Patriot Pyro SE 120GB & 240GB Reviewccokeman - December 11, 2011
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Overall, with all things considered, the Pyro SE series from Patriot delivered excellent performance across the entire test suite. More times than not the Pyro SE drives were driving the bus (No not the short bus), rather than just hanging on to it for the ride. The switch to synchronous MLC flash memory has driven the performance up to the point where it is giving the Patriot Wildfire that uses Toshiba 32nm Toggle mode flash a run for its money. Performance wise the Pyro SE (Special Edition) drives are meant to bridge the gap between the performance of the original Pyro and the upper end Wildfire. Fortunately the SE drives deliver Wildfire + performance in many of the tests. The specifications for these drives include 550MB/s Read, 520MB/s write and 4K aligned random write performance of 85,000 IOPs. Both the 120GB and 240GB Pyro SE drives reached or exceeded the specifications during testing. This really is the expectation for drives in this class. When used in a desktop environment a chassis that has 2.5 inch form factor support is not a necessity as 2.5 to 3.5 inch drive bay adapters can be purchased inexpensively. However, having the adapter included with a drive is a better option that Patriot has chosen to forgo. I understand the part drives up the costs, but in the grand scheme of things given similar performance for a similar price, that point of distinction is not there. As capacity goes up, pricing inevitably goes up. The 120GB Pyro SE is currently selling for competitive $169 after rebates, with the 240GB version at $369. Not the lowest pricing for the segment, but competitive.
Early on in the product cycle Sandforce 2281 equipped drive were having some problems that caused performance issues and BSOD's. At this point this has been ironed out with firmware updates that address the performance issues. Patriot has been on the forefront with its support and firmware updating tools since I have been looking at their drives over the past few years. The tools are easy to use and allow the end user to flash without fear. If something should go wrong Patriots 3 year warranty is there as a back up. Technology is moving so fast now that in that three year period the drive will most likely be obsolete and it will be time to move on anyhow with Patriot's latest drives. Capacities for the Pyro SE are available from 60GB to 240GB. Using a lower capacity drive means the space will fill up fast. Just the programs used for the testing eat up a chunk of the available 111GB available on the 120GB Pyro SE after formatting. The end user will have to manage the space used and flip larger programs or games to an ancillary drive. The 240GB Pyro SE is more tolerant with double the space.
Both the 120GB and 240GB drives use Sandforce 2281 controllers that offer a host of features, such as Duraclass technology, which includes Durawrite for managing the write cycles to increase the lifespan of the MLC NAND, RAISE (Redundant Array of Independent Silicon Elements) technology for an increase in reliability, and full speed AES encryption driven through the Sandforce 2281 controller. Trim is supported and garbage collection duties are also enhanced to manage the free space on these drives. When you get down to it Patriot's Pyro "Special Edition" drives live up to the name with hot performance from a part that really sees little of the glamor life. As the technology continues to improve coupled with increased market trust and adoption rates there is no reason to not have these drive on your short list! Patriot has one heck of an offering with the Pyro SE!
- Drive performance
- Sandforce controller
- Support and updates
- 3 Year Warranty
- SATA 6gb/s
- Lacking 2.5 to 3.5 in adaptor