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19 Flash Drive Roundup

19 Flash Drive Roundup

Durability testing

All three tough drives in our round-up claim that they can endure the worst conditions possible, so to make sure this isn’t just PR waffle we set up two special tests which will show us exactly how durable they can be under really extreme conditions.

2nd test: Pressure resistance

In our second test we tested the physical resilience of the drives against pressure. Many people would think that running a flash drive over by a car would be sufficient for testing the durability of the flash drives; but that is not nearly enough for us. Since cars have their weight almost evenly distributed, each wheel has to support only 1/4 of the car’s total weight, meaning that a 1600Kg SUV would ‘only’ deliver about 400Kg under one wheel. The tire flex will also reduce this number considerably, as passenger vehicle tires are usually quite soft. In order to make our testing really extreme, we arranged to run the drives over with something somewhat heavier than a car; a city bus.

First we will explain how much this test is different compared to using a passenger car. To begin with this bus weights about 14 tonnes, nearly 10 times the weight of a mid-sized SUV. The rear engine design of the particular bus places more than 65% of its weight at the rear axle alone, meaning that each rear wheel supports over 4500kg of its total weight, 10-15 times more than the wheel of a large car. Finally the tires of a bus are many times stiffer than those designed for cars, severely reducing the leniency that tire flex would normally offer.

Corsair Survivor Bus Pressure Test

(click movie to watch)

Corsair Voyager Bus Pressure Test (click movie to watch)

ATP Toughdrive Bus Pressure Test (click movie to watch)


During this small durability test we actually had a loss. The Corsair Voyager survived the boiling water but the bus was apparently a bit too heavy for it. Although after cleaning the drive everything looked to be alright, removing the cap revealed a damaged USB connector. We patiently repaired the USB connector but the Voyager still refused to work; because its internals were smashed under the weight of the bus.

The ATP ToughDrive Mini actually surprised us during this test. After witnessing the destruction of the Voyager, we thought that the ToughDrive Mini would share the same fate. After cleaning up the drive and removing its cap, we realized that its USB connector was smashed. We patiently repaired it with a small screwdriver and connected the drive to an USB port. Unpredictably enough, the ToughDrive Mini was working just fine and there was no data loss! This is probably because of the small size of the drive which did not allow the large tire to place too much pressure on it. It is still an incredible result however.

After our second test there were a few visible scars on the Survivor from the bus tires smashing it into the concrete, but everything seemed to be fine. That was not exactly the case however as the exterior body of the Survivor bent under the pressure of the tire and the Survivor was stuck sealed. After finding two sets of pliers and a pair of strong hands we managed to force the Survivor open, though unavoidably damaging the threads. The main body of the Survivor was unscathed and the drive kept working perfectly fine, hence the Survivor passed our second durability test although at the expense of the exterior body of the drive.

ATP ToughDrive Mini 2GB
Corsair Voyager 16GB
Corsair Survivor 4GB


About Author

Stuart Davidson

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