Value and Conclusion
|8.8||Patriot's Inferno 100 GB SSD is a typical Sandforce flash drive contender. This also makes it very hard for the drive to separate itself from offerings of other manufacturers. It delivers performance very similar to other Sandforce drives that we tested. Patriot's Inferno 100 GB uses 28 GB overprovisioning which can not seem to make any measurable difference in our real world benchmarks compared to drives with 8 GB overprovisioning. This is also the reason why Patriot has announced that they will be offering drives with 8 GB overprovisioning now (120 GB data area). Such a move makes perfect sense, as the customer gets more capacity for his money and performance will remain unchanged.|
Like all Sandforce drives, the Patriot Inferno 100 GB shows amazing results in our synthetic benchmarks with well above 250 MB/s in both read and write. The high write speeds especially impress - many other SSDs are lacking here. However, overall our application benchmarks show that during normal use the numbers are less spectacular, while still impressive. When switching from a traditional harddrive to SSD, you would see huge gains, but moving from an older generation SSD to something like the Patriot Inferno might not be able to justify the cost at the outset.
The SandForce SF-1222 packs the much talked-about TRIM feature supported by Windows 7, Windows Server Series 2008 R2, and the latest versions of the Linux kernel. The garbage-collecting capabilities of TRIM could become extremely important in the long run, as the drive begins to age. Unlike with magnetic storage devices such as hard drives, where new data can simply be overwritten on top of portions of the disks which are magnatised by data that is deleted, for NAND-flash based devices, for new data to take the place of deleted data, the portion of the flash chip must be physically erased, consuming some write cycles. TRIM makes sure that the drive knows immediately when blocks are freed after a file delete which give it a chance to wipe all portions of the flash chips "clean" when the drive is idling, so the cleaned areas are ready to receive new data, faster. Without TRIM, the drive would have to waste those write cycles whenever the OS seeks to write data, which happens to be occupied by deleted data, and that lowers write performance.
Overall the Patriot Inferno should be on your short list when looking for a drive in the 100 GB range with a long warranty. Patriot gives you five years while most other manufacturers offer only two or three. As mentioned before, if you need a bit more capacity, then you can safely opt for Patriot's new 120 GB Inferno which will not suffer in performance compared to the 100 GB version we tested today, but offer 20% more capacity.