Internals, Roundup/Results, and Pricing
Disassembly of the Phoenix was simple enough.
Internals consist of a Phison controller driving Toshiba flash. There are empty pads at the PCB rear, suggesting that this could be sold as a 2TB unit (but is only currently available in 1TB maximum capacity).
The Rage 2 would need to be destroyed to completely open it, so this is the extent of which we will 'open' it today.
We included a random sampling of competing soltions for this piece:
- Samsung USB T1 500GB – Competes with the Phoenix
- Corsair Flash Voyager GTX 128GB – Reviewed here
- Kingston DT Ultimate 32GB – A dated yet relatively common drive
- Kingston DTSE9 G2 64GB – A small form factor 'keychain drive'
- Lexar 633x 16GB MicroSD card with Kingston MobileLite G4 reader
- IMFT 20nm 16GB single flash die in a demo USB 3.0 package
(included as point of reference vs. a single desktop-class SSD flash die)
Phoenix 256GB – ATTO:
Rage 2 256GB – ATTO:
Both of these turn in *very* low performance in writes of <64k in size. This will negatively impact performance of small file writes. The Rage 2 slows to ~1 second per small file written.
File copies under Windows 8.1:
Contrary to what you might imagine, the smaller Rage 2 outmaneuvers the Phoenix by a healthy margin in large file transfers under Windows 8.1. The Samsung 850 EVO wrapped in a USB T1 naturally cleans house here. The Phson controlled Flash Voyager GTX turned in unexpectedly low write performance considering it performed much better judging by its ATTO results alone. The two Kingston DT models turn in good results, but the smaller form factor DTSE9 G2 turns in far lower write speeds. The Lexar 633x adapted to USB 3.0 shows that there is potential for carrying a small adapter and simply using interchangeable MicroSD devices as drives. Finally, the Intel 20nm 16GB demo unit shows the read/write performance of a single 20nm flash memory die (the same dies are present in many modern day SSDs – just more of them in parallel).
- Rage 2 256GB – $200 ($0.78/GB) – Amazon link
- Phoenix 256GB – $97 ($0.38/GB) – Amazon link
- Samsung USB T1 – $290 ($0.58/GB) – Amazon link
- Kingston DT SE9 G2 64GB – $37 ($0.57/GB) – Amazon link
- Lexar 633x 16GB (with Lexar adapter) – $17 ($1.06/GB) – Amazon link
The Patriot Rage 2 is a great small speedy USB 3.0 device suitable for carrying a healthy bit of files with you on the go. Large file throughputs are great, with the read speed approaching that of even a full blown SATA SSD, but write performance is not as nimble and may hinder those trying to store large groups of smaller files.
The Patriot Phoenix may be a bit slower than other drives and physically larger in size, but it makes up for it in its extremely competitive cost/GB. Portable devices typically run higher than their SATA counterparts, yet the Phoenix comes in at $0.38/GB in the tested 256GB capacity. It should be noted, however, that the 1TB capacity comes in at a much higher $0.75/GB.
We'll be back soon with more USB and adapted SD / MicroSD card portable drive reviews, so stay tuned!