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Patriot Magnum2 USB 3.1 Flash Drive Review (256GB)

A great indication of how far we have come in flash technology lies in flash drives themselves, where we see today’s flash drives capable of transfer speeds of yesterday’s solid state drives.   While the difference between the two is still vast, the advance of USB versions has seen us move from 35MB/s with USB 2.0 to over 20x that with USB 3.1 and the sky is the limit when we look at USB Type C becoming commonplace in the near future. Type C holds promise as the Type C connector is capable of so much more than just data transfer, that of which includes the ability to run 4K video and recharge a device through the new connector.

Patriot Supersonic Magnum2 USB 3.1 256GB Flash Drive On Cap

Still, as easy as it was to follow the advance of USB version numbers, we then added Super Speed before finally incorporating SS and cleaning things up to USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5Gbps) and USB 3.1 (Gen 2 (10Gbps).  Our report today looks at the USB 3.1 Gen 1 Patriot Supersonic Magnum2 256GB Flash Drive. It is rated at 400MB/s read and 300MB/s write data transfer speeds.

Patriot Supersonic Magnum2 USB 3.1 256GB Flash Drive Package Front

The Patriot Supersonic Magnum2 is a USB 3.1 Gen 1 flash drive that is fully backward compatible with USB 2/3 devices.  It has listed transfer speed specifications of 400MB/s read and 300MB/s write and the case is aluminum and sustainable of up to 15G of shock resistance.  A huge plus that we see right off with this flash drive is that it comes with a standard 5 year warranty.

Patriot Supersonic Magnum2 USB 3.1 256GB Flash Drive

Checking Amazon, we can see size availability and pricing at $39.99 for the 64GB, $134.99 for the 128GB, $99.99 for the 256GB and $189.99 for the 512GB version…which means… the 256GB version we are reviewing today is on sale at a great price!  Let’s take a look at a few benchmarks.

ATTO DISK BENCHMARK VER. 3.05

ATTO Disk Benchmark is perhaps one of the oldest benchmarks going and is definitely the main staple for manufacturer performance specifications. ATTO uses RAW or compressible data and, for our benchmarks, we use a set length of 256mb and test both the read and write performance of various transfer sizes ranging from 0.5 to 8192kb. Manufacturers prefer this method of testing as it deals with raw (compressible) data rather than random (includes incompressible data) which, although more realistic, results in lower performance results.

Patriot Magnum2 256GB Flash Drive ATTO 3

Not really a great start as we see transfer speeds increase until the 256MB transfer size, at which time they leveled off and remained for the remainder of the test.  We repeated this numerous times in three different systems and similar results were realized in each.  This is not necessarily to say that it may be any more than a compatibility issue between the device and ATTO, which is why we conduct multiple tests.

  • dravo1

    Just how susceptible are these devices to thermal throttling, especially with a lot of small files?

    • Benjamin Hojnik

      Can’t speak for this device specifically (although it most likely uses PS2251-08), but i do have another phison based drive and it get quite hot during transfer.

  • Marco Hernandez

    So USB 3.1 Gen 1 is like portable SSD from SanDisk or Samsung with read speeds of 450MB/s? so when are we expecting to get USB 3.1 Gen 2 external storage with speeds of 10Gb/s

    • Much like we saw with Thunderbolt, I believe there will be a hardware transition period where manufacturers will still rely on USB 3.1 Gen 1 for affordability. Once we see type C connectors become commonplace, so will the faster speeds. Just my 2 cents.

  • hrrmph

    Did 4K performance improve or regress versus the previous generation Patriot Supersonic Magnum (Gen 1) thumbdrives?

    Plenty of folks are using these on a daily basis with small files (sometimes even as primary storage). So with these new Gen 2 drives, it would be interesting to know if Patriot has managed to keep (or improve upon) the previous good performance of the Gen 1 drives. Especially with small files.

    The Gen2 increase to 512GB will be welcome as long as they can maintain performance and reliability. Just look at the disastrous reliability that some folks have experienced when trying to upgrade from Gen 1 Patriot Supersonic Magnum thumbdrives (256GB and below) to the 512GB Corsair Flash Voyager GS.

    Users experienced some DOAs and premature deaths on those Corsairs. Also, performance was noticeably laggy on the Corsair 512GB.

    Lets hope Patriot managed to keep it right (and not regress) on this 512GB product.

    As for the assertion that big thumb drives are primarily used for very large files, I’m not so sure. I think most people use them with files sets that include a wide variety of files sizes.

    One practical way to test usability is to see if there are noticeable delays when opening various files types. For three years, I’ve used the Gen 1 drives as primary storage, travel backups, and giveaways to family (I currently have a dozen, evenly split between the 256GB capacity version and smaller versions). They let you open large spreadsheets in less than a second. With the Gen 1 drives you can navigate, enter data, copy, paste, etc., with very little delay.

    Another practical way to test is to see how they handle copy operations. With the Gen 1 drives, file and folder creation and copy times are acceptable, though not nearly as good as an internal SSD.

    Low quality thumbdrives on the other hand, will quickly gouge chunks of time out of your daily productivity workflow. They feel like quicksand has invaded your drive.

    So which is it… are these usable for daily workflow?

    Or just draggy dogs?

    • In comparing this to Gen 1, our tests were conducted with 0Fill whereas here they are not. This show a marked improvement in this fact alone, however, looking at the 4K results I recall 43/29 which is significantly better than last Gen regardless. We are trying to get our hands on the drive again for further testing.

      • hrrmph

        Thanks heaps for going to the trouble to try to get the drive again. I hope it works out.

        I found some old numbers that showed 36/2 on the older Gen 1 Patriot Magnums. If this newer drive can do 40/20 (or better) then that would be a significant improvement indeed.

        Obviously 40/20 doesn’t grab headlines, but folks should try to understand that throwing 4K files at any drive is like asking the drive to chip away at bomb-shelter concrete… it’s hard work.

        Any thumbdrive that can do it smoothly and allow your workflow to stay productive is exceptional. Hopefully that will be the case with this newer Patriot Supersonic Magnum2 model.

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