Patriot Xporter XT Rage 32GB Flash Drive Review

ajmatson - 2010-08-27 10:55:46 in Storage / Hard Drives
Category: Storage / Hard Drives
Reviewed by: ajmatson   
Reviewed on: October 5, 2010
Price: $77.99

Introduction:

When you think of computer storage, normally what comes to mind are beefy hard drives. There is another storage format that is used daily, but sometimes overlooked - portable storage, or more specifically, thumb drives. Thumb drives have increased in popularity, especially with the large capacities and lower prices consumers have seen lately. Thumb drives are considered the floppy disks of today - just about everyone I know has one in their purse, pocket, or backpack, and they fulfill a number of uses. Thumb drives are so available everywhere you go, I have even seen them in the aisle displays at the grocery store. When it comes to picking a thumb drive, there are several considerations that you need to make. Size and speeds are always factors, but not many manufacturers consider write speeds when advertising them. Most only display the read speeds, which are always higher. When you need fast write speeds, you really need to do your homework.

One drive designed to give you not only fast read speeds, but quick write speeds as well, is the Xporter XT Rage series by Patriot. Patriot designed the Rage series with write speeds in mind. The company used a Quad Channel configuration for the NAND Flash chips, which boost the write speeds to blazing fast speeds. Today we are going to be taking a look at the 32GB version of the Patriot Xporter XT Rage, which claims to have a write speed of 25MB/s using the quad channel design. Will it make the difference and live up to the expectations? There is only one way to tell, so let's take a good look at the design and put it on the testing bench.

 

Closer Look:

The Patriot Xporter XT Rage comes packaged in a secure blister pack that needs some attention to get it out. There are no perforations, so be prepared to cut around your prized component. On the front of the packaging there are some of the key points of the device, such as the 32GB capacity of this one in particular. There is also the Quad Channel logo and a statement of up to 25MB/s write speeds, which we will definitely put to the test. On the back of the package there are some of the specifications of the drive, such as retractable capless design, USB 2.0, and driverless support for most operating systems. This particular drive also supports Windows 7 operating systems, though surprisingly it does not support Windows Ready Boost. When I plugged in the drive and tested it for Ready Boost it gave me an error that the drive does not conform to specifications to support Ready Boost.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The design of the Patriot Rage is well thought out. The drive has a rubber coating that grips better, keeping it from sliding off a desk or out of your hands. This adds to the durability that the device has, which protects it from drops and shakes, extending the life of the drive. One big thing you might notice and really like is that there is no cap on the drive. The housing is retractable and slides back to reveal the USB connector. No more losing your cap, which quickly gets very old. The Patriot Rage is mechanically designed with speed in mind as well. The Rage uses four NAND Flash chips to store data. When the data is written, it is intelligently managed and transferred simultaneously between the four NAND chips in basically what I amounts to a RAID-0 style setup, increasing the speeds. The Patriot Rage boasts read speeds up to 27MB/s and write speeds up to 25MB/s.

 

 

Now that we have the drive out of the package, we can really see what it can do.

Specifications:

Product Name:
Xporter XT Rage
Patriot Part #:
PEF8GRUSB (8GB)
PEF16GRUSB (16GB)
PEF32GRUSB (32GB)
PEF64GRUSB (64GB)
Description:
Extreme Performance Xporter
Rage USB Flash Drive
Certifications / Safety:
CE / FCC / RoHS
Product Warranty:
Lifetime Warranty
Unit Dimensions:
.41" (D) x 2.1" (W) x .86" (H)
1.1cm (D) x 5.3cm (W) x 2.18cm (H)
Unit UPC:
0815530010302 (8GB)
0815530010272 (16GB)
0815530010289 (32GB)
0815530010296 (64GB)
Packaging Dimensions:
.45" (D) x 3.92" (W) x 5.18" (H)
1.14cm (D) x 10cm (W) x 13.2cm (H)
Packaging Type:
Blister Pack
Net Weight:
11 gm / .02 lb
Gross Weight:
20 gm / .04 lb
Units per Master Carton:
40

 

Features:

 

All information courtsey of Patriot @ http://www.patriotmem.com/products/groupdetailp.jsp?prodgroupid=181&prodline=7&group=Extreme%20Performance%20Xporter%20Rage%20USB%20Flash%20Drive&catid=77

Testing:

To test the performance of the Patriot Xporter XT Rage, I will be using a series of utilities designed to benchmark the drive. The first utility is called Flash Memory Toolkit, which has a free demo available and will be used to do the testing. This utility consists of a low level read test, which will check memory bandwidth on the device, and then a write test of different file sizes designed to show how well the drive performs at saving information. The next benchmark will be the SiSoft Sandra benchmark, specifically the Removable Storage test. Finally, to get a real world look at the performance, I will time how long it takes to write custom files to the drive. These custom files are the same ones we use for the WinRAR benchmark in other reviews. All thumb drives will be formatted before testing and plugged directly into the motherboard using a port on the rear I/O panel.

 

Testing Setup:

 

Comparison Drives:

 

Read Speed - Low Level Benchmark:

This is the first benchmark from Flash Memory Toolkit. This test outputs a speed in megabytes per second and a "times" factor. For both scores, higher is better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While not the fastest, the Patriot Rage was a close second to the Kingston DataTraveler Locker+, which was only a slight bit faster. However, the Rage was significantly faster than the rest of the comparison drives.

 

 

Testing:

Read and Write - File Benchmark:

The second benchmark in the Flash Memory Toolkit is the file read and write test. It will give us a speed in KB/s. The program uses 5 different files of 1 MB, 2 MB, 3 MB, 4 MB, and 5MB. Once again, higher is better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Patriot Rage had slower read speeds than the Kingston Data Traveler Locker+ and the Sandisk Cruzer, but the write speeds demolished all the comparison drives. In the 5MB test, the Rage was about twice as fast as the next comparison drive, the OCZ Rally2. If you look at the Rage screen shot in the 4MB test, it had a write speed of 26,752kB/s, which is phenomenal for a flash drive.

Testing:

Read and Write - File Benchmark:

SiSoft Sandra also performs a read and write test, however the file sizes vary from 32kB to 256MB. All results are written in MB/s. Higher is better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Endurance Benchmark:

The endurance benchmark tests the speed at which the thumb drive writes to specific sectors. This time, results are in kB/sec.

 

 

The Patriot Rage had average read scores, but consistently great write scores, which is the edge that this drive has over others.

Testing:

Write - File Benchmark:

The last benchmark I will perform on our guinea pig is the writing of our custom OCC files. These are the same files used in the WinRAR benchmark found in other reviews. The time required is indicated in seconds. I will start the stopwatch at the same time as I click on 'copy' and stop it as soon as the 'copying' window disappears. So this time, lower is better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the amazing write speeds, due to the quad channel design, the Patriot Xporter XT Rage transfers the files much faster than the competition.

Conclusion:

The Patriot Xporter XT Rage is a perfect example of a high speed flash drive. The drive consistently displayed high read and write speeds, which make for a perfect portable transfer solution. During the testing, the read speeds were average among the comparison drives, sometimes taking the lead and sometimes coming in a bit behind. When it came to the write speeds, however, the Patriot Rage was the clear winner. During the 4MB and 5MB Flash Memory Toolkit tests, it displayed write speeds greater than 20MB/s while most of the comparison drives were under half that speed. This is attributed to the unique Quad Channel design that Patriot uses for the Rage series. Simultaneously writing to the four NAND Flash chips creates the speed needed, especially when transferring large files to the high capacity of the drive.

The physical design of the Rage makes it able to withstand abuse, and with the retractable cover you will never lose a thumb drive cap again. The rubber coating feels comfortable in your hand while maintaining a good grip to surfaces, keeping it from sliding off onto the floor. The rubber design also holds up to short drops so your drive is not damaged. If you are in the market for a high capacity, fast transferring thumb drive, then the Patriot Xporter XT Rage is the one for you. At under $80 for 32GB, you will have all the portable speed you will need.

 

 

Pros:

 

Cons: