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Patriot Ignite 480GB SSD Review

Our Verdict

Asynchronous flash allows companies to shave a few dollars off of the MSRP. The Ignite brings a powerful controller down a price tier but don't think this bargain is premium performance SSD at a low price.

For

  • Low cost with really good sequential performance in an attractive 7mm case.

Against

  • Very low mixed workload and 4K write performance. Your notebook will not gain battery time over a typical HDD.

Introduction and Specifications

DRAM and NAND flash are made by the same companies, which work with other partners to produce the final retail hardware we buy for our computers. Those relationships help explain why some of the RAM vendors were first to introduce consumer-oriented SSDs. Patriot was one of the early providers of desktop solid-state drives, and the company has a long history of offering low-cost products.

Without a fab, Patriot has to rely on other companies to manufacture the NAND memory and controller technology it uses. Flash went through a dry spell for a while, where partners experienced reduced allocation. Moreover, the post-SandForce era saw controller development slow to a crawl. Patriot nearly bowed out of SSDs altogether due to those challenges and more. But a small (yet steady) demand for its existing drives kept the company active. New SSDs were simply few and far between.

That cooling-off period is now over thanks to a budding relationship with Phison. Patriot recently released three consumer SSDs: the Blaze, Torch and Ignite series, the latter of which we're testing today.

The Patriot Ignite uses Phison's quad-core, eight-channel PS3110-S10 controller with smart ECC technology. It features end-to-end data protection and a host of other capabilities typically found in enterprise-class processors. The S10 was designed for both two-bit (MLC) and three-bit-per-cell (TLC) flash. To ensure low-endurance TLC can survive typical consumer warranty periods of three years or more, the controller uses powerful error correction technology to read bits that may have shifted over time. When a powerful controller like Phison's is paired with higher-quality MLC flash, it can handle other background activities that make the drive faster. 

Technical Specifications

Patriot released the Ignite in two capacities: the 480GB drive we're testing today and a large 960GB model. The Torch and Blaze, armed with Phison's S8 controller, occupy a lower-capacity range in Patriot's line-up. Both Ignite models share identical specifications, despite the 960GB model's higher-density flash and larger DRAM buffer.

Phison's S10 controller employs an eight-channel interface to the flash. A quad-core design seems excessive, but allows the company's customers to dedicate processing power to flash management, which maintains respectable performance at high speeds, even under steady state conditions. The controller also brings some enterprise-class features to the consumer realm like end-to-end data path protection that uses CRC/ECC to protect data as it moves from the host to the controller, flash and DRAM. 

Patriot's performance specifications are lower than Corsair's Neutron XT, another product using the S10. The difference between them is their flash. The Ignite employs IMFT 16nm asynchronous NAND to keep its price low.

Phison still hasn't enabled all of the S10's features. DEVSLP works and takes power down to 10mW, but a future update is expected to reduce it even further to 5mW. Another planned update focuses on 4KB steady state performance. We hear the S10 is capable of delivering over 10,000 random write IOPS, but optimizations are still in development. Plus, there is no guarantee that Patriot will enable extra features, should they become available. 

Pricing

Following its tradition, Patriot worked to keep the Ignite's price down. We found the 480GB model for as low as $180. The 960GB version goes for around $370. Understandably, the Ignite doesn't come with a large bundle; you pretty much just get a paper manual in the retail box. Patriot does cover its Ignite with a three-year warranty, though.

  • 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