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Written by Olin Coles   
Thursday, 28 May 2009
Table of Contents: Page Index
Patriot Torqx MLC SSD PFZ128GS25SSDR
Features and Specifications
First Look: Torqx SSD
Torqx Internal Components
SSD Testing Methodology
Random Access Time Benchmark
Basic IOPS Performance
Random Access IOPS Tests
Linear Bandwidth Speed
Sequential Performance Tests
Buffered Transaction Speed
Windows XP Startup Times
The Truth Behind Heat Output
Solid State Drive Final Thoughts
Patriot Torqx Conclusion

Patriot Torqx Conclusion

EDITORS NOTE 07/08/09: Patriot has increased the factory warranty for all Torqx-series SSD products from two- to ten-years.

Benchmark Reviews begins each conclusion with a short summary for each of the areas we rate. The first is presentation, which takes product packaging into consideration to the extent that it provides adequate packing material and delivers consumer information for an informed purchase. Since the American economy in the midst of an economic recession, many manufacturers are having to pull out some very creative ideas to help market their products. Add onto this the fact that SSD technology already carries a premium price tag over the alternative, and you can understand why product presentation becomes so important. Patriot takes the Torqx series packaging back to basics with a simple-yet-catchy black and white appearance, while at the same time delivering critical product information and specifications for the untrained consumer.

Solid State Drives are a lot like spark plugs: you see them just long enough to install, and then they're forgotten. Patriot keeps production costs down on the Torqx SSD Series with a uniform black painted enclosure for all of their SSD products, and uses an adhesive label for each product series with underside specifications. There isn't very much to expect from the appearance of Solid State Drives, because like their Hard Disk Drive counterpart they are meant to place function before fashion. To this end, I still wish manufacturers would begin using sealed plastic enclosures to prevent moisture or electrical shock damage.

Construction is probably the strongest feature credited to the entire SSD product line, and this Patriot product is no exception. Solid State Drives are by nature immune to most abuses, but add to this a hard metal shell and you have to wonder what it would take to make this drive fail. If any Torqx SSD product does happen to fail during the 2-year warranty period, end-users can take advantage of free tech support by calling 1-800-800-9600 in the USA or completing a Patriot Customer Service Request Form.

Based on the collection of benchmark performance tests we've conducted, the Patriot Torqx offers linear bandwidth so far ahead of previous competition that the new Indilinx 'Barefoot' controller might require calling this a new generation product in order to justify how so many other 'new' products have just been left behind. While the Torqx (Fusion) SSD usually trailed slightly behind the physically-identical OCZ Vertex SSD, there were also a few times where the Torqz pulled ahead. The MLC Samsung flash modules paired to a 64MB cache buffer on this 128GB model PE000143-PFZ128GS25SSDR SSD help yield a 0.10 ms response time. ATTO Disk Benchmark tool reported an impressive 258 MBps maximum read bandwidth in our tests, and 173 MBps maximum write. HD Tach recorded additional high-performance results with approximate bandwidth speeds reaching 233 MBps read and 183 MBps write. EVEREST's linear full-sector bandwidth performance was a steady 246 MBps read-from, and an impressive 216 MBps write-to speed. While all of these benchmarks indicate the general bandwidth 'speed', HD-Tune offered impressive read IOPS performance results, while the write results dropped below that of the Vertex version of this SSD.

As of June 2009, the Patriot Torqx series of MLC SSDs is available at NewEgg and other popular online retailers. A lower-capacity 64GB Patriot Torqx PFZ64GS25SSDR sells for $230, and the larger 128GB version we tested in this article is offered for $439. A jumbo-sized 256GB version is specificed by Patriot as available, with part number PFZ256GS25SSDR, but no sellers could be found. By all comparisons to it's twin brothers, the performance is very similar while the pricing shows some deviation.

In conclusion, the Patriot TorqxSolid State Drive offers tremendous performance in read and write bandwidth speeds and an exceptional 0.10 ms response time. The Indilinx 'Barefoot' controller is second to none, and the Torqx MLC SSD series easily outperforms a RAID-0 set of Western Digital VelociRaptor hard drives. The only drawback is price, which keeps the ratio just under $3 per gigabyte or storage space. The pricing at NewEgg (which is influenced but not set by the manufacturer) is also slightly higher than the competition, which does not favor Patriot when comsumers comparison shop. The Patriot Torqx is best suited for cutting-edge super-users and performance enthusiasts who want unmatched response and speed from their computer system. The Patriot Torqx is every bit as good as the OCZ Vertex or Super Talent UltraDrive ME in terms of performance, but because frequently updated firmware files or a progressive discussion forum are not available to SSD owners, in addition to the unfavorably higher product price, the Torqx narrowly misses our GTA and receives the Silver Tachometer Award instead.

Pros:Quality Recognition: Benchmark Reviews Silver Tachometer Award

+ Impressive 246 MBps read and 216 write bandwidth with EVEREST
+ 64MB Cache buffer permanently solves 'stuttering' problem
+ Very low 0.10 ms random access time
+ Lightweight compact storage solution
+ Resistant to extreme shock impact
+ Up to 256GB of SSD capacity (advertised)
+ 2-Year Patriot product warranty
+ Low power consumption may extend battery life

Cons:

- Metal case is heavier and less durable than plastic
- Lacks integrated USB 2.0 Mini-B data connection
- Expensive premium-level product
- Firmware updates are not publicly available
- Higher price tag than competing products

Ratings:

  • Presentation: 8.75
  • Appearance: 8.75
  • Construction: 9.75
  • Functionality: 9.75
  • Value: 7.75

Final Score: 8.95 out of 10.

Quality Recognition: Benchmark Reviews Silver Tachometer Award.

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