Patriot Pyro 240GB
Inexpensive SSDs based on second-generation SandForce controllers are highly popular among computer users. They are but slightly inferior to their premium-class counterparts in official specs whereas their price is very attractive. Therefore many companies offer both expensive and affordable SF-2281 based products with SATA 6 Gbit/s. The Pyro is Patriot’s affordable solution whose cost per gigabyte is about $1.6.
As you can guess from its price, the Pyro contains inexpensive asynchronous MLC NAND flash with a bandwidth of only 50 MT/s. Our sample has 16 128-gigabit Intel 29F16B08CAME1 chips each of which has two 25nm NAND devices. Intel and Micron have a joint venture for producing flash memory but the two companies mark their chips differently. In fact, the Pyro has the same chips as the OCZ Agility 3, so the two are identical in terms of hardware (except for certain differences in their PCB wiring).
It doesn’t mean we expect them to perform in the same way, though. OCZ optimizes firmware for its SSDs whereas the Pyro uses the reference version 3.20 firmware.
Patriot Wildfire 120GB
After the most original Vertex 3 Max IOPS we thought OCZ was the only manufacturer to dare to use 34nm flash memory. However, Patriot has come up with a similar product called Wildfire. It has a SandForce SF-2281 controller and uses MLC NAND flash with Toggle Mode DDR interface. As a result, the Wildfire is just as expensive as the OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS and offers 1 gigabyte of storage for about $2.25.
Well, we can’t really view the flagship SSDs from OCZ and Patriot as identical products. First of all, the Patriot is a 120-gigabyte drive whereas OCZ offers a 240-gigabyte one. There are also significant differences inside. The Patriot has different memory chips: Toshiba TH58TAG6D2FBA49 (64 Gb, two semiconductor dies in each). The 16 chips allow the eight-channel SF-2281 controller to enable 4-way interleaving.
Thus, the Wildfire is potentially slower than the Vertex 3 Max IOPS but we don’t think the gap is going to be large since both use flash memory with fast synchronous interface. By the way, the top-end SSD from Patriot boasts increased reliability just like the OCZ product.
Like the Pyro, the Wildfire uses the reference version 3.20 firmware. The manufacturer must have decided that there is nothing to improve in it.