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Patriot Pyro SE Solid State Drive E-mail
Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage
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

Closer Look: Patriot Pyro SE

SSDs are quickly gaining popularity because they work equally well in PC, Linux, or Apple computers. Likewise, they easily install into both desktop and notebook platforms without modification. For this article Benchmark Reviews is testing the Patriot Pyro SE Solid State Drive, which is specified to reach speeds of 550 MB/s for sequential reads and 520 MB/s sequential writes. The 240GB model we received for testing is built using the SandForce SF-2281 SSD controller and synchronous Intel-Micron NAND flash components. The Patriot Pyro SE uses synchronous NAND flash components, which offers higher performance when compared to the asynchronous NAND flash inside the standard Pyro SSD.

Patriot offers three capacities for their Pyro SE series of solid state drives: 60GB, 120GB, and 240GB. Performance specifications increase with capacity, as a result of the SSDs larger integrated buffer, which is why Patriot's specifications for the 120/240GB models are higher than the 60GB version. All of the Patriot Pyro SE SSDs models share the same part numbers with a capacity designator: PPSE240GS25SSDR stands for 240GB.

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

The Patriot Pyro SE SSD is best suited for performance-orientated personal computers, but could also work well for SOHO computer workstation systems. SandForce SF-2200 series SSDs have been designed with a focus on high-performance operational and data transfer speeds, and includes 256-bit encrypted data protection and improved NAND wear-leveling through their proprietary DuraWrite technology. Although Patriot Pyro SE-series SSDs do not offer an integrated USB Mini-B port, which appeared on some early-generation SSDs, the retail market offers several different 2.5" SATA enclosures that utilize the SuperSpeed USB-3.0 standard for high-performance portable file transfers.

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

Patriot recognizes that once installed, the SSD will be hidden away from view inside a notebook computer or desktop workstation, so they've remained conservative towards the design of their solid state drive's appearance. Each half of the drive enclosure is given a textured gunmetal finish, which does not show fingerprints or smudges like a gloss surface would. A branding label is attached to the top of the SSD enclosure, denoting model and capacity.

Standard 2.5" drive bay mounting points are pre-drilled and threaded into the Patriot Pyro SE SSD chassis, which allows for quick upgrade or addition into any existing notebook and other compact computer system. Fortunately, Patriot also includes a 3.5" to 2.5" tray adapter with this kit, so the Pyro SE will easily install into desktop computers. The mounting positions matched up to the drive bracket on my notebook computer, and after only a few minutes I was booting from a restored Windows 7 System Image with ease.

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

Unlike most Hard Disk Drive (HDD) storage products, SSDs are nearly impervious to impact damage and do not require (or benefit from) any kind of special vibration dampening or shock-proof enclosures. Patriot utilizes a standard two-piece metal enclosure for their Pyro SE-series SSDs, which reveals the internal components after removing four small counter-sunk screws located along the sides of this solid state drive. The seam along the side is covered with a 'Warranty Void' label, which patriot attaches to warn consumers against taking apart their product. By removing the SSD cover it will also remove your consumer protection with it.

If you're familiar with previous-generation Patriot storage products, you'll notice that looks for the Pyro SE-series haven't changed beyond the descriptive product decal. While its outward appearance is similar to many other solid state drives, the functionality and value packaged inside are considerably unique.

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

SandForce introduced their new second generation solid state drives to both consumer and enterprise segments, with seven different processor models to choose from. On the consumer (retail) side you've got models using the older SATA 3Gb/s interface as well as the latest SATA 6Gb/s interface, while all enterprise drives utilize the 3rd-generation SATA 6Gb/s interface. More than any other factor, it's the Flash Channels/Byte Lanes configuration that these separate models. SandForce's SF-2000 series of SSDs continue to feature up to 8 data channels organized into 16 Byte lanes; similar to the previous generation of SF-1222/SF-1565 series SSD controllers, but now some models are scaled down for usage scenarios not requiring massive IO activity.

On second-generation SandForce-driven SSDs, a new SATA 6Gb/s SandForce SF-2281VB1-SDC processor is part of their SF-2200 family of retail SSD controller chips, although and identical SF-2181 processor exists for older SATA 3Gb/s connections. Offering 8 flash channels with 8 Byte lanes configured (one lane per channel), the SF-2281 maintains a BGA-256 package whereas the top-end SF-2282 delivers two lanes per channel on a BGA-400 package. More detail is available in our SandForce SF-2000 Series SSD Processor Overview article.

SandForce_SF-2281VB1-SDC_SSD_Processor.jpg

SandForce SF-2281VB1-SDC Controller

All SandForce SSD controllers offer native TRIM garbage collection in supporting Operating System (such as Microsoft Windows-7), Native Command Queuing (NCQ) with 32 command slots, and basic Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology (SMART) command set. SandForce built the SF-2200 series to produce 500 MB/s sequential read and write bandwidth with 60K (burst)/20K (sustained) IOPS random write (4K transfers). The firmware controls the performance variables on SandForce SSDs, and some manufacturers have licensed custom firmware to unlock additional performance for their products.

The SF-2200 SSD processor provides enhanced ECC with BCH data protection, and also includes SandForce's unique RAISE (Redundant Array of Independent Silicon Elements) technology. RAISE provides the protection and reliability of RAID on a single SSD drive, thanks to flash architecture, without the significant write overhead of parity. The SandForce DuraClass technology automatically stores data using Trusted Computing Group (TCG) OPAL security with 256-bit AES encryption and automatic, line-rate double encryption with a drive-level password, preventing data extraction directly from the physical flash memory modules.

Micron-29F128G08CFAAB-NAND-Flash.jpg

Micron 29F128G08CFAAB Synchronous NAND Flash

SandForce enables support for advanced 30nm- and 20nm-class NAND flash from all leading flash vendors with synch/asynch/ONFi1/ONFi2/toggle interfaces that offer data transfer rates up to 166 Mega Transfers per second. Their latest generation of controllers also offers advanced ECC engine correcting up to 55 bits per 512-byte sector to assure high data integrity and support for future generations of flash memory. On the 240GB Patriot Pyro SE SSD, sixteen multi-layer cell (IMFT) Micron 29F128G08CFAAB synchronous NAND Flash modules are joined to the SandForce SF-2281 controller. Consumer-level SandForce SSDs generally allocate 7% capacity over-provisioning, which means a 128GB device will yield 120GB of usable storage space and 256GB device will yield 240GB..



 

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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