As with all the SandForce drives, the Patriot Pyro employs some overprovisioning of the NAND to help wear-leveling and drive maintenance over long term usage. The user finds themselves with 111 GB of usable space to do with as they wish which is what we see on nearly all of the 120 GB drives these days.
Overall, several of the benchmarks didn’t turn out the way we expected in the sequential read/write area in comparison to similar drives we’ve tested. These scores ended up lower than anticipated and were consistent as we ran several iterations of each test with the same results. Likely, this is mostly due to the NAND employed which is a bit slower than what is on other drives and probably ensures that there’s enough of a performance gap
between the Pyro and Wildfire lines so sales of one doesn’t cannibalize
the other. Our experience with compressible data was much better where the ATTO benchmark showed performance that backed up Patriot’s max performance specifications of 550MB/s read and 515MB/s write.
That being said, in practical application and real-world use, we didn’t observe any major performance differences from previously tested drives although our real-world file copy tests did show some variation between the Pyro and said competition. For most users, the differences are negligible and if moving from SATA II SSD or HDD, the Pyro is still going to be a significant improvement upgrade. To be fair, most of the drives that have been released have been aimed at the enthusiast whereas the Pyro is more on the value side. Patriot does offer a 3-year warranty against defects so if there are any issues, you’re covered. As with any storage medium, be sure to make regular backups of your precious data since no device is 100% infallible as some Intel 320 SSD users recently found out the hard way.
In terms of value, we’re looking at roughly $1.88 per usable GB for the 120 GB Pyro drive which is a pretty good value relative to what we see for comparable drives and as compared to the faster Wildfire line. The cost of NAND continues to fall so it won’t be long before the broader range of consumers find these in their price range. If you’re looking for the fastest SATA III drive, the Pyro is not for you. If the best bang for your buck performance is more your speed, the Pyro is not a bad choice as long as the pricing gap remains between it and drives like the Vertex 3; however, we’re already seeing price drops and/or rebates on the drives that have been out for a bit.
Legit Bottom Line: The Patriot Pyro SSD is a capable and affordable SATA III SSD that doesn’t have the raw speed across the board like some of its peers but it also carries a lower price tag than most.