Specifications, Pricing and Availability
On the surface everything appears to be going well for Zephyr, the God of the West Wind. The name symbolizes spring and with spring we think fresh or the beginning of all things green. Once we get past the rated read speed of 240MB/s and write speed of 180MB/s, it becomes very clear that Zephyr is not a fresh green product like we had hoped, but a product that many of us hoped had withered and passed away in the brown mud long ago. The Patriot Zephyr uses the JMicron 612 controller.
To be fair, the JM612 is not the controller that left purchasers steaming mad two years ago, it is the updated, revised and with cache controller that came out in 2009. But even at that point it was disregarded as a serious product for the solid state market since its real world performance was so far behind anything from Intel or Indilinx. The studdering issue is not known to affect the JM612, but its real world performance has not been all that exciting either.
In the last few months we have seen a few new products introduced to the market with the controller; one of the largest launches came from Western Digital, but they coupled their JMicron controller with a massive 512MB cache and crossed their fingers that anything written to the drive would not fill the cache before the data transfer was completed. The second noteworthy, newly released JMicron product to be introduced was the previously mentioned Kingston V Series that is currently available from Newegg for 259 USD as a bare drive or with a large accessory package for slightly more.
This leads us to the cost of the Patriot Zypher, since if the price is right and a true low cost product was achieved, we completely understand and follow the code of You Get What You Pay For. I was able to find the Patriot Zephyr at Amazon, Patriot's exclusive launch partner for a staggering 358.40 USD, a full 100 USD more than the cost of the Kingston SSDNow V Series in matching 128GB capacity. Patriot also has the 64GB Zephyr on Amazon for 185 USD.
Both versions of the already available Zephyr use a single 64MB cache module, just like the Kingston V Series, yet the Patriot model has a substantially higher price. Today we are going to take a look at the 128GB Patriot Zephyr and see if the additional cost equates to additional features or performance.