I recently got the 64GB Supersonic Magnum USB 3.0 Flash Drive ($77.45 on Amazon). Before setteling on the Magnum, I did a lot of research. During which I consulted The Wirecutter which recommended the rather dated Patriot Supersonic USB 3.0 (reviewed on March 2012), but with a big “Wait!” sign over it, stating a new recommendation was imminent.
After a lot of thought and deliberation I decided to go for the Magnum. Two days after I ordered it, The Wirecutter updated their recommendation, endorsing the SanDisk Extreme USB 3.0. In their review of it, they stated that:
The 32 GB SanDisk Extreme USB 3.0 Flash Drive is the best flash drive and the one to buy. Not only is it the fastest flash drive we tested after scouring the field […] The SanDisk Extreme Flash Drive reads files at about 230 MB/s and writes them at 200 MB/s
Here’s a list of a bunch of other drives I looked at, added to the spreadsheet, and eventually excluded. […] The Patriot Supersonic Magnum, which comes in sizes up to 256 GB but only writes at about 120 MB/s.
Naturally I was bummed, after having spent upwards of $80 on a drive that was described as “meh” relative to the SanDisk Extreme. The Magnum still hasn’t arrived at that point, so all I could to do is wait.
A couple of days later the Magnum has arrived, and I can safely say that it is much faster that what The Wirecutter states.
Here are the speed test results for the Magnum, done by DiskTools Pro 3.8.3 (I used a rMBP with a 512 GB SSD for testing):
As you can see, the average write speed, for files larger than 20 MB, hovers around 180 MB/s. This as opposed to The Wirecutter’s stated 120 MB/s. The read speeds, for files larger than 20MB, fluctuates around 280 MB/s, hitting as high as almost 286 MB/s. Compare this to the SanDisk Extreme which is stated to have 200 MB/s writes and 230 MB/s reads.
I also benchmarked the speeds with Blackmagic Disk Speed Test:
It reported slower write speeds, but approximately the same read speeds. As for my own tests:
- Write 9.75 GB (352 files) in 60 seconds = 162 MB/s
- Write 26 GB (20 files) in 144 seconds = 180 MB/s
- Read 9.75 GB (352 files) in 36 seconds = 270 MB/s
- Read 26 GB (20 files) in 90 seconds = 288 MB/s
So far the Magnum has been a great flash drive. The single complaint I have about it is that it’s rather wide (2.7 cm or 1.06 inches), so it isn’t possible to connect it to the left-side USB port on the rMBP while a thunderbolt cable is connected right next to it. Other than that this is a great device, and I highly recommend it.