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Written by Olin Coles   
Monday, 05 December 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
Patriot Pyro SE Solid State Drive
Closer Look: Patriot Pyro SE
Features and Specifications
SSD Testing Methodology
AS-SSD Benchmark
ATTO Disk Benchmark
CrystalDiskMark 3.0 Tests
Iometer IOPS Performance
EVEREST Disk Benchmark
PCMark Vantage HDD Tests
Patriot Pyro SE SSD Conclusion

Patriot Pyro SE Solid State Drive Review

Manufacturer: Patriot Memory LLC
Product Name: Pyro SE Solid State Drive
Model Numbers: PPSE240GS25SSDR
Price As Tested: 60GB Model PPSE60GS25SSDR: $117, 120GB Model PPSE120GS25SSDR: $205, 240GB Model PPSE240GS25SSDR: $470 (Newegg / Amazon)

Full Disclosure: The product sample used in this article has been provided by Patriot.

Benchmark Reviews has previously tested the Patriot Pyro SE, a second-generation SandForce SF-2281 solid state drive, which is considered their standard-IOPS enthusiast storage solution. Now we return to test the Patriot Pyro SE, which pushes the throttle on synchronous NAND flash for the best operational performance possible. Patriot rates the Pyro SE to deliver SATA 6Gb/s read speeds up to 550 MB/s with 4K aligned operations reaching 85,000 IOPS. In this article Benchmark Reviews tests the Patriot Pyro SE SSD, 240GB model PPSE240GS25SSDR, against the leading competitors to find out just how much speed and performance this new solid state drive really offers.

SandForce's second-generation SF-2281 SSD processor maintains all of the original core technology introduced in the SF-1200 series, but now improves performance with 20% faster IOPS and 40% faster sequential read/write throughput. They've enhanced BCH ECC capability, and the new processors now support ATA-7 Security Erase. Finally, the new SF-2200 series implements cost-effective 20nm-class NAND flash from all leading flash vendors with Asynch/ONFi1/ONFi2/Toggle interfaces.

For many within the industry, SandForce was considered to control the 2010 market in much the same way that Indilinx did in 2009. The difference now is that SandForce's platform offers several technical benefits that the old Indilinx Barefoot platform was not capable of. Nearly into 2012, the SSD landscape is approximately the same, but with some interesting new twists. Benchmark Reviews confirms that 2nd-generation SandForce processors are keeping up with their past reputation, using performance tests on the Intel SATA 6Gb/s controller.

Patriot-Pyro-SE-SSD-PPSE240GS25SSDR-Angle.jpg

Solid State vs Hard Disk

Despite decades of design improvements, the hard disk drive (HDD) is still the slowest component of any personal computer system. Consider that modern desktop processors have a 1 ns response time (nanosecond = one billionth of one second), while system memory responds between 30-90 ns. Traditional hard drive technology utilizes magnetic spinning media, and even the fastest spinning mechanical storage products still exhibit a 9,000,000 ns / 9 ms initial response time (millisecond = one thousandth of one second). In more relevant terms, the processor receives the command and must then wait 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; usually the hard drive.

In a perfect world all of the components operate at the same speed. Until that day comes, the real-world goal for achieving optimal performance is for system memory to operate as quickly as the central processor and then for the storage drive to operate as fast as memory. With present-day 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, consider then 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 in these response times. The difference a SSD makes to operational response 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 mechanical HDD counterparts. The biggest mistake PC hardware enthusiasts make with regard to SSD technology is grading them based on bandwidth speed. File transfer speeds are important, but only so long as the operational IOPS performance can sustain that bandwidth under load.

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: bandwidth determines how much cargo a ship can transport in one voyage, and operational IOPS performance is how 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.



 

Comments 

 
# SweetMergatroid 2011-12-12 16:32
I've owned a Patriot Inferno for almost a year now and it's been very reliable. The Pyro looks like it's continuing a solid reputation for a quality product.

Great review, and I enjoyed reading about your benchmark selections and reasoning. This latest generation of SSDs sure provide amazing performance.
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# Comparison Between Modelsredwolfe_98 2011-12-16 10:49
i would have liked to have seem a comparison of the performance of the 60 GB, the 120 GB and the 240 GB models of the patriot pyro SSD's.. i understand that if all of those were not provided, then they couldn't be tested.. from what i have seen, there can be big differences between the smaller and larger capacity SSD's..

to me, the prices on the patriot pyro SSD's look good, compared to what i have seen with other SSD's, which, incidentally, are too expensive, for me..
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# RE: Comparison Between ModelsOlin Coles 2011-12-16 13:47
Thanks for your comment. To be honest, I would have liked to receive one of every capacity so they could be tested as well. Sadly, that's not how these manufacturers send samples. In terms of maximum performance the differences are very small, but those differences get big once the NAND gets filled (but not with the Pyro SE series because it uses synchronous NAND flash components).
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# RE: Patriot Pyro SE Solid State Driveredwolfe_98 2011-12-16 10:54
to add to my last post (since i can't edit it), i should have said that the price on the 120 GB unit looks good, to me.. the price on the 240 GB unit is comparible to those from other vendors, which is too expensive for me..
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# Dudemjpatter63 2012-01-07 17:29
Nice review. You should test these on AMD chipsets/mobos. You will get very different results, not only with the Pyro SE but all of the Sandforce controller used SSD'd. I have tested the Kingston HyperX and Vertex 3 Max IOPS and the Pyro SE. With compressed sequential data they get similar results as the SSD's on Intel chipsets using iStor. On an AMD board ( I've tested on SB850 and 9 series chipsets, using the AMD sata controller) and the 4K, 4KQD32, and especially random reads drops to 60% less than the Intel boards. The SSD's that have worked best for me and test well across the board are the Crucial C30, M4(Marvell contr) and Samsung 830(Samsung Contr.)These were 120gb drives. Just my findings for the AMD folks out there.
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# Re: SB850Shanon 2012-01-17 20:26
I agree with this comment as far as the need for testing hardware on more than one platform. Did you notice any stability issues when testing the Crucial M4 or the Samsung 830 on the SB850? I've been looking at both of these SSD's, after having experienced the "disappearing drive" issue with the OCZ Vertex 3 (which I've come to understand as a compatibility issue between the Sandforce Controller and the SB850). I'd love to add a 256GB SSD as the application drive for my system, but not enough to have to upgrade my mobo (and consequently my CPU): I just built this system 7 months ago.
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# Mr.Tim 2012-01-17 15:39
"after only a few minutes I was booting from a restored Windows 7 System Image"
Can I assume that if I have already done a W7 install on a HD that I can use this procedure to move W7 over to the ssd if I purchase one? I am new to W7 and system image? Currently all I have installed on a new build is the W7 OS..Thanks

Do you reply to email also??? or do I check back here...guess I will find out if you respond to my email...preferred...thanks
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# RE: Mr.Olin Coles 2012-01-17 15:47
Yes, you can clone from a hard drive to the SSD without re-installing Windows. See here:
benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=439
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# OffsetMergatroid 2012-01-17 17:28
SSDs requite a particular "offset" for the format. If this offset is not correct, you can end up writing to two blocks instead of one for every write, which will kill performance and reduce the lifespan of the SSD.

Some imaging software is offset aware for SSDs and some is not. If your software does not work properly with an SSD and you create a hard drive image, when you restore the image to the SSD you will have the wrong offset.

Some imaging software will use whatever offset is in the image. Under these conditions a restore will provide the wrong offset. If the image was made from an SSD in the first place, then it should restore the correct offset.

Some imaging software has been updated so that it will use the correct offset when restoring even a hard drive image to an SSD.

This all depends on the software. You MUST check your software and if necessary contact the publisher and find out how it handles offsets. If you restore a hard drive image to an SSD with the incorrect offset, as far as I know the only way to correct it is to completely do a fresh install of Windows 7. I have seen people claim they can correct the offset after an incorrect image restore, but I tried it and the performance was not what it should have been. I had to load the recovery console, command line interface and run the diskpart software to format the drive and apply the correct offset.

All that can be avoided in two ways:
1: Do a fresh clean install to begin with and windows 7 will do everything correctly.

or

2: Create and restore your hard drive image using image software that is SSD offset aware.
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# Re Offsetspitcake 2013-03-06 15:00
AS SSD Benchmark will tell you if the drive's not aligned to 4k boundaries. If that happens, best to purchase Paragon Alignment tool.
handy to have for anyone playing with SSD's, and you re-use it once you buy it. There's other ways to re-align, but for $30 the Paragon Tool will save you a lot of headaches.
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