Author: Carl Poirier
Editor: Howard Ha
Publish Date: Monday, September 13th, 2010
Originally Published on Neoseeker (http://www.neoseeker.com)
Article Link: http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Hardware/Reviews/patriot_xporter_xt_rage_32/
Copyright Neo Era Media, Inc. - please do not redistribute or use for commercial purposes.
It's incredible how mainstream and affordable USB keys have increased in capacity lately. Although the latter is the main argument in buying a USB drive, people tend to neglect others such as speed and robustness. Even with the advent of USB 3.0, only a select few storage devices make use of this technology, as do computers.
Does it really change anything, however? USB 2.0 is limited to 480Mbps in its SuperSpeed configuration. That is 60MB/s; well above any mainstream USB thumb drive. Patriot Memory recently launched a new contender in this crowd: the Patriot Xporter XT Rage 32GB. This drive keeps the USB 2.0 transfer protocol but still promises decent speeds; on the packaging, it is said that it writes at 25MB/s. Writing is often the weakness of such drives, so it's good to see a decent speed here. Will it really show in Neoseeker's benchmarking suite, however? That remains to be seen.
Features are courtesy of Patriot
In its closed state, the Xporter Rage XT appears as two black sections separated by a red one. The black ends have a rubber feel to them, whereas the latter is simply made out of plastic.
It's really only a rubber feel, though, as on the inside, the black sections are also made out of plastic. Considering their thickness and this coating, the Xporter is really not made to be abused, unlike some other drives.
Pushing the two black sections toward one another will make the USB connector pop out on one end. Otherwise, it stands flush to the thumb drive surface, thus protected against impact but still at the mercy of some other things such as liquids. Both black sections encase into each other. One can also see that the drive is a bit large and thick; two of them can potentially not fit in two adjacent USB ports, be they one besides another, or on top one another.
With the physical aspect of the Xporter Rage covered, it is now time to get to testing!
All USB keys are fully formatted prior to testing, using the NTFS filesystem. They are all plugged in a USB port controlled by the southbrige of the respective platform, and not by a dedicated controller. As always, all tests are run three times and the scores are averaged.
Patriot Xporter XT Rage 32GB, Super Talent The Godfather 16GB
Corsair Survivor 16GB, Corsair Padlock 2 8GB, Kingston DataTraveler 16GB, OCZ ATV 8GB
HD Tune is an application for benchmarking hard drives. Beside the drive itself, the speed they can reach also depends on the chipset's performance.
HD Tune reported the read speeds of the Patriot Xporter to be slightly lower than the Corsair Flash Voyager and the Super Talent thumb drives.
Sandra, by SiSoftware, is a tool capable of benchmarking about every component found inside a computer. In this case, the physical disk benchmark is run, which measures read and write performance of a given drive.
SiSoft Sandra didn't like the Xporter 32GB as well. Its operations per second rating ended up being the second last. Also, the endurance factor seems to be very low, which suggests a much shorter life expectancy than the other drives. On the other hand, the normal life of a USB thumb drive does not contain write operations at every minute, except in special cases like if it is used as an OS drive. So the endurance factor should not be a great worry.
Flash Memory Toolkit
This program is designed specifically to benchmark, diagnose, scan, and format removable storage. The file benchmark is used to find out the drive's read and write speeds.
For reading, the Patriot Xporter finished fourth. For writing, it finished fifth, however the speed was much more constant, thus scoring not too bad for the smaller files.
In order to test actual transfer speeds, each drive was timed to determine how long it takes to copy a 100MB, 500MB, and 1GB file over to it.
In this real-world test, the Xporter XT Rage 32GB raped all the other drives. Finally, the quad-channel technology within seems to bear fruit!
The Patriot XT Rage 32GB isn't particularly impressive. It's deceiving that it has only a rubber coating and not a true, thick rubber layer to protect it against impact. Furthermore, this thin coating might end up being scratched in the long run, considering the drive can potentially be frequenting metallic objects such as keys in a pant pocket.
Also, its size might prevent it being plugged alongside some other devices, despite it being reasonably small. It cannot be installed above or under a device of similar size at the rear I/O ports of a motherboard, that's for sure. On many laptops, the USB ports are somewhat close to each other, which prevents having two Xporters beside one another. Its design does allow the USB connector to be protected though, without a cap which can easily be lost if the user is careless.
One thing that the Xporter should be praised for is its excellent writing performance. The synthetic benchmarks didn't really show it, but the real-world test did place it way ahead of the competition, thanks to its quad-channel technology.
Overall, this Patriot offering should be considered if one wants a capless drive, or the best possible writing performance. If these criteria do not really matter, there are much cheaper alternatives. In fact, 32GB thumb drives can be had for as low as $55 with free shipping on Newegg, whereas the Xporter XT sells for $75.
Please do not redistribute or use this article in whole, or in part, for commercial purposes.