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Patriot Supersonic Magnum 2 USB 3.1 256GB Flash Drive Review

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Following up Dino’s review of the Supersonic Rage 2 is a newer Supersonic flash drive from Patriot. Today we will be looking at the Supersonic Magnum 2, a USB 3.1 Gen 1 flash drive available in either 256GB or 512GB with blazing fast transfer speeds. This review is covering the 256GB flavor. Personally, I think it’s incredible knowing flash drives with this level of specifications exist. Let’s put this thing through the paces and see how it performs!

Specifications and Features

This flash drive, we’re told by Patriot, uses a Phison S8 controller with MLC NAND. This is an 8-channel NAND controller, allowing for high levels of throughput, which is how Patriot has managed a 400MB/s read and 300MB/s write speed rating. The backwards and inter operating system compatibility, along with the warranty (5 years), on the Magnum 2 are nothing short of stellar.

The specifications and features below come directly from the Patriot website and the PDF they link to.

Patriot Supersonic Magnum 2 Specs and Features
Part Number PEF256GSMN2USB
Capacity 256GB
USB Technology USB 3.0, USB 3.1
Certifications RoHS, FCC, CE
Country of Origin Taiwan
Dimensions 2.69cm x 7.18cm x 0.91cm (1.06in x 2.83in x 0.36in)
Weight 21.9g (0.77oz)
Operating Temperature 0°C to 70°C
Storage Temperature -20°C to 85°C
Data Retention Up to 10 years
Performance The Patriot Supersonic Magnum 2 USB 3.1 Gen. 1* flash drive delivers unprecedented performance in a stylish form factor with storage capacities up to 512GB. A durable aluminum enclosure enables shock resistance up to 15Gs to ensure greater protection of your data.
Speed USB 3.1 technology enables the Patriot Supersonic Magnum 2 to outperform USB 2.0 drives by up to ten times. This allows a 2GB file can transfer in mere seconds to and from the Patriot Supersonic Magnum 2. By combining a single-chip USB 3.1 flash memory controller with 8-Channel technology, this flash drive delivers sequential read performance at speeds up to 400MB/s read and 300MB/s write.
Warranty The Patriot Supersonic Magnum 2 USB 3.0 flash drive is available in 256GB and 512GB capacities and carries a 5-year warranty.
Compatibility It is compatible with Windows®10, Windows® 8, Windows® 7, Windows® Vista®, Windows® XP, Windows® 2000, Windows® ME, Linux 2.4 and later, Mac® OS9, X and later.
*The terms USB 3.1 Gen 1 and USB 3.0 are synonymous

Retail Packaging

The packaging for the Magnum 2 is a pretty typical blister pack. It has the basic specifications on the front and displays the product. Turning it around the rear has some details about warranty and compatibility, social media URL’s, and a UPC. This packaging is obviously designed to be displayed on hangers in a retail store as well, it would be awesome to see these in all stores carrying flash drives.

Retail Packaging - Front

Retail Packaging – Front

Retail Packaging - Rear

Retail Packaging – Rear

The Patriot Supersonic Magnum 2

Here we take our first unobstructed look at the Magnum 2. The main body is extruded, anodized aluminum with white lettering printed on it. Removing the cap we see the USB 3.1 Type-A connector which is used to interface with your devices. The end pieces and the loop on this drive are plastic, but they seem to be incredibly solid. I have no doubt this case is built to last.

Magnum 2 - Front

Magnum 2 – Front

Magnum 2 - Rear

Magnum 2 – Rear

Magnum 2 - Uncovered

Magnum 2 – Uncovered

Testing and Benchmarks

Listed below is the test system used for benchmarking.

Test Setup
CPU Intel 6700K @ Stock (for the motherboard – 4.0 boost to 4.2 GHz)
Cooler CoolerMaster Glacer 240L
Motherboard ASRock Z170 Extreme7+
RAM 2×4GB DDR4 GSKILL RipJaws4 @ 3000MHz 15-15-15-35 2T 1.35v
Graphics Card EVGA GTX 750Ti FTW
Solid State Drive Samsung 850 Pro 256GB
Power Supply EVGA SuperNova G2 850W
Operating System Windows 10 x64

Benchmarks

All of the benchmarks seen below are run with the Supersonic Magnum 2 plugged in to the rear USB 3.1 port of the motherboard. Before testing the drive was quick formatted to exFAT with the default allocation size to make sure everything was clean and consistent.

CrystalDiskMark (CDM) is run at its standard settings. The beauty of this benchmark is that the data is completely incompressible. This makes these tests more like a real-world situation instead of attempting to maximize throughput for a spec sheet. The Magnum 2 performed admirably here though with sequential reads approaching the specification! Sequential writes were also impressive, especially for a flash drive. Lastly the 4K read speeds were good, but 4K write speeds left something to be desired.

CrystalDiskMark Results

CrystalDiskMark Results

AS SSD is next up on the list and shows a very similar story to the CDM results above. Sequential speeds were close to the rated speeds, but 4K performance left something to be desired. The Write Access Time was also incredibly high at almost 0.1 seconds.

AS SSD Results

AS SSD Results

Third up in our test suite is HD Tune Pro. Here we test with the Random data pattern, this shows more real-world information than a steady stream of the same compressible data. Albeit a bit slower than the rated specifications the Magnum 2 held up well to this test. We see a mostly smooth read and write graph on this test as well, which means there aren’t issues with heat during this test.

HD Tune Pro Results

HD Tune Pro Results

ATTO Disk Benchmark is typically used by manufacturers to showcase their drive specs as it uses compressible data in a sequential test much like AS SSD does. That being said, the Magnum 2 simply didn’t hit its specifications in this test. This surprised me since AS SSD had such high results.

ATTO Results

ATTO Results

Comparison Data

As a “baseline” to compare the Magnum 2 with I pulled out my trusty 16GB SanDisk Extreme USB 3.0 Flash Drive. This is a flash drive that I’ve used since August of 2013. Results in the graphs are normalized to the Patriot flash drive numbers, so they all show 100%. All results except the Access Time are “higher is better”, those are “lower is better”.

CDM - Read Graph

CDM – Read Graph

CDM - Write Graph

CDM – Write Graph

AS SSD - Read Graph

AS SSD – Read Graph

AS SSD - Write Graph

AS SSD – Write Graph

HD Tune Pro - Read Graph

HD Tune Pro – Read Graph

HD Tune Pro - Write Graph

HD Tune Pro – Write Graph

ATTO Graph

ATTO Graph

As a second comparison a real world situation was approached. A backup folder from my server was copied to each flash drive and timed, so this result is “lower is better”. By my stopwatch the Magnum 2 finished the transfer in 13:43.58 (mm:ss) while the Sandisk finished in 5:42.84. The folder is 5.50GB and contains 6,670 files in 1,080 folders, confirming our synthetic results that small file performance is sub-par.

Conclusion

Overall it can be seen that the Magnum 2 is a blazing fast flash drive when used for large file transfer, but drops the ball on small files, particularly 4k reads and writes. Coming in a nicely built enclosure is a great feature and the sizes of 256GB and 512GB leave plenty of room to transfer large libraries of music, movies, or other media. The only negative that I can find here is the small file performance, but the overall speed of this drive and the ability to plug something this fast into any computer outweighs this in my mind as files are becoming larger as time goes by.

Currently I can only find the Magnum 2 flash drive on Patriot’s website. The pricing is full MSRP of $129.99, but I’m sure it will show up at other e-tailers before too long. This isn’t a cheap product by any means, but comparing to other bleeding-edge flash drives this price seems to be consistent with the market. I’ll give this one an Approved stamp because it delivers on the two main points it should; capacity and sequential speed.
Overclockers_clear_approvedClick the stamp for an explanation of what this means.

-Austin (ATMINSIDE)

 

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