Introduction - The Xporter XT Rage 32GB
Patriot's new XT Rage drives of the Xporter line of Flash Drives may not seem like the most interesting device to come to market with it only being USB 2.0; though what type of USB connector it is doesn't matter if it cannot perform in the real world as well in the most strenuous of testing environments. So today we'll take a look at the 32 Gigabyte Model from Patriot to see if it can live up to the performance listed and give the user a legitimately good experience.
Here we have the front of the box with Patriot's 25 Years of Service badge along with a performance spec and a technical feature. The Patriot Xporter XT Rage 32GB Flash Drive boasts its Quad-Channel technology which Patriot says data is intelligently managed and transferred simultaneously to 4 NAND chips, resulting in vastly enhanced performance, particularly with write speeds.
This Flash-Drive is also compatible with Windows 7 as the badge claims. Although, it is compatible with all Operating Systems of any modern age; from popular Linux Distros like Arch & Ubuntu to Windows variants between Windows XP through Windows Vista. Mac OSX 10 and up is also supported.
Moving on, this is the back of the packing which shows some basic certifications and boasts a few different features:
- Patriot's Lifetime Warranty
- Quad Channel technology for fast read/write performance
- up to 27MB/s Read
- up to 25MB/s Write
- Durable design extends the life of your drive
- Rubber coated housing protects from drops, spills, daily abuse
- Retractable design protects USB connector when drive not in use
- Driverless support for most operating systems
- Compliant with USB 2.0 High Speed specifications
And here is our flash drive, coming in at just a hair above 2" long and only 0.8" wide. It is rather small for a flash drive. Its size when open or closed does not change.
Let's move onto some testing in the next few pages to see what this little guy can do, shall we?
Testing Round 1 - ATTO Disk Benchmark
ATTO measures transfers across a specific volume length. It measures raw transfer rates for both reads and writes and places the data into graphs that can be very easily interpreted. The test was run with the default runs of 0.5kb through 8192kb transfer sizes with the total length being 256mb.
This benchmark proves that the rated transfer speeds hold up through most tests between 64KB and 8MB file sizes, which is a good range that most small file transfers, such as picture and music files, are made up of. These small transfers make up a good portion of what many people will do on a day to day basis.
The Patriot Extreme Performance Xporter Rage USB 2.0 Flash Drive was able to reach ~28MB/s read and ~24MB/s write when using the ATTO benchmark tool.
Testing Round 2 - Crystal Diskmark
Here we have 50MB & 100MB file transfer testings in different fashions using Crystal Disk Mark. These are the typical file sizes you'll see with home movies shot with point and shoot cameras. These are usually not long or intense quality. Either way; we do see some slow down on the synthetic testing here with writes coming in at 12 & 17Mbytes a second in the sequential tests. Read speeds are up to snuff with the drive averaging 27.5Mbytes a second.
Here are the large file sizes that you would typically see with any HD video footage shot with most camcorders. We also see a nice boost in the average speed here when it comes to write speeds. Between 22.3 & 22.6 MB/s. This is a very good showing in these tests from Patriot.
Here for our 2GB & 4GB testing we see almost a repeat of last time, except with write speeds going up by 1Mbyte a second on average. This, again, is a perfect showing from Patriot.
As we can see through the other tests, the small random writes & reads are much slower than the sequential speeds. These are all small 512Kilobyte files; many picture files on modern cameras are not that small, so the slowness of speed is rather inconsequential.
We'll address those later in some less scientific fashion.
Testing Round 3 - Realworld TestingFor our "Real World" testing we use one of the most common operations performed on a PC: moving and/or copying files from one directory to another. Using a free application called Teracopy, I copied an album of Music, coming in at roughly 500MB, from my hard drive to the Patriot flash drive. I periodically checked the results and used the lowest point in speed. Teracopy allows us to objectively measure the time of transfer and thus the speed. Copying from the main hard drive to the flash drive simulates what someone would do in real life. The operation requires the drive to perform both sustained read and writes simultaneously.
As we can see, the lowest point on this test was 23MB/s, which is well within the advertised range of this drive (between 20MB/s writes and 25MB/s reads). This is a sequential operation, which is what most operations with a storage drive will be. Sequential operations will almost always give you the fastest speeds as well, which is great for storage devices.
For our second test we have some great consistency from this drive; with 21MB/s on a 12GB movie file that's an H.264 video encoded & FLAC Audio encoded with X264. Our low point this time was hit around 50% and stayed there for the rest of the transfer.
The last bit of testing is done using the Portable Apps Suite, which is a flash drive oriented suite of applications meant to give you plenty of options for software, even when you're not on your own machine. This is specifically handy for those of you that go to your public library or school library to do various work.
Below is a chart for the startup time in seconds from the first click till the application is fully loaded and useable. Each number is rounded, and the test itself is repeated 5 times and averaged together.
|Startup Time (In seconds)
|| 19 Seconds
|Chrome|| 20 Seconds
|Opera|| 20 Seconds
|Thunderbird|| 21 Seconds
|Songbird|| 22 Seconds
|Gimp|| 45 Seconds
|Abiword|| 26 Seconds
As we can see, on average things are taking 20-25 seconds to load, which shows that this flash drive can easily be used for productivity like any normal desktop with these portable applications. Gimp had an extended load time, but like Photoshop & Paint.net on the computer it has many pieces that need to load which is why it takes more time. That's normal and still a good loading time.
Now, I did say that I would address the idea of the random writes and reads looking slow in the synthetic testing and the best way to do that is to just move a large collection of picture files; in this case 200 photos onto the flash drive and then just use the trusty stop watch to see how long it takes to open the folder.
In this case, the 200 photos ranging in size from 200KB to 4MB opened up in a matter of 5 seconds. This drive will be fast enough for just about anyone.
Let's wrap this up and move onto the conclusions.
Final Thoughts and Conclusions
Well, when it comes down to it, Patriot has made a good product here with the Xporter XT Rage 32GB USB 2.0 Flash drive. Patriot Memory says this drive has up to 27MB/s Read and 25MB/s Write speeds and we were able to hit faster than this in read tests, but the write tests came up a little bit short. With its sequential read speeds hitting close to the theoretical limits of the USB specifications and its write times coming in above what Patriot specified the drive at, we definitely have a good product on our hands. This 32GB storage drive has a useable 29.8GB of storage space, so when it comes to storage you can keep a ton of data on the Xporter XT Rage and take it with you on the go.
The Patriot Xporter XT Rage comes in at $59.99 shipped at the time of writing this which gives this drive a great value with $1.87 Per Gigabyte. This is in line with most inexpensive flash drives which do not feature the quad channel system that Patriot employs or the lifetime warranty that this drive carries. USB Flash drives do go bad, so having a lifetime warranty on a drive like this is a good thing as long as you don't lose it! Speaking about losing things, we love the retractable design as it helps protect the USB connector when not in use and makes it impossible to lose that cap that always falls off and gets left behind. The retractable USB cap did move rather easily though, so if you wanted something that stayed down 100% of the time this drive might not be the ideal solution for you.
I can say today that Patriot had made its way onto my key chain with an excellently performing device that I can carry around with me 24/7 and hold pretty much everything I'll need to have with me when it comes to digital data!
Legit Bottom Line: When it comes down to it, the Patriot Xporter XT Rage 32GB is a solid performing flash drive that features a great price and a lifetime warranty!