Patriot releases another SATA 3 SSD into the consumer arena this morning, this going by the name of the Patriot Pyro. The Pyro follows suit with the few other manufacturers that have recognized consumer apprehension over premium SSD prices and have wisely made use of a more value driven asynchronous (Async) NAND flash memory.
THE VALUE vs PERFORMANCE RELATIONSHIP
Async SSDs can provide as much as $100 in savings in comparison to a SSD that uses synchronous (Sync) NAND flash memory of the same capacity. The consumer should be aware that the trade-off for value is performance, where Sync SSDs simply provide much faster transfer speeds when moving incompressible data such as pictures, videos and music. This has no affect whatsoever on the play of this media and, in my opinion, the typical consumer simply needs to ask how many times they will be moving their media collections to and from the drive. That is simply what it comes down to. This, then, makes it a more specific question for photographers, video editors and those that work in the media industry however, for the typical consumer, there is really no hard decision in what will be felt most, value or performance.
PATRIOT PYRO 120GB SATA 3 SSD
The Pyro is Patriots first offering of an Async SSD and we recently reviewed their Patriot Wildfire which utilizes Sync NAND flash memory. The Pyro will be available in 60, 120 and 240GB capacities and initial MSRP on the 120 and 240GB versions is set at $209 and $449, although we all need to recognize that MSRP is the manufacturers recommended price and we may see them higher or lower dependent on performance and availability.
Performance is listed as 520MB/s read and 490MB/s write for the 60GB version while the 120 and 240GB versions list at 550MB/s read and 515MB/s write with IOPS being listed at 80,000 for the 60GB and 85,000 at 4k random write aligned disk access for the 120 and 240GB versions. Exterior packaging consists of a simple glossy exterior box with an attractive black and orange colour scheme and the disk is contained within a one piece clear plastic folded insert that opens and closes very easily; no scissors needed!
The SSDs printed circuit board (PCB) is protected by a two piece aluminum case that is held together by 4 hex screws. On the back of the SSD, the label shows the firmware version as being 3.1.9 which we know to be SandForces latest firmware revision.
The PCB itself is highlighted by the famous SandForce SF-2281 SATA 3 processor and we also see 8 modules of Micron 25nm asynchronous NAND flash memory (29F64G0BCBAAA) on each side of the board.
Each flash module has a capacity of 8GB for a total RAW capacity of 128GB. The drive is advertised as a 120GB SSD because one module is is allocated to SandForces firmware and over provisioning needs. Further formatting of the drive leaves a final available user storage capacity of 112GB.