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Patriot Memory Pyro SE 240GB SSD

5 Stars
Patriot Pyro SE

Since the introduction of their highly acclaimed, high-performance Wildfire SSD drive, Patriot Memory has been busy filling out their selection of SATA III SSD drives. The original Pyro SSD was released as a value-oriented alternative to the Wildfire. The lower cost of the Pyro was achieved by using asynchronous NAND flash memory. Now, Patriot has released the Pyro SE, which uses the higher-performance, synchronous NAND flash. The Pyro SE settles in, right in between the Wildfire and the Pyro.

PROS

  • Fantastic read/write speeds
  • Greatly improves boot times
  • Stabilized SandForce firmware
  • 3-year warranty

CONS

  • No desktop adapter or other accessories included

BUILD AND APPEARANCE
The Pyro SE SSD packaging and appearance is consistent with the Pyro line. The drive comes in a slim cardboard box and is encased in a clear, easy to open plastic container. The drive itself looks identical to the Pyro except for the added “SE” label. The aluminum shell is kept together by four small screws and a couple of shiny warranty stickers warn that removing them will void the 3-year warranty.

Patriot Pyro SE 240GB box

Patriot Pyro SE 240GB top

The Pyro SE, like the Pyro, does not come with a 2.5-inch to 3.5-inch adapter or mounting screws. If you plan to use the Pyro SE with your desktop computer, either you’ll need a case that support SSD drives already, like the Corsair Graphite Series 600T, or you’ll need to get your own adapter. Laptop installations won’t need the adapter, but having an external USB adapter can making cloning your existing drive to the SSD drive much easier. I recommend picking one up from Newegg or Amazon for about $15, unless you plan on performing a clean OS install.

Patriot Pyro SE 240GB bottom

Patriot Pyro SE 240GB side

PERFORMANCE
ATTO
I kicked off my benchmarks of the Pyro SE 240GB SSD with ATTO, which is primarily what manufacturers use in their advertised speeds. ATTO uses raw, compressible data and the results are a best-case scenario.

ATTO Chart PyroSE

ATTO showed 553MB/s read and 523MB/s write, which is right in line with the advertised speeds of 550MB/s read and 520MB/s write. It’s also not significantly different from the regular Pyro, or any other SandForce SSD, for that matter.

CrystalDiskMark
Where the performance differences really show themselves is when you test with random compressible data, using a benchmark tool like CrystalDiskMark or AS SSD.

CrystalDiskMark Chart PyroSE

The results in CrystalDiskMark were 488MB/s read and 310MB/s write. Those performance numbers are significantly higher than those of the Pyro 120GB SSD I tested previously (208MB/s read and 146MB/s write). In fact, the Pyro SE 240GB SSD is the fastest SSD I’ve ever tested.

BOOT TIMES
I tested the Windows 7 boot time of the Pyro SE 240GB in a Dell Studio laptop. The Seagate Momentus 7200RPM mechanical drive that was already in the system, booted in a reasonable 47 seconds. The Pyro SE cut the boot time down to less than half that, at just 23 seconds!

Pyro SE boot times

SPECS

Form Factor 2.5-inch
Unformatted capacity 240GB
Controller SandForce SF-2200 series
NAND flash MLC
Interface SATA III (backwards compatible w/SATA I & II)
Sequential Read Up to 550MB/s
Sequential Write Up to 520MB/s
Max Random Write IOPS Up to 85,000 (4K aligned)
Native Command Queing Up to 32 commands
Warranty 3 years

CONCLUSION
I’ll state the obvious first: SSD drives have tremendous benefits. They outperform mechanical drives by a wide margin, are more resistant to shock, weigh less and consume less power. What else is rather obvious, is that SSDs cost substantially more than mechanical drives. However, costs continue to drop, while mechanical drives have actually reversed the trend recently due to the flooding in Thailand. The gap between HDDs and SSDs, in terms of price, is as small as it’s ever been. If you’re looking for a new drive right now, an SSD has got to look pretty appealing, at least as laptop replacement drives or as desktop boot/system drives.

All that said, the Pyro SE is one of the best performance SSDs you can get at a reasonable price, relatively speaking. It costs just a little bit more than the Pyro, while offering enough of a savings from the Wildfire to be solid choice for enthusiasts. If you want to give your system a massive performance boost, the Patriot Pyro SE 240GB SSD drive will not disappoint.

Available from Amazon.com.

* Review unit provided by Patriot Memory

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