Like the Corsair Force Series, the Patriot Inferno drive has roughly 93GB available to the user with 28% of the drive being provisioned for drive maintenance and performance preservation activities. It seems like a lot and it is. However, having this level of overprovisioning really does a nice job of extending drive life and maintaining optimum performance. If this is a little much for your tastes, Patriot is also offering the Inferno in a 120GB or 240GB capacity which is basically the same drives as their 100GB/200GB counterparts with less overprovisioning. Note that the warranties differ between the two sets with the 100GB/200GB drives having a 5-year warranty and the 120GB/240GB having a 3-year warranty. The difference being simply that the drives having the greater amount of overprovisioning are assumed to have a longer expected life span under normal use.
Overall the performance is dead on what we expected. Although the Inferno comes to market a little later than a number of other SandForce based drives, it’s better late than never. Patriot seems to have taken a more conservative approach to SSD releases and firmware updates, choosing to let other companies and their customers assume the risk of disaster while they quietly follow up with proven and stable products. This may appeal to more conservative users who like an extra measure of assurance where early adopting enthusiasts may have already jumped on board with a competitor and assumed any risk there may have been. Their superb five year warranty is testament to their confidence in the quality of their product.
As with other SandForce based drives, we found the Inferno to be a resilient drive and the performance did not drop appreciably even after subjecting it to a long battery of benchmarks and multiple fills. With TRIM and idle garbage collection there to keep things going smoothly, users have no fear of significant performance degradation over time. In fact, OS X, XP and RAID 0 users who don’t benefit from TRIM will be pleased to find drive performance maintained very well over time due to the DuraClass technology of the SandForce drives. The 100GB/200GB models even more so due to the large amount of overprovisioning built in so keep that in mind when making your purchasing decision. At $294 after rebate, the Inferno is about equal with its 100GB peers at roughly $3.15 per usable gigabyte. The prices for SSDs are slowiy dropping but as always, a premium price is paid for the latest and greatest.
Legit Bottom Line: While the performance of the Inferno is nothing we haven’t seen from other drives featuring the same controller, the inclusion of the adapter plate and generous five year warranty do help make the Patriot Inferno a compelling choice among its competitors. Those that like PC bling will also appreciate its unique styling which definitely makes it stand out in a windowed chassis.