively, it even comes with a drive activity LED behind the black plastic cover. The small red LED stays off unless there is drive activity. Personally, I prefer the reciprocal design, where the indicator LED stays on when plugged in, and blinks in the event of drive activity. This way, it is much easier to tell if the USB port is supplying power, and the drive is turned on accordingly. Overall, I am a big fan of the SanDisk Ultra Fit 128GB. It is crazy small that can be unobstructively used in a lot of places with no compromise in capacity. But will there be compromises in performance? Let us run through five pages of storage benchmarks to find out.

Our test configuration as follows:

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K @ 4.6GHz
CPU Cooling: Noctua NH-U14S (2x Noctua NF-A15)
Motherboard: ASUS P8P67 WS Revolution
RAM: Kingston HyperX Savage HX324C11SRK2/16 2x8GB
Graphics: Gigabyte G1 Gaming GeForce GTX 960 4GB
Chassis: SilverStone Temjin TJ04-E (Noctua NF-S12A PWM, Noctua NF-P12 PWM)
Storage: OCZ Vector 150 240GB; Crucial MX200 500GB
Power: PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk III 1200W
Sound: Auzentech X-Fi Bravura
Optical Drive: LiteOn iHAS224-06 24X DVD Writer
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 Professional

Compared Hardware:
- SanDisk Ultra Fit 128GB (USB 3.0)
- ADATA DashDrive Durable HD650 500GB (USB 3.0)
- ADATA DashDrive Elite UE700 64GB (USB 3.0)
- ADATA DashDrive HV620 1TB (USB 3.0)
- Kingston DataTraveler Locker+ G2 32GB (USB 2.0)
- Kingston DataTraveler Locker+ G3 32GB (USB 3.0)
- Kingston DataTraveler microDuo 32GB (USB 2.0)
- Kingston DataTraveler HyperX 3.0 64GB (USB 3.0)
- Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 G2 32GB (USB 3.0)
- Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 G3 32GB (USB 3.0)
- Kingston DataTraveler Vault Privacy 3.0 32GB (USB 3.0)
- Kingston HyperX Fury 64GB (USB 3.0)
- OCZ Rally2 Turbo 4GB (USB 2.0)
- Patriot Supersonic Magnum 64GB (USB 3.0)
- Patriot Supersonic Rage 2 256GB (USB 3.0)
- Patriot Supersonic Rage XT 32GB (USB 3.0)
- Patriot Stellar 64GB (USB 3.0)
- Silicon Power Armor A30 1TB (USB 3.0)
- Silicon Power Armor A65 1TB (USB 3.0)
- Silicon Power Blaze B05 64GB (USB 3.0)
- Silicon Power Diamond D06 1TB (USB 3.0)
- Silicon Power Jewel J80 32GB (USB 3.0)
- Silicon Power Marvel M70 64GB (USB 3.0)
- Silicon Power Mobile X31 32GB (USB 3.0)

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. A Closer Look, Test System
3. Benchmark: AIDA64 Disk Benchmark
4. Benchmark: ATTO Disk Benchmark
5. Benchmark: Crystal Disk Mark 3.0
6. Benchmark: HD Tach
7. Benchmark: HD Tune Pro 4.60
8. Conclusion