- Official Store: https://oyendigital.com/hard-drives/store/DM2-P8.html
In years gone by, we lamented the limits of capacity. We cheered at the thought of 30 whole gigabytes of storage, blind to the speed our games and applications loaded. Time, as it often does, kept moving forwards. We now find ourselves in an age of capacity beyond what we can reasonably expect to fill, and shift our focus to dizzying new heights. We find ourselves in an age of speed.
As flowery as that may sound, SSDs are swiftly becoming the norm as we prioritise speed over raw capacity for our everyday activities. While you'll find them an essential component of any modern gaming PC, their potential is often overlooked as external storage. It's here Oyen Digital aim to join the ranks of Seagate and Samsung among others in delivering a quality and speedy choice for your portable storage needs.
Out of the box, the Helix Dura looks incredibly sleek. With what they describe to be a shockproof heat-sink design, wrapped in a silicon rubber sleeve, it is perhaps the most durable storage device I've ever owned. To say I'd be comfortable leaving it loose in my bag would be an understatement; I don't think I'd bat an eye dropping this off a bridge. Having never owned an NVMe SSD before, the form factor also stood out to me. Compared to your standard 2.5 inch SSD, it's remarkably tiny, coming in at around half the width. Between the durability and size alone, you have two great arguments for picking this over your more standard portable drives, and even your slightly less standard 2.5 inch portable SSDs. It feels like a device built to last, and Oyen clearly think so too with a four year warranty backing it up. Of course, durability is only half of the problem. The driving factor behind a purchase such as this is, as you might expect, the speed. I wasn't disappointed.
On the official store page, you can find descriptions outlining the kind of speeds you're to expect, advertising up to 980 MB/s, with a screenshot of their own tests showing 945 MB/s write speed and 964 MB/s read speed. Putting it to the test myself with a delightfully-themed CrystalDiskMark via a USB 3.1 port, I can say they're bang on. Hitting just above the advertised speeds for both read and write, the Helix Dura does what it sets out to. In my brief time with this SSD, I've used it for a fun variety of things.
Between backing up and subsequently playing my media library, it faced no issues. You wouldn't expect it to when Oyen themselves advertise it as a device for A/V professionals. It's at this point it hit me. I have a whole terabyte to play with, why not just install an operating system on it? Using it as an excuse to finally try Linux, I managed to install a few different distributions to it as I found my feet, each surprising me in just how snappily they ran. If I hadn't the cable trailing from my laptop, I wouldn't have known I was running from an external drive. Its performance really did impress me as what I would describe as an average user.
As for the SSD under the hood, the Helix Dura sporting a Mushkin Pilot (MKNSSDPL1TB-D8). Knowing the SSD inside helps us then look at the price, and see to what degree the parts add up. This particular SSD coming in around $160, and NVMe enclosures ranging from $25 to $60 on Amazon, not to mention the warranty on top, I don't think you're getting a bad deal. With the Helix Dura, you have a drive that's built to last, with the performance to back up the price point. For those looking to expand their external storage horizons, I can recommend it without hesitation, and look forward to seeing what Oyen Digital do next.
- Performs as advertised
- Incredibly sturdy
- Heat-sink design
- Four year warranty
- Can be easy to lose with its compact size!