Review: OCZ Enyo 128 GB

Our score: 5/5
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October 22, 2010 9:29 AM
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Published: October 19, 2010 11:00 PM
By Vincent Lheur
Translated by: Catherine Barraclough
OCZ has one of the largest ranges of SSDs currently on the market. It's therefore no surprise to see that the firm's first external storage drive is also a flash-based product. And with solid-state memory twinned with a USB 3.0 port, the Enyo 128 GB promises exceptional performances.

Unlike Buffalo Technology's USB 2.0 MicroStation external SSD, OCZ has waited for USB 3.0 to be rolled out before launching an external drive, so as not to hold back performances with the capped speeds of the 2.0 interface. In practice, a USB 2.0 connection can't handle more than 40 MBps and therefore can't exploit the incredible potential of solid state drives. However, USB 3.0 promises theoretical data transfer speeds of up to 625 MBps and, in practice, already promises to easily smash thorough 200 MBps, opening up the field for high-performance drives.

Apart from the USB 3.0 connection, the Enyo features Micron memory with an Indilix controller. This had an excellent reputation in 2009, but is today outdone by the latest Intel and SandForce controllers. The Enyo is barely 1 cm thick, and is quite simply the lightest and most compact external storage drive we've tested to date (5.7 x 12 x 1 cm). To achieve this, OCZ hasn't just shoved an internal drive into an external case, but has instead integrated just the inner workings of an internal drive into an external case. In other words, the case only contains the bare minimum of circuit-board and chips:


The casing is made entirely from aluminium and the product's finish is exemplary. The Enyo is supplied with a USB 3.0 cable that's backwards-compatible with USB 2.0, as well as a driver that speeds up transfer between the drive and a PC.

Performances

Thanks to good handling of the USB 3.0 connection and, above all, thanks to solid state memory, the Enyo smashes the previous records held by the WD My Book 3.0 to smithereens.

The performances with CrystalDiskMark are worthy of an internal drive running over a SATA-2 connection:
 

Plus, access times are very similar to those usually seen in internal drives:
 

In practice, the score obtained with the PCMark Vantage benchmark places the Enyo at the same performance level as the OCZ Agility—an older, internal SSD, which also featured an Indilix controller. The Enyo is therefore well within average for an internal SSD, if you please!
 

You can gain a few more MBps of speed by using the pilot supplied by OCZ (or available to download from the OCZ website). Here are the results we obtained in the above tests with the driver installed:
 

 

While the theoretical speeds shoot up, in practice, the average increase in speed is actually quite small, at around +5% with peaks at +20%.

Admittedly, it's not particularly practical to install a driver on someone else's PC when you're out and about, but then it's not entirely necessary either, given that the performances are already excellent without it. All in all, it's worth installing on your home PC but elsewhere you'll be fine without it.
 
5/5 OCZ Enyo 128 GB DigitalVersus 2010-10-20 00:00:00

Pros

  • Excellent read and write speeds
  • USB 3.0 connection backwards compatible with USB 2.0
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Shock-proof

Cons

  • Installing driver improves performances by 5% to 20%
  • SSD technology makes for limited storage capacities

Conclusion

The Enyo sets a new standard in external drive performance! Our only regret is that solid state memory is still fairly expensive and so capacities remain limited. Plus, still only very few computers have a USB 3.0 connection.

OUR SCORE 5/5
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