Chances are if you've been in the market for a flash drive, you've made your way to the local electronics store and let your eyes glaze over the variety of 1-16GB flash drives in stock. However, have you ever wanted more from the handy little devices? If so, memory manufacturer Corsair has taken the appropriate steps to not only satiate that desire, but to also provide you with an alternative storage resource in order to upgrade your PlayStation 3 hard drive. The company has recently released its Flash Voyager, which comes jam packed with a whopping 64GB of memory storage in a small portable flash drive. We decided to test this bad boy out in order to see how well it aided us in upgrading our standard 60GB HDD to a more appropriately sized 160GB drive.
The first step in preparing any flash drive or external HDD for the upgrade process is to format the drive to a FAT32 file format. As many of you are aware, this format is native for the PlayStation 3. Unfortunately, Windows users can't format anything over 32GB, meaning you're stuck having to utilize a third party software application in order to get the job done. I happened to use the HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool to format the 64GB beast to FAT32.
Once the formatting is finished, you can now sync the drive up with the PlayStation 3. The console should recognize it fairly quickly and then proceed to your System Settings and your Backup Utilities option. The Voyager takes roughly two hours and 30 minutes in order to backup roughly 45GB of data. This isn't too shabby, though you may want to make lunch plans ahead of time. Now that you have all of your data collected into one compact drive, it's time to format your PS3's HDD in order to clear out any information you may not want on the drive. This process should take a little over three hours itself.
This means the easy part is over and it's time to install the new drive. For anyone who has done this before, it's quite a simple task. You need to unscrew the bay which holds the HDD and slip out the default drive, then slip in the new HDD and rescrew the bay. Once you're finished, you can start transferring all of your files back over from the Flash Voyager. Fortunately, the Voyager's transfer rate is substantially faster going the opposite way, as it took less than an hour to restore the 45GB worth of data onto the PlayStation 3.
Corsair notified us that the Voyager is resistant to water, shock, and even being shot. Being the "Will it Blend?" like reviewers we are, we had to test out several of these resistance claims ourselves. Surprisingly, Corsair was spot on. The Flash Voyager continued to work even after three cycles in the washing machine, being thrown into a wall (though we don't recommend this), and being hit with a low-powered stun gun (we really don't recommended this one).
If that's enough to impress you, the Flash Voyager can also run complete games and operating systems from the flash drive itself. While all of this is quite appealing, the flash drive's one disadvantage happens to be its price point. The cheapest we could find the 64GB Flash Voyager online for was a hefty $115 USD. It's no secret that you could pick up a handy portable external drive for near that price, but the durability and reliability of the Flash Voyager almost justify the three-figure price point.
One other project that the Voyager helped ease us into was the transferring of files from our PCs to the PlayStation 3. We were able to load up 14-15 movies at a time and 5,000+ songs to the console within one trip. It was definitely a nice time-saver. Finally, the flash drive does come with a 10-year guarantee, which may come in handy should we choose to test just how durable this little device truly is!
-The Final Word-
The Flash Voyager is a fantastic option for upgrading your PlayStation 3's HDD, but the price point may scare away some potential purchasers.