by Lyle Smith

Patriot Supersonic Boost XT Review

The Patriot Supersonic Boost XT is an ultra-durable rubberized USB flash drive with water-resistant housing that is designed for users who want a mobile storage device that can withstand the elements. It's roughly one and a half times the width of a standard stick, which includes a detachable cap and a red activity light, but doesn't get in the way of other ports when you plug it in. Though it is Patriot's most durable USB product, the Supersonic Boost XT is their most basic USB 3.0 drive in the performance column. The Patriot Supersonic Boost XT ships in a plethora of capacities: 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB.

Portable USB 3.0 devices have become mainstream this past year, as flash technology, capacity and cost has improved to a point where USB drives are displacing mobile hard drives for people on the go. Additionally, we have been seeing more and more companies find success in on this in-demand market thanks to new platforms (Apple) providing native USB 3.0 support. But just because it has a 3.0 label on the box, doesn’t mean that the drive will boast blistering speeds that USB 3.0 is capable of. This is the case with Patriot’s Supersonic Boost XT, which sacrifices top-in-class speeds for a rugged design and lower cost/MB. This isn’t a bad thing, however, as many people are looking for exactly just that. It won’t be outperforming its high-throughput brethren, but the Supersonic Boost XT does quote respectable read/write speeds of 150MB/s and 30MB/s respectively.

The Patriot Supersonic Boost XT is available now at a street price around $14 for the 8GB capacity, and $20 for the 16GB, $33 for the 32GB, $50 for the 64GB, $100 for 128GB, and finally $220 for the 256GB model. Those prices are inclusive of a five-year warranty. Our review drive is the 32GB capacity.

Specifications

  • Capacity:
    • PEF8GSBUSB (8GB)
    • PEF16GSBUSB (16GB)
    • PEF32GSBUSB (32GB)
    • PEF64GSBUSB (64GB)
    • PEF128GSBUSB (128GB)
    • PEF256GSBUSB (256GB)
  • Interface : USB 3.0 (USB 2.0 compatible)
  • Interface Transfer Rate: 150MB/s Read, 30MB/s Write
  • Size: .48” (D) x 2.35” (W) x .78” (H), 1.22cm (D) x 5.97cm (W) x 1.98cm (H)
  • Weight: 03 lb / 12.9 gm
  • Warranty: 5-year

Design and Build

The Supersonic Boost XT casing is made of a durable rubber with a rough finish, which allows for complete protection over bumps and bruises; the only time it has a weak point is when the connector is exposed. Another bonus feature Patriot includes is water-resistance, a rare feature among USB drives. Not only does it protect against water damage, it also provides shock resistance for up to 15Gs to ensure greater protection of your data. With the entire surface of the USB drive being rubber, it allows users to have a firm grip, unlike drives with a smooth, slick surface.

Patriot's Supersonic Boost XT weighs in at just 12.9 grams, making it an extremely light USB flash drive. Its chunky design measures 1.22cm thick x 5.97cm long x 1.98cm tall, which is large but not unreasonable.

On the front side, is Patriot's company logo, the capacity of the USB drive in white, and the extension of the XT model in blue, which contrasts nicely to black enclosure. Located at the rear-end is an LED that blinks red during activity as well as a small hook for a lanyard or attachment onto a key ring.

Though it comes with one of those pesky USB caps, the cap can be attached to the back of the drive when in use to help avoid losing it.

Once the rubber cap has been removed, it shows the USB 3.0 connector with the classic blue color, distinguishing it from the standard 2.0 USB devices.

Performance

In this review, we include the following comparables from our database of USB flash drive reviews:

While not directly competitive in terms of performance with the other Patriot USB 3.0 offerings, we include the Supersonic Magnum, Patriot's top-line USB 3.0 offering, and the Rage XT, Patriot's mid-tier offering, as relative comparables to show scale within the Patriot USB 3.0 family. 

Using our Consumer Testing Platform, we measured transfer speeds from the Patriot Supersonic Boost XT with IOMeter. In the sequential read speed column, it measured 115.3MB/s, while write activity hit 48.4MB/s. Here, the top performer was by far the Patriot Supersonic Magnum, which clocked in at blistering speeds of 247.0MB/s read and 151.3MB/s write. The Patriot Supersonic Rage XT posted sequential read speeds of 109.6MB/s read and reaching 93.4MB/s for write.

Switching to random large-block transfers, the Patriot Supersonic Boost XT reached speeds of 112.0MB/s read but fell considerably short with 3.8MB/s write, which is expected for a drive in this class. As for the Supersonic Magnum's benchmarks, it boasted read and write speeds 166.3MB/s and 39.1MB/s respectively. The Rage XT shows reads of 105.5MB/s and, like the Boost XT, clocked in a much slower random writes with 4.4MB/s. Though the Boost XT couldn't touch the Magnum, it put up respectable numbers for its price point.

Conclusion

The Patriot Supersonic Boost XT is a mainstream USB flash drive that quotes minimum performance figures of 150MB/s for sequential read and 30MB/s write. It is offered in a large range of capacities including 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, and 264GB at a reasonable price point. The main draw of the Supersonic Boost XT is value and durable build for money, with the 32GB model priced at $33 and the 16GB model at $22, while the smallest 8GB version costs $18 at the time of this review. 

In terms of tested performance, the Supersonic Boost XT posted results that were less than the actual quoted sequential read speeds but performed better than the quotes write speeds. In our testbed, the Patriot drive clocked in at 115.3MB/s read and 48.4MB/s write in the sequential data columns. Though it might not be as affordable as USB 2.0 drives with a similar capacity, the Supersonic Boost XT offers a good value for those who want more performance than what USB 2.0 delivers. When comparing the Patriot USB drive on a performance scale, it is around three times the performance of USB 2.0 for approximately twice the price. Of course in this case though, consumers are also paying for the rubberized and water-resistant build and not just the performance. That being said, the Supersonic Boost XT did perform well for its class, so we are not taking anything away from it in that regard. 

Pros

  • Offered in a large number of capacities
  • Reasonable price
  • Rubber and water-resistant housing

Cons

  • Struggles with random write activity

Bottom Line

If you're on a budget and require a ruggedly built USB drive with respectable read/write speeds, the Boost XT will definitely meet your needs.

Patriot Supersonic Boost XT at Amazon

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