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Patriot Memory Pyro solid-state drive review: Patriot Memory Pyro solid-state drive

Patriot Memory Pyro solid-state drive

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Dong Ngo
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Dong Ngo

SF Labs Manager, Editor / Reviews

CNET editor Dong Ngo has been involved with technology since 2000, starting with testing gadgets and writing code for CNET Labs' benchmarks. He now manages CNET San Francisco Labs, reviews 3D printers, networking/storage devices, and also writes about other topics from online security to new gadgets and how technology impacts the life of people around the world.

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5 min read

The Patriot Memory Pyro is somewhat of a downgrade from the Patriot Wildfire in terms of both price and performance. The drive was slightly slower in our testing and is among the more expensive SATA 3 (6Gbps) solid-state drives on the market. That said, it's still about 90 cents per gigabyte cheaper than its brother and will offer significant improvement to your computer's performance when used as a replacement for the boot drive. Note, however, that you might not want to let the computer go into sleep mode when the drive is used. In our testing, the drive would occasionally dismount when waking up from sleep mode, causing a blue-screen error. If you can live with that, the Patriot Memory Pyro still makes a decent investment.

patriot-pyro-120gb.png
6.8

Patriot Memory Pyro solid-state drive

The Good

The 2.5-inch SATA 3 (6Gbps)-based <b>Patriot Memory Pyro</b> solid-state drive (SSD) offers decent performance and works in any application in which other SATA hard drives are used.

The Bad

The Patriot Memory Pyro randomly dismounts sometimes when the computer comes out of sleep mode. The drive doesn't come with a drive bay converter to make it work with desktops, and its data transfer rates could use some improvement.

The Bottom Line

The Patriot Memory Pyro is a decent SSD among its peers and will improve your computer's performance significantly when used as a replacement hard drive.

Design and features

Drive type Internal drive
Connector options SATA 3 (6Gbps), SATA 2, SATA
Available capacities 60GB, 120GB, 240GB
Product dimensions 9mm thick, 2.5-inch standard
Capacity of test unit 240GB
OSes supported Windows, Mac, Linux

The Pyro looks basically the same as the Wildfire except for the different label on its top. The drive comes in the standard 2.5-inch, 9mm-thick design. This means it will work in most, if not all, instances in which a regular hard drive of the same design would be used, such as inside a laptop computer. The drive supports different RAID configurations in case you want to add multiples of them together to increase performance or to protect data from drive failure.

Unlike the Wildfire, the Pyro doesn't come with a 3.5-inch drive bay converter. This means you'll have a harder time fitting it inside a desktop computer. However, this is not really a big deal, as we find that you can just let an SSD sit around inside the computer as long as you don't move the system around too much, since it has no moving parts.

Like the Wildfire, the Pyro supports the latest SATA 3 (6Gbps) standard but also works with the popular SATA 2 (3Gbps) standard and even the original SATA controller. To get the most out of it, obviously, it's recommended to use SATA 3.

We tried the Pyro with all popular operating systems, including Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X, and it worked as intended. Under Windows 7 64-bit, we did find that once in a while the 240GB drive would dismount when the test computer was coming out of the sleep mode, causing a blue-screen error. In this case, we needed to turn the computer off and restart it again. Since this didn't happen consistently and the tested drive used the latest firmware (version 3.2.0), we assumed that this would only happen with certain motherboards. We recommend that you don't use sleep mode with the drive and instead turn the computer off completely. With this drive, your computer should just take a few seconds to boot up anyway. Still, we hope that this will be resolved via a firmware update.

Cost per gigabyte
The Pyro, though cheaper than the Wildfire, isn't one of the most affordable SSDs we've seen. In fact, at $1.79 per gigabyte (the 240GB version) or $1.67 per gigabyte (the 120GB version), it's more expensive than a few others that offer better performance. Note that the pricing used in this review is that of the current market and might change significantly.

Performance
The Patriot Memory Pyro performed decently in our testing and met our expectations considering the performance of the higher-tier and more expensive Wildfire. We tested the drive by copying a large amount of data both while using it as a secondary drive and while using it as the main (boot) drive of the test machine. In the former case, the drive can show its full throughput speed, and the latter represents what you'd see in normal daily usage.

When used as a secondary drive, the Pyro scored an average real-world copying speed of 190MBps, about 12MBps slower than the Wildfire. When used as the main and only drive of the test machine, the Pyro was slower, since it had to perform both reading and writing at the same time, and averaged 76.44MBps, which is once again about 12MBps slower than its big brother.

Nonetheless the drive helped speed up booting and shutdown for the test machine significantly compared with a traditional hard drive. On top of that we also noticed that applications, especially heavy ones such as games or Photoshop, took much less time to load.

In all, other than the sleep mode issue, we find the Pyro's performance makes it a worthy upgrade from any hard drive.

Boot and shutdown time (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Shutdown  
Boot time  
SanDisk Ultra
7.2 
13.5 
Crucial M4
6.8 
13.7 
OCZ Vertex 3
5.8 
14.1 
OCZ Agility 3
6.7 
14.7 
Patriot Wildfire
7.5 
30 
WD VelociRaptor 300GB
12.2 
56.2 

Data transfer (in MB/s)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
As secondary drive  
As OS drive  
Samsung 830 Series
261.63 
172.88 
Plextor PX-256M2S
261 
162.03 
OCZ Vertex 3
260.71 
150.01 
Crucial M4
235.51 
117.99 
OCZ Agility 3
207.75 
101.67 
Patriot Wildfire
202 
99.72 
Patriot Memory Pyro
190.01 
76.44 
Sandisk Ultra
96.4 
65.6 
WD VelociRaptor 600GB
126.33 
58.05 
Seagate Barracuda XT
115.71 
51.1 
WD VelociRaptor 300GB
112.59 
47.12 

Service and support
Patriot backs the Pyro (like the Wildfire) with a three-year warranty, which is decent and standard for most SSDs, though not as generous as the five-year warranty of the OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G. On the company's Web site, there's a page dedicated to the drive with support-related information and firmware downloads.

Conclusion
The Patriot Memory Pyro offers decent data rates and helps improve a computer's overall performance significantly when used as the main drive hosting the operating system. Its rather high cost and some stability issues, however, make it a little hard for us to recommend it to everyone.

patriot-pyro-120gb.png
6.8

Patriot Memory Pyro solid-state drive

Score Breakdown

Design 8Features 7Performance 6Support 7