The development of SSD for the masses is truly still in its infancy. If you look at the first generation of SSD today, they will look like absolute slugs in terms of performance and miniscule in terms of size. What about first gen SSD pricing compared to today’s? It’s laughable, much in the way we look at the first IBM PC’s $3000.00 price tag. However, this is only natural. New technology unveils, typically at an extraordinarily high price, and as time goes on, pricing comes down and performance generally goes up. This is a natural tweaking process as the technology develops. Technology develops, prices drop on older technologies, allowing for yesterday’s “Enthusiast Class” to become today’s “Mainstream” at a much lower price, as well as technology developments in less expensive alternatives. In the end, it’s all about finding the price/performance/durability ratio that best suits the market.
One of the more popular performance “concessions” in SSD, to make a more palatable price point, is the use of asynchronous flash memory. Is that such a bad thing? Well, manufacturers that don’t use it will probably liken it to a 4200rpm spindle drive, but that is certainly not the case, especially in day to day usage. So, what is the difference that asynchronous flash makes in performance versus synchronous flash memory? The difference that stands out is transfer rates for incompressible data. What does that mean to you? Basically, the most common types of incompressible data today are media files, .jpg, .mp3, .mpg, etc., so this is where you take a hit in transfer rate. The transfer rate of today’s asynchronous flash will not affect your usage of these files. Movies and music will play absolutely perfectly and there will be no perceptible difference. The perceptible difference will be when you move these files. However, if you are coming from even a 7200rpm high end spindle, your suffering here amounts to the transfer being only approximately three times faster than what you are used to. If you are coming from a last gen SSD, it is still considerably faster than almost all. Keep in mind, we are only talking about incompressible files, not loading up your programs. So, your day to day experience is only affected when you are moving these in bulk.
Entering the asynchronous SSD market, Patriot introduces the Pyro SSD line in 60, 120 and 240GB varieties. The Patriot Pyro 120GB SSD may be asynchronous, but it comes with some very impressive factory specs. Featuring a SandForce SF-2281 processor, the Patriot Pyro is able to max at 550MB/s read and 515MB/s write, as well as perform 85,000 IOPS. SATA III interface ensures that the Patriot Pyro will not have issues bottlenecking there, and SATA I/II backwards compatibility allows the Pyro to perform in just about any build. The Patriot Pyro SSD minimizes speed erosion associated with SSD through an enhanced “garbage collection” system they have dubbed “Recycling”. Coupled with TRIM support, Intelligent Data Retention and best-in-class ECC protection, the Patriot Pyro promises to keep top flight performance through years of normal usage, without typical SSD slowdown. The Patriot Pyro SSD also comes backed with a three year warranty for worry free operation.
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