We have evaluated a handful of Patriot’s SSDs recently, all of which proved to be solid (no pun intended) offerings in their respective categories. The high-end Patriot Wildfire SSD hung right alongside the best of the SandForce-based drives with synchronous NAND we’ve tested and the lower-priced Pyro was also competitive with its asynchronous NAND-equipped counterparts.
There was a fairly large price disparity between the Wildfire and Pyro, however, one which Patriot has filled with the newer Pyro SE. The SE is similar to the original Pyro, but eschews the first drive’s Micron 25nm asynchronous MLC NAND flash memory in favor of synchronous memory, which also comes by way of Micron. With synchronous flash memory paired to the SandForce controller in the drive, the Pyro SE should offer better performance with incompressible data.
We’ll see if that proves true in the benchmark pages ahead, but before we get to the numbers, here are the Patriot Pyro SE 120GB solid state drive’s features and specifications, followed by a full teardown of the drive...
|SandForce SF-2200 series SSD processor paired with qualified MLC NAND flash
SATA 6Gb/s, 3Gb/s and 1.5Gb/s
TRIM support (O/S dependent)
DuraWrite extends the endurance of SSDs
Intelligent Block Management and Wear Leveling
Intelligent Read Disturb Management
Intelligent "Recycling" for advance free space management (Garbage Collection)
RAISE (Redundant Array of Independent Silicon Elements)
Intelligent Data Retention optimization
|Best-in-class ECC protection for longest data retention and drive life.
Thermal Threshold Management
Native Command Queuing (NCQ) - Up to 32 commands
ECC Recovery: Up to 55 bits correctable per 512-byte sector (BCH)
Sequential Read & Write Transfer:
60GB model; Up to 550MB/s read | 500MB/s Write
240GB & 120GB models; Up to 550MB/s read | 520MB/s Write
Max Random Write IOPS: 60GB model; Up to 80K, 240GB & 120GB models; Up to 85,000 (4K aligned)
O/S Support: Windows XP / Vista / 7 / Mac OS / Linux
As you can see, the Patriot Pyro SE conforms to the standard 2.5” form factor common amongst today’s solid state drives. It also features a hard aluminum shell to protect the innards from damage. The shell is adorned with a large Patriot Pyro SE decal on the top side, while the bottom sports another decal with model and serial number information, along with other technical details.
Crack the Patriot Pyro SE open, and its PCB is easily removed. Both sides are outfitted with eight, 25nm Micron MLC NAND flash chips of the synchronous variety, for a total of 16 chips. This type of NAND is somewhat less expensive than the Toshiba flash memory used in the higher-end Wildfire, hence the SE’s position between the original Pyro and Wildfire in Patriot’s current line-up.
This particular drive is a 120GB model, but there is actually 128GB of NAND on-board—the additional capacity is provisioned for wear-leveling and other drive maintenance-related features. The SandForce SF-2281 controller is positioned right between the SATA power and data and connectors and eight of the flash chips on the top side of the PCB. This is the same controller used on virtually all current SandForce-based drives targeted at desktop PC users.
The Patriot Pyro SE ships with a minimal amount of accessories. There is no 2.5”-to-3.5” drive tray adapter included and no power or data cables either. All that was bundled with the drive was a "Go Lightning Fast" decal and a basic installation guide / manual.