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Nathan Edwards Nov 06, 2012

Patriot Wildfire 120GB SSD Review

At A Glance

WYLD STALLYNS

Close to front-running performance; high sequential-read speeds; good encode times.

DEATH

Slightly slower and more expensive than the competition.

This isn’t Patriot’s first rodeo. The company’s Torqx drive (reviewed September 2009) was one of the best Indilinx SSDs on the market for a while, and the Inferno (October 2010) was a perfectly cromulent first-gen SandForce drive, only lagging behind those SF-1200-based SSDs with specially tweaked “Max IOPS” firmware. The Wildfire (a name that actually seems like a step down from Inferno) is Patriot’s first SF-2281-based drive, and we put the 120GB version through its paces.

The 120GB Wildfire SSD consists of an SF-2281 controller and eight 128Gb (that’s gigabits, not bytes) Toshiba 32nm NAND flash packages on a 6Gb/s SATA bus. In our tests, the Wildfire performed nearly as well as the OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G and OCZ’s Vertex 3, the two fastest SandForce drives we’ve tested. In AS SSD’s synthetic SSD benchmark, in fact, the Wildfire’s sustained read speeds were neck-and-neck with the Vertex’s, while sustained writes were around 40MB/s slower, at 240MB/s. The only place we’ve ever seen a SandForce drive hit near the 500MB/s sustained writes that the manufacturers tout is in ATTO’s large-block writes, at 64KB and above.


Patriot's Wildfire isn't all that wild.

In high-queue-depth 4KB read and write tests in CrystalDiskMark and Iometer, the Wildfire can’t quite match OWC or OCZ’s drives, but it still tops all non-SandForce drives in Iometer with 71,000 IOPS. Premiere Pro encode times were in line with the best, although PCMark 7 and Vantage scores—which are designed to simulate real-world application loads—lagged a bit behind the front-runners.

At $300 MSRP, the Wildfire is slightly more expensive than OCZ or OWC’s drives, though its street price will likely drop to match the competition. While we have to give the edge here to the OCZ and OWC drives, Patriot’s Wildfire runs a close second.

$300, www.patriotmemory.com

Benchmarks

Corsair Force GT
Patriot Wildfire
OWC Mercury
Extreme Pro 6G
OCZ Agility 3OCZ Vertex 3
CrystalDiskMark

    
Sustained Read (MB/s)
493.0*
473.5479.8213.8485.5
Sustained Write (MB/s) 169.9
252.7
297.6*
248.8289.8
AS SSD


   
Seq. Read (MB/s)
505.4

506.1

505.7
211.6506.2*
Seq. Write (MB/s)
164.1
240.5
290.95*
237.4280.19
4KB Read (IOPS)
5,2424,6565,158
4,7825,539*
4KB Write (IOPS)
12,800
12,71212,96612,76714,263*
Read Access (ms)
0.14
0.170.150.09*0.16
Write Access (ms)
0.260.29
0.260.270.22*
ATTO


   
64KB File Read (MB/s)453.09
453.09
462.17*
422.81446.47
64KB File Write (MB/s)477.2473.75483.07479.53505.38*
IOMETER     
4KB Random Write88,666.13
71,524.25
87,968.52
90,267.67*85,144.43
Max Access Time (ms)599539*5761
Premiere Pro Encode Write (sec)435
426
423
426422*
PCMark Vantage x64 HDD52,837
50,50560,68361,403*59,978
PCMark 11 x64 SST5,0704,7515,302*4,8595,285

Asterisk (*) denotes highest score. Our current test bed is a 3.1GHz Core i3-2100 processor on an Asus P8 P67 Pro (B3 chipset) running Windows 7 Professional 64-bit. All tests used onboard 6Gb/s SATA ports with latest Intel drivers.

THE VERDICT

Patriot Wildfire 120GB SSD

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