Patriot Memory Pyro SE 60GB SATAIII SSD Review - A Closer Look

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The Pyro SE has a diffused alloy chassis which is very well-built, and has a pleasantly matte appearance. Underneath the skin are 8 chips of Micron 25nm synchronous MLC NAND gates yielding a total of 60GB of available storage, with an additional 4GB for RAISE (Redundant Array of Independent Silicon Elements).  MLC, which stands for Multi-Level Cell, allows for two bits of data to be stored in each NAND cell, which obviously leads to a lower number of NAND cells needed for a given capacity, and subsequently lower prices. We see MLC NAND in nearly all mainstream drives, such as the Patriot Pyro and OCZ Agility 3, to name a couple popular lines.

 

As long as the MLC NAND gates are high quality and algorithms are appropriately designed, they offer very little sacrifice over SLC NAND, but allow for significant cost savings, and these drives have shown to be very popular. Since MLC has four different states to read between to SLC NAND's two, read and write operations take longer as there are more voltage states to check when writing, and the NAND cells wear more quickly because of the added read/write complexity of MLC NAND. However, with the widespread adoption of TRIM, which is native to Windows 7, manufacturers are promising nearly 10 years of drive life, and by that time you'll almost certainly have upgraded, so we wouldn't hang on the reduced lifespan of MLC NAND.

 

Patriot Pyro SE 60GB SSD Review Back

The back side of the drive is finished with the same textured alloy finish as the top, which is, as I mentioned before, refreshingly matte and subtle. The NAND the Pyro utilizes is synchronous, which uses a clock to synchronize the read and write operations, which is faster than the asynchronous alternative, but requires a separate clock controller, which is generally why synchronous NAND-equipped drives cost more.  The NAND configuration matches up to OCZ's Vertex 3 drives almost exactly, with 25nm Micron synchronous NAND and an SF-2281 controller.

 

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