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.
Lost in the buzz surrounding the latest DirectX 11 GPUs and hexacore CPUs is the ability to actually store and retrieve your stuff. Your applications, games, photographs, digital music and everything else lives on your hard drive. But that boring old rotating magnetic disk just doesn’t seem exciting or high tech – even though the technology in a hard drive is actually pretty incredible.
We’ll first touch briefly on technology and jargon, then look at several different scenarios, and try to focus on what storage options might be appropriate and cost effective. But first, let’s talk tech. We’ll first briefly discuss hard drives, then take a quick look at SSDs.
See if this dilemma sounds at all familiar. Your PC's performance is being held back by your mechanical hard drive as it spins and stumbles around its platters fetching your data. Replacing it with a solid state drive is a surefire cure, but the high end ones cost too much and you don't want to settle for anything less. Are you out of luck? That all depends on where Patriot Memory prices its new Pyro SATA 6Gbps SSD line.
Like Goose and Maverick, we have a serious need for speed, which is why it's getting time to think about replacing all those USB 2.0 flash drives with USB 3.0 equivalents. It makes sense, for the right price, now that you can't hardly buy a new motherboard or PC without at least one SuperSpeed USB 3.0 port on it, and according to Patriot Memory, the company's new Supersonic Xpress USB 3.0 flash drive offers "maximum performance at an affordable price."
More and more memory companies are bumping uglies with SandForce's latest SF-2200 controller, the sexy slice of silicon mostly responsible for those ultra high-speed read and write speeds advertised on today's top shelf solid state drives. And though a little late to the party, sparks did eventually fly between SandForce's SF-2200 processor and Patriot, igniting the company's new Wildfire SSD line.
For better or worse, long gone are the days when memory kits were marketed based on frequency and timings alone. Now we have memory kits marketed for specific platforms and processors, a trend that's underscored by Patriot Memory's new "Gamer 2 (G2) Series, AMD Edition" aimed at -- *drum roll* -- gamers putting together an AMD-based system.
Patriot is upfront in the fact that its new Torqx 2 solid state drive line isn't the fastest on the market, nor is it intended to be. Built to take advantage of the SATA II (3Gbps) interface, Patriot says it's looking to deliver "the perfect balance of price and performance." Don't misunderstand that to think the Torqx 2 is slow. On paper, this new series is rated at up to 270MB/s read and up to 230MB/s write speeds.
Most home servers and NAS boxes end up tucked away in the corner of a closet, both for convenience and to maintain your room's decor. But Patriot Memory's put together a storage hub you may not want to hide from view.
Patriot's new Javelin S4 Media Server ships with a curvaceous white exterior that's anything but an eyesore. On the inside you'll find four 3.5-inch drive bays with support for up to 12TB of storage capacity (four 3TB SATA or SAS drives). For redundancy (or performance), the Javelin supports RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 configurations, as well as a hot-spare drive.
"Media servers are gaining in popularity in households with multiple computers and streaming audio and video devices. With the popularity of digital music and video downloads, a central hub for all digital downloads is the perfect way to distribute media to multiple systems and devices over your home network and the Internet," says Patriot Memory Vice President of Engineering Les Henry.
Henry doesn't have to convince us on the merits of home servers, it's the feature-set and price that need pitching. The Javelin is Windows, Mac, and DLNA compatible and features an integrated iTunes server. Other goodies include UPnP compatibility, Internet sharing capabilities, a mobile phone app for Android and iOS devices, a BitTorrent client, automatic backups, and TimeMachine support.
Look for the Javelin S4 to ship in February 2011 for an as-yet unannounced price.
Patriot Memory just sent us word that they're releasing a trio of new DDR3 memory kits designed for the upcoming second generation of Intel Core processor. The new memory lines include the Viper Xtreme, Division 2, and G2 series.
Patriot says both the Viper Xtreme and Division 2 lines are appropriate choices for the "extreme enthusiast looking to push the limits of DDR3 memory technology," while the G2 series is best suited for the "serious PC gamer looking for increased system performance for the gaming edge at a cost conscious price."
The two higher end kits are available in speeds up to 2133MHz with "plenty of headroom for adventurous overclocking," Patriot claims. The G2 series comes in a variety of speeds ranging from 1333MHz to 1600MHz.
Since the USB 3.0 spec has already claimed the designation "SuperSpeed," Patriot opted to go with a slightly different nomenclature for its newest USB 3.0 flash drive family: Supersonic.
Patriot's new Supersonic series features a native single-chip USB 3.0 controller and Quad-Channel technology. Combine the two and Patriot says you're left with one helluva fast drive.
"Patriot is one of the first companies to integrate a native single-chip USB 3.0 flash memory controller. By pairing the controller with our Quad-Channel technology, we're able to maximize performance with the Supersonic series," says Les Henry, Patriot Memory's Vice President of Engineering. "We are able to shrink the physical size of the USB 3.0 flash drives for even greater portability."
Available in 32GB and 64GB capacities, Patriot says the Supersonic series is capable of hitting 100MB/s and 70MB/s sequential read and write speeds, respectively.
The Supersonic series will ship in early 2011 for an as yet undetermined price.