Intel recently plunged into the solid-state drive market and sent storage industry hype through the roof with its ground-up design. After our own tests confirmed its speed, we wondered whether the results were indicative of SSDs across the board or simply a testament to Intel's hard work and ingenuity. The Patriot Warp V.2 is another solid-state drive that promises similar results but at a much cheaper price. We found that although the $420 Warp V.2 ($350 after manufacturer's rebate) is much cheaper than Intel's SSD, the bigger picture proves that fast 7,200rpm hard drives are a smarter laptop upgrade.
The Patriot Warp V.2 comes in three capacities up to 128GB and is designed to fit into any 2.5 inch SATA hard-drive bay. Like the Intel X-25M, it uses NAND flash chips instead of moving parts to achieve faster data-access memory than the conventional hard disk. The lack of a physical disc spinning around inside also theoretically means it consumes less power and generates less heat, both of which benefit hard-core laptop jockeys.
The dramatic price difference between hard disks and solid-state drives forces budget users to shrug off the performance benefits, no matter how significant. As you can see from the chart below, even though the Patriot is the least expensive out of our four competitive SSDs, especially compared with the Intel X-25M, the jump from a name-brand hard disk spinning at 7,200 rotations per minute (faster than the typical 5,400rpms) to the Patriot drive is almost $3 per gigabyte. Without complaining about the Intel's astronomical cost, the argument will continue to weigh against SSDs until we see a significant price drop for the whole group.
Patriot Warp V.2 cost-per-gig comparison
|Model||Capacity||Est. street price||Cost per GB|
|Super Talent MasterDrive MX||120GB||$435||$3.63|
|OCZ Core Series||128GB||$434||$3.39|
|Patriot Warp V.2||128GB||$420||$3.28|
|Western Digital Caviar||160GB||$60||$0.38|