Patriot's Pyro series finds itself in a tough position, just as OCZ's Agility 3 line does. These SSDs are living off the hype of the SandForce SF-2200 controller and their support for the SATA 6Gb/s interface. Yet they fail to deliver the lightning fast performance seen by the Vertex 3 and a plethora of other SF-2200-based SSDs that followed.
Compared to previous-generation flash drives such as Kingston's SSDNow V+100, the Pyro doesn't look all that bad. It carries a slightly lower price tag and delivered a tad more performance overall. However, when you look at current-generation products such as the Intel 320 Series, Vertex 3 and Crucial m4, the Pyro is out of its league.
Even last-generation's top performers, such as the Crucial RealSSD C300 and Samsung 470 Series provided a tough challenge. In fact, if you look at our file copy results, a single Samsung 470 Series 128GB drive easily beat the Pyro 120GB, and we'd expect that to remain proportionately true if we compared both in RAID0.
The real issue is the Pyro's $205 asking price, which puts it in the same territory as the Vertex 3 120GB ($220-$240). For $15, what's the point? That's precisely how we felt about the Agility 3 when it was situated at $210, but OCZ has since lowered the price of admission to $170. Again, that puts the Pyro between a rock and a hard place.
For $15 more, you get a top-performing Vertex 3, while OCZ's Agility 3 is $25 cheaper and should offer similar performance. The Pyro 3 and Agility 3 utilize the same controller and both have asynchronous NAND flash memory, which is cheaper and slower than the synchronous chips you'll find in the Vertex 3 and other premium drives.
When looking through our real-world results, it's worth mentioning that the Pyro really only suffered in the file copying tests as the application performance was still very good. Likewise, you probably wouldn't notice a difference between the Pyro and Vertex 3 in real-world Windows 7 load times and multitasking performance.
This isn't the case for all applications as the Pyro had a lousy showing in our StarCraft II level load test. Although we hoped that two Pyro 120GB drives in RAID0 would meet or exceed the performance of one Vertex 3 240GB, that wasn't the case. We're left to conclude that the Pyro doesn't bring much to the table at its existing price point.
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