Three More External USB 3.0 Drives Benchmarked

PQI H566 (2.5”, 320 GB)

PQI’s drive is based on a 2.5” mechanical hard drive, and although it only offers 320 GB of capacity, it reaches a maximum read or write throughput of 93.5 MB/s. This is an all time high for a portable 2.5” drive, enabled through PQI's use of Toshiba's MK3259GSX, one of the fastest 2.5”, 5400 RPM drives out there. The minimum read/write speed of 43.7 MB/s is best-in-class as well, although Transcend’s StoreJet 25M3 has similar minimum results.

The drive is fastest in our real-world file copy test benchmark as long as it executes read operations. Unfortunately, write performance drops a bit. Specifically, the small file test shows that the other solutions are substantially faster. The drive also doesn’t deliver exciting I/O performance. It's a good thing, then, that being a portable consumer storage solution doesn’t demand perfection.

Finally, the PQI H566 delivers decent performance when it has to read and write sqeuential data at the same time: 60 MB/s throughput is the maximum combined performance you can get get on the 2.5” form factor without an SSD.

The brushed metal case looks solid and stylish, and you can choose from 320, 500, and 640 GB capacities. PQI places a USB 3.0 type A connector on the drive, although the default cable would be a type B (drive) to type A (interface). This doesn’t matter as long as you have the PQI USB 3.0 cable, because type A to type A USB 3.0 connector cables aren’t readily available everywhere.

The implementation by PQI is purely based on USB 3.0 type A connectors. Most drives utilize a type B connector.