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Patriot Pyro 120GB SSD Review

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AkG

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Vista Start Up / Adobe CS5 Load Time

Vista Start Up


When it comes to hard drive performance there is one area that even the most oblivious user notices: how long it takes to load the Operating System. While all the other tests were run with a Windows 7 operating system, this particular test uses another older test bed's “day to day” OS (copied over to our new testbed) which has accumulated a lot of crud over the months from installs and removals. We chose the Anti-Virus splash screen as our finish line as it is the last program to be loaded on start up.



While the Pyro may not be the fastest 120GB solid state drive we have seen but it is still very quick; a full seventeen seconds faster than a VelociRaptor is nothing to sneeze at. While the official results are one second faster than the Force 3 120GB by Corsair, we consider these two drives to be of equal power and to have the same performance. The Pyro 120GB sample simply has slightly better batch of NAND, but still falls well within manufacture's tolerances. This difference could also be easily explained by the fact that this test is not exactly precise and a one second variation falls well within our error tolerances.


Adobe CS5 Load Time


Photoshop is a notoriously slow loading program under the best of circumstances, and while the latest version is actually pretty decent, when you add in a bunch of extra brushes and the such you get a really great torture test which can bring even the best of the best to their knees. Let’s see how our review unit faired in the Adobe crucible!



Once again we are seeing very good performance from the Patriot Pyro 120GB. It may not be setting any records, but considering it is faster than a last generation flagship device, it has nothing to be ashamed of.
 
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AkG

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Oct 24, 2007
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5,283
Real World Data Transfers

Real World Data Transfers


No matter how good a synthetic benchmark like IOMeter or PCMark is, it can not really tell you how your hard drive will perform in “real world” situations. All of us here at Hardware Canucks strive to give you the best, most complete picture of a review item’s true capabilities and to this end we will be running timed data transfers to give you a general idea of how its performance relates to real life use. To help replicate worse case scenarios we will transfer a 10.00GB file and a folder containing 400 subfolders with a total 12,000 files varying in length from 200mb to 100kb (10.00 GB total).

Testing will include transfer to and transferring from the devices, using MS RichCopy (set to 1 file depth) and logging the performance of the drive. Here is what we found.





As with the Corsair Force 3 120GB drive, the large file results for the Pyro are very good. It may not be as fast as some other, more costly SSDs available but the large file results are very good. With speeds better than twice that of a Vertex 2 100GB, there is no other way to put it but to say it is fast. Unfortunately, the ONFi 1.0 NAND bottleneck issue is more pronounced with the small file test results. Once again these results are very good and simply outclass any hard drive ever made, but they are still a touch on the low side for a modern generation solid state drive. We know the SF2281 controller can do better than this, so the NAND has to be the culprit.
 
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AkG

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Joined
Oct 24, 2007
Messages
5,283
Conclusion

Conclusion


Within each generation of SSDs there is always a controller design which most companies tend to gravitate towards. This time SandForce has taken over and we’ve only seen the beginning of what promises to be a glut of rebadged mid-range SF2281-based drives. Over the next few months, be prepared for many similarly-performing SSDs to hit the $175 to $225 market as competitors release nearly identical products over and over again. On the other hand, with more mid-grade offerings, it is certainly a great time to be a consumer. Less than a year ago, a moderately priced, 120 to 128GB SSD cost an arm and most of a leg but now drives like the Patriot Pyro are making high performance accessible to more people.

When it comes to synthetic and real world numbers, the Pyro hits all the right notes without faltering. Its performance is indeed lower than what can be obtained from stepping up to an ONFi 2 or Toggle Mode 1.0 NAND populated SSD, but the cost associated with that step will likely turn most people off. Indeed, in actual day to day usage we’d highly doubt that most people could tell the difference between the Pyro and many $300+ enthusiast level drives.

The line between mid range and higher end products may be blurring but Patriot’s newest drive does face some harsh realities. A price of $210 may seem very competitive upon first glance but with the Force 3 hitting the $199 (and lower) mark, it becomes hard to outright recommend the Pyro. Every dollar counts in the $200 segment and Corsair’s mid tier powerhouse runs right alongside this drive and also includes a 3.5” to 2.5” adapter; something conspicuously absent from Patriot’s kit. However, we can’t judge the Pyro by price alone since it hasn’t been released yet and all we have to go with is a somewhat vague suggested retail price.

In our option the Patriot Pyro has what it takes to compete with some of the best SSDs this industry has to offer. However, this capability for impressive mid-tier performance is no different from any of the other $200 SF2281-based drives and in such a cluttered market, Patriot needed something to set them apart. While the Pyro doesn’t particularly stand out as unique in its offerings, with some aggressive pricing it could be the underdog that comes out of nowhere to overtake the competition.


Pros:

- Good real world performance
- 128GB offers more than enough room for most consumers
- Good looks


Cons:

- True cost of ownership is a touch high for its niche
- No 3.5” to 2.5” adapter included
- Rather large performance variance depending on data types


 
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