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3.4 out of 5 stars7
3.4 out of 5 stars
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on 17 December 2011
Before I get on to the Patriot Supersonic, I'll start by trying to clear up a few misconceptions about USB 3.0:

"10x faster than USB 2.0" refers to the capability of the USB 3.0 standard, not necessarily every USB 3.0 storage device produced.

The limiting factor is the speed of the NAND flash in the devices: yes, USB 3.0 can hit theoretical speeds of 640MB/s, however this is faster than the sequential I/O that all but the most expensive 256GB+ SSDs are capable of -- you're not going to get a 16GB memory stick getting anywhere near that.

When it comes to flash memory, the old adage that you get what you pay for is very true: buy a cheap memory stick and you'll probably only get ~3MB/s sequential writes (even USB 2.0 is capable of 10x that) simply because the NAND flash it contains will be low-grade and slow.

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So, the Patriot Supersonic:

USB 2.0: Writing a 1.4GB file took 135 seconds, which is a little over 10.6MB/s but still significantly slower than my old 4GB Sandisk Cruzer Titanium, which managed an average speed of almost 14MB/s.

Reading the same file back over USB 2.0 took 43 seconds: maxing out USB 2.0 as expected, with an average transfer rate of 33.5MB/s.

USB 3.0: Writing a 4.37GB file took exactly 7 minutes, so the same 10.6MB/s as on USB 2.0. Watching the transfer in resmon saw transfer spikes up to 30MB/s, then dips as the flash caught up with the writes.

Reading the same file back took exactly 60 seconds; an impressive average speed of 74.5MB/s

Copying the contents of a Windows 7 x64 DVD to create a bootable USB stick also took about 7 minutes. This totals 3.65GB but involves copying a couple of large files and a huge number of very tiny files, which often bog down cheaper flash memory and controllers. No complaints here.

So, impressive read speeds but disappointingly slow sequential writes. How much this impacts your choice depends on how you use your USB memory stick: if you have a mostly static content which you regularly copy off to a number of PCs, it's very good. If, like me, you copy new stuff to it on a regular basis and want a convenient way to move files between machines, it's not so good (although it still matches a 100mbps LAN for transfer speed).

Overall it's good -- 3x faster than the infuriatingly useless SanDisk Cruzer Blade I purchased recently, while only 2x the price -- but not great -- my three year old USB 2.0 Cruzer Titanium beats it hands down for write speed. It's shameful that a USB 3.0 device is only able to make use of the extra USB 3.0 speed in one direction, however I suspect that to see >30MB/s writes you'd have to pay considerably more for a premium memory stick. As the read speed is genuinely impressive and the price premium over a similar USB 2.0 drive is minimal, the Patriot Supersonic still offers decent value. On the whole I would still recommend it.
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on 1 July 2012
Very good USB drive. Manages 75MB/s read and 11MB/s write over USB 3.0 and 30MB/s read and 11MB/s write over USB 2.0. Nice to know you can max out the USB 2.0 speeds if you don't have USB 3.0, whilst still having the future proof ability if you ever upgrade.

The only real minor problems are that the cap is not attached to the main body and so could be easy to lose. Also the write speeds are a tad weak but for the price they are still good.

When I got this it was £8.50 + free p&p with Amazon so really great value for money.
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on 2 April 2014
Now on drive number two, first one was a complete failure on at least 4 computers both usb2 and usb3 refused to recognize it. Thanks to Amazon's return policy I decided to try again. This time the replacement works on my usb2 ports but still stubbornly refuses to acknowledge my usb3 ports. As it works I'll stick with it, it is probably a compatibility issue with my machine rather than a malfunctioning drive, just be aware this can happen. It is certainly much faster, even on usb2 than any usb2 drives that I have so it's not a total loss
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on 14 April 2013
Very good USB drive. Manages 75MB/s read and 11MB/s write over USB 3.0 and 30MB/s read and 11MB/s write over USB 2.0. Nice to know you can max out the USB 2.0 speeds if you don't have USB 3.0, whilst still having the future proof ability if you ever upgrade.
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on 23 September 2012
Very good USB with quick transfer rates however within two days the key ring attachment had brocken off of the usb and all of my data was lost. Luckily only two days of work. However if you are purchasing this to attach on your keys stay well clear. I am now having to purchase a 16gb kingston as a replacement.
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on 2 September 2012
It's fast, responsive and so far reliable, not much more to say, its a USB drive.

Have not had the opportunity to test it's USB3 functionality, however it matched my old Patriot USB2 drive.
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on 12 October 2013
very fast but after a few times of being used started to bend and be loose. not worth the money in my opinion
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