Back in October 2011, we reviewed the 120GB Patriot Wildfire, the company’s first SF-2281-based SSD. With 32nm Toshiba asynchronous NAND, the Wildfire was a solid, if unremarkable, drive—awesome compared to nearly every other drive, but not quite up to the standard set by Corsair’s Force GT, OCZ’s Vertex 3, or OWC’s Mercury Extreme Pro. With the Pyro SE, Patriot hopes to change that.
The Force GT, Vertex 3, and Mercury Extreme Pro have one thing in common that the Wildfire lacked: 25nm synchronous NAND. Now a Patriot drive has the same stuff. The 240GB Patriot Pyro SE uses 16 128Gb modules of Micron 25nm synchronous NAND. Can the smaller process and synchronous NAND help the Pyro SE keep pace with the best SF-2281 SSDs on the market?
Yes. The better NAND pushes the Pyro SE past its stablemate and into the rarified air at the top of the SandForce-powered heap. With sequential read and write speeds at 482MB/s and 300MB/s, respectively, as measured by CrystalDiskMark, the Pyro SE is about as fast as the OWC Mercury Extreme Pro, and its 4KB random write speed, at over 91,000 IOPS, is the fastest we’ve ever seen from a 6Gb/s SATA drive. The synchronous NAND makes the most impact on sequential write speeds, offering a 40–50MB/s boost over the asynchronous NAND in the Wildfire.
For such a speedy drive, the Pyro SE’s exterior is pretty pedestrian.
As with all top-tier SandForce SF-2281-powered drives, the Pyro SE is optimized for small random‑write cycles; in sequential tests, Samsung’s 830 Series SSD holds the crown.
The Pyro SE is priced competitively with other drives that use the same NAND and controller, like the OWC Mercury Extreme Pro, and it performs competitively, too. If you’re looking for a top-tier SSD with a SandForce controller and speedy 25nm synchronous NAND, the sparkly‑gray Pyro SE is just as good as the sparkly‑blue OWC drive. So get whichever one matches your rig better.
Patriot Pyro SE 240GB
Meet the Pyro
Performance identical to top-tier SandForce drives.
Meet the Meat
Sequential speeds can’t match Samsung 830.
Patriot Pyro SE
Intel 520 Series
Samsung 830 Series SSD
Sustained Read (MB/s)
Sustained Write (MB/s)
Seq. Read (MB/s)
Seq. Write (MB/s)
4KB Read (IOPS)
4KB Write (IOPS)
64KB File Read (MB/s)
64KB File Write (MB/s)
4KB Random Write
Max Access Time (ms)
Premiere Pro Encode Write (sec)
PCMark Vantage x64 HDD
PCMark 11 x64 SST
Best scores are bolded. 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.