Patriot Supersonic Magnum 2 256GB Review (Page 2 of 8)

Page 2 - A Closer Look, Test System

As its name suggests, the Patriot Supersonic Magnum 2 256GB is an updated version of the Patriot Supersonic Magnum 64GB. The original Supersonic Magnum was a venerable USB flash drive that promised -- and actually delivered for the most part -- 200MB/s read and 120MB/s write in our benchmarks back in 2011. Five years later, the Supersonic Magnum 2 quadrupled the capacity (The original one ranged from 64GB to 128GB, while the one we are reviewing today is 256GB, with the option for a massive 512GB model) and claims to have doubled the speed on both fronts. But at what cost? The second generation of Patriot's flagship flash drive comes in at 71.8mm long, 26.9mm wide, and 9.1mm thick. Needless to say, it is far from being small, but it is 6.2mm shorter than the original, although its thickness grew by about 2mm. It tips the scale at 21.9g. This is not a bad tradeoff in my opinion; considering the massive capacity and promised speed increase. The Patriot Supersonic Magnum 2 256GB will still fit nicely in your wallet, keychain, or pocket without complaints, but it is a fact is this is still one the biggest USB flash drive I have ever owned -- both capacity-wise and physical dimension-wise. In my opinion, the biggest problem is probably not portability, but it is very likely to interfere with adjacent ports on your computer due to its thickness and width.

In terms of looks, there is not much to discuss about the Patriot Supersonic Magnum 2 256GB. Gone are the baby blue accents and boxy lines from the first Supersonic Magnum; what we have here is a much more conservative, predominantly black design with a curved enclosure and arched cap. The matte finish aluminum surface is cool to touch to give it a sense of quality and substance. A crease runs down the center of the drive to provide some visual detail. All in all, it is not something you will call exciting, but you are not going to offend anybody with the Patriot Supersonic Magnum 2 256GB, whether you are handing some files over to your friend, or loading up a PowerPoint at a business meeting.

Flipping the Patriot Supersonic Magnum 2 256GB around, we are now greeted with a different design printed onto the matte black aluminum surface of the drive. While the unit itself is physically symmetrical, what is printed on it is not. The opposite side shows Patriot's "Supersonic Magnum 2 256GB" inscription in white; shown in the first photo of this page -- whereas the side in our picture above has Patriot's logo and their website URL. I am not a big fan of having a company's website address printed on the product like this, because it makes it feel like a cheap promotional item I get from conferences for free. As always, both branding elements are upside-down relative to each other, so you can keep rotating the drive, and the logo will always be the right side up to you. An engraved line runs from the front to the back of the drive. The cap clicks on tightly with the rest of the unit, and holds nicely at the back as well. I personally like capless designs more, but I guess that is why the Patriot Supersonic Rage 2 exists. The interface connector is also blue with gold contact pins to signify its USB 3.1 Gen 1 SuperSpeed compatibility. As I have mentioned on the previous page, USB 3.1 Gen 1 is the same thing as good old USB 3.0. My only complaint is it lacks a drive activity LED; for something of this size, there is no excuse for negating this often overlooked, but extremely convenient feature.

Overall, the Patriot Supersonic Magnum 2 256GB is a solidly built USB flash drive. But how will it perform with its 8-channel memory controller? We will spend the next five pages to find out.

Our test configuration as follows:

CPU: Intel Core i7-4790K @ 4.6GHz
CPU Cooling: Noctua NH-D15S
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD3H-BK
RAM: Patriot Viper 3 Low Profile PC3-17000 4x8GB
Graphics: Gigabyte G1 Gaming GeForce GTX 960 4GB
Chassis: Fractal Design Define R5
Storage: OCZ Vector 180 240GB; Crucial MX200 500GB
Power: PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk III 1200W
Sound: Auzentech X-Fi Bravura
Optical Drive: LiteOn iHAS224-06 24X DVD Writer
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 Pro

Compared Hardware:
- Patriot Supersonic Magnum 2 256GB (USB 3.0)
- ADATA DashDrive Durable HD650 500GB (USB 3.0)
- ADATA DashDrive Elite UE700 64GB (USB 3.0)
- ADATA DashDrive HV620 1TB (USB 3.0)
- Kingston DataTraveler Locker+ G2 32GB (USB 2.0)
- Kingston DataTraveler Locker+ G3 32GB (USB 3.0)
- Kingston DataTraveler microDuo 32GB (USB 2.0)
- Kingston DataTraveler HyperX 3.0 64GB (USB 3.0)
- Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 G2 32GB (USB 3.0)
- Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 G3 32GB (USB 3.0)
- Kingston DataTraveler Vault Privacy 3.0 32GB (USB 3.0)
- Kingston HyperX Fury 64GB (USB 3.0)
- OCZ Rally2 Turbo 4GB (USB 2.0)
- Patriot Supersonic Magnum 64GB (USB 3.0)
- Patriot Supersonic Rage 2 256GB (USB 3.0)
- Patriot Supersonic Rage XT 32GB (USB 3.0)
- Patriot Stellar 64GB (USB 3.0)
- SanDisk Ultra Fit 128GB (USB 3.0)
- Silicon Power Armor A30 1TB (USB 3.0)
- Silicon Power Armor A65 1TB (USB 3.0)
- Silicon Power Blaze B05 64GB (USB 3.0)
- Silicon Power Diamond D06 1TB (USB 3.0)
- Silicon Power Jewel J80 32GB (USB 3.0)
- Silicon Power Marvel M70 64GB (USB 3.0)
- Silicon Power Mobile X31 32GB (USB 3.0)

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. A Closer Look, Test System
3. Benchmark: AIDA64 Disk Benchmark
4. Benchmark: ATTO Disk Benchmark
5. Benchmark: Crystal Disk Mark 3.0
6. Benchmark: HD Tach
7. Benchmark: HD Tune Pro 4.60
8. Conclusion