Cracking open the case of the Patriot Inferno we find a familiar sight in the realm of SandForce-based drives. As always, be warned that opening the drive casing will render your warranty null and void.
The NAND is laid out in a horseshoe pattern and the only major feature found on the backside of the PCB. Absent is any Patriot branding on the PCB itself which seems to be pretty common with all manufacturers.
The NAND itself is etched with Intel branding and of the 34nm MLC variety with 128GB total onboard – although a good chunk of that is set aside for drive provisioning and not available to the user. We’ll talk a bit about this later. We have seen this same NAND in other drives and the others typically carry the Micron name which isn’t surprising since Intel and Micron more or less have the NAND market wrapped up.
On the flip-side of the PCB we see the NAND horseshoe pattern repeated although this time the controller lies smack in the middle.
The controller is the now familiar SandForce SF-1222, or most often referred to as the SF-1200 controller. No cache is present on this drive which is the norm for SandForce drives but is present on drives with other controllers. The SandForce controller doesn’t need a separate cache because it employs varies techniques via its DuraClass technology which does a remarkable job on wear-leveling, drive maintenance and overall performance. That takes care of the inside so let’s have a look at the test system and comparison drives.