Patriot Supersonic USB 3.0 64GB £150
3rd Feb 2011 | 16:41
High-capacity but low speed
Patriot Supersonic USB 3.0 64GB: Overview
The Patriot Supersonic 64GB USB 3.0 flash drive is the latest addition to the growing list of new drives clamouring to make the most of USB 3.0's capacious amounts of bandwidth.
So, make the most of your unloved USB 3.0 ports and pick up some high-speed storage,
But as we've seen flash memory has its own foibles where it can work like lightning in one direction and then run like treacle uphill in another.
At 64GB this is already at the larger end of the current market, couple that with a USB 3.0 interface and this could be an exceptionally portable and exceptionally fast thumb-sized block of storage.
If you're willing to pay for it.
At this price range you could pick up an internal 64GB SSD or a portable HDD tens of times bigger, but obviously that's a choice you'll make based on your functional needs.
Patriot Supersonic USB 3.0 64GB: Benchmarks
Flash storage really needs I/O testing alongside the usual raw sequential read/write speed tests. We use a combination of CrystalBenchMark 3.0 and real world tests to gain a picture of the drives all-round performance.
Sequential read/write performance
Patriot Supersonic USB 3.0 64GB: verdict
Initially our sceptical minds scoffed at the Patriot Supersonic 64GB USB 3.0 packaging with its USB 3.0 claims of 100MB/s reads and 70MB/s writes.
But as our own synthetic tests showed we actually recorded higher numbers than even the marketing claim's the drive can achieve. The drive topped 120MB/s on reads and a sequential 76MB/s for writes.
At this point things become a little more confusing as switching to random access showed an interesting change of fortunes.
While the read speeds remained high, upwards of 100MB/s, the write speed dropped entirely off. This behaviour also showed up in the access time test where read speeds were once again good at 0.818ms, but writes were at a spinning HDD time of 14.8ms.
The similar specification Kingston DT Ultimate USB 3.0 64GB flash drive, while scoring slightly slower on the reads, performed far better with writes in all cases bar the sequential test.
However when trying a real-world copy the Patriot Supersonic's speed returned to a more reasonable level, but was still a fraction of the Kingston.
Copying a folder of small files has the Patriot average 10.7MB/s and the Kingston DT Ultimate 27.6MB/s. The speed differential evaporates with large files where we scored the Patriot a good 61.5MB/s and the Kingston DT Ultimate at 55.3MB/s.
Build-wise the Patriot drive is second to none, we like the aluminium finish that feels rock-solid and should protect the drive from most day-to-day damage and it of course requires no drivers to install.
The promise of the Patriot Supersonic USB 3.0 is there from the start. It offers genuinely fast reads both sequential and random access.
It also provides a high-quality metal chassis that does offer protection and gives it a substantial feel without unnecessarily adding to the size or weight.
The big letdown for the flash drive is the odd write performance.
Sequential speeds seem as good if not better than the Kingston DT Ultimate, however as soon as random access and small files are thrown into the mix all hell breaks loose and performance tanks, which is very off putting for such a premium product.
Amazing high-speed reads are offset and ruined by slow writes, unless you're exclusively going to be dealing with large files that is.