Patriot WildFire 120GB SSD review -
Specifications and architecture
We stated it several times, the SATA II controller that we all love and got accustomed to so much is a bottleneck for the latest generation of SSDs as they were literally hitting the upper plafond in terms of performance. We've now physically and mechanically reached that threshold. With the initially slow adoption rate towards SATA 3 implementation on motherboards, effectively the bandwidth your storage device can work in has doubled up, and believe it or not ... that's great but still not enough for the years to come as SSD performance over the coming year or two will take an even larger leap in peak performance.
We have stated it many times and explained this quite a bit, but the seek time on SSD drives is insane; nothing short of amazing, at less than 1ms -- 0.1ms as we actually can measure. The average seek time for a traditional HDD is roughly 9ms. Do the math, hey, no more moving and spinning mechanical components is the key here.
The traditional HDD is a limiting factor on the overall PC experience. Also, storage performance like this will, for example, greatly enhance load times of Photoshop, Generic applications, Office, games load times, and even simple stuff like browsing the web will become a much faster experience.
But let's move onwards to the SSD itself.
Specifications and architecture
Here's where we'll look a little deeper inside the actual product. The WildFire is an SSD based on MLC NAND (25nm) Toshiba flash memory. Actually the same ICs that are used on OCZ's MaxIOPS SSDS, and they do offer great perf.
A big difference is that the new generation SSDs use that new SATA 3 interface. The end result here is that you'll get a storage unit with a massive IO performance, peaking up-to say 500 to 550 MB/sec in read performance and a scorching 450 to 510 MB/sec write performance.
Currently there are two types of the NAND Flash interface. The asynchronous one is similar to the regular SRAM interface, the other one is synchronous DDR interface; it is available in two flavors Source Synchronous DDR and Toggle Mode DDR. The Source Synchronous DDR is a solution proposed by ONFI , while the Toggle Mode DDR is used by Samsung in their memory ICs. DDR interface offers higher performance than the asynchronous interface.
Now, always bare in mind that a manufacturer loves to show you the burst / maximum peak performance, not average. Regardless of that fact, which we'll show you in the benchmark sessions, this storage unit is just extremely fast.
|Max Sequential Read/Write (using ATTO Disk Benchmark):||555 MB/s sequential read 520 MB/s sequential write|
|Max Random 4k Write (using IOMeter 08):||85k IOPS (4k aligned)|
|SSD Unformatted Capacity:||120 GB|
- Interface: SATA 3 6Gb/s
- Storage technology: Asynchronous NAND
- Operating temperature: 0° C to +70° C
- Storage temperature: -20° C to +85° C
- Operating Humidity: 10% to 90% RH (0° to +40° C)
- Maximum Operating Altitude: 3,048 m (up to 10,000 ft.)
- Maximum Non-Operative Altitude: 12,192 m (up to 40,000 ft.)
- SATA 3 6Gb/s
- Backward compatible with SATA II and SATA I
- Microsoft® Windows® 7, Vista®, and XP; Macintosh OS X; Linux
- 2.5" or 3.5" hard drive bay
- 3.5" adapter for desktop PCs included
The WildFire series SSD will become available in three volume sizes: 120, 240 and at some point 480 GB. Patriot covers the unit with a 3 year warranty (carry in).
To understand the product we'll need to realize that there are primary technologies embedded into the storage unit. As such we'll continue the technology coverage in two stages:
- The SSD partitions paired with controller
- SATA III 6 Gbit interface
We'll explain each one in a simple manner.
We review the Patriot EP Pro SDHC UHS-1 32GB flash card. It's not your average SDHC storage card, this little fracker can read at 90 Mb/sec and write at 50 Mb/sec, making it amongst the fastest SDHC cards available on the market.
Patriot Pyro SE 240GB SSD review
Patriot wanted to release another SSD, something a little over the top and as such that meant releasing the Pyro SE SSD. While based on the SandForce 2281 controller Patriot did apply some tweaks to make the product even faster. To keep it up to snuff it comes with synchronous NAND flash memory. According to Patriot that will increase its sequential read and write performance to 550MB/s and 520MB/s.
Patriot SuperSonic Magnum USB 3.0 flash drive review
Patriot Memory recently released a USB stick, all 3.0 compatible and it's called the SuperSpeed Magnum. That surely hints towards a nice caliber. We test the 64GB version of this model, and their Magnum .. well it's the fastest and most l33t little fracker your money can get you with read performance of 200 MB per sec.
Patriot WildFire 120GB SSD review
We look at an offering from Patriot memory, they added two new SATA 3 (SATA 3 6Gs) SSDs in their WildFire lineup, the WildFire in 120GB & 240GB capacities (480GB coming as well), All SATA 3 of course. Both drives come with that already famous SandForce SF-2281 controller to deliver at up to 550 MBps read and 510 MBps write speeds.