Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Patriot Supersonic (64 GB)

Nine USB 3.0 Flash Drives For Road Warriors
By , Achim Roos

The Supersonic is Patriot’s USB 3.0 flash drive. We received the 64 GB version for testing and a 32 GB model is also available, with higher capacities still to come. The 64 GB comes in around $180, while the 32 GB model can be found from around $125.

The drive's case is aluminum. The black color is different from other vendors' solutions, but the quality impression is neither positive or negative in any particular way. The manufacturer claims 100 MB/s reads and a 70 MB/s writes. Our test returned a 125 MB/s read throughput and 83-36 MB/s when writing. In practical testing, the results varied considerably.

Especially with small files, the Supersonic struggled and ranked poorly among its competitors. When we transferred 22 704 files with a total size of 2 GB, for example, the Supersonic wrote them with an effective speed of only 800 KB/s. Conversely, files several megabytes in size were written quickly at more than 20 MB/s. It is therefore strongly recommended that small files be added to a RAR or Zip archive prior to sending them to the Supersonic. The time saved copying more than makes up for the time it takes to compress them. The Supersonic, like the A-Data and PQI devices, offers very weak I/O performance that is not suitable for concurrent accesses on the USB stick.

Ask a Category Expert

Create a new thread in the Reviews comments forum about this subject

Example: Notebook, Android, SSD hard drive

Display all 20 comments.
This thread is closed for comments
  • -5 Hide
    spectrewind , April 26, 2011 4:41 AM
    Conclusion: This article ignores encryption.

    The article is a complete failure. You THG people ignored encryption as a metric. Why??!!
    Flash drives are cheap. Company information and regulatory items (HIPAA for example) are priceless.

    I'm a "road warrior" that depends on a flash drive for my daily work: IRONKEY. My employer provides it. I am legally required to use it. It is hardware encrypted. The drive might be stolen or lost, but the data will not seen by any unauthorized user.

    If I lose my drive, the physical media is lost. I have medical databases that I am required to keep secret via government regulation. My drive will wipe itself after 10 incorrect login attempts.
    Do any of the reviewed drives on THG do this?
  • -3 Hide
    sudeshc , April 26, 2011 4:42 AM
    Extremely good read, what i liked was that the companies are not making false claims anymore most of them performed as was claimed.
  • 0 Hide
    sudeshc , April 26, 2011 4:45 AM
    spectrewindConclusion: This article ignores encryption.The article is a complete failure. You THG people ignored encryption as a metric. Why??!!Flash drives are cheap.


    This in my opinion is altogether a different topic and should be covered in different article where the encryption also as well as over performance be compared.
  • 1 Hide
    tacoslave , April 26, 2011 5:00 AM
    if lacie offered that drive for cheaper id be all over that like flies on dogshit.
  • -2 Hide
    cangelini , April 26, 2011 5:32 AM
    sudeshcThis in my opinion is altogether a different topic and should be covered in different article where the encryption also as well as over performance be compared.


    Agreed, I'll pass that feedback along to the author.
  • -1 Hide
    Sphex , April 26, 2011 6:20 AM
    If you actually read the article, you would know that the SuperTalent SuperCrypt encrypts its data with a password, like the IRONKEY. Maybe you should read.
  • -4 Hide
    spectrewind , April 26, 2011 6:54 AM
    SphexIf you actually read the article, you would know that the SuperTalent SuperCrypt encrypts its data with a password, like the IRONKEY. Maybe you should read.



    I did read the article. One drive supporting cryto does not a metric make, which I mentioned. That feature is an anomaly and not a fundamental feature (metric) of the article.

    "Maybe you should read."
    Reading is good. Comprehension is even better. I suggest you begin there, since you obviously cannot do that.
  • -1 Hide
    injected_metal , April 26, 2011 8:47 AM
    Quote:
    IRONKEY. My employer provides it. I am legally required to use it. It is hardware encrypted. The drive might be stolen or lost, but the data will not seen by any unauthorized user.


    Your post reads like an advertisement and you complain that they didn't do an encryption comparison when only 1 drive supports it at hardware level. On top of that cant you read, this is a USB 3.0 test, ironkey only does 2.0. Furthermore your employer provides your drive so what difference would it make if they said your ironkey was a slow but safe piece of $#!t? This is an everyday-user drive roundup for fast file transfer, not a business specific roundup that would be useless to most tom's readers. You said it yourself, your company provides secure storage since they expect you to move important files. Typical users won't need this and if they do the decision most likely will be out of their hands. Additionally in a security environment the protection far outweighs the need for speed, so the test metric would be completely different than how consumer grade drives would be tested.

    tl;dr
    You don't seem to comprehend the use of your drive and what features the owner actually values.
  • -1 Hide
    willgart , April 26, 2011 11:23 AM
    some test with encryption enabled are missing. what is the impact of an encrypted drive? what are the encryption option?
    we do not always looking for speed, we are also looking for backup or archive of sensitive data.
    and other peoples are looking for speed only, for sure, because they hate loosing time in data transfert :) 

    but the same questions are also for classic HDD, not only USB keys.
  • -1 Hide
    Bolbi , April 26, 2011 12:43 PM
    I purchased a 16GB A-DATA S102. It's not a premium product, but it does receive a significant performance boost from USB 3.0 (according to other reviewers; my USB 3.0 laptop is still in Fedex's hands). The drives in this review, I think, are for those who need only the best features and performance. The average user can still get better performance out of a "regular" USB 3.0 flash drive.
  • -1 Hide
    alidan , April 26, 2011 12:52 PM
    i have a request, im on the Benchmark Results: Sequential Data Throughput page, and im looking at these 3 bars, and the name, its a bit hard to tell what goes to what without really looking at it hard. in the future can you 2 tone the name area when the bars are like this? like white and gray, just so people can look at see these bars go to this this product. a graph like this doesn't happen often, because i know i would have said something earlier if there was.

    please at least think about it.
  • -1 Hide
    burnley14 , April 26, 2011 1:48 PM
    Quote:
    Super Talent's SuperCrypt, which combines encryption and attractive performance without any significant weaknesses in performance


    Whoops. I'm guessing it was supposed to say "attractive design" perhaps?
  • 0 Hide
    gokanis , April 26, 2011 1:49 PM
    Quote:
    I did read the article. One drive supporting cryto does not a metric make, which I mentioned. That feature is an anomaly and not a fundamental feature (metric) of the article.

    "Maybe you should read."
    Reading is good. Comprehension is even better. I suggest you begin there, since you obviously cannot do that.



    Really, attacking someone makes you feel superior, go play on the console forums.
  • 0 Hide
    marek dabek , April 27, 2011 7:58 AM
    Did you check the USB bus during your benchmarks? Device's performance drop may be caused by link power states transitions during transfers. To realiably compare these devices you need to make sure that all devices operate in U0 all the time.
  • -2 Hide
    jegarst , April 27, 2011 6:55 PM
    I have both a 16 (as opposed to the reviewed 32) GB SuperCrypt and a 32 GB Express Drive from SuperTalent. I only installed the driver for the former, since the latter seemed to work with it.

    I recently reviewed a USB 3 cable bought from Amazon. In that review I used that SuperTalent 32 GB USB 3 Express drive for benchmarking. Funny, my admittedly caching read numbers were much higher (see http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003HC8H26/ref=cm_rdp_product): "Using two runs of Totusoft's LAN speed test v2.05 [...], I got read speeds of 115 and 145 MBps (Mega-Bytes) from a 32 GB Super Talent USB 3 'Express Drive'." It would seem that the read number is limited by the SuperTalent 32 GB USB 3 Express drive's read ability, so this number should be meaningful. I didn't explore any issues with 1KB definitions and how they might affect speed with the Totusoft's LAN speed test v2.05. A second inquiry (http://www.amazon.com/review/R2QSWJQUXUEBY9/ref=cm_cd_notf_message?ie=UTF8&cdForum=Fx2T0RBSYKS92DF&cdPage=1&cdThread=Tx289AQ7W2LXBUM#Mx2ZALEYJ9F39WV) led to a rerun of these speed tests; that found "LAN Speed test (2.05, Totusoft.com) showed 456.79 MBps write (caching on) and 145.08 MBps read (Caching on) (MBps=MBytes per sec)." With my test parameters noted (using a Asus P6X58D Premium mb), my numbers seem higher. My 16GB SuperCrypt was even faster reading (MBps (Mega-Bytes): 115.04 (write, caching off) 165.64 (read, caching off) than my 32 GB Express Drive, but that was performed under different conditions with another version of LAN Speed test. Old, but same day (and same, but unknown LAN Speed test version) results using the 32 GB Express Drive found the following: MBps (Mega-Bytes): 514.35 (write, caching on) 148.12 (read, caching on).
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , April 28, 2011 11:31 AM
    It would have been nice to see a popular USB 2 drive in the benchmarks for best comparison
  • 0 Hide
    ilysaml , April 29, 2011 11:31 PM
    i don't understand the meaning of NOT SUPPORTING WIN 7 X64... super-talent drive
  • 0 Hide
    David 617 , May 3, 2011 3:08 AM
    i have the patriot supersonic and wow, it's fast, 70mbs write 100mbs read.
  • 0 Hide
    leninvaros , May 14, 2011 2:31 AM
    I need some help guys.There is no safely remove option for this drive in windows 7.I contacted Adata and the answer was this:"The N005 has dual controllers, which leads Windows 7 to believe that it is a SSD/HDD. You are still able to safely remove the drive but must be down from the task bar."
    Of course I'm still unable to do that.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , June 9, 2011 10:27 AM
    Maybe just for my particular situation, but I think the physical size is also an important consideration to purchase a USB drive. I'm frequently on the move in my job and need my laptop and USB drive (with encrypted documents, virtual machines, ...) with me at most times. Too bulky sticks or enclosures with cables do not survive long in such conditions (eg risk of breaking when moving laptop from one meeting to another - disconnecting with open documents is not truly an option).
    Many company laptops also have limited USB ports (3) and little available room around them making a drive that does not block neighbouring ports mandatory if you still want to connect a mouse and/or a phone charger.
    Looking at the detailed drive specs I see only the QPI & Patriot are compact enough to do just that so for me these are the only viable options. I assume their lower performance comes from their compactness, so it would be nice to see the drives also categorized in physical size.