WHILE SOLID STATE DISKS (SSDs) may be the PC storage fashion fad of the moment, their cost per GB remains high compared to that of the old familiar HDDs, while achievable performance and write durability still seem to be inconsistent. However, the SSD vendors are fixing these problems one by one. Here I test a desktop SSD drive from Patriot that surpasses all the similar drives I've seen up 'til now, except for Intel's ultra-expensive X25-E Enterprise SLC unit.
The Patriot TorqX is also the first drive to come with a straightforward 10-year warranty based on simple terms: as long as the unit is not physically damaged, it will be replaced or repaired. So, just days before Intel's updated SSDs hit the shelves, it was intriguing to test one of the rare drives that will be in the same performance category, most likely at a lower price.
Here I had a 128GB unit, a standard design for desktop or mobile use, nothing extraordinary. I plugged it into my Intel Core i7 975XE test bed with an Asus Rampage II Extreme mainboard and 6GB of DDR3-2000 Kingston HyperX DIMMs - yeah, the surviving Elpida ones - running safely at DDR3-1600 CL6-6-6-15 timing. Windows Vista 64 ran Sandra 2009 SP3 tests for read and write performance, as well as the infamous I/O ops per, umm, minute.
Here are the reads:
And the writes:
And the I/O rates:
Wow! Consistent 240-plus MB/sec read and nearly 200 MB/sec write? That is extraordinary, matching SLC enterprise model performance. Now, if put four of these into a RAID10 array, they will overload any south bridge - either Intel or AMD - on the market right now with their total available throughput. In fact, only a hardware RAID controller on a dedicated PCIe x4 path would do them justice. And four of these would come real close in I/O throughput to the famed and ultra-expensive $7,500 FusionIO dedicated PCIe SSD card.
The I/O performance looks good, far better than the el-cheapo SSDs that we tested on the same platform a few weeks ago to some readers' chagrin. Now, the question arises, will Patriot be able to differentiate itself further? I'd suggest looking at an early SATA 6G implementation here, possibly combined with a spare USB 3.0 connector for external rapid backup use. Even without that, though, this is pretty close to a perfect SSD for the moment. Let's see the Intel and other new units soon, too. µ
Top notch performance, 10 year warranty.
I didn't get the 256GB unit to review (just kidding).
SSDs are usually stylish looking and this unit is no exception, so there's nothing ugly here.
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