Our recent trip to CES 2015 afforded us the opportunity to meet with folks from Patriot Memory. They were eager to show off some of their newest products and provide us with a glimpse of things to come. One such product on display was their new Ignite series SSD line. The Ignite SSD is available in a 480 GB (today’s review sample) or 960 GB version. Patriot Memory has been around for 30 years now and is well known for providing high performance and enthusiast level products. Does the Ignite series SSD hold up to this standard? Let’s take it for a spin and find out!
Specifications and Features
Here are the specifications and features, which were pulled from the Patriot website. You may notice the Ignite SSD uses the new Phison S10 controller and claims impressive read/write speeds of well over 500 MB/s. The 4K IOPS claim looks equally impressive too. The Ignite SSDs are backed by Patriot’s 3-year warranty.
|Patriot Ignite 480GB SSD Product Information/Specifications/Features|
|Description||Ignite 2.5” SATA SSD Drive|
|Unit Dimensions||3.94” (L) x 2.75” (W) x 0.28” (H)
100mm (L) x 69.85mm (W) x 7mm (H)
|Unit UPC||0815530018797 (480GB)
|Packaging Dimensions||.70” (D) x 4.4” (W) X 5.19” (H)
17.7mm (D) x 111.7mm (W) x 131.8mm (H)
|Net Weight||.17 lbs / 78.6 gm|
|Specifications & Features|
Before taking a look at the Ignite SSD itself, let’s give the marketing team at Patriot Memory a chance to have their say.
The features, specifications, and marketing claims all point to a pretty impressive product. Let’s get the Ignite 480 GB SSD on the bench and have a look around.
There isn’t a whole lot of packaging needed for a SSD, but Patriot does a good job of keeping the unit well protected, providing some high-level features, and giving you a glance at the SSD through a window.
Once inside the box, you’ll find a plastic clam shell protecting the SSD. Also in the box is a pamphlet with basic installation instructions and product highlights.
Moving in for a closer look, we see the typical SATA data and power connection points. The metal casing is sturdy and pretty much a snap-together affair. Once the casing is separated, the bottom portion of the PCB is visible, along with the four MLC NAND flash modules located there.
As we mentioned earlier, the Patriot Ignite SSDs use the Phison S10 controller. In particular, the PS3110-S10-X. The S10 controller uses page-level parity, which Phison refers to as ‘Page RAID ECC Parity’, to protect against NAND failures. From what I could ascertain, the S10 only provides page-level protection and will not protect against full block or die failure.
If you noticed, the specifications called the NAND simply, “qualified MLC NAND.” I was unable to get any specifics on these, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Not having Toshiba or Micron MLC NAND flash, for example, allows Patriot to keep the Ignite SSDs competitively priced, while still providing good performance and reliability they say.
Patriot uses a Nanya DDR3 solution for the onboard memory, specifically the NT5CC256M16CP-DI variant. The last picture below is another close-up of the PCB’s back side.
Testing and Benchmarks
Here is the breakdown of the components used in our test bed.
|Test System Components|
|Motherboard||ASUS Maximus VII Formula|
|CPU||Intel i7 4790K Devil’s Canyon|
|Memory||G.SKill TridentX DD3-2400 MHz 2x8GB @ 1866 MHz 9-9-9-24|
|SSD||Various (See Comparison List)|
|Power Supply||Corsair HX1050 Professional Series|
|Video Card||EVGA GTX 780 Ti Classified|
|Cooling||EKWB Supremacy EVO Water Block – 360 mm Radiator – MCP35X Pump|
We have a pretty good assortment of comparison SSDs, some older and some newer. We don’t yet have the new Samsung 850 Pro or EVO, but rumor has it they are on the way. We’ll have those numbers coming your way soon. However, we do have the Samsung 840 Pro and EVO, Kingston HyperX 3KSSD, and the OCZ Vertex 460 lined up for comparison.
Each SSD is Secure Erased (SE) to make sure we get the best results possible. We do this before each and every test run to give the comparison samples the best environment possible for testing. Below are the tests we run with a brief description.
- Crystal Disk Mark – Run at Default Settings (5 Pass)
- AS SSD – Run at Default Settings
- ATTO – Run at Default Setting with QD Set to 10
- IoMeter 2010 – Ran Manually with QD32 for the 4K Tests
CrystalDiskMark (CDM) is a benchmark designed to test read/write sequential, 512K random, and 4K random performance. It’s very good at determining bandwidth under heavy load conditions. Because CDM uses incompressible data during its tests, the sequential file transfer speeds usually show lower performance numbers when compared to benchmarks that use compressible data, as you’ll see later.
The Patriot Ignite performed very well in the sequential read test and was just a few MB/s behind the Samsung EVO. The remaining read tests have the Patriot Ignite finishing in the middle of the pack.
The CDM write tests show the Patriot Ignite performing right on par with the two Samsung SSDs and easily outperforming the OCZ Vertex 460 and Kingston 3KSSD.
AS SSD also uses incompressible data during its test runs. Again, the Patriot Ignite performed excellent in this test and better than the competitor samples in all but the 4K read and write test where the Samsung EVO nudged slightly ahead.
The access time results have the Patriot Ignite performing the best during the read test, but it fell a tad behind all but the Kingston 3KSSD during the write test.
AS SSD also provides a set of scores based on the overall performance of each test. As you can see by the last graph below, the Ignite swept the field here.
Next up, we ran IOmeter manually to test 2MB read/write, 4K read/write, and IOPS performance. The 4K tests are ran “Aligned” and with the QD set to 32. The 2MB read and write test shows the advantage going to the Patriot Ignite over the other comparison samples. The 4K write test shows almost no difference between all of the SSDs we tested. The 4K read test has the Patriot Ignite only losing out to the OCZ Vertex by a slim margin.
The 2MB input/output per second (IOPS) testing provided a clean sweep for the Patriot Ignite in both read and write. The 4K IOPS test had the Patriot Ignite finishing second, just a whisper behind the Kingston 3KSSD.
ATTO is a popular benchmark test that most SSD manufacturers use as their basis for advertised read/write speeds. The Patriot Ignite performed exceptionally well here, especially in the 16K and above tests. The graph below only shows the numerical results for the Patriot Ignite, but the table below provides all the raw data used to produce the graph.
|ATTO Benchmark Raw Data – Read|
|Patriot Ignite||Samsung 840 Evo||Samsung 840 Pro||OCZ Vertex 460||Kingston 3KSSD|
|ATTO Benchmark Raw Data – Write|
|Patriot Ignite||Samsung 840 EVO||Samsung 840 Pro||OCZ Vertex 460||Kingston 3KSSD|
Comparing all the benchmark tests above, Patriot’s read, write, and IOPS claims appear to be valid. In some cases, we actually got better performance numbers than Patriot suggests. Nice.
One last performance check with Anvil’s Storage Utility, just to make sure what we recorded above is in the same ball park. Everything looks in order here too.
There is little doubt that SSDs are outgrowing the SATA interface and have probably already saturated the bandwidth limits. The future of SSDs lies within the PCI-E bus, and that seems to be where the migration is headed. Having said that, Patriot did a nice job getting top notch performance with the Ignite SSD. Patriot’s performance claims are very accurate and might actually be underrated in a couple cases, which isn’t always the case when verifying performance claims.
The Patriot Ignite 480 GB SSD is currently selling for $214 at Newegg, which lands it right about in the middle of SSDs with similar performance claims. SSD pricing in general has had a dramatic decline over the last several months, and that’s likely to continue for the foreseeable future. It wouldn’t surprise us if the Patriot Ignite 480 GB SSD becomes even more affordable in the near future.
In the end, we have an excellent performing SSD that lives up to Patriot’s advanced billing. Great performance at a good price means the Patriot Ignite 480 GB not only deserves serious consideration if you’re in the market for a new SSD, but is also Overclockers Approved!