Patriot Stellar 64GB Review (Page 2 of 8)

Page 2 – A Closer Look, Test System

This is not Patriot’s first time we have seen a USB 3.0 drive from Patriot. We have covered pretty stellar units -- no pun intended -- from them in the past, including the Supersonic Magnum 64GB and Supersonic Rage XT 32GB. The Patriot Stellar 64GB looks nothing like what we have seen from them before, as gone is the large bulky body, and here to stay is an extremely sleek and shiny drive. Of course, they are made for completely different markets for completely different purposes with completely different performance specifications. With that in mind, this is probably one of the smallest flash drives we have seen since the Super Talent Pico-C Gold 8GB in the summer of 2008, and I have to say it looks amazing. The shiny, brushed-aluminum still feels solid in the hand despite the micro size. After seeing all the large USB 3.0 drives come and go, it is nice to see something that has taken a diet and slimmed down. In terms of weight, it is extremely light at a barely noticeable 3 grams. In fact, there would be times where I would put it in my pocket and forget it was there, and then think I had lost my review unit. Luckily, this never actually happened, haha. For the more clumsy or paranoid of us, there is a small hole to string through a small keychain of sorts, but there is no ring included with the drive. In terms of dimensions, this drive measures in at approximately 36mm length, 12mm width, and 5mm thick. Missing in action on all of this is an LED activity light, as the user will not have a visual clue to see if the drive is doing anything. This was probably done to keep the Stellar 64GB as small as it is. Overall, in terms of build, this is one of the better designs I have seen. While it is tiny, it brings a very premium look to what would be an everyday flash drive.

If you have not read anything until this paragraph, then you are probably wondering, “Mr. Review Person, what is so special about this drive?” To answer that, I will flip the drive around, and pull off the small rubberized plastic cap covering an even smaller output. This small plug, more commonly known as a male Micro USB 2.0, sets the Patriot Stellar 64GB apart from any other drive we have reviewed here at APH Networks. For once, we have a drive that only connects to both your computer and any Android 4.0+ device. Being a typical Android user, I can see how this can greatly benefit any user, as many users complain about their devices not having enough room in their device. On top of the Micro USB plug is a rubber cap, which is also attached to the rest of the drive via a thinner rubber piece. While I hope this cap can stay holding on, I would not be surprised if this breaks, as I feel like a strong enough tug will pop the entire thing off. While I am not too sure of a better solution for this predicament, it could be a problem for those who use this drive with their devices daily.

Since it works with all Ice Cream Sandwich and higher devices, I am able to test the Stellar 64GB with both my HTC One X+ (Running Android Jelly Bean 4.1.1), and my Google Nexus 7 (2012, running stock Android KitKat 4.4.2). Oddly enough, while my phone recognizes the drive and runs without issue, the drive is not accessible on my Nexus 7, as on-the-go (OTG) is not supported on the Nexus 7 by default. My only options are to root the device, or buy an app to browse the thumb drive. This is quite odd, especially since the Nexus line is mostly geared towards application developers, and it would only make sense that Google would have implemented this feature. As well, I would have used this drive more on my tablet, since it does have a smaller internal capacity (16GB vs 64GB in the phone). This is an inconvenience, but not a gripe against the Patriot Stellar, so I digress.

Using the flash drive on the One X+ is easy, since HTC has implemented OTG on the phone. Within seconds of plugging the drive in, the phone recognizes the device, and I can view my files through any file browsing app (I am currently using File Manager, but most file management apps can handle this). Using the Patriot Stellar 64GB with my phone turned out to be quite handy, as there were several times I was able to download a file on my phone, transfer it to the USB drive, and share it with other friends with Android devices (Including a Samsung Galaxy S3, and an HTC One) without any issues. As well, I was able to access my files quickly on my school computers. The entire mobile implementation does not feel half-baked, but there are a few things I should address. For one, this drive sticks out quite a bit. While it is so small, phones are just as thin and small, and the extended part sticks out like a sore thumb. Because of this, there is also a possibility of the drive snapping off. Of course, the Patriot Stellar 64GB is by no means a permanent solution, so just be careful when using the drive with your devices. There seems to be a lack of Micro USB 3.0. While there are only a few devices with Micro USB 3.0, users will not likely be able to take advantage of any speed advantage of USB 3.0 on their mobile devices. On the other hand, because the Micro USB 3.0 connection is quite a bit larger, this would increase the actual size of the USB drive, which would be a bigger problem.

Now that we have gotten past the main selling point of the Patriot Stellar 64GB, how does the rest of the USB drive actually stand up in terms of speed tests? After seeing some real speedy drives in the last few USB flash drive reviews, can the Stellar keep shining, or will it fade away? To find out, we tested the drive in our standard benchmark tests on our desktop computer. The test configuration is as follows:

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K @ 4.50GHz
CPU Cooling: Thermaltake WATER2.0 Pro (Noctua NF-F12)
Motherboard: ASUS P8P67 WS Revolution
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws-X F3-14900CL9D-8GBXL 4x4GB
Graphics: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7870 2GB OC
Chassis: Lian Li PC-B12
Storage: OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS 240GB; Western Digital Caviar Blue AAKS 500GB
Power: PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk III 1200W
Sound: Auzentech X-Fi Bravura
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional x64 SP1

Compared Hardware:
- Patriot Stellar 64GB (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 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)
- OCZ Rally2 Turbo 4GB (USB 2.0)
- Patriot Supersonic Magnum 64GB (USB 3.0)
- Patriot Supersonic Rage XT 32GB (USB 3.0)

Page Index
1. Introduction and 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