Conclusion, Pricing, and Final Thoughts
- Highest file create performance we’ve seen to date out of a SATA 6Gb/sec device.
- Good overall performance.
- Quality construction.
- Baseline SandForce firmware has lower mixed mode (iometer) performance than others.
Pricing and Availability:
Street Prices (newegg):
- 60G @ $105 ($1.75 / GB)
- 120G @ $175 ($1.46 / GB)*
- 240G @ $390 ($1.63 / GB)
- 120G @ $265 ($2.20 / GB)
- 240G @ $450 ($1.88 / GB)
- 480G @ $1140 ($2.38 / GB)
* note – there are some heavy rebates going on at the time of this writing. The 120GB Pyro is $145 ($1.21 / GB).
While the Pyro prices are good (especially with that current rebate), the Wildfire didn’t seem to perform so much better as to warrant such a premium. Looking at the prices above, the lowest cost/GB Wildfire costs more than even the highest cost/GB Pyro. While Toshiba’s Toggle-mode flash may yield higher performance over IMFT flash, we’re ultimately limited by how well a given controller + firmware combination can take advantage of it.
* Firmware *:
SandForce controllers had a ‘BSOD bug’ which would cause intermittent dropouts and in extreme cases would cause the SSD to become permanently unresponsive (i.e. brick) when used in some specific hardware configurations. This was patched back in October. Patriot made the required 3.3.2 firmware update available for their drives shortly thereafter.
I highly recommend any owners of the Pyro or Wildfire to update their firmware to this version ASAP. This is not one of those typical ‘don’t update unless you need to’ firmwares. This issue is intermittent and random, and can cause a drive to brick with no advanced warning whatsoever. I personally had an Agility 3 die (without warning) to this exact type of failure.
These two Patriot Memory SSD’s gave us a pleasant surprise in our content creation testing, and kept with the pack on most other tests. The stock firmware appeared to have a few quirks when it came to mixed workload (IOMeter) testing, but all other tests went well. While the IMFT flash brings the price of the Pyro alongside most of the competition, Toshiba’s Toggle-mode flash is fetching too high a price premium given the Wildfire’s nearly identical performance.