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Written by Olin Coles   
Tuesday, 25 May 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
Patriot Inferno SSD Kit PI100GS25SSDR
Features and Specifications
First Look: Patriot Inferno SSD
SandForce SF-1200 SSD Controller
SSD Testing Methodology
AS-SSD Benchmark
ATTO Disk Benchmark
CrystalDiskMark 3.0 Tests
Iometer IOPS Performance
EVEREST Disk Benchmark
SSD vs Hard Disk Drive
Patriot Inferno SSD Conclusion

Patriot Inferno Solid State Drive Review

SandForce-based SSDs are getting tremendous attention from the industry, and for very good reason. Benchmark Reviews has tested several products based on the SF-1222 controller, and every one of them have demonstrated exceptional operational performance and speed. With so many storage solutions coming to market that are based on the same design, price and warranty determine the best product. Based on the SandForce SF-1200 processor, the Patriot Inferno SSD uses special selected NAND flash component to deliver the best performance possible. In this article Benchmark Reviews tested the 100GB Patriot Inferno SSD, model PI100GS25SSDR, against some of the fastest storage solutions on the market.

SandForce is the hot ticket in SSD controller technology for 2010, offering outstanding bandwidth speed and operational performance. Patriot utilizes the SandForce SF-1222TA3-SBH (SF-1200) processor in their Inferno enthusiast MLC SSD series, which features hand-picked high-performance NAND flash memory modules. SandForce RAISE technology provides redundant protection for single SSD computer systems, while data is automatically secured with AES-128 encryption. With transfer speeds nearly saturating the SATA-3GB/s interface, and operational IOPS performance reaching SLC-NAND levels, it makes sense for Patriot to use the new industry leader.

Heading into June 2010, the SandForce SF-1200 SSD controller has already found its way into many of the fastest SSDs available: ADATA S599, Corsair Force F100, RunCore Pro-V, OWC Mercury Extreme Pro RE, PhotoFast G-Monster 2, OCZ Agility-2, OCZ Vertex-2, Mach Xtreme, and now the Patriot Inferno. As we've discovered with our previous SandForce reviews, operational performance and SSD bandwidth speed is very similar across the spectrum. Selling virtually identical products has forced manufacturers to offer other consumer incentives, such as an extended warranty period or specially selected NAND modules. Patriot has done both, and adds value on top of it all by making the Inferno SSD one of the most affordable products in its class.

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The biggest mistake PC hardware enthusiast make with SSDs is grading them by their speed. File transfer speed is important, but only so long as the operational IOPS performance can sustain that bandwidth under load. Benchmark Reviews tests the 100GB Patriot Inferno SSD, model PI100GS25SSDR, against some of the most popular storage devices available and demonstrates that 4K IOPS performance is more important than speed. Additionally, Benchmark Reviews has used two similar SSDs to publish our SandForce SF1200 RAID-0 SSD Performance review.

For decades, the slowest component in any computer system was the hard drive. Most modern processors operate within approximately 1-ns (nanosecond = one billionth of one second) response time, while system memory responds between 30-90 ns. Traditional Hard Disk Drive (HDD) technology utilizes magnetic spinning media, and even the fastest spinning desktop storage products exhibit a 9,000,000 ns - or 9 ms (millisecond = one thousandth of one second) initial response time. In more relevant terms, The processor receives the command and waits for system memory to fetch related data from the storage drive. This is why any computer system is only as fast as the slowest component in the data chain; which is usually the hard drive.

The theoretical goal for achieving optimal performance is for system memory to operate as quickly as the central processor, and the storage drive to operate as fast as memory. With present technology this is an impossible task, so enthusiasts try to close the speed gaps between components as much as possible. Although system memory is up to 90x (9000%) slower than most processors, just consider that the hard drive is an added 1000x (100,000%) slower than that same memory. Essentially, these three components are as different in speed as walking is to driving and flying.

Solid State Drive technology bridges the largest gap. The difference a SSD makes to operational reaction times and program speeds is dramatic, and takes the storage drive from a slow 'walking' speed to a much faster 'driving' speed. Solid State Drive technology improves initial response times by more than 450x (45,000%) for applications and Operating System software, when compared to their HDD counterparts.

Bandwidth Speed vs Operational Performance

As we've explained in our SSD Benchmark Tests: SATA IDE vs AHCI Mode guide, Solid State Drive performance revolves around two dynamics: bandwidth speed (MB/s) and operational performance (IOPS). These two metrics work together, but one is more important than the other. Consider this analogy: operational IOPS performance determines how much cargo a ship can transport in one voyage, and the bandwidth speed is to fast the ship moves. By understanding this and applying it to SSD storage, there is a clear importance set on each variable depending on the task at hand.

For casual users, especially those with laptop or desktop computers that have been upgraded to use an SSD, the naturally quick response time is enough to automatically improve the user experience. Bandwidth speed is important, but only to the extent that operational performance meets the minimum needs of the system. If an SSD has a very high bandwidth speed but a low operational performance, it will take longer to load applications and boot the computer into Windows than if the SSD offered a higher IOPS performance.

About Patriot Memory (PDP Systems, Inc.)patriot_logo_blue_206px.png

Established in 1985, Patriot Memory builds a full range of memory module and flash memory products, offering a perfect blend of quality and value. Patriot products include Extreme Performance (EP), Signature Lines (SL) and Flash Memory solutions (FM).

Patriot has sales offices located throughout the U.S. and Asia. Patriot sells through the distribution channels throughout North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa, and Latin America.

Patriot's development and manufacturing facility are located in Fremont, California USA. Our manufacturing segment is composed of a highly skilled production staff and multiple production lines optimized for modules, giving Patriot the ability and resources necessary to provide a full line of memory module solutions. Patriot Memory is a trademark of PDP Systems, Inc.



 

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