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Patriot Ignite 480GB SSD Review

Final Thoughts

The solid-state storage market is experiencing another pricing revolution right now. NAND flash is the most expensive ingredient in the SSD recipe, and that flash starts its life on a silicon wafer. Prices on those wafers are fixed, so the easiest way to decrease cost is by making more dies per wafer. Micron recently started selling 16nm flash to third parties, and that's what's spurring the current rush to the bottom. As I'm sure you can imagine, Micron gets more dies per wafer from its 16nm node than 20nm lithography. 


The Phison S10 controller with special BCH (Phison's term) allows Patriot to use asynchronous MLC NAND packaged by another company. Because there's an outside agent packaging the flash, we really don't know the quality of the die inside. Micron (the M in IMFT) keeps the best pieces for Lexar, Micron and Crucial products, then sells the rest. Of that reminder, the highest-quality NAND goes into synchronous flash, while the leftovers trickle down to asynchronous flash for low-cost SSDs and thumb drives.

Fortunately, the controller's CRC/ECC algorithms ensure the NAND at least lasts as long as Patriot's warranty. The more the ECC has to work, the more power the drive consumes. And SSDs use more power at the end of their life as read retries increase. If the flash is already low-quality, you reach that point sooner than later.

With that understood, Patriot's Ignite wasn't designed to be a powerhouse. Its low price, currently less than $180 for the 480GB model, gives users a better experience than any hard drive can provide and a decent amount of capacity. In fact, what really sets this product apart from many low-cost SSDs is its heavy workload performance. The Ignite lags behind other products in our 100% consumer workloads, but does much better under more taxing tests. It's odd for a low-cost SSD to favor demanding over light usage, but there we are. Perhaps not surprisingly, Phison plans to develop the S10 controller for entry-level enterprise-oriented devices as well.

Our measured random and mixed workload performance really hurts the Ignite, though. If you want to gamble, we do know Phison is planning an update to improve random I/O, and that should facilitate better mixed workload performance. The company tells us to expect something in the mid-May time frame. However, we aren't certain how much the update will help an SSD with asynchronous flash, and we don't even know for sure whether Patriot will turn it into a new firmware for the Ignite.

To that end, I'm surprised that Patriot, Corsair and Mushkin all released products with the S10 so early in its life. The controller is stable and delivers impressive numbers. But early reviews won't accurately represent the products if they incorporate extra features and performance optimizations.

  • gnarr
    "A few tenths of a second in each service time benchmark might not seem like a lot, but over the course of a day, they add up. Admittedly, choosing one SSD over another won't double your productivity. Would you turn down an extra 10 or 20 minutes of getting stuff done, though?"
    Your reaction time is around 150-300ms, so having an SSD that is 200ms slower than the fastest SSD is not going to slow you down the least. It won't even give you 10 seconds of extra "getting stuff done" over a whole workday unless your work resolves around only opening and closing applications.

    It might maybe save you 2-3 seconds when opening large Photoshop, After Effects, Premiere or Resolve projects, but as a video editor, I know you will most likely be working on the same project the entire day, and if you're opening many projects per day, they are usually rather small and thus will load in a blink of an eye.
    Reply
  • 2Be_or_Not2Be
    @gnarr - I think the main point is being glossed over - if a SSD can finish a task x% slightly faster than another SSD/HDD, then it's allowing you x% more time to do *anything* on your computer. It doesn't matter if you went off to get coffee or if you were sitting there waiting on it to finish the task, your computer is now waiting on your input that x% faster. This has nothing to do with your reaction time or even opening files.

    During the course of a year, anything that allows you more time to do work on your computer makes you more efficient.
    Reply
  • damric
    How well does this controller respond to loss of power or hard reset?

    Too many SSDs on the market become bricked and unrecognized by the motherboard even after just a single loss of power.

    I recommend reviewers do about 50 hard power-offs and see if the SSD survives.
    Reply
  • mf Red
    How well does this controller respond to loss of power or hard reset?

    Too many SSDs on the market become bricked and unrecognized by the motherboard even after just a single loss of power.

    I recommend reviewers do about 50 hard power-offs and see if the SSD survives.

    My R9 290x was causing hard power-offs when loading into games and my 840 Pro is still functioning just fine. I probably only did 20 hard resets though not 50 so maybe you're right.
    Reply
  • killerchickens
    Nice price I might have buy one. :)
    Reply
  • damric
    15539409 said:
    How well does this controller respond to loss of power or hard reset?

    Too many SSDs on the market become bricked and unrecognized by the motherboard even after just a single loss of power.

    I recommend reviewers do about 50 hard power-offs and see if the SSD survives.

    My R9 290x was causing hard power-offs when loading into games and my 840 Pro is still functioning just fine. I probably only did 20 hard resets though not 50 so maybe you're right.

    The Samsungs usually don't have that problem, lucky for you.
    Reply
  • palladin9479
    15539409 said:
    How well does this controller respond to loss of power or hard reset?

    Too many SSDs on the market become bricked and unrecognized by the motherboard even after just a single loss of power.

    I recommend reviewers do about 50 hard power-offs and see if the SSD survives.

    My R9 290x was causing hard power-offs when loading into games and my 840 Pro is still functioning just fine. I probably only did 20 hard resets though not 50 so maybe you're right.

    The Samsung drives are of exceptionally high stability, almost enterprise level. I've never heard of one getting bricked by unexpected loss of power.

    The thing to realize is that SSD's are basically a computer within a computer. Inside a SSD is a CPU, memory and an OS. When the drive powers on, it loads it's OS off the firmware which then goes about managing the flash cells and acting like a miniature SAN storage processor. From your computers point of view you only see a storage device, but that's being abstracted by the SSD's OS. You actually have between four to eight storage devices that are organized in a pseudo RAID configuration with the SSD's OS presenting it as a single device.

    So unexpected loss of power will have the same effect on the SSD's OS as it does on your OS, corrupted data. Now modern OS's are written in such a way as to cope with potential data corruption caused by a random loss of power, but not all SSD's firmwares (OS's) are capable of doing that and thus the bricking occurs.

    Reply
  • pilsner
    I really do not like it, but it seems that at this point in time, choosing a Samsung 850 Pro SSD is still the thing to do.
    Reply
  • giantbucket
    15536551 said:
    @gnarr - I think the main point is being glossed over - if a SSD can finish a task x% slightly faster than another SSD/HDD, then it's allowing you x% more time to do *anything* on your computer. It doesn't matter if you went off to get coffee or if you were sitting there waiting on it to finish the task, your computer is now waiting on your input that x% faster. This has nothing to do with your reaction time or even opening files.

    During the course of a year, anything that allows you more time to do work on your computer makes you more efficient.

    this would only be relevant if an SSD was just too darned slow and was holding you up, and YOU were waiting for IT to do something. 99.973% of the time, the SSD / computer is done while you're still thinking or you're distracted on the phone with a client or coworker. the gating item isn't the SSD, so the fact that it's 3% faster is irrelevant outside of a benchmark.
    Reply
  • 2Be_or_Not2Be
    15541542 said:
    15536551 said:
    @gnarr - I think the main point is being glossed over - if a SSD can finish a task x% slightly faster than another SSD/HDD, then it's allowing you x% more time to do *anything* on your computer. It doesn't matter if you went off to get coffee or if you were sitting there waiting on it to finish the task, your computer is now waiting on your input that x% faster. This has nothing to do with your reaction time or even opening files.

    During the course of a year, anything that allows you more time to do work on your computer makes you more efficient.

    this would only be relevant if an SSD was just too darned slow and was holding you up, and YOU were waiting for IT to do something. 99.973% of the time, the SSD / computer is done while you're still thinking or you're distracted on the phone with a client or coworker. the gating item isn't the SSD, so the fact that it's 3% faster is irrelevant outside of a benchmark.

    No, what I'm saying is that if the SSD finishes x task faster, that in itself makes it more efficient. It doesn't matter if the end-user doesn't make use of the time after the SSD finishes the task; the SSD itself is more efficient.

    If we try to say, "well, making something faster won't help the end-user because they're doing other things or reacting too slowly", then you almost might as well not try to make *anything* more efficient. That was the point of my responding to @gnarr - the end-user's reaction time doesn't really matter.

    Thinking solely of the end-user directly using the SSD in his computer also doesn't include the consideration of SSDs being used by servers. Against, if a SSD performs faster (finishes x task even seconds faster), then that allows the next I/O request to be serviced even faster. All of that aggregated over time equals more performance & true efficiency gains, especially on a server that is heavily used.
    Reply