Patriot Torqx 128GB MLC SSD ReviewTue, Sep 29, 2009 - 12:00 AM
Observations, Final Thoughts & Conclusions
If you’ve read through all the pages (you did, didn’t you?) you should have a good idea how the Patriot Torqx 128GB SSD stacks up with its competitors. If not, I’ll sum it up for you. The Torqx performed very well and near or at the top in just about all benchmarks. That being said, benchmarks do not always equate to how the drives perform in the real world and over time. I spent some time playing around on Windows 7 installed on the drive for quite awhile. I did a lot of multi-tasking, simultaneous file copies and moves, and played a game or two as well. I didn’t notice any problems with stuttering and the system felt very crisp and responsive with Windows booting in less than twenty seconds from completion of BIOS load. The adapter bracket made it easier to mount although a bit of Velcro tape can allow for some creative drive location in the case.
Patriot has stated on their support forums that they will be releasing firmware soon that will support native TRIM on Windows 7. This will ensure peak performance over time and eliminate the need to execute the wiper executable manually on a regular basis. What remains to be seen is will the new firmware still require the use of the jumper and be a destructive process requiring a complete re-installation of the OS and applications. I would hope not since competitor Indilinx drives already offer non-destructive firmware updates as will Intel for their newest drives when they release a similar update for native TRIM. When I inquired on their forum, I received no response (it’s been over 10 days now) and it appears most of the support on the forum comes in the form of users helping users. I’d personally like to see their forum better supported to be in line with their mission statement (referenced in the introduction) in regards to service. Being an emerging consumer technology, first time SSD consumers have a lot of questions and forums are a great way to address them and reduce the number of RMA’s which could ultimately impact unit cost.
A lot of people feel that the latest drives by Intel are the best MLC SSD’s out there which may be true; however, I’ll take the lower cost and overall performance of the Patriot Torqx SSD’s any day, thank you. The numbers speak for themselves and at $350 (and dropping), it won’t be long before everyone has a quality SSD in their PC.
One last point is that a lot of people inquire about longevity of SSD’s. SSD’s employ a wear leveling algorithm to help the longevity of the individual cells by spreading the workload. There have been many calculations about how long the drives will last before they wear out and all of them equate to a time greater than the roughly 10 years the cell charges last in the drive. Let’s face it – the majority of users will upgrade their OS drive long before 10 years is up. However, do take note that this assumes normal consumer use and not business applications that do an enormous number of writes at a fairly constant rate. Also, for you benchmark lovers: running benchmarks over and over will prematurely wear the drive and shorten its expected life span.
Legit Bottom Line: The Patriot Torqx 128GB SSD offers some of the best performance for MLC drives available with a price tag below that of most of the drives with similar performance. If Patriot can follow through with a non-destructive firmware upgrade with native TRIM support, they definitely will have made my short list for SSD recommendations- especially with the outstanding 10 year warranty.