We have already started testing USB 3.0 products and with our upcoming thumb drive round up testing starting today, we have many more to come. The USB 3.0 products have performed very well, but their high cost and bulk will keep them from penetrating the market quickly.
On the other side of the coin, USB 2.0 flash drives have been shrinking in size as well as price. Some companies have ignored technological advances that have pushed data transfer rates to the limits of USB 2.0, but the product we are looking at today isn't one of them.
Patriot used the latest quad channel design in the Xporter Rage. In its most basic form you can think of this as a 4 drive RAID 0 array, but with flash modules. All of the modules read and write at the same time. The main benefit to this design is the speed increase; most thumb drives use a single or dual channel configuration.
Specifications, Pricing and Availability
Patriot released the Xporter XT Rage in four capacities; those are 8, 16, 32 and 64GB. All of the drives are rated at the same speeds; 27MB/s read and 25MB/s write. This is very close to the real world performance of USB 2.0, but what makes the Rage different is it was designed to keep these speeds constant and not just the rarely seen peak. Patriot was able to do that by utilizing a quad channel design. All four flash chips are used to read and write at the same time, kind of how RAID works in RAID arrays.
When it comes to the pricing, Newegg lists the 8GB Rage at 21.99, 16GB at 37.99, 32GB at 66.99 and the massive 64GB drive for 139.99 USD. All four drives come with a lifetime warranty.