Patriot Supersonic Magnum 256GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive ReviewWaco - June 10, 2013
Category: Storage / Hard Drives
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Patriot Supersonic Magnum 256GB Introduction:
There was always a day coming when your old bog-standard USB 2.0 thumb drives were no longer attractive for transferring your ever-growing files around. Has that day come yet? Personally, I'd have to say yes. I have a 16 GB drive I use personally but with its measly 4 MB/s write speeds, it just doesn't cut it whenever I need to transfer something that would actually make use of its large size. Thankfully many companies have stepped up to the plate and now offer blazing-fast USB 3.0 flash drives of varying sizes and speeds. Patriot, the company we all know and love for its multitude of storage and memory products, has come to the rescue with the newest iteration of its Magnum series of Flash drives: the Supersonic Magnum.
The Supersonic Magnum comes in 64 GB, 128 GB, and 256 GB sizes, with all sizes coming with USB 3.0 connectivity, extremely fast write speeds, and rugged cases designed for a fair amount of abuse. If you want a fast high capacity drive, the market is fairly sparse and Patriot is looking to fill in the gaps with this new line of drives. Does the Supersonic Magnum actually deliver? Keep reading to find out!
Patriot Supersonic Magnum 256GB Closer Look:
The first reaction I had to seeing the packaging for the Patriot Supersonic Magnum was something along the lines of "holy crap." It shows 256 GB, 250 MB/s read speeds, and 160 MB/s write speeds. Also, this drive is definitely worthy of the "Magnum" moniker as it is quite a bit larger than your average free-swag thumb drive. The packaging boldly states that the Supersonic Magnum is compatible with Windows 8 and Mac (which means OS X) though I'd be rather surprised if you could find a USB 3.0-equipped machine that couldn't talk to a USB flash drive. The front of the package also brags about the 8-channel controller, which is the magic that allows all of the Flash memory chips to be communicated with simultaneously. The rear of the package rehashes the same information seen on the front in many more languages.
Pulling open the packaging is a quick and easy affair. The drive is branded with the Patriot Memory logo on one side and the Supersonic Magnum 256 GB labeling on the other. The casing itself is what appears to be extruded aluminum with a black anodized coating along with blue accents composed of plastic. The tail end of the drive has a small loop for attaching a string or line to securely attach it to something else. This loop is far too thick to attach the drive to a key-ring although with its size I probably wouldn't advise that approach anyway.
With the cap pulled free you can see just how large this drive actually is compared to your bog-standard Flash drive. The USB 3.0 plug is roughly half of the width of the entire drive. That's not to say this is an overly large piece of technology though – it is many times smaller than a 2.5" external HDD and doesn't require any annoying cables either. The cap itself clicks nicely onto the business end of the drive and conveniently stores on the rear of the drive, assuming you haven't threaded anything through the loop to attach it to something else. Clearly Patriot put some thought into this design!
These next few pictures should really give you an idea of how large this drive is relative to its more mundane siblings. Both my Forza Motorsport 3 and OCZ Diesel Flash drives are dwarfed by the Supersonic Magnum. That's not to say that the Patriot drive is overly large but it is definitely large enough that you'll want to make sure you can actually plug it into your computer! The OCC test case (a Corsair 650D) has a recessed, front panel USB 3.0 connection that the Patriot Supersonic Magnum wouldn't fit into because of its width. I resorted to using the rear ports on the motherboard for testing but that also blocked the adjacent ports from use – so be warned that the additional capacity does come at a bit of a usability hit.