Following on from its performance-driven Wildfire series, Patriot has developed a lower cost solution for mainstream system builders. Based on SandForce's SF-2281 controller, the Pyro series appears to be aimed at Agility 3. OCZ's budget offering uses the same SandForce controller and similar NAND flash memory.
During its initial launch, the Pyro undercut the Agility 3 by a few dollars ($ 205 versus $ 210), but OCZ has since responded, slashing its price to $ 170 (or $ 140 after a discount) . Patriot hasn't answered this step yet and we're not sure how to read this decision as it puts the Pyro in a tight position between competing drives.
Although the Pyro costs more, it claims to offer a bit more speed, citing lightning-fast sequential reads at 550MB / s and sequential writes up to 515MB / s using SATA 6.0Gb / s. At first glance it looks like the Pyro is reasonably priced versus the Agility 3, but we suspect it isn't and Patriot needs to cut its prices.
Although Patriot's new drive is a long way from its premium Wildfire lineup, which costs $ 280 for a 120GB device, we tend to mention that the Pyro makes the OCZ Vertex 3 ($ 240) awkward comes close. As you know, the Vertex 3 is considered one of the fastest consumer SSDs available right now, and we're not sure if the Pyro can take this heat.
The difference between the price ranges depends on the memory used. The Pyro and Agility 3 SSDs use asynchronous NAND flash memory, while the Vertex 3 uses more expensive synchronous chips. As a result, the Agility 3 performs poorly when working with incompressible data, and we expected the Pyro to do the same.
We're also excited to test the Pyro's RAID0 performance. At $ 410, two Pyro 120GB drives cost significantly less than a single Wildfire 240GB drive ($ 515), which could produce compelling results. We could speculate on the drive's performance all day, but let's go ahead and see where Patriot's budget contender ranks in the market …