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Patriot Wildfire 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.


With a load time that is a full two seconds quicker than the Corsair Force 3 GT 120GB there is no denying that Patriot's Wildfire is fast. It may not be as fast as some of the synthetic test results would lead you to belive, but the difference is now close enough that its hard to justify the premium which 240GB models demand.


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!



While a one second difference is small enough to fall within this tests error limits, it still is significant nonetheless. As with the reduced boot up time, it appears that the Patriot Wildfire really can give a typical 240GB ONFi 2 based SF2281 drive a real run for its money.
 
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AkG

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Oct 24, 2007
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5,274
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 contiguous 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.






Both the large copy and small copy results ranged from very decent to absolutely great. We are once again seeing the 4k single que depth read bottleneck rear its ugly head, but for the most part the numbers were for a drive in the Wildfire's price bracket.
 
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AkG

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Joined
Oct 24, 2007
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5,274
Conclusion

Conclusion


The 120GB niche has certainly become crowded as of late but due to a myriad of reasons, innovation has been sorely lacking. Companies seem to be in rush to homogenize their lineups with that of their competitors in order to get their share of this lucrative market. Unfortunately, this has created a fair amount of consumer confusion since there’s literally nothing that distinguishes one SSD from another other than a chintzy branding sticker.

While countless SandForce / ONFi combo rebrands have made for one hell of a boring situation in the SSD market, some like Patriot have chosen a path less travelled. Within the Wildfire’s core beats the heart of a true masterpiece which combines the much-used SandForce 2281 controller with ultra high performance, increased density Toggle Mode NAND.

As any enthusiast already knows, the denser NAND chips found in many 240GB drives are simply faster than the lower density ICs which 120GB model tend to use. By simply using eight of these high density modules, Patriot was able to create a new breed of 120GB SSDs which is currently unequalled in this capacity range. In most cases, the Wildfire was able to leave its competitors’ ONFi 2 based drives in the dust. Regardless of the test or scenario we threw at it, this thing was invariably as fast as or faster than any other 120GB SF2281 drive we have seen thus far.

In many ways, the Wildfire has moved the goal posts in the SSD market and we have already begun to see the effects ripple through the lineups of Patriot’s competition. Prices have been cut and new products rolled out in an effort to limit this drive’s impact upon all of the other cookie-cutter products out there. To us, Patriot did exactly what was needed: they pushed through an innovative NAND / controller combination at a very reasonable price point and did so while raising the sub-$300 performance bar by a few notches. We really couldn’t have asked for more than that.


Pros:

- Best in class performance which comes close to 240GB models in many tests
- Doesn’t use the same cloned design as everyone else seems to be using
- Toggle Mode 1.0 NAND
- Includes 2.5” to 3.5” adapter
- Increased write endurance compared to 25nm NAND equipped drives


Cons:

- While lessened thanks to its NAND type, performance will still vary based on data type
- Slight reduction in sequential read speed compared to other 120GB drives


 
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