External storage has predominantly moved to USB 3.0 ever since the interface has become standard on both Macs and PCs. While everyone is already enjoying faster connectivity, Buffalo is raising the bar with its latest DriveStation DDR. The aptly-named external USB 3.0 hard drive is joined by an unprecedented 1GB DDR3 RAM. So everything going in or out of the DriveStation will first get cached in the memory. The buffer greatly benefits small file transfers which are often associated with multiple handshakes, creating overheads that slow down throughput.
The massive cache integrated into the USB 3.0 bridge controller reportedly can lift the performance by as much as twofold. To put it into perspective, a typical USB 3.0 hard drive can manage 173MB/s compared to 408MB/s from the DriveStation DDR. On Macs (benchmarked on a MacBook Air), the time took to copy 1000 800KB photos was 4.1s compared to 6.6s on a regular USB 3.0 drive. Buffalo has already planned to bring the DriveStation DDR-series to the stateside with the 1TB priced at $119 and the 3TB at $189.