Patriot Supersonic Magnum 64GB Review (Page 2 of 8)

Page 2 - A Closer Look, Test System

After cracking open the retail package, I then realized how long it has been since I have last wrote a USB flash drive review. A quick search indicates my most recent one is dated is August 16, 2008 on the Super Talent Pico-C Gold 8GB -- an impeccably small, but surprisingly good performing USB 2.0 drive. The one we are going over today seems to residing on the far opposite side on the spectrum. Taking out my ruler, it turns out the Patriot Supersonic Magnum is 78mm long, 27mm wide, and 7mm high. Needless to say, when placed next to my Honda car keys as shown in my photo above, it is far from being small, unless your point of reference happens to be an SSD. I don't know how heavy it is, since Patriot makes no mention of this, and I don't have any accurate enough scale around. The only thing I would like to say is if you can carry a couple coins around, you don't have anything to worry about. The Patriot Supersonic Magnum 64GB will still fit nicely in your wallet, keychain, or pocket without complaints, but it is a fact is this is the biggest USB flash drive I have ever owned -- both capacity-wise, and physical dimension-wise (An 128GB version is also available). In my opinion, the biggest problem is probably not portability, but it is very likely to interfere with adjacent ports on your computer.

Flipping the Patriot Supersonic Magnum 64GB around, we are now greeted with a different design printed onto the black aluminum surface of the drive. While the unit itself is physically symmetrical, what's printed on it is not. The opposite side shows Patriot's "Supersonic Magnum 64GB" branding; shown on the first photo of this page -- whereas this side has Patriot's logo on top, as displayed in our image above. Interestingly, both branding elements are upside-down relative to each other (I will refrain from making another Australia joke here, as we have in the past few weeks, haha), so you can keep rotating the drive, and the logo will always be the right side up to you. Clean baby blue strips alluding to the fact it is a USB 3.0 drive are present at the front where the cap is, middle where the cap disconnects, and back where the keychain hook is. The sides bevel inwards to improve grip, with its teal strip extending slightly past the connector area for aesthetic purposes. An engraved line runs from the front to the back of the drive. The cap clips on reasonably tightly with the rest of the unit, and holds nicely at the back as well. The USB connector is also blue with gold contact pins to signify its SuperSpeed compatibility. 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.

Patriot highlights an 8-channel USB 3.0 SuperSpeed controller that advertises up to 200MB/s in read and 120MB/s in write performance. This is quite a step up from the non-Magnum version of the Supersonic flash drive, which boasts a read/write performance of 'only' 100MB/s and 70MB/s, respectively. With a mind boggling 64GB storage capacity, and availability of an even more mind boggling 128GB version, this is pretty much SSD territory -- in pocket form. Therefore, to make the tests a little more interesting, I have included an OCZ Vertex 2 60GB 34nm to see how well it holds its own against a full fledged Serial ATA SSD. To see how far we have been since the last generation, an OCZ Rally2 Turbo 4GB was thrown in, as it is one of the fastest USB 2.0 flash drives ever made.

Our test configuration as follows:

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K @ 4.50GHz (Overclocked, Turbo Boost disabled)
CPU Cooling: Noctua NH-D14
Motherboard: ASUS P8P67 WS Revolution
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws F3-12800CL7D-8GBRH 2x4GB @ DDR3-1600 7-8-7-24 (Stock frequency @ stock latencies)
Graphics: Gigabyte Radeon HD 6870 1GB SOC
Chassis: Cooler Master 690 II Advanced NVIDIA Edition (Noctua NF-S12B FLX, NZXT Sleeved LED Kit)
Storage OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS 240GB; Western Digital Caviar Blue AAKS 500GB
Power: NZXT HALE90 750W
Sound: Auzentech X-Fi HomeTheater HD
Optical Drive: LiteOn iHAS224-06 24X DVD Writer
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional x64

Compared Hardware:
- Patriot Supersonic Magnum 64GB (USB 3.0)
- OCZ Rally2 Turbo 4GB (USB 2.0)
- OCZ Vertex 2 60GB 34nm (SATA 3Gb/s)

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