The Patriot Super Sonic 32GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive is Really Super Fast
May 22, 2012 (Updated Jun 14, 2012)
Review by Thomas Wikman
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Read-speed and write-speed is very high, aluminum casing, robust, USB 3.0, slick looking, decent price.
Cons:Lanyard hole is too wide, cap can get lost, LED hidden, and it becomes warm.
The Bottom Line:
The Patriot Super Sonic 32GB USB3.0 Flash Driveis fastest flash drive that I’ve encountered. 129MB/s read speed. 85MB/s write speed. It is also shock resistant and not pricey.
In my opinion Write-Speed and the Read-Speed is the most important feature of aFlash Drive, assuming I am not using it for sensitive and confidential data, in which case hardware encryption, password protection, active anti-malware, etc, are more important features. The read and write speed vary enormously between different flash drives. Do you want the transfer of a very large file to take one minute or one hour? It certainly matters.
Recommend this product?
The cheap USB 2.0 drives with a logo on are often significantly slower than 1MB/s whilst the fastest brand name USB 2.0 flash drives can get you sequential read speeds up to 20MB/s and sometimes even more. Now there are USB 3.0 flash drives that are even faster.
Unfortunately many USB flash drives do not list read & write speed, many are not even rated, and you cannot always find the read and write speed ratings on-line. If the read and write speed is listed on the package it usually good. The stated write speed of this flash drive is listed as 70MB/s and the stated read speed is 100MB/s. If it had been 0.7MB/s and 1.0MB/s respectively, it would not have been on the package.
The Patriot SuperSonic 32GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive Read and Write Speed
USB 3.0 sounds very good. It corresponds to a transfer speed of up to 5,120MB/s. It should be noted that this is just the maximum theoretical transfer speed over the USB interface and does not say much about how fast the device really is. Typically the read and write speed is much lower than the transfer speed and that is what you’ll get in the end. USB 2.0 will give you a maximum theoretical transfer speed of 60MB/s. However, in practice you can never get more than 30MB/s even if the write and read speed of the flash drive is higher. Whenever I see “USB 3.0” I wonder if the write and read speed is fast enough to take advantage of the transfer speed, beyond the 30MB/s practical maximum of USB 2.0. In this case the answer is yes.
Using Chrystal Disk Mark I measured the following when connecting the Patriot SuperSonic 32GB USB3.0 Flash Driveto the USB 3.0 port on my Asus K53T.
Sequential Read Speed (1GB blocks): 129.1 MB/s
Sequential Write Speed (1GB blocks): 85.24 MB/s
Using Chrystal Disk Mark I measured the following when connecting the Patriot SuperSonic 32GB USB3.0 Flash Driveto the USB 2.0 port on my Asus K53T.
Sequential Read Speed (1GB blocks): 31.47 MB/s
Sequential Write Speed (1GB blocks): 32.93 MB/s
When I copied a set of files (five and a half GB) from the laptop to the flash drive it took 100 seconds yielding a write speed of about 55MB/s. However, the maximum read speed of the laptop disk is 64MB/s and I did not turn of memory caching. So I had other bottlenecks when doing my personal experiment. I should say that when I copy a large set consisting of thousands of files from my HP Probook 6560 (encrypted hard drive) I get about 20-25MB/s, but that is the maximum write speed of 35MB/s. Again I have other bottlenecks.
I can add that I was somewhat surprised that my speed measurments exceeded the specifications. However, after checking what other people get using other methods it is clear that this flash drive in general exceeds the specifications. It is the fastest USB flash drive I’ve owned and it is the fastest USB flash drive I know of. In any case it is a lot faster than the 1MB/s read/write speed I’ve gotten with cheaper USB 2.0 flash drives.
Design of the Patriot SuperSonic 32GB Flash Drive
The design is a very typical design with a cap. I like cap-less designs a little bit better because then there is no cap that can get lost. The cap cannot be attached to the back of the flash drive, which increases the risk that the cap gets lost. The dimensions are 2.8 x 0.8 x 0.3 inch or 71.12 x 20.32 x 7.62mm and weight is 15.9 grams (0.57 ounce), which makes it a little bit heavy. The lanyard hole is big but perhaps a tad too wide for easy insertion into a key-ring. The LED light is hidden inside the lanyard hole and you cannot easily see it.
The housing is made from aluminum, so it is hard, tough and robust. You cannot easily crack it or break it as you often can do with the various plastic USB flash drives. Because of the aluminum housing it is quite shock resistant and rated at 15G. To me that is a fairly important feature. I can add that flash drive is pretty slick looking.
Patriot SuperSonic 32GB Flash Drive Other Features
This is a USB 3.0 flash drive but it is also compatible with USB 2.0 and USB 1.1. It is rated 32GB but in practice I only got 30GB (pre-formatted as FAT32). I should say that it is also comes in 64GB. I use it with both Windows 7 and Windows XP. It comes with a five year warranty and I paid $48.00 for it. One slight negative is that it gets warm during heavy use.
It should be noted that the information under “View Details” is partially incorrect. The USB Interface Type is not “USB 2.0” but “USB 3.0” but as mentioned it is compatible with USB 2.0 and USB 1.1. The capacity is stated as 1GB, well as I said, it is 32GB.
Summary and Conclusion
This USB flash drive is robust, shock resistant, USB 3.0/2.0/1.1 compatible, and very fast. It is slick looking but its overall design with a cap, a hidden LED, and a lanyard hole that is too wide makes it less than perfect. However, I am excited about the high read and write speed, which is why I still think it is worth a rating of five stars.
I recently bought an even faster USB 3.0 flash drive. To read more click here.
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