It's not very often that a USB flash drive warrants writing about, but Patriot's Supersonic Rage Pro is an exception. It's an even faster version of its predecessor, the Rage 2, which occupies a spot in our roundup of the best USB flash drives (opens in new tab) because of its impressive speed.
The new Rage Pro (opens in new tab) kicks things up a notch, according to its rated specifications. It's a USB 3.2 Gen 1 flash drive that purportedly delivers up to 420MB/s of sequential read performance, to go along with up to 8,000 IOPs for 4K random reads. There's no mention of write performance, though as a point of reference, the Rage 2 (later renamed Rage Elite) is rated to write at up to 300MB/s. I imagine it's similar (if not better) for the Rage Pro.
These are theoretical ceilings, mind you, and actual performance is likely to be lower. On the read side, however, the Rage 2 came surprisingly close to spinning its wheels at its max odometer, hitting 354MB/s in our testing (large files). Writes were a bit further off at 187MB/s, though still impressive for a flash drive.
The Rage Pro owes part of its speed claims to a native feature in Windows 10, USB Attached SCSI Protocol (UASP), which the drive also supports. According to Patriot, this boosts overall performance with 70 percent faster reads and 40 percent faster writes, compared to Bulk-Only Transport (BOT) flash drives.
"The Rage Pro is also optimized as a boot drive for Windows OS and other operating systems, while the extra IOPS and random 4K read and write speed provides excellent reliability and faster boot times. The Rage Pro can also be an alternative solution when users need an independent rescue drive for laptops and desktops," Patriot says (opens in new tab).
You won't find fancy features like built-in encryption, just an aluminum housing and an LED indicator. The focus here is simply on speed. Coincidentally, I recently went on the hunt for a new flash drive, and nearly pulled the trigger on the Rage 2/Elite, which is consistently recommended when performance is the top consideration.
Speed comes at a price, and as you might expect, these are not the cheapest flash drives around. There are three capacities: 128GB ($28), 256GB ($50), and 512GB ($90). All three are available now on Amazon (opens in new tab) and Newegg (opens in new tab).